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‘What In the Uncle Ruckus Is Going On?’: North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Says African-Americans Owe Reparations for Their Freedom In Resurfaced Video

After North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson formally announced his candidacy for governor in 2024, many on social media quickly compared him to the “Boondocks” character Uncle Ruckus, a Black animated personality known for his self-hate.

Critics point to old videos and rally statements as proof that the 54-year-old Republican is a boot-strapper who rails against Blacks who believe they are owed something from the country.

WILMINGTON, NC – SEPTEMBER 23: Mark Robinson, lieutenant governor of North Carolina, is seen during a Save America rally for former President Donald Trump at the Aero Center Wilmington on September 23, 2022, in Wilmington, North Carolina. The “Save America” rally was a continuation of Donald Trump’s effort to advance the Republican agenda by energizing voters and highlighting candidates and causes. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

Twitter user Nikki Barnes posted one video with the caption, “Wow! This Black Republican candidate for Governor says it’s Black Americans that owe REPARATIONS to this country for our ‘freedom.’ That’s a new take.”

Related: ‘They Make It Sound Like America Is a Racist, Broken Country’: Ohio Politician Wants Descendants of White Civil War Soldiers Who Helped Free Enslaved Blacks to Get Reparations

“There were some people talking about reparations in this country,” Robinson began his speech at the 2021 North Carolina Republican State Convention. “And I remember I made this particular liberal so angry at me because I told them — right to their face — nobody owes you anything for slavery.”

According to the politician’s logic, if anyone owed anyone reparations, it would be the 21st-century Black person who benefits from the struggles of their ancestors.

“It’s you who owes. Why do you owe? Because somebody in those fields took strikes for you,” he said, referencing chattel slavery and how enslaved people were whipped while they worked cultivating cotton, tobacco, rice, and other crops on plantations.

He continued, “After those fields were ended and slavery was ended, somebody had to walk through Jim Crow for you. Somebody fought wars and died for you. Somebody lived less than because they didn’t have what you have, and they did it for you.”

The lieutenant governor referenced the Selma, Alabama, march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge and noted how some participants carried flags on the day now called “Bloody Sunday.”  

“Take that, Colin Kaepernick,” he said as he painted a portrait of patriotism by invoking the image of “Old Glory.”

Robinson tossed the potshot at the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, implying his kneeling to protest police brutality in 2016 was against the American flag. However, Kaepernick actually kneeled during pregame performances of the national anthem, not necessarily because of the flag.

“He has never known living with a bigotry that none of us can imagine,” adding, “[They] carried American flags on that bridge, and when they were hit upside the head with nightsticks and shot with water hoses, and knocked to the ground, they got up and picked those flags up, and kept marching.”

“Nobody owes you anything. It’s you. You owe because you’ve been the benefactor of freedom,” the clip ends.

After hearing Robinson’s speech, one person asked, “What in the Uncle Ruckus is going on here??”

Sha_Elise24 tweeted, “We as the members of the Black Delegation would like to make a trade to any other delegation that’s interested.”

Alisa Renee called Robinson “embarrassing.”

“My ancestors were only beaten and abused because America regarded them as less than human, not because they were bearing the burden for me,” she wrote. “They were just trying to survive in a country that hated them. This take from a Black man in NC is so embarrassing.”

Robinson, the first Black person to serve as lieutenant governor for the Tar Heel State, has made other statements about abortion, guns, the LGBTQIA community, critical race theory, and disparaging things about women that have alarmed people, according to WRAL.

One of his most controversial statements was about women.

“God sent women out … when they had to do their thing, but when it was time to face down Goliath, [He] sent David. Not Davida, David,” he said.

When talking about critical race theory, he believes it should not be introduced into schools because it exposes children to “Marxist thought” and will tear the country apart.

“If we continue to push CRT, it is going to tear us apart,” he says on the My Faith Votes YouTube channel. “It’s going to take us backward and not forwards. So, we need to make sure we guard ourselves against that.”

While he believes CRT should not be taught, he does believe the trans-Atlantic slave trade should be in the curriculum.

“When it comes to teaching our history, you cannot teach our history without teaching the bad portions of our history,” the politician said.

After teaching that, he says, teachers have to be honest and show how people of different races came together, using the tools of the Constitution and legislation to fight against bigotry.

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