After calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an "Uncle Tom" recently, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) defended his comments to CNN, saying, "But I'm black."
Thompson's initial comment came when he called in to a New Nation of Islam radio show Sunday. He said Thomas was an "Uncle Tom," adding that "it's almost to the point saying this man doesn't like black people, he doesn't like being black," according to The Week.
CNN's Dana Bash followed up with Thompson on Wednesday, asking him whether the term he used was racially charged.
"For some it is, but to others it's the truth," he said.
Bash said if a white person had used the term, it would be inappropriate. "But I'm black," Thompson replied.
"That makes it OK?" Bash asked.
"I mean, you're asking me the question, and I'm giving you a response," Thompson said. "The people that I represent, for the most part, have a real issue with those decisions -- voter ID, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act -- all those issues are very important, and for someone in the court who's African American and not sensitive to that is a real problem."
During the Sunday radio show, the 11-term congressman also accused Republicans of opposing President Barack Obama's initiatives because Obama is black.
“I’ve been in Washington. I saw three presidents now. I never saw George Bush treated like this. I never saw Bill Clinton treated like this with such disrespect," Thompson said, according to audio posted by BuzzFeed. "That Mitch McConnell would have the audacity to tell the president of the United States -- not the chief executive, but the commander-in-chief -- that ‘I don’t care what you come up with we’re going to be against it.’ Now if that’s not a racist statement I don’t know what is.”
CNN's Bash asked Thompson on Wednesday what specific comments led him to say GOP members are being harsher with Obama because of his race.
"I've seen quite a few State of the Union messages, I've never heard a president called a liar in a State of the Union message," Thompson said, referring to Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-S.C.) outcry of "You lie!" during Obama's September 2009 address to a joint session of Congress.