CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – It’s been four days now since a horrific terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, and the debate continues about shooter Omar Mateen’s motives.
The tragedy prompted Chattanooga city council member Chris Anderson to fire-off tweets to local and state leaders–tying them to the massacre.
Anderson spoke with News 12’s Bill Mitchell.
The tragedy in Orlando resulted in a barrage of tweets from Chris Anderson to local and state leaders including Governor Bill Haslam. The identical messages asked if “you regret your hateful attacks on the LGBT community and your incitement of this?”
Anderson was not responding to most requests for interviews at that time—but he did Wednesday.
“I will say this ..I often think I could have chosen my words better, but I do not apologize for what I said and the sentiment I conveyed..it makes some people uncomfortable, but it’s the truth,” Chattanooga City Council Member Chris Anderson said.
His detractors didn’t see it that way.
“Why politicize something that is such a tragedy for so many people …That’s why I think it’s totally irresponsible,” said City Council Member Larry Grohn.
“In my view, it’s an attempt to score some cheap political points amongst his supporters,” said Mark West, President of the Chattanooga Tea Party.
Anderson, the first openly gay elected official in the city, blames “hateful rhetoric”.
“Was it domestic terrorism? Almost certainly..but they weren’t targeted because they were Americans, they were targeted because they were gay,” said Anderson.
“At that moment, regardless of our political persuasions, we’re all Americans, it doesn’t matter whether you’re left, right, straight, homosexual, it doesn’t matter–we’re all Americans,” said West.
“I just think that when people in government, official or political capacities make the kind of hateful rhetoric statements they make against a segment of the American population, they create this atmosphere where somehow violence and discrimination against that population is acceptable, ” replied Anderson.
*photo from twitter