Tillis: Rev. Barber should apologize

Posted May 25, 2011

A day after state NAACP president Rev. William Barber and six supporters were arrested in the House gallery, Speaker Thom Tillis called on Barber to apologize for the demonstration that led to the charges.

Barber was at the legislature yesterday for an NAACP protest and rally against the GOP budget plan, currently in the Senate.  He and other activists say it doesn't adequately address the needs of children, low-income people, the disabled, and other vulnerable groups. 

Barber said yesterday he was arrested for asking Tillis to meet with him, a request he shouted from the upstairs gallery while others with him chanted slogans and bible verses.

Tillis pointed out today that he did meet with Barber and his supporters earlier this year, praying with them in his office when they came to speak with him about collective bargaining.

Tillis acknowledged today it was possible someone had requested a meeting he wasn’t able to accommodate. But he flatly denied that he had refused to meet with either Barber or the NAACP.

“I think I’ve got a pretty good track record of being accessible, and I don’t apologize for it," Tillis said. "But I do think Reverend Barber owes this House an apology for his disrespectful and disruptive behavior yesterday.”

Tillis also said he has no plans to meet with Barber in the near future. “As I understand it there’s a police investigation associated with what happened yesterday. Until that police investigation is complete, it would be inappropriate for me to meet with somebody who’s the subject of a police investigation, I would think.”  Tillis Tillis calls for apology from Rev. Barber

But Tillis said he’s willing to meet with others from the NAACP, a group that he says “transcends any of its leaders.” 

“Anybody who represents the NAACP who wants to have a respectful conversation, a productive conversation, I’m happy to meet with them,” Tillis said.

 Watch his unedited comments at right.


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  • driverkid3 May 27, 2011

    Barber does not speak for me. I think that if you let him speak for you, you are just not going to get anywhere. This man is a racist, loud and clear. All he is going to do is throw a temper tantrum and make a fool of himself. I have a voice, and I use it. I know what I want and how to speak for myself, and guess what? I don't have to act like a spoiled brat to get my point across.

  • racoats1 May 26, 2011

    I am a Republican and I agree the legislature should not be tying the unemployment benefits to anything else. Shame on them for that. They said they were not going to do these things before the election but they are not keeping to their word.

  • racoats1 May 26, 2011

    Barbour is just an agitator. They take pride in that. Instead of being constructive and behaving civily, he and others in that group prefer the sensationalism and media coverage. He continues to do this with the Wake school assignments. If I were to go into the legislature and start chanting and yelling, I would be arrested immediately. I think the state should privatize a lot of these human service programs to include shutting down the MR Centers and let the private sector take over those services. They are doing an outstanding job providing services to the mentally retarded in the communities without having to pay state staff to do the same thing at a higher cost. Back to the point, Barbour needs to apologize and then start working in the communities to help out those he says are not smart as others, who can't learn unless they are bussed across the county, and those who need to learn how to take responsibilty for their own choices and actions.

  • stanmak May 26, 2011

    it wasnt a "demonstration" it was a screaming chanting protest in the middle of a government session. common sense would say you cant do that. common sense would also say that more truths should have been included in this article. i saw another great story that showed barber leaving the NCGA in an ambulance. not because he was hurt, but becuase he couldnt fit into a car.

  • dlphnwmn8 May 26, 2011

    they forget who their bosses are.....us. Time to remind them. But that will have to wait till after Memorial Day. I am sure most will be on vacation tomorrow....they never work on Fridays and will be off on Monday. While now 54,000 of us will do without electricity, food, medications, water, gas. They will be traveling, cooking out, have AC through this heat, water to drink and to bathe in and I am sure a frosty adult beverage or two or three as they toast their place in life, while flipping us the bird.

  • mikeyj May 25, 2011

    Yeah that's the ticket! Let's extend the extension on the twice extended unemployment benies that the lazies, now don't have any memory of what a 40 hr work week looks like.

  • TheBullCity May 25, 2011

    Tillis should apologize about holding 42,000 North Carolinian's unemployment benefits hostage.

  • dlphnwmn8 May 25, 2011

    House Rules votes on straight party lines to keep unemp benefits tied to budget measure. 14 Rs, 9 Ds.

    So everybody.....there it is. They had their chance to help us and just flipped us a big old bird.

  • chancethretha May 25, 2011

    And I Thank You!!! Mr. Tills or Mr. Speaker when are you going to apologize to us!! and when are you going to discuss the unemployment Benefits!!! Talking about respect doesn't feel good does it when someone disrespect you does it!! A dose of your own medicine!! Got to give to Get!!!

  • garydenny1965 May 25, 2011

    This is to whirledps,,,,Amen...I agree him and the other Republicans should apologize, and give up their paychecks, and go and crawl back under the rock they crawled out from under!!!