Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake apologized Wednesday for calling rioters, looters and arsonists “thugs.”
Rawlings-Blake used the word — which some consider offensive — to describe the ne’er-do-wells who tore up parts of Baltimore on Monday. Riots began that day after the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, a black man who died last week after being arrested by police on April 12.
“I’m a life-long resident of Baltimore and too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who in a very senseless way are trying to tear down what so many have fought for,” Rawlings-Blake said during a press conference Monday night as parts of the city burned. (RELATED: Baltimore Mayor: City Being ‘Destroyed By Thugs In A Senseless Way’)
Though Rawlings-Blake is black, her comments sparked backlash from many who consider “thug” to be a racist term. Rawlings-Blake retreated, issuing an apology on Twitter Wednesday morning.
One person who has not apologized for calling rioters “thugs” is President Obama. During a press conference on Tuesday, Obama shocked many when he called out “criminals and thugs who tore up [Baltimore].” (RELATED: Obama Refers To Baltimore Rioters As ‘Criminals And Thugs’)
One Baltimore politician was not pleased with neither politician’s “thug” comments.
Baltimore city councilman Carl Stokes told CNN during a live interview that both Democrats might as well “call them niggers.” (RELATED: Baltimore City Councilman Drops N-Word When Asked If ‘Thugs’ Is The Right Term For Protestors)
“No, of course it’s not the right word to call our children thugs,” Stokes said. “These are children who have been set aside, marginalized, who have not been engaged by us. No. We don’t have to call them thugs.”