'It's reprehensible': Gilchrist blasts state senator for mask resembling Confederate flag

The Detroit News

Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist on Saturday lambasted the wearing of what appeared to be a Confederate flag on the floor of the state senate and called it “appalling and disgusting.”

“As a black man, as the first black Lt. Governor in the history of the state of Michigan … it was appalling and disgusting to see a Confederate flag chosen as the face mask of a sitting state senator,” Gilchrist said on the Saturday evening edition of Rev. Al Sharpton's show on MSNBC.

The state senator, Ida Republican Dale Zorn, apologized on Friday that the face mask was not a Confederate flag, but said he knew it "would raise his eyebrows."

Later in the interview, Gilchrist took aim at some of the protestors on the state capitol last week when a few Confederate flags were spotted.

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“This was not about protesting orders to stay home and stay safe because the science shows that’s how we will actually get ahead of this virus,” he said. “This was about politics. This was about partisanship. That was a Trump rally. People were there brandishing automatic weapons.”

Gilchrist said he was disappointed that the Republican senate leadership hasn’t disciplined or censured the state senator over the Confederate facemask issue.

“To openly choose to wear a symbol of bigotry, hatred, racism, oppression in this moment when people need to come together in the state of Michigan and across the country is reprehensible and unacceptable,” he said.

"This is a time for unity. It is everybody versus COVID-19. We need all hands on deck and to chose to do something like that sends the wrong message."