Spartanburg Sheriff clears up controversial comments

The Spartanburg County Sheriff is trying to clear up some controversial comments he made.

For days, the sheriff has been under fire for what he was recorded saying a couple weeks ago about transgender people and statements people believed he made comparing the NAACP, a civil rights organization, to the Ku Klux Klan.

Sheriff Wright was recorded in the video saying, “I know there’s three cameras rolling, but I’m going to whip your tail if you go in there with my wife while she was trying to use the bathroom.”

People in the transgender community got upset about the comments.

“It makes me feel like I’m not protected as a person,” said Sean Foreman, a transgender man.

However, the sheriff said that’s not who he was talking about.

“I wasn’t talking about trans people,” Sheriff Wright said.  “I was talking about predators, and I’m not apologizing because I’m trying to stand up for our ladies and our children, and predators are trying to find these loopholes, and that’s exactly what I was talking about.”

That same day, Wright was also recorded in an interview saying, “I think the most racist people in America right now sometimes are minorities, small groups of minorities.”

The sheriff said the comment in response to a question about Ferguson.

“Some small off-groups that represent them that you saw on TV saying we hate white cops,” Wright said.

In the same recorded interview, Wright goes on to talk about his black minister who’s also the Sheriff Office chaplain and says  “He doesn’t buy into that mess. A bunch of his friends don’t either. They don’t do the NAACP because I feel like that is a racist group as well as the KKK. I don’t care about them either. I don’t want to be a part of no group that’s got something to do just because of your color. I don’t think they’re right.

I think if we would quit worrying about Democrats or Republicans and just love our neighbors as God told us to, we’re gonna be better. We’re just gonna be better.”

The sheriff agreed he could have worded what he said better.

“I  wasn’t trying to compare people in my heart I wasn’t,” Wright said. “Some people took it that way.. But the KKK is bad. It’s terrible, and the NAACP was started to help people.”

Wright said he’d be open to having a conversation with minorities in his community.

NAACP chapters from across South Carolina are supposed to convene in Spartanburg on Saturday at 10 AM for a meeting regarding the issue. The sheriff said he wasn’t made aware of it.

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