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Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson Called the Civil Rights Movement a Communist Plot, Greensboro Sit-Ins a ‘Ridiculous Premise’

Source: Editorial Board

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson has been seriously testing out the idea that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” lately because he’s found himself in the national news multiple times so far in May – and for all the wrong reasons.

First, it was because CNN uncovered horrific, disgusting Facebook posts from 2018 where he mocked the survivors of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. More recently, the same two CNN reporters, Em Steck and Andrew Kaczynski, released another story, this time focusing on Robinson’s history of attacking the Civil Rights Movement.

Robinson’s first coverage in the national media this month focused on his numerous posts on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. His posts from 2018 mostly targeted a group of surviving students who had called for more gun control measures after a former student murdered 14 students and three staff members – and injured another 17 – with an AR-15-style rifle.

His first post was sent on Feb. 20, 2018, just six days after the shooting. In it, Robinson posted a picture of some of the students who had made media appearances, with the caption, “the look you get when you let the devil give you a ride on a river of blood to ’15 minutes of Fameville.’

Throughout the course of several months, Robinson posted multiple memes making fun of the students.

Maybe his most vile post on the subject came in a rant posted on his public profile. Robinson called the students “spoiled, angry know it all CHILDREN,” “media prosti-tots,” and “spoiled little bastards.”

Robinson wrote that if a “hard nosed nonsense [sic] conservative had walked into that school and put into place the ideals and principles that would have avoided that massacre, you spoiled little bastards would have kicked and screamed like babies in a crib. That’s what you are doing now.”

He continued, saying that “A baby’s cries are useful and necessary. You are simply making irritating noise.”

At the same time Robinson was mocking children who had survived a school shooting, he was also going on conspiracy theorist podcasts to trash the Civil Rights Movement.

According to CNN, the now-lieutenant governor went on the “Politics and Prophecy” podcast, hosted by conspiracy theorist and 9/11 truther Chris Levels, in March 2018. In addition to being a 9/11 truther, Levels has also called the Olympics an Illuminati event from Satan and shared posts saying Jews control nearly everything in society. Robinson himself has gotten in trouble for antisemitic remarks in the past.

It was on that podcast that Robinson said the Civil Rights Movement was a Communist plot to “subvert capitalism” and used “to subvert free choice and where you go to school and things like that.”

“So many things were lost during the Civil Rights Movement. So many freedoms were lost during the Civil Rights Movement that shouldn’t have been lost,” Robinson said on the podcast.

His previous comments are far different than how he’s been talking about the Civil Rights Movement lately. Robinson, who is from Greensboro – where the Greensboro sit-ins took place for several months in 1960 – proudly called his hometown “an epicenter of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Back in 2018, Robinson referred to the civil rights era as the “so-called Civil Rights Movement” and criticized the Greensboro Woolworth sit-ins as a “ridiculous premise” meant to pull “the rug out from underneath capitalism and free choice and the free market.”

“You talk about the sit-in movement. We’re in a free market system. So we’ve got a place … that won’t serve Blacks at the lunch counter,” Robinson said, “What do you do? You go down there and you sit at the lunch counter and you demand for these people to take your money. How crazy is that?”

According to CNN, Robinson appeared on a different podcast in 2022 and had a much different take on what he had previously called a “ridiculous premise.”

“I used to sit at that counter and eat … my food. My feet wouldn’t even touch the floor when I sat on the stool ‘cause I was so small,” he recalled. “I had no idea the cost that people had to pay for me to be able to come in there and sit at that counter. And that’s just always been something that’s been very striking.”

Once again, those comments are far different than what he said several years ago about the movement.

“The Civil Rights Movement destroyed hundreds of very well-run Black schools. They destroyed Black businesses across the nation. Once businesses became integrated right here in Greensboro … Black folks stopped going to the Black businesses. And they went out of business,” Robinson said in 2018. “If we had not listened to those Communists and had put our dollars in our pockets and built up our society, we could have drawn well-meaning Whites to our side and run Woolworth out of business instead of the other way around.”

In another appearance on the Politics and Prophecy podcast, this time in November 2018, Robinson said President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” social reform plan was just a way to keep Black Americans on a “de facto plantation” and keep “negroes … in their place.”

Robinson also seems to be a big fan of Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

In a Facebook Live post from January 2019, Robinson praised the man who led the Communist witch hunt of the 1950s.

“Folks laughed at McCarthy back in the fifties when he was talking about communism invading these shores. But those folks were telling the truth. And now because people ignored that truth, those things have come back in spades,” he said. “Folks didn’t believe McCarthy when he said our government was covered up with Communists. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders is [sic] proof of that.”

North Carolina already has enough right-wing extremists in the legislature, the state doesn’t need an even more extreme one sitting in the executive mansion.


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