While appearing in the pulpit of a Winston-Salem church earlier this month, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson told worshippers his thoughts on peaceful protests in Durham and also announced a political trip to Israel, CBS 17 reported.
Robinson again made himself the story after he called peaceful protesters who shut down N.C. Highway 147 in Durham “human speed bumps” while speaking at Berean Baptist Church. He also announced that he’d be visiting Israel as part of “a political trip,” as part of his efforts to try to make voters forget he’s antisemitic and doesn’t believe the Holocaust happened.
While speaking at the Baptist church, Robinson said that America is slowly sliding into chaos where “lawlessness reigns.”
“You don’t have to go to Los Angeles or Chicago or New York City — you can go to Durham. Go to Durham,” Robinson said, referring to recent pro-Palestine protests.
“The other day in Durham we had people who were protesting,” Robinson said while using air quotes, “by blocking the highway. Laying down in the middle of the street, making themselves into human speed bumps.”
Following laughter, applause, and an audible “amen” from the congregation, Robinson said if he were the governor, he’d call for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol to “get these folks and get them out of the street,” according to CBS 17. “The law prescribes that peaceful protest takes place on the sidewalk, not in the middle of the highway.”
Robinson used his rant about peaceful protests to segue into announcing his impending trip to Israel (which he has since taken). What was supposed to be a 10-day trip with 30 people was reduced to three days and five people with private security.
Unable to resist an opportunity to act like he’s making a sacrifice, Robinson told the churchgoers that he had been waffling about taking the trip due to the “current trouble” in the area, but then he “thought about all the times other people stepped outside of their comfort zone … and realized that … to whom much is given, much is required, and a great responsibility has been put on my shoulders … and now is my time to carry some of that weight.”
To his credit, Robinson didn’t hide that the only reason he was going on a trip to Israel was for the politics of it.
“It’s more of a political trip than it is just going for tourism,” he said.
He failed to acknowledge, though, that there is likely not a single person in Israel who knows who he is, wants him there, or cares that he’s going. The trip to Israel served no useful purpose and helped absolutely no one, probably not even himself. It takes more than three days in Israel to make up for years of antisemitism.
His “political trip” was nothing more than an attempt at saving face by a man who, just a week before speaking at Berean Baptist, was being hammered for sharing a quotation attributed to Adolf Hitler, comparing the toppling of a Confederate statue to Kristallnacht and frequently minimizing the legacy of the Holocaust while decrying the threat of communism.