State senator defends 'Moron Monday' column, calling it satire - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

State senator defends 'Moron Monday' column, calling it satire

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Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-District 9) published an Op-Ed in the Chatham Journal calling "Moral Monday" protesters "clowns," "the Loony Left" and "hippies." Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-District 9) published an Op-Ed in the Chatham Journal calling "Moral Monday" protesters "clowns," "the Loony Left" and "hippies."
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Another week of "Moral Monday" protests at the North Carolina General Assembly landed more than 60 in jail, bringing the total number of people arrested over six rounds of near-weekly demonstrations to more than 350.

But this week's protest attracted the attention of lawmakers on the both sides of the aisle in Raleigh and Washington, D.C.

The N.C. NAACP and primarily left-leaning groups have been protesting cuts to social programs, changes to voting laws and other issues championed by the GOP and the McCrory administration.

Over the weekend, a Republican state senator weighed in, referring to "Moral Monday" as "Moron Monday." Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-District 9) published the Op-Ed in the Chatham Journal calling the protesters "clowns," "the Loony Left" and "hippies."

"Several hundred people -- mostly white, angry, aged former hippies -- appeared and screeched into microphones, talked about solidarity and chanted diatribes," Goolsby wrote. He continued, "Between the screaming, foot stomping and disjointed speeches, it appeared more like ‘Moron Monday.'"

Goolsby says the column, entitled "Moron Monday shows radical Left just doesn't get it," is meant as satire.

"If you were to read the column, and come back and talk to me about the nature that it was written in, you would understand how it was written, and it was written in a joking manner," Goolsby said Monday.

When pressed about the use of the word "moron" in regard to his constituents, Goolsby replied, "Go read the column before you come and put cameras in somebody's face.  Go read the column and then ask me an intelligent question about it."

Democratic congressman Rep. G.K. Butterfield, who attended Monday's demonstration, called Goolsby's use of "Moron Monday" a poor choice of words.

"That's a poor choice of words," Butterfield said. "We have the same thing in Washington with congressmen making statements that are mean spirited. I would hope that this representative would not do that in the future."

What do you think? Weigh in on Derick Waller's Facebook page.

Goolsby says his column was meant to draw attention to the fact that protesters were absent "when the Democrats were bankrupting North Carolina."

"Just three years ago, North Carolina was in a deep crisis," Goolsby wrote. "The treasury was empty with a multi-billion-dollar deficit. The state health care plan was bankrupt. The state retirement plan was underfunded by hundreds of millions of dollars. A multi-billion-dollar debt was owed to the federal government for money loaned to the state during the Great Recession for unemployment benefits."

Goolsby said, "I'm still waiting [for someone] to tell me where all these protestors were."

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Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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