Lyles: Charlotte no place for racist, xenophobic hate speech in response to Trump rally chant

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles says the city will not tolerate the kind of behavior displayed at a recent rally for President Trump in North Carolina when it plays host to the Republican National Convention in 2020.

Lyles sent out a series of tweets Friday in response to the campaign event in Greenville where the crowd began to chant "send her back" after Trump harshly criticized four Democratic congresswomen of color.

The mayor called the chants "devastating" to many, including herself.

"The behavior didn't demonstrate the values of our country and added fuel to already tense political and racial relations. It also certainly didn't represent the people of Charlotte," Lyles tweeted.

Charlotte is set to host the 2020 Republican National Convention and many have wondered if similar behavior could be expected at events. 

Lyles made it clear in her response that that sort of behavior is not welcome in the Queen City.

"As an inclusive city that welcomes all people, we open our doors to many, including those attending the 2020 RNC. However, the city of Charlotte is no place for racist or xenophobic hate speech, and we simply will not tolerate it," Lyles tweeted. "It's my hope that members of all political parties are able to discuss, engage and debate without personal insults and degradation but with respect - which is the cornerstone of leadership and democracy. Only in this way can we truly embrace diversity of our communities and our country."

Trump has criticized Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, self-described as "the squad," of being un-American.

"I think in some cases they hate our country," Trump said to the crowd during Wednesday's rally. In response, those in attendance began to chant, "send her back."

All were born in the U.S. except for Omar, who came to the U.S. as a child after fleeing Somalia with her family.

Trump later chided his supporters who partook in the "send her back" chant, claiming he had tried to stop the chant at the reelection event - though video suggests otherwise.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.