Let’s talk about Kentucky Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Daniel Cameron.
Cameron was, at best, indifferent when his office was incapable of bringing even a semblance of justice for the violent death of Breonna Taylor. More recently, Cameron had to be shamed into not speaking at an event hosted by a demonstrably racist conservative radio host and former primary candidate, Eric Deters, who unabashedly griped about Caucasian eyes being polluted by seeing too many Black people in TV commercials.
But despite wanting to share a stage with a white man who gets annoyed at the sight of a melanated person included in a Cheerios ad, Cameron can’t seem to imagine a world where DEI and affirmative action policies are ever necessary because of Caucasian gatekeepers who will default to exclusively hiring their own, regardless of qualifications, otherwise. This is why legacy admissions have never been included on the chopping block when conservatives are looking to gut affirmative action. It’s also why so many white people refer to Black representatives and employees as “affirmative action hires” without needing to know literally anything about the person besides their race.
So, now that the right-wing-dominated Supreme Court has weaponized white grievances and ruled that colleges and universities can’t consider race or ethnicity in their recruitment processes, conservative blowhards in legislative positions are capitalizing on the momentum and applying pressure to corporations and other entities that still engage in what they call “race-based” hiring practices. (The idea that race is the only thing factored in during these recruitment processes is absolutely a myth, but whatever.)
According to the Kentucky Lantern, on Thursday, Cameron joined a coalition of Republican attorneys general in warning America’s top executives of the “serious legal consequences” that will befall them if their companies engage in “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” which they weirdly consider to be discrimination. (I mean, these are the same people who imagine Black Lives Matter as an appropriate name for a terrorist organization, so their DEI definition is pretty on brand, I suppose.)
The letter signed by Cameron and 12 other state attorneys general was addressed “Dear Fortune 100 CEOs,” and it essentially warns them to “comply with these race-neutral principles in your employment and contracting practices” in accordance with the Supreme Court decision. (Does anybody remember when Republicans were against “big government” getting involved in the affairs of private companies? Or am I just imagining that?)
On the same day the Republican attorneys general sent their little “placate white tears or suffer” letter to the free market enterprises they used to love before they started wanting non-white people on staff, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear continued to urge his political rival to stop hobnobbing with non-so-closeted white supremacists who think Black people “want to control everything.”
“When someone is showing you that they’re racist, you ought to condemn it, and you ought to not participate in events with them,” Beshear said in reference to Deters. “You ought to not acknowledge them. You want to condemn them, and that ought to be a pretty easy call for anyone in public service.”
Cameron’s campaign responded to Beshear by whining about how the incumbent didn’t have Cameron’s back when a cartoonist depicted him as a friend of the Klan.
“Neither Andy Beshear nor the Democrat Party came to Daniel Cameron’s defense when a liberal cartoonist depicted him as a member of the KKK,” Cameron’s campaign said. “It’s pretty audacious for Andy Beshear to suddenly find his voice when he’s been silent about the vitriol Daniel Cameron has faced for years.”
OK, first of all, the comic strip by artist Joel Pett depicted Donald Trump as a KKK member, not Cameron. Cameron was depicted as the KKK acolyte of the Uncle Ruckus persuasion holding onto Grand Wizzard Trump’s coattail. (And, I mean, come on, man, where’s the lie?) Secondly, Cameron previously called Pett a “race baiter” over a cartoon that doesn’t even mention race but depicts Cameron in a MAGA hat, so maybe even he agrees, at least subconsciously, that the Trump/Klan thing is legit.
Anyway, in a press release regarding the letter, Cameron essentially confirmed that he only thinks systemic racism is a thing when he perceives it as happenning to white people.
“Hiring practices that favor one racial group over another are immoral and illegal,” Cameron said, according to the Lantern. “I joined this coalition to ensure that systemic racial discrimination—like in corporate hiring—is a thing of the past.”
So, the systemic racism that made affirmative action and DEI necessary in the first place doesn’t matter, but the effort to combat it does because it supposedly resulted in systemic racism against the most overwhelmingly represented racial demographic in America’s corporate world.
But no, it’s completely inaccurate to depict Cameron as a self-loathing little Klan helper. Where did anyone even get that idea?
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