It appears that rising GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy has decided to run his campaign on pure Caucasian obnoxiousness. (No, he isn’t white, but ideologically he’s whiter than the whitest white who ever whited.)
Recently, Ramaswamy has been coming for Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley for, well, being pro-Black and letting it be known that she doesn’t mess with Black people who aren’t. Not-so-shockingly, Ramaswamy—the guy who believes Juneteenth is a “useless” holiday because Martin Luther King Day already exists and America has a one-negro holiday limit—has a problem with that.
In fact, Ramaswamy thinks a Black woman being unapologetically pro-Black makes said Black woman part of the “modern KKK.”
During his Friday appearance in Iowa, Ramaswamy accused Pressley, the first Black woman elected to represent Massachusetts in Congress, of racism and compared her to “modern grand wizards” of the Ku Klux Klan for comments she made in 2019, saying: “We don’t need any more Black faces that don’t want to be a Black voice.” Pressley clarified her remarks at the time, noting on social media that she was “speaking to the collective impact of lifting up one’s lived experience, *whatever* that is.”
Pressley, a progressive elected to the House in 2018, shot back on Saturday, calling the comments “harmful.”
“We typically don’t engage in these bad-faith attacks but yesterday a line was crossed. A GOP candidate referred to Ayanna as ‘a modern grand wizard of the KKK’ because she speaks out against racial injustice,” Pressley’s team said in a fundraising pitch. “This is backwards and harmful, but that is the point.”
First of all, I’m not sure why Ramaswamy has a problem with the idea of Black voices, especially considering a verbally plagiarized a line from Barack Obama during the first GOP primary debate last week. But only in the Republican bizarro world does Black people expecting so-called Black leaders to advocate for racial justice and equality equate to being a modern version of a white supremacy group.
But we know that Ramaswamy is going for the pseudo-colorblind argument that no one should be expected to think a certain way or be generalized just because of their race—a sentiment that is conveniently absent when conservatives are bringing up Black criminality or the mythical-but-still-racist-AF “Democratic plantation.”
“I think it is the same spirit to say that I can look at you and based on just your skin color, that I know something about the content of your character, that I know something about the content of the viewpoints you’re allowed to express,” Ramaswamy said in defense of his erroneous KKK remark. (This is the perfect time to remind you all once again—and again and again and again—that today’s Klan members identify politically with the GOP, and vice versa.)
First, Pressley clearly can’t allow or disallow anyone to express anything. Secondly, again, this is a guy who probably wonders if America really needs all 28 days of Black History Month and gets even more agitated during the leap year. Of course he doesn’t understand the importance of “Black faces” in the public eye being familiar with Black issues and using their voices to advocate for them.
Anyway, Ramaswamy is now claiming his remarks against Pressley were really about having an “open and honest discussion” as if Republicans aren’t currently on a relentless mission to ban “open and honest discussions” on race into white-and-fragile oblivion.
“I stand by what I said to provoke an open and honest discussion in this country,” Ramaswamy told CNN.
Yeah—the Congressional Black Caucus was having none of Ramaswamy’s wannabe-white nonsense.
Here’s what the CBC had to say in its response to the GOP new-commer:
“Vivek Ramaswamy’s comments against Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley do not provoke ‘open and honest discussion’ on race in America, rather they reveal the depths of his own dishonesty. But his words are not merely the ramblings of a deeply unserious person – this is part of a dark and calculated attempt to obfuscate the truth about racism in America.
“The majority of reasonable-minded Americans understand that the Ku Klux Klan was, and is today, a group that wishes to reestablish white supremacy through intimidation and violence. We tragically saw the consequence of that ideology a few days ago in Jacksonville, Florida.
“This sort of bad faith comparison about a member of the House who frequently uses their platform to stand against hate and violence is not only an insult to the plight of Black Americans, but to all Americans of moral integrity. Vivek Ramaswamy understands that there is an appetite for racism and bigotry within the base of the extreme MAGA Republican party and he is opting to shamelessly carry the water of white supremacy for his own political gain.
“The Republican Party cannot be silent. If this does not speak to their values, leaders within the Party have an obligation to say so. This rhetoric is beyond dangerous and deserves nothing short of full condemnation.”
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