Last week, Maine governor Paul LePage learned the hard way that when you boil a complex policy issue down to a simple racial stereotype, people will criticize you for employing simple racial stereotypes.
LePage, speaking at a town hall concerning his state’s worsening heroin epidemic, blamed the problem on men named “D-Money,” “Smoothie” and “Shifty” coming up from Connecticut and New York to sell drugs to and have sex with “white” — excuse me, “Maine” — women. As he said, speaking of drug traffickers bringing heroin into the state:
These aren’t people that take drugs. These are guys that are named “D-Money,” “Smoothie,” “Shifty” — these type of guys that come from Connecticut and New York. They come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home. Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue that we’ve got to deal with down the road.
Criticized for using the kind of casual racism that even your racist uncle would admit is pretty damn racist, LePage refused to apologize. Instead, he insisted that because he didn’t explicitly say the word “black,” those New York drug dealers of his imagination could very well be white:
LePage on D-Money, Smoothie and Swifty: "I don't know if they're white, black, Asian; I don't know." #mepolitics
— Michael Shepherd (@mikeshepherdME) January 8, 2016
It was one thing for progressives and Democrats, who have already had it up to here with Paul LePage’s possibly-criminal mismanagement of the state’s government, to call LePage’s claim out for being the ridiculous deflection that it was. It was another thing, however, for ex-KKK leader and white nationalist David Duke to do the same. Said Duke, cutting the BS on Friday:
You are probably picking yourself off the floor to think that an elected governor in the United States of America would actually talk about this horrible destruction and defilement of young white women…These are not Anglo-Saxon guys from rural Maine doing this. These are, again, like the Puff Diddies — or whatever they want to call themselves — from New York.
Paul LePage may be feigning ignorance over who he thinks is coming up from New York to violate the honor of Maine’s innocent white women, but David Duke knows for a SCIENCE FACT that they definitely aren’t white themselves. Nope, they’re “Puff Diddies” — a reference to (black) rapper Sean Combs, who hasn’t gone by the stage name Puff Daddy for years. In case it wasn’t abundantly clear who LePage meant when he said that drug dealers named “D-Money” were to blame for Maine’s heroin (and apparently unwed mother) issues, David Duke basically just tattooed WHITE POWER on LePage’s forehead.
Good for him.
Duke isn’t the only white nationalist bear-hugging a prominent Republican politician who isn’t doing much to dispel the notion that they’re a flaming racist. Over the weekend, registered voters in Iowa began receiving robocalls from a white nationalist political action committee urging them to caucus for Donald Trump on February 1st. From TalkingPointsMemo:
“I urge you to vote for Donald Trump because he is the one candidate who points out that we should accept immigrants who are good for America,” Jared Taylor said on the robocall, paid for by the American National Super PAC. “We don’t need Muslims. We need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump.”
Taylor is the founder of the white supremacist magazine American Renaissance. The robocall included two more endorsements from a conservative Christian talk show host and the head of the white nationalist American Freedom Party.
Reverend Donald Tan, a Filipino-American minister and host of Christian talk show program “For God and Country,” encouraged Iowans to vote for Trump by citing scripture.
“First Corinthians states ‘God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise and God chose the weak things of this world to shame the strong,’” he says on the call. “For the Iowa caucuses please support Donald Trump.”
The robocall was closed out by American Freedom Party chairman William Johnson, who identified himself only as “a farmer and white nationalist.” Johnson, who founded the PAC that paid for the robocall, notes that Trump did not authorize it.
The American Freedom Party had issued a press release Friday announcing the launch of the robocall campaign, calling Trump its “Great White Hope.”
TPM also notes that Taylor is a spokesman for the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group that Charleston shooter Dylann Storm Roof cited in his manifesto calling for a race war.
Trump’s campaign hasn’t yet responded to this particular endorsement from white nationalists, but in the past he’s shrugged off the fact that white nationalists absolutely adore him by insisting that everyone likes him. And if that just so happens to include white supremacists like — guess who? — David Duke, then so be it.
He’s not racist, you see. It’s just a pure coincidence that he’s #1 with racists.
Kudos to the avowed racists out there who only have to repeat Trump’s, and LePage’s, comments nearly word-for-word in order to put that nonsense to bed.