Tag Archives: Tom Tancredo

Open Thread: Michael Steele, Tom Tancredo, and Racism In Politics

by Latoya Peterson

A quick one, because time is short.

From the “racism doesn’t exist until it happens to me” files,  The Nation points out Michael Steele’s double speak on race:

Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele used to be able to muster a lot of disdain for political players who suggested that criticism of them might be racially motivated.

“I don’t play the race card, I don’t play the race game, the way some tend to do,” Steele, the Republican Party’s most prominent African-American leader, declared last November.

The RNC chair used to argue that the very mention of race as a factor in how pols are perceived and treated was liberal whining and he has said that he is “sick and tired” of those on the left who “play that race card, that slavery card, that civil rights card (when) their backs are up against the wall.” [...]

In a new interview with Washingtonian magazine, Steele, one of the Republican party’s most high-profile African-American stalwarts for a number of years, noted that Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine, who is white, doesn’t seem to be the target of the same sort of griping, embarrassing leaks and negative publicity that the RNC chair is experiencing.

“I don’t see stories about the internal operations of the DNC that I see about this operation,” Steele wonders. “Why? Is it because Michael Steele is the chairman, or is it because a black man is chairman?”

In other news, Mediate reports on Rachel Maddow – and how she made a point to tackle the ignorance that is Tom Tancredo:

On Saturday Maddow referred to Rep. Tom Tancredo — whom she described as a “failed presidential candidate” and “professional anti-immigrant” — as having opened the Tea Party Convention with “a big, loud racist bang” because of his assertion that President Obama was elected by “people who could not even spell the word vote, or say it in English” and then proposed bringing the literacy test back.

At the time Maddow rightly (and righteously) noted that literacy tests were frequently used in the South during segregation to keep African Americans from voting. Last night she picked up where she’d left off on Saturday with a long, more damning description of the shameful practice. Maddow read aloud from Alabama’s literacy test from 1965 (can you answer any of these questions) before declaring her awe and disgust that something similar was proposed just this past weekend.

WTF? MARCUS EPSTEIN? WTF?

by Guest Contributor Jeff Yang

Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Wingnuttia) has been one of the most vitriolic attackers of the Supreme Court candidacy of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, notably calling into question her membership in the Hispanic American advocacy organization National Council of La Raza, which he has referred to as a “Latino KKK without the hoods and nooses.” (And without the history of racist violence, or supremacist ideology, or toxic anonymity, or deep-rooted influence on America’s tragic record on race. But otherwise, just exactly like the KKK!)

Of course, this only opens up the standard “takes one to know one” line of retort, and by that standard Tancredo should be quite the authority on knowing racists.

You see, Tancredo’s hostility toward Sotomayor is due in great part to his broader hostility toward off-white folk, especially those who hail from places other than this great nation of ours (and only ours): The grandson of Italian immigrants has spent most of his legislative career and bully-pulpit bandwidth trying to turn out Liberty’s lamp, lock the golden door, and disperse the huddled masses with pepper gas and rubber bullets. For example:

    * He sponsored a bill called the “Mass Immigration Reduction Act,” which would have imposed an indefinite moratorium on immigration to the United States. Under the act, only spouses and children of American citizens would be allowed to immigrate—limiting the total number of immigrants allowed annually, by his calculations, to fewer than 300,000 individuals per year.
    * He believes illegal immigrants are the greatest threat to America’s security, claiming that federal prisons are overflowing with illegal immigrants, some of whom aim to “harm people,” and has been quoted as saying “They’re coming here to kill you, and you, and me, and my grandchildren.” During his abortive campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, he released an ad called “Tough on Terror,” positing a future in which inept border security leads to a catastrophic new terrorist attack. Over images of an injured child and a wrecked train, the ad’s voiceover says, “There are consequences to open borders beyond the 20 million aliens who have come to take our jobs … the price we pay for spineless politicians who refuse to defend our borders against those who come to kill.”
    * He wants to spend billions erecting an enormous wall between Mexico and the U.S., and believes mayors and city council members who adopt “sanctuary city policies” should be tried as criminals.
    * And finally, to ensure that his bizarre brand of ultra-paranoid xenophobia spreads virally through the ranks of the Right’s next generation, he’s created a PAC that “identif[ies], recruit[s], and help[s] elect to public office individuals who are committed to enforcing our laws and securing our borders.”

And that’s where the sad part comes in. It turns out that the guy Tancredo appointed to run this PAC as executive director is a toolbox named Marcus Epstein…who happens to be half Korean, half Jewish, and all a-hole.

You see, Epstein is expected to be sentenced on July 8 for a charge—to which he has pled “guilty”—that he karate-chopped (tae kwon do chopped?) an African American female while calling her “n*gger.For no reason. While walking down the street muttering to himself. All according to witnesses, including the federal agent who apprehended him.

It’s incredible that Tancredo has been able to find a proxy for his loathsome views who’s actually more insane and racist than he is. It’s embarassing that he happens to be Asian American, though one somehow doubts he uses that label proudly, any more than does Michelle Malkin.

If there’s anything funny about this sad set of circus clowns, it’s the name of the PAC that Epstein runs on Tancredo’s behalf: It’s called the Team America PAC. Perfect. Did they name the PAC after the hilariously impolitic puppet movie by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, thinking it was a frakkin’ documentary or something?

I’m going to say yes. Because I can totally imagine Epstein, Tancredo and their hate-filled, anti-immigrant buddies dressing up in their spare time as a paramilitary super-soldier squad, convinced they’re defending America against invading hordes of brown, disease-ridden, evil rapist deathmongers. Plus Kim Jong Il. Assuming that Epstein’s mom is South Korean, anyway.

America, f*ck yeah!