Your Racist Friend

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Memo to Mark Kirk, Mark Halperin, and Lee Zeldin: YOU ARE DUMB.

Last week, we talked about Donald Trump's claim that the judge in his Trump University case couldn't be fair because his parents were Mexican. Trump, being Trump and being unable to stop himself, has refused to back down from his claim that any member of any group he's been shitty to can't be impartial towards him. Which just as a matter of practicality is unworkable. No man involved in over 3,500 lawsuits can find 3,500 wealthy white supremacist judges to try his cases. Anyway, this edition of IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS isn't about Trump. It's about all the people in the unenviable but unsympathetic position of having Trump as their new racist friend.

“I cannot support him because of what he said about the judge. That was too racist and bigoted for me." - Senator Mark Kirk, yesterday.

Mark Kirk is, as Republicans go, relatively sympathetic. He's still recovering from the stroke that taught him empathy toward stroke victims. And, to his credit, he rescinded his endorsement of Trump yesterday following the attacks on Judge Curiel. But in doing so, he achieved a new level of accidental honesty when he admitted Trump's latest shenanigans were "too racist and bigoted" for him.

Which means that everything that Trump's done up until last week wasn't too racist or too bigoted. Now, we know, from having eyes, ears, and brains, that Trump did things that were racist and bigoted, which means that we know there's a pretty fucking high level of racism and bigotry that Mark Kirk is perfectly happy to support. I mean, we already knew this. Everyone's a little bit racist, as they say, and Republicans consistently live north of that baseline. But it's always fun when they come out and admit it.

"No, it’s not racial.... Mexico isn’t a race.” - Known asshole Mark Halperin welding the Sword of Pedantry on MSNBC.

The thing about accuracy in terminology is that it can be used for good, or it can be used for evil. And one way to use it for evil is to use it to obscure a blatantly obvious point. You can be racist towards Mexicans the same way you can be racist toward Muslims - by acting towards them in a blatantly racist manner. You know, like how Donald Trump can praise the Muslim Muhammed Ali, but lump all the swarthy stereotypical beardy-Muslims into a single dangerous horde. That's racist, even though Islam isn't a race.

Similarly, Curiel can somehow be treated as a foreigner, as the Other, even though his father came to the United States around 90 years ago and Curiel was born in Indiana 63 years ago. Gee, what reason could that be? Could it be some melanin in his skin? A name that people see as "ethnic" despite Latinos being part of America for pretty much as long as there's been America? It's bigotry and it's xenophobia, but let's not split hairs. That shit is straight up racist.

“You can easily argue that the president of the United States is a racist with his policies and his rhetoric... Being a little racist or very racist is not okay, but, quite frankly, the agenda that I see and all the microtargeting to blacks and Hispanics from a policy standpoint, you know, that's more offensive to me.” - New York congressman Lee Zeldin, who I am clearly going to have to keep an eye on.

There's no denying that there are degrees of racism. I mean, I'm going to be voting for someone who, 20 years ago, argued that black teenagers were "superpredators". But if I had to judge relative racism, I'd put Trump first, the guy saying that policies aimed at 30% of the population is "micro targeting" second, and Obama a very distant third.

Also, the phrase "you can easily argue that..." sounds impressive to stupid people, but arguing any position has always been easier, and it's never been easier at any point in human history than it is right now. The Internet exists expressly to make three things easier than ever before - arguing, shopping, and masturbating. I think it's clear which of those things Zeldin could improve society by doing more of, and which he should start cutting back on.

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