The end of racism is supposed to be about colorblindness: Seeing everyone as individuals, with race never even entering our minds as we interact with others around us.
For some, however, the quest to quell racism seems to have had the opposite effect. Instead of putting skin color at the bottom of the list, they’ve pinned it to the top … and see every issue through the lens of imagined racism.
That seems to be exactly what the Democratic Party and the mainstream media just did with U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who is running for governor in Florida.
During comments that appeared to have nothing to do with race, the Republican candidate who won Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary used a common term for “unnecessary meddling” while talking about problems with socialism.
In a move that says more about them than DeSantis, however, liberals tripped over themselves to present the comment as racist … but ended up appearing far more obsessed with race than anyone else.
While appearing on Fox News, DeSantis commended his Democrat rival Andrew Gillum as a “charismatic candidate,” and said he was “an articulate spokesman for those far-left views.”
Still clearly talking about far-left views, the Republican warned that the election could derail Florida’s path if socialist-leaning policies were implemented.
“Let’s build off the success we’ve had on Gov. Scott,” said DeSantis. “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases bankrupting the state. That is not going to work.”
That one phrase — saying “monkey this up” to mean “mess this up” — sent the left into a tizzy. The Democratic Party and media outlets declared that using the fairly common saying was horribly racist, due to the fact that Gillum happens to be black.
“It’s disgusting that Ron DeSantis is launching his general election campaign with racist dog whistles,” stated Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo.
Outlets like The Hill quickly jumped on the bandwagon, and heavily implied that DeSantis had been talking about his opponent’s race.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 29, 2018
“DeSantis: Florida voters shouldn’t ‘monkey this up’ by voting for a black candidate,” screamed a headline shared by The Hill on social media.
Except that’s not what was actually said.
“This headline is wildly misleading,” pointed out conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. “The actual quote was that the voters should not ‘monkey this up by enacting a socialist agenda with huge tax increases.’ At least be accurate.”
This headline is wildly misleading. The actual quote was that the voters should not "monkey this up by enacting a socialist agenda with huge tax increases." At least be accurate. https://t.co/uEWCkLHtVv
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 29, 2018
Of course, “monkey this up” and “monkey with it” are fairly well-known terms for fiddling or tampering with something. A quick glance at The Cambridge Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary backs this up … not to mention common sense.
What is more likely: That DeSantis used a common informal term for tampering with something while warning about derailing the work of the last governor … or that he purposely tried to slander his opponent with a racially charged animal comparison just moments after complimenting him?
“Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses. To characterize it as anything else is absurd,” said the candidate’s campaign staff in a statement to The Hill.
It’s worth pointing out that liberal media outlets, including MSNBC, had no problem openly calling a past, Caucausan president of the United States a “monkey” live on the air, yet are suddenly aghast that somebody used the term “monkey this up” when talking about socialism. It seems the rules are different for Democrats.
There’s also the pesky fact that Barack Obama used the term “monkeyed around with elections” in 2008. Nobody thought it had racial connotations then. Apparently a black liberal politician can use the common phrase at will, but if anybody else does, they’re a horrible racist.
To be sure, DeSantis could have chosen his words more carefully, and realized that his phrase was going to be twisted by the left as soon as he uttered it.
But that’s also kind of the point: The candidate most likely didn’t think twice about saying what he did, because it wasn’t even remotely meant to be racial.
By that measure, it was almost certainly DeSantis who had left skin color completely out of his thoughts, and ironically his critics who can’t stop focusing on the race of everybody they meet.
It is only in the mind of someone obsessed with race and imaginary “dog whistles” that every single thing becomes skewed as insensitive.
By watering down the definition of racism to the point that it becomes meaningless, liberals aren’t doing anybody any favors.
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