After hearing GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik was appearing on ABC’s “The View,” I was wondering when — not if — she’d be kicked off.
Perhaps, I thought, I was being pessimistic. Klacik may have become a rising star in the Republican Party by speaking bluntly, but maybe the overwhelmingly liberal panel of “The View” would give the conservative guest the benefit of the doubt for once.
It turned out I was right to be pessimistic.
Klacik is running against Rep. Rep. Kweisi Mfume, the Democrat who won a special election in April to fill the seat left vacant by the death of longtime House member Rep. Elijah Cummings. It is the first general election for Cummings’ seat.
Her appearance on “The View” ended when she got kicked off the show after she brought up co-host Joy Behar’s blackface scandal.
Behar, back in 2016, talked about how she had gone to a party in her relative youth — she’d just turned 29 — “as a beautiful African woman.”
Joy Behar admitted during a taping of The View in 2016 to dressing as a “beautiful African women” at a Halloween party when she was 29 which involved makeup “that was a little bit darker than my skin”
The show even ran an image of the old photo pic.twitter.com/qKQqzDPxyn
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) February 6, 2019
That clip re-emerged in 2019 as Virginia Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam (and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, for that matter) had donned blackface in his youth, a fact that reignited the debate over the cultural propriety of the practice.
While it wasn’t proper, nobody particularly cared because it was Joy Behar — and she weathered the storm by staying mostly mum on the matter.
Klacik wasn’t going to stay mum.
The problems began with a question about the interview with author and Washington Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward where President Donald Trump said he downplayed the coronavirus in order to reduce public panic and whether it disproportionately affected black lives.
Check it out here. The Behar comments start about the 4:40 mark.
“I think that, you know, we didn’t handle the pandemic as a country great as a whole,” Klacik responded, saying it was part of the reason she was trying to work to bring the biotech industry back to Baltimore, the heart of the congressional district she’s running to represent.
She also pointed to the poor living conditions in the city.
“If you look at cities like Baltimore, you have things called like a food desert. And this is where you are sitting there and they don’t have grocery stores,” Klacik said.
“They don’t have what they need around them in their neighborhoods. So yeah. I believe a coronavirus pandemic would affect us more.
“Look at my campaign ad. Look at the living conditions. That would affect us more, absolutely. That’s why I’m running for office.”
The campaign ad she was referencing was this:
Democrats don’t want you to see this.
They’re scared that I’m exposing what life is like in Democrat run cities.
— Kimberly Klacik (@kimKBaltimore) August 17, 2020
Behar took issue with this.
“Come on, Kim. Excuse me, I have to say something to you. He told Bob Woodward that it was a very serious issue, and it’s airborne and that it was terrible, and then he went out and told the American people, ‘Don’t wear masks. It’s all going to go away,'” she said.
“You have to put some blame on your president. I’m sorry. You’re putting it on something extraneous.”
Klacik wasn’t taking that quietly.
“Is this Joy speaking? The same Joy that paraded around in blackface not too long ago?” Klacik responded. “Come on, Joy — I don’t think you should be asking questions.”
— 𝕞𝕖𝕝𝕚𝕤𝕤𝕒 🙈🙉🙊 (@my3monkees) September 18, 2020
Behar, naturally, was outraged.
“That’s not true. Excuse me — excuse me! The black community had my back,” she responded. “They know that that was not blackface, that was an homage. Oh, please.”
Why didn’t Ralph Northam consider this one? It wasn’t blackface — it was an homage! This is a brilliant strategy.
The next person to attack Klacik was Sunny Hostin, who took umbrage when Klacik said “the black community has my back as well.”
“The black community has your back? The black community has your back? The black community did not vote for you. The black community did not vote for you. What planet are you living on? What planet are you living on?” she said.
Klacik lost the special election by a rather wide margin, 74 percent for Mfume to 25 percent for her, according to Ballotpedia.
This, however, was a slightly better result for Republicans than the 2018 general election in the district. The Cook Political Report lists Maryland’s 7th Congressional District as the 41st-most Democratic district in the nation out of 435 districts, rating it as 26 points more Democratic on average than the nation as a whole.
When Klacik noted that “it was during a special election while we were still under lockdown,” Hostin began to talk over her.
“Can I speak, or are you just going to scream over me?” Klacik asked.
“All right, before this becomes a big — listen, Kim, good luck to you. Thanks to Kim Klacik. Bye,” Behar said.
“That was very immature, but thank you for having me,” Klacik said, getting in a parting shot.
Unfortunately, it’s “The View.” Immaturity is the order of the day there, as the format follows the aughts-era “Crossfire” school of political debate in which a panel of people talk over each other.
However, it’s good to see some confrontation on the show. Even if it was slightly off-topic, it was in a forum where the “conservative” panelists always seem slightly apologetic for taking up carbon.
Imagine if a conservative had worn blackface. Say, Lindsey Graham. James Woods. Mitt Romney. Watch how quickly they would be drummed out of political life.
In fact, we don’t have to imagine. Look what happened to nominal conservative Megyn Kelly when she even defended how blackface was “OK when I was a kid, as long as you were dressing like a character.” Granted, it wasn’t, but she lost her show over the remarks.
Meanwhile, not only is Behar still on “The View,” she hasn’t even taken responsibility for it. She calls it “an homage.” Look at the other liberals who have gotten away with this. It’s not just Ralph Northam and Mark Herring. The prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, managed to get away with it.
Bringing it up managed to get Klacik cut off. Apparently, a black person unhappy with a white person who refuses to take accountability for blackface is problematic if that individual is a conservative, at least on “The View.”
What a surprise.
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