Photo: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0

Poor Ron DeSantis! The Republican nominee for Florida governor went and made one itty-bitty racist dogswhistle, warning voters not to "monkey this up" by voting for a black guy, and now the media are trying to find some kind of evidence that he hangs out with racists, as if being a Trump-humping Republican weren't enough. Today, the Washington Post reports DeSantis has spoken four times at conferences organized by wingnut luminary David Horowitz, who has made a very profitable career of playing to white grievances while managing not to actually burn any crosses, as if culture war politics and race baiting are bad things all of a sudden.

WaPo informs us DeSantis appeared at conferences for the "David Horowitz Freedom Center" in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 during the group's annual "Restoration Weekend" events, along with other rightwing geniuses like Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, Nigel Farage, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Geert Wilders, as well as more conventional righties like Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Ben Shapiro, and James O'Keefe. So we're talking a Breitbart level of respectable rightwing race-baiting, not a bunch of David Duke types.

In his 2015 talk to the Weekend Restorers, DeSantis said he was honored to be at a conference with such a fine pedigree:

David has done such great work and I've been an admirer. I've been to these conferences in the past but I've been a big admirer of an organization that shoots straight, tells the American people the truth and is standing up for the right thing.

But wouldn't you know it, the conference tends to include the occasional far-right appeal from Great Americans (and others) who -- prepare to be astonished -- sound like troglodytes now and then!

Fellow speakers included a former Google engineer who was fired after arguing that "biological causes" in part explain why there are relatively few women working in tech and leadership; a critic of multiculturalism who has written that "Europe is committing suicide" by welcoming large numbers of refugees and immigrants; and a British media personality who urged the audience to keep the United States from becoming like the United Kingdom, where "discrimination against whites is institutionalized and systemic."

But ... but ... that simply sounds like the Twitter feed of the "president" of the United States, for heaven's sake, DeSantis defenders will surely reply. Next you'll be calling Tucker Carlson some kind of racist.

Besides, like any Republican caught lying down with dogs, it's very very unfair to suggest the candidate has any fleas on him, according to spokesperson Elizabeth Fusick, who gave WaPo a statement praising DeSantis for "standing up for truth and American strength":

"He appreciates those who support his efforts and is happy to be judged on his record," Fusick said. "He does not, though, buy into this 'six degrees of Kevin Bacon' notion that he is responsible for the views and speeches of others."

WaPo notes DeSantis's own 2017 speech to the conference "delivered sharp-edged conservative criticism of Democratic policies without explicitly touching on race," so really, what's the big deal? It's really unfair to suggest he has any tolerance for racists. Golly. OK, sure, maybe the campaign did pay $13,500 for "consulting" and "campaign management" to Volusia County GOP chair Tony Ledbetter, who posted some slightly questionable content to Facebook:

"ANIMALS REMOVE THEM FROM OUR COUNTRY," Ledbetter wrote on Facebook in one such post, commenting on a video that purports to show a Muslim man lifting a veil from the face of a woman dressed in white and then slapping her face as onlookers applaud.

But let's remember, as trolls always remind us, Islam isn't a race, so you can't call that racist, just bigoted. Also, DeSantis's campaign was quick to point out that Ledbetter's consulting contract expired long, long, ago, on September 1, and Ledbetter now has "zero affiliation" with the campaign. Gee, the liberal media will just jump on every little thing.

Horowitz bravely defended DeSantis in typical Horowitz fashion: No, YOU'RE the racist, and stop trying to LYNCH this innocent white man!

Horowitz blasted DeSantis's critics. "There's a lynch mob on his back," Horowitz said in an interview. "Saying a black person is articulate is not racist — it's praising him for him being articulate. Are there no inarticulate blacks?''

Not that Horowitz thinks lynching is racist, either, because as he's happy to rant, it was merely rough populist justice that sometimes was visited on whites, too, and blacks only bring up lynching to make white people feel bad, even though whites went to a lot of trouble to end slavery, and where is the blacks' gratitude, huh?

WaPo has little trouble dredging up examples of speakers at Horowitz events saying stuff that's either a little bit racist or maybe just the uncomfortable truth, like Mark Steyn's praise of Donald Trump for his clear-eyed views on why immigration is BAD:

"The more diverse you get, the more stupid you get," Steyn said. "The more authoritarian you get . . . the more you need people to police diversity and to police cultural sensitivities. And eventually you end up as a totally moronic society."

How dare WaPo present such obvious facts as if they were somehow objectionable, when they're identical to the official views of Tucker Carlson?

The piece closes with some classic David Horowitz race-baiting, like his observations on how blacks caused the Civil War by forcing white Americans to enslave them, but then whites generously ended slavery, and are blacks even grateful for how GOOD they have it?

The piece also notes this trenchant insight by Horowitz:

In yet another [tweet], he shared a Fox News story about a Dallas man arrested after reportedly traveling to Washington to kill "all white police" at the White House. "Meanwhile, the country's only serious race war — against whites — continues," Horowitz wrote.

Heck, you don't have to look far for examples of David Horowitz saying dumb shit about black people -- and about renegade Jews, too! -- Yr Wonkette has plenty more, like his observation that there is no white supremacy in America because just look at all the black millionaires in the NBA.

Thankfully, Horowitz reassured WaPo that he's as far from racist as it's possible to be, because he wants little black children to get school vouchers, and isn't that big of him?

"There's nothing racist about me," he said. "I want blacks to be treated with the same dignity as anyone else, not like an endangered species that needs to be protected. I think the liberal view of blacks is very patronizing."

In any case, he said: "You can't pin me on DeSantis. He's not like me. I don't think he would call Democrats communists and crooks like I do."

Honestly, Washington Post, why are you so racist against David Horowitz?

[WaPo / Photo by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons License 2.0]

Wonkette: Looking at David Horowitz so you don't have to. Money please!

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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