And this is why this moron does not deserve to be anywhere near public office. Just terrible. https://t.co/RqyttPmQUT— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 27, 2023
The food fight began when an Iowa voter asked
Ramaswamy, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from India, if critics would blame him for white supremacy or call him part of white supremacy.
Ramaswamy responded by saying, "Ayanna Pressley, she's in the Congress today. She's a member of 'the squad.' Her words, not mine: 'We don't want any more black faces that don't want to be a black voice. We don't want any more brown faces that don't want to be a brown voice.'"
Pressley, of Massachusetts, is a prominent progressive voice among House Democrats and the first Black woman elected to Congress from her state.
Ramaswamy then quoted bestselling author Kendi from his book "How To Be Anti-Racist."
"Here's what it says," said Ramaswamy. "Opening lines: 'The remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination."
"These are the words of the modern grand wizards of the modern KKK," said Ramaswamy.
The passage of Kendi's book is surrounded by descriptions of anti-racist discrimination as “temporarily assisting an underrepresented racial group into relative wealth and power until equity is reached.”
Talking to reporters after the town hall, Ramaswamy doubled down on his comments.
"The fact that we're taught to see each other on the basis of our genetic attributes is something that would make the old wizards of the KKK proud," said Ramaswamy.
When pressed by NBC News on whether he was calling Pressley and Kendi "grand wizards of the KKK," Ramaswamy said what "the whole movement represented" is what would make "the grand wizards of the KKK proud."
In a fundraising appeal, the Pressley team responded “We typically don’t engage in these bad-faith attacks but yesterday a line was crossed. A GOP candidate referred to Ayanna as ‘a modern grand wizard of the KKK’ because she speaks out against racial injustice. This is backwards and harmful, but that is the point.”
In the clip to which Jemele Hill has linked, Ramaswamy is seen saying
What I said is the Grand Wizards of the KKK would be proud of what they would hear her saying because there is nothing more racist than saying that your skin color predicts something about the content of your viewpoint or your ideas." Bash reminded him that he had added "these are the words of the modern Grand Wizard of the modern KKK," to which the candidate replied "I think it is the same spirit to say that I can look at you and say just based on your skin color that I know something about the content of your character."
Saying that a person's skin color may reflect the viewpoint of the ideas of the individual is not racist. Ethnic background, associated with race, often informs the individual's viewpoint and perspective. However, if Ramaswamy had said merely that he would not know the content of one's color based on his/her skin color, he would have been correct. Moreover, notwithstanding the Pressley claim, Ramaswamy did not maintain that the congresswoman is "a modern grand wizard of the KKK." Reflecting the spirit or even speaking the words of a person is not equivalent to being a modern version of him.
But all that is mere detail and neither Pressley, Ramaswamy, or Hill is much interested in details or minimally more in facts. The candidate's charge is over the top, exaggeration he should regret, but does not.
Nonetheless, these remarks are not why he "does not deserve to be anywhere near public office." The more important reason is
"The Department of Education, the FBI, the ATF, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the IRS, the Department of Commerce. Many of these should not exist," Ramaswamy told Fox News Digital in an interview on Wednesday before adding "the CDC" to the list.
"I'm going to be the president of government shut down, as in literally shutting down the administrative state that sits under the executive branch," he said. "That will be a big part of my domestic policy legacy because that will also stimulate our economy. The regulatory state is the wet blanket on businesses across this country. So not only will we restore our three-branch constitutional republic, we will also restore four-plus percent GDP growth in this country. That's two wins."
The claim about the gross domestic product is balderdash. Further, this is a prescription for the wild, wild, West, with big-time drug dealers and gun runners having a field day while public education is gutted. Nonetheless, Beijing and Moscow will celebrate when there is no Internal Revenue Service to collect taxes to support armed forces or weapons of deterrent. However, that might matter for only a few years, given that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission helps "ensure the safe use of radioactive materials" and "regulates commercial nuclear power plants." Take away that function, and after a little while there may be no country or world for us to worry about anymore.
Alternatively, we can feel aggrieved and be indignant because Vivek Ramaswamy says that he is anti-anti-racism. It's our choice, really.