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Gillum for Governor, and Racism Everywhere

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Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum just won his party’s endorsement to run in the general election for Florida’s Governor. He is a strong candidate, a progressive, and we all hope he wins.

He also happens to be African American, which would be a great thing for Florida.

I have two observations, though, that I want to point out.

1) If you google around for the names of candidates that are referred to by name as “Sanders-backed [name of candidate]” you will find pretty much none. Except for Gillum. He is the “Sanders-backed gillum.” His name, today in the news, appears most of the time with Sanders’ name attached to him. Its like he is owned by Sanders. He can’t be his own candidate. He has to be the northern white guy’s candidate.

2) Ron DeSantis, the Russo-Republican Trumpian candidate running against Mayor Gillum, made a horrid racist comment. In case you didn’t know, when an African American speaks in an articulate and intelligent matter, the racist thing to do is to call him articulate. (In the old days, add in “He’s a credit to his race,” but we don’t do that so much any more.) DeSantis did that. You probably know that referring to an African American as an ape, gorilla, or monkey, or making a vaguely indirect reference to such, is also racist. DeSantis did that too. From NBC News:

“You know, he is an articulate spokesman for those far-left views and he’s a charismatic candidate,” DeSantis said. “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state. That is not going to work. That’s not going to be good for Florida.”

We are not surprised. But I thought you should know.

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51 thoughts on “Gillum for Governor, and Racism Everywhere

  1. Oh, but DeSantis has said that by “monkey this up” he was clearly referring to the economy of Florida and it completely wasn’t a blatant call out to racists, so there’s no issue here, right? It was just a coincidence that he said this about the first African American nominee from either party in Florida.

    Given the way the Republican party is running right now I’m surprised his racist comments stopped where they did.

    1. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

  2. “Sanders-backed [name of candidate]” you will find pretty much none.

    Because they lost? Did Ocasio-Cortez endorse Gillum?

    1. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

      Your blatant misrepresentation of this comment and the response to it have been noted before. A brief summary of the differences:

      – Biden’s stupid choice of language was called out by his peers, and he took plenty of criticism for it
      – He apologized
      – Neither criticism by politicians on the right nor an apology have occurred in this case

      You keep trying to say that racist behavior by the right doesn’t matter because you can find incidents of the same on the left. You ignore the fact that racism is the core of the Republican party, and has been since the 60s when many (not all) of the racists who had lived in the Democratic party moved to the Republican party. You also ignore the fact that Republican politicians don’t call out their president for his long history of racism, and that they are willing to accept candidates like the self-avowed Nazi in Illinois.

      We know you don’t mind racism, and will do everything you can to excuse it. That doesn’t mean your actions have to be tolerated.

    2. “– Neither criticism by politicians on the right nor an apology have occurred in this case”

      Not in this case, not in other cases. One of the things that increasingly typifies Trump’s Republican Party is a total lack of decency, which perhaps is most clearly manifested in calculated lying, a refusal to admit mistakes and, when appropriate, apologize for them. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Trump was mentored by Joseph McCarthy’s counsel, Roy Cohn, and that one of the things Trump picked up was not to back down and not to apologize. Trump’s supporters are attracted to and inspired by his attitude of toughness and his apparent ability to get away with anything and they try to follow in his footsteps. This means the general overthrow of ethical considerations.

  3. Ron DeSantis is a lock step idiot. He cannot seem to think for himself, despite his wonderful education. He is a full on authoritarian and, hopefully, his stupidity on race speech, women’s rights, and climate change will sink his narcissistic gubernatorial aspirations. Red tides, sink holes, and flooded cities may open up the eyes of a lot of Florida voters because most of them, unlike DeSantis, don’t get thousands of dollars of funding from Koch Industries.

  4. Posted in wrong thread:
    Once again NBC has edited a quote in a race story in Florida. It’s not clear that this is as deliberate as their editing of George Zimmerman’s 911 call.

    “…articulate spokesman for those far-left views, and he’s a charismatic candidate. I watched those Democrat debates, and none of that is my cup of tea, but he performed better than those other people there. So we’ve got to work hard to make sure that we continue Florida going in a good direction, let’s build off the success we’ve had on Governor Scott, the last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace…”

    Question asked by Bill Kristol. If Gillum and Beto both win, are they the Democratic ticket in 2020?

    1. It’s still racist dogwhistling. And you are pretending that it’s not, which makes you…

  5. So mikeN, he didn’t make a racist comment because, uh, why again?

    Most people would be ashamed by lying the way you do. No, I take that back. Most people wouldn’t need to be ashamed because most people don’t lie the way you do.

  6. “The last thing we need to do is monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.”

    Had I the opportunity to communicate with Rep DeSantis, I might say something like this:

    Dear Rep. DeSantis: Since you went to Yale and Harvard, I would expect you to have a much larger vocabulary, have better grammer, and be a far more articulate speaker than you have shown yourself to be. But you apparently had a lot of help from the mentors in your community and you got in. Good for you.

    But in the future, if you are or want to be seen as anything more than a mushroom farmed thug, you might consider expanding your vocabulary. Here are some common English verbs and verb phrases that you can us to signify erroneous behavior. These words and phrases do not involve stepping in verbal dog shit by the verbification of a common hate word used to describe people of your opponent’s race:

    botch; bodge; bumble; fumble; botch up; muff; blow; flub; screw up; ball up; spoil; muck up; bungle; fluff; bollix; bollix up; bollocks; bollocks up; bobble; mishandle; louse up; foul up; fail; go wrong; miscarry; ruffle; ruffle up; rumple; disarrange.
    mess; disorder; disarray.

    Fun Science Factoids: I know that science is not your Thing, but, based on what we know about European DNA vs African DNA, there is al most 100% certainty that , you, representative DeSanti, have a much larger percentage of primitive Neanderthal DNA in you than Gillum has. Heck; he might not have any at all! Just saying.

    1. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking he didn’t know exactly what he was doing (I’m not saying you are doing this, this is more of a warning to others). He knew his language is typical racist code, knew his supporters knew, and knew none of the people in his target audience care that it’s racist language. He also knew that there would be people like mikeN who would try to push what he said aside by any means possible

    2. Translation: Dean knows it’s not true, but will keep saying it as an opportunity to attack Republicans as racist, particularly the governor candidate in Florida. It’s what they do. Like when Chris Matthews went after people for criticizing Obama for playing golf. It’s racist, because golf means Tiger Woods means affair or something like that. Even his fellow MSNBC commentators were saying it was a stretch.
      Now they find ‘monkey’ and immediately think of black people.

    3. Fuck off Mikey.

      When someone uses the word ‘monkey’ around a black man or woman, they know – and we know – that there’s racism in the air.

      Trying to pretend otherwise makes you an apologist for racist scum. Just like Donald. You must be so proud.

    4. Take a look at 1:00, 1:30 in, O’Donnell explains that the speechwriters are deliberately choosing racial words, considering carefully. Same as being argued with DeSantis.

    5. So if a committee of speechwriters put in racist dogwhistles one must ask, why?

      Because the target audience laps this shit up.

      One must also ask why so senior a politician didn’t simply reject the draft speech.

      There’s not much difference between being a racist and pandering to racism.

    6. Oh come on Steve, give that “primitive” Neandertal (original spelling) DNA bit a rest. In the biosciences primitive doesn’t mean simple or crude, it just means inherited rather than an innovation within marking that particular group. The modern human species has many more primitive features than it does innovations, Just because they are extinct doesn’t mean anything much*, they were around longer than we are likely to be; for that matter, just about every fossil species is now extinct and most of them lasted longer than we will, given current trends. * They did not seem to be really big on making art, but then neither are many of us.

  7. no mikeN, when someone uses language that has a long history of being used by racists for racist behavior, it’s fair to call it racism.

    It’s hard to know what you’re referring to about “people criticizing Obama for playing golf” because, as usual, you never give any sources. Since the primary complaint against him from the right was that he was serving as President while other than white. There were many lies about the amount of time he spent on the golf course, many of them spread by the current president, who said he’d be too busy to play golf. We know how that worked out.

    So go ahead, keep defending racists, and trying to argue that people who point it out are in the wrong. Nobody will believe you (nor should they) for it any more than they believed your “defense” of that Nazi who chose to run his car into a crowd as an attack.

  8. SteveP, you ignore the goal was to paint Ron as racist. Just looking at your list:

    bollix; bollix up; bollocks; bollocks up;
    bollocks is vulgar British for testicles. It’s obviously racist code about black guys.
    fluff; Not familiar with this definition, but fluffer is a porn term. More racist code.
    I’ll throw in muff. screw up;

    fumble is a football term, NFL players are black. DeSantis was using a dog whistle here.
    ball up is referring to black guys as nothing more than basketball players.
    NBA players commit fouls, so there goes ‘foul up’.

    blow; reference to all that crack blacks use.
    miscarry- referring to black crack babies.

    botch; bodge; botch up; botch also means ‘inflammatory sore’. We know what he’s doing there.

    disorder; Besides not fitting DeSantis usage, it is clearly a reference to blacks as criminals, against law and order.

    louse up; DeSantis is saying blacks have lots of lice.

    ruffle; ruffle up; clearly a reference to blacks eating lots of potato chips.

    bungle; rhymes with jungle. RACIST!

    flub means FLorida Urban Black. Sheesh.

    muck up; Why don’t you just say tar baby while you’re at it?

    bumble;spoil; bobble; mishandle; go wrong; rumple; disarrange. mess; disarray. fail;

  9. Now they find ‘monkey’ and immediately think of black people.

    Wow. You packed an unbelievable amount of dishonesty and stupidity into those ten words.

  10. McConnell’s comment about Obama’s golfing was a flat out lie but not racist. Unless there was more that wasn’t played there I’m not sure where that connection comes.

    Note O’Donnell at the end makes the dean argument.

    No, not even close. As noted above, I didn’t see anything in the clip from McConnell that was racist. Dishonest as all hell, but that’s it.

    On the other hand, despite you pathetic lies and disputations, the language used by DeSantis has long standing in its used by racists. You aren’t helping yourself the way you think you are — you are helping yourself look very bad.

  11. To suggest that the current Republican zeitgeist is not racist or racist tinged is remarkably unobservant. The word racist means slightly different things to different people, but let’s use this common definition as a reference point and take it from there.

    Racist- a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.

    Shows or feels. Shows or feels. We cannot know what Republicans feel unless they tell us. Unfortunately, they seem to be too busy translating our own thoughts and feelings to have the time to tell us what They feel. But we can watch what they show us by their behavior.

    Former Soviet Union right wing dentist Orly Taitz and Donald Trump’s spawning of the birther movement was definitely racist. And crazy. And Russian favored. And the first hint that Trump was a Russian guided weapon.

    South Carolinian Addison Graves Wilson Sr., aka “Joe” Wilson, screaming “You Lie” at Obama’s state of the Union Address in 2009. That get your attention? It sure got mine.

    Sarah Palin at rallies inciting hatred, comparing non-white Americans to various animals.

    Donald Trump inciting hatred against and then later causing inhumane, immoral and illegal treatment of people who were not Trump’s type of people, i.e., of German Scotish or similar European stock. Saying that we need more Norwegians.

    Donald Trump saying that the Nazis at Charlottesville were good people.

    Donald Trump implying that just about anyone de colores crossing the Southern US was a criminal.

    Donald Trump and his hated henchman Session separating immigrant mothers from their babies.

    Donald Trump is obviously anti-Muslim ( unless you are a billionaire oil Sheik!) but Islam is not a race. But many followers of Islam are darker skinned than he, so he gets to win the label of racist once again.

    DeSantis is basically another lead (Pb) brained conservative, who seems to think that he can win his election by using a racist dog whistle term to begin his contest against Gullim. I see DeSantis as another hyper macho, lead contaminated military guy, who has probably never done done a lot of re-examination of his core beliefs, and who wants to bring Navy Seal military efficiency to his campaign, crudely prodding for weak spots on the first day of it with his racist remark. Unfortunately, being a governor is not about waging war against other human beings, so his having been a lawyer for the Navy Seals is probably not such a good preparation for governorship, except maybe in a police state.

    Anyway, Republicans seem to have an inability to empathize with people who are not of their immediate color, religion, or philosophy. This makes it easy for them to hold dehumanizing and racist or racist like views of people like Liberals, intellectuals, climate scientists, people of color, and people of non-Christian beliefs.

    1. …remarkably unobservant

      That’s the strangest spelling of “dishonest” I’ve seen in a long time.

  12. Well well well.

    It seems DeSantis was an administrator for a Facebook group that (from the article linked below)

    * compared members of Black Lives Matter to Hitler
    * referred to NFL players who kneeled to protest police brutality as “overpaid ball chasers” and compared them to ISIS
    * referred to Islam as as a religion of “pedophilia, sex slavery, rape gangs, and honor killings
    * Had posts from members who said

    “President Trump eats bacon … Just one more reason to elect him in 2020.” and One commenter responded, “Unlike the last guy, at least you know he isn’t a muslim mole…”

    * The group argued that the Nazi in Charlottesville never took place and that it was a left-wing hoax designed to damage America
    * attacked survivors of the Parkland shooting

    Clearly all of that means that his comments were just a slip of the tongue and in no way were racist, just as mikeN says. /snark

    No, they demonstrate that this clown is even more of a scumbag than was first thought.

    1. That “anonymous” post about DeSantis is mine. I know I put in my name, so either some weird stuff is up or my old computer is making stuff vanish again (it has a history of that). Still, my responsibility, so…

      By the way, if you look around for more information on the group DeSantis was a moderator for you’ll find far more disgusting behavior than what has already been mentioned. The fact that DeSantis was perfectly find with the racism, bigotry, dishonesty and worse there says
      * He’s the stereotypical Republican
      * His only concern with being associated with the group is the potential PR issue it could cause him

      This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but the original statement shouldn’t have been defended by anyone, and we know how that went.

    2. Greg Laden is administrator of this blog. Should he ever run for office, should he be blamed for every post in here?

      This Tea Party group has almost 100,000 members. What a joke story.

  13. “This Tea Party group has almost 100,000 members. What a joke story.”

    Yes, because riding herd over a collection of racists and white supremacists is something any decent person would do. And because being an overseer of a location specifically designed for racists and worse is exactly the same as hosting a blog ipen to everyone.

    You are getting more pathetic all the time.

    1. If the same type of attack were used against a Democrat, Daily Kos, HuffPo, or some smaller one, I suspect you wouldn’t accept this attack so quickly.

  14. Left should be wary of this idea that ‘anything that can be labeled racist, will be labeled racist.’

    Declaring disparate impact is racist will now hit colleges with Harvard scoring Asians very low in personality.

    1. Your attempts to deny what the facts show to be true are getting more and more fantastical.

    2. Using ‘monkey’ in a critique of a black political opponent = racist dogwhistle. Everybody knows this. But whatever.

      You just agreed earlier that the speechwriters wrote this racist shit into the speech(es) because the voter base loves it. And senior Republican politicians recite this stuff because they know the voter base loves it.

      Pandering to racism and being racist are indistinguishable at this point. Or did I miss something?

    3. No, I’m saying O’Donnell is using that same argument as Dean, not that I agreed with it.
      I don’t think ‘Obama plays golf’ is racist nor ‘monkey it up’.

    4. And I pointed out you were wrong mikeN, since I didn’t think McConnell’s comment was racist. Desantis’ clearly was, for all the reasons that have been pointed out. It’s also been shown that bigoted and racist behavior by desantis isn’t unusual, given his online history.

      It isn’t MY argument that he was souting racist crap, it’s fact. Your refusal to acknowdge that doesn’t change the facts of the case, it just shows your willingness to lie to support your party.

    5. Mikey, you are blanking my points again. So I’ll repeat them for you:

      So if a committee of speechwriters put in racist dogwhistles one must ask, why?

      Because the target audience laps this shit up.

      One must also ask why so senior a politician didn’t simply reject the draft speech.

      There’s not much difference between being a racist and pandering to racism.

      * * *

      And the ‘I don’t think it was racist’ isn’t even an argument, so don’t bother trying that one on again.

  15. The calculated appeal to racism is out of Trump’s playbook and so is this:
    “The DeSantis campaign denied the accusations of racism, claiming his comments were mischaracterized.”
    The signal doesn’t directly state, but implies, and thus ensures deniability. However, the comment has received so much coverage that directly points to racism, that I’m wondering how it will play out. DeSantis already had the support of the Trump supporters, so the comment was really unnecessary. What it’s led to is immediate intense scrutiny that could be damaging. He may be able to defend himself against Facebook posts written by others, but I have little doubt that DeSantis’s appearances on Fox contain a trove of undeniable material that can and will be used against him.

    1. No surprise about the contamination of Trump’s administration — it begins at the top.

      I notice that he recently said he’s the only person who can be trusted. He’s almost to full “tin hat delusional tyrant” mode.

    2. It’s racism. It’s misogyny. It’s a disguised contempt for those Trump and his party claim to be fighting for. But it’s more than that. It’s foundational, it’s a negation of decency and the standards that make communities possible, including honesty and respect for the truth.

      Trump is and isn’t unique. He’s a logical extension of tendencies within the modern Republican Party since the time of Goldwater that found further expression in Nixon, Agnew, Gingrich, Rove, McConnell, and the Tea Party movement. What’s unique is that Trump is so extreme that he seems to be unconnected with historical precedent.

      Beyond this are an administration characterized by unprecedented levels of sleaze and corruption. Shit attracts flies and it’s almost as though corruptibility was a job requirement.
      Click on the Forbes/ Wilbur Ross link. Read the ProPublica article on the Mar-a-Lago cronies who in effect are determining government policy. And there’s so much more:
      Not to mention Ryan Zinke and the industry lobbyists who now regulate industries they previously lobbied for. Not to mention Mulvaney and DeVos and their efforts to enrich allies by stripping protections from the vulnerable. And god knows who and what else.

      And then there’s the constant stream of lies while the media that expose them are called “enemies of the people.” “Drain the swamp,” which now has become an overflowing sewer. The self-centered vindictiveness of “if Obama was for it, we’re against it.” A foreign policy based on cruelty, pettiness and a need for personal aggrandizement.

      And climate change.


      This is so blatant, stupid and vulgar that it could backfire and make race an illegitimate issue. Not only that, some voters could be so alienated by this expression of support for DeSantis that they wind up voting against him. Florida Republicans appear to be running away as fast as they can.

    4. “You can mourn the passing of a bipartisan consensus on liberal democracy without believing that we can or should return to a pre-Trump status quo. Whatever comes next will have to draw on some of the ideals of honor, decency and sacrifice celebrated on Saturday. It was ugly when America failed to live up to them, but it will be uglier still when it doesn’t even try.”

      This is a powerful, thoughtful indictment of what America has become. Without romanticizing the past, Goldberg laments what has been lost.

  16. This is so blatant, stupid and vulgar that it could backfire and make race an illegitimate issue. Not only that, some voters could be so alienated by this expression of support for DeSantis that they wind up voting against him.

    I wish there were a good chance of that, but it’s doubtful. People who are disgusted by racism wouldn’t support DeSantis anyway, and people who do support him wouldn’t be bothered by the message in the calls. DeSantis and Scott have put out the obligatory PR messages condemning the call, so that makes it better, right?

    1. “People who are disgusted by racism wouldn’t support DeSantis anyway,”
      Perhaps not, but don’t discount the possibility that there are people who aren’t racists but see their ideological and economic interests represented by him.

      “and people who do support him wouldn’t be bothered by the message in the calls.”
      Again, I don’t think that racism determines every vote and I don’t think all voters fall into two groups. Some of them could reject DeSantis because they refuse to be associated with this. If everyone was either a committed racist or not a racist and nothing else mattered, there would be no sense in trying to convince anyone and the polls would more or less always show the same result.

      “DeSantis and Scott have put out the obligatory PR messages condemning the call, so that makes it better, right?”
      In the sense of better than if they hadn’t condemned the call, yes.

  17. Again, I don’t think that racism determines every vote and I don’t think all voters fall into two groups.

    Fair point. I may have been a little over cynical when I posted that. Our (adult, early 20s) sons were adopted from South Korea — been here since they were 4 months and 6 months. One works in a city near here, the other works part time and is taking some classes at a community college. They’ve both been on the receiving end of more bigoted/racist BS in the last year than they ever had been before. Granted, the West Michigan area is very right wing, but it’s gotten to be more common for them than it ever should be. They’re handling it fairly well, but your kids are always your kids.

    “DeSantis and Scott have put out the obligatory PR messages condemning the call, so that makes it better, right?”

    I meant that as a snarky take on the condemnations. I wouldn’t hazard an assessment on the likelihood that they were offered in good faith.

    1. It is strange and a sad commentary of intelligence of the species that people from other countries coming here are subject to such treatment. Without immigrants (and there was a time that there were no barriers to immigration) there would be no U.S.A.

      I often wonder what the Iroquois Confederacy and other native American civilizations might have evolved into if Columbus had never made the trip and the Vikings had kept their mouth shut about their being land to the west of Europe.

    2. I used to teach exchange students. I tried to be supportive and, when necessary, criticized native students, who rarely showed any interest in them, and others. Obviously, you and your wife would be more affected by and sensitive to racism than I would be. And racism is a more significant historical issue in the U.S. than it is here (Denmark).

      Jennifer Rubin is an example of the kind of reaction I’m referring to. Before the election, her Washington Post column/blog was titled “Right Turn” and she was a mouthpiece for Republican conservatism. The title is gone and her revulsion to Trump has moved her far to the left of where she was before.
      Disgust and revulsion can be politically motivating factors. Visions of Trump-supporting Nazis and Ku Klux Klaners have probably changed some minds. The robocalls, coming on top of things like that, could be a nudge that changes some others. For some people, it’s not one epiphanous event, but the accumulation of events that causes them to say, “Enough!” If the latest polls are indicative of a trend, more people are saying that.

  18. Tyvor Winns sole comment above is very good and I applaud it.
    I was having a little think about polarized societies in terms of Brexit and to a lesser extent the last couple of years in USA.
    I reckon it’s a bit of a misnomer. There’s a certain amount of chatter, protests, academic writing, and occasional violence but even if identification with a position is widespread, heartfelt strong identification is much less so.
    Most people go about their lives. A fair proportion likely dosnt give a shit at all and never considers the issues at hand.
    So I decided to read up on Dreyfus which I knew was deeply polarizing apparently.
    Wikipedia bit on Dreyfus is very readable and it’s great for an hour or so if one has the time.
    Here it is

    Something new to me was a seeming deathbed confession of Zolas chimneysweep
    about 50 years later.
    The whole shebang is interesting for it’s fault lines and allegiances although I don’t reckon Dreyfus is in the same league as Brexit in terms of family or community division.
    The only remotely similar thing I’ve lived through that Australians got VERY chatty about to a large degree with some polarization is the extraordinary Chamberlain case and perhaps to an extent Hanson’s opening speech at her first election. ( part of which has now been put to music!!!)
    Anyhow I find Dreyfus very absorbing and there are lessons to be learned from it even today I reckon.

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