Paula Deen’s casual racism recently got the celebrity chef into a lot of trouble. The intense media scrutiny has resulted in her losing her television show on the Food Network, as well as many high-profile endorsements.
Unfortunately for Deen, she’s not an elected official. There are plenty of prominent politicians who spout equally offensive racist sentiments, while still managing to keep their jobs. Here are 8 politicians who have made racist remarks that rival Deen’s… without having to face as many immediate consequences:
1. Michael Bloomberg
New York City’s mayor has faced a lot of criticism for his support of the city’s racially biased, probably unconstitutional stop-and-frisk program. Although the police harassment has been called out for unfairly targeting minorities, Bloomberg will hear none of it. “I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” he said in a radio address.
Bloomberg’s statement that the police aren’t racially profiling enough shows a perspective that views African Americans and Latinos as criminals. In fact, even as he calls for more racial profiling, he delivered a blatantly incorrect and contradictory statement: “Nobody racially profiles.” This, apparently, was his excuse for his intention to veto the City Council’s two bills to install an inspector general who would oversee such unfair police actions.
2. John McCain
Current Arizona Senator and former Republican presidential nominee used a racial slur as openly as any political figure, saying: “I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.”
Though his words come as a result of having been a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five years, they are no less offensive. McCain’s insensitivity lies deep: even after his comment caused public controversy, his insisted that he would continue to use the term.
3. Michele Bachmann
The Minnesota Representative might be better known for her homophobic outbursts, but rest assured she has some offensive race-based views, too. In 2011, she signed a pledge that said a “black child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African American President.”
So she’s saying that blacks are better off in slavery? Actually, yeah, as it fits Bachmann’s larger philosophy that Christian slave owners knew it was immoral to own people, but felt it more irresponsible to set them free when they couldn’t provide for themselves. It’s a wonder it’s taken this long for her views to be so off-putting to the public that she’s finally declared she won’t seek reelection next cycle.
4. Don Young
This Alaska Representative caused a stir when he casually used the term “wetbacks” to refer to Latino laborers in an interview. However, the true extent of his ignorance didn’t show until he tried to justify using the term rather than apologizing.
5. Harry Reid
The Senate Majority Leader got himself into some hot water when a book quoted him as attributing Barack Obama’s success to being a “light-skinned” black man “with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.” Although Reid apologized and pledged support to the President, it nonetheless reveals some biases about the type of African Americans that certain people are willing to accept.
6. Bob Allen
While a member of Florida’s House of Representatives, Allen offered to pay an undercover cop $20 so that he would perform oral sex on him. Arrested and humiliated, Allen insisted that he was both innocent and not gay, and his excuse for what actually happened might be his most shocking assertion of all: fear of black men made him do it.
“[The cop] was a pretty stocky black guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park,” Allen said. He went on to explain that he was intimidated and was willing to say anything to avoid being harmed by these scary black men. I guess offering to pay for sex is as good as any way to keep yourself safe?
Delusional, Allen attempted to maintain his elected office even after being convicted of soliciting prostitution, although that didn’t last long. But it sure is telling of the Republican mentality that Allen would sooner portray himself as an out-and-out racist than have anyone think he’s gay. In this case, I think most people just assume both now.
7. Jake Knotts
When the State Senator made a run to become South Carolina’s governor, he criticized his opponent for being of Indian descent. “We already got a raghead in the White House [Obama, presumably], we don’t need another raghead in the governor’s mansion.” The comment, which Knotts insists was intended to be “humorous,”possibly cost him the gubernatorial race, but he was still able to serve out two more years in the State Senate.
8. Loy Mauch
When it comes to racism, this recent member of the Arkansas House of Representatives may take the cake. Having written letters in favor of slavery, called the Confederate flag a symbol of Jesus, and labeled Abraham Lincoln a “fake neurotic Northern war criminal,” Mauch clearly isn’t concerned about his bigotry. He is even a known member of the “Sons of Confederate Veterans and the League of the South,” which promotes Southern secession and a white rule.
Photo Credit: New York Insider