As far as states with gobsmackingly unhinged elected federal representatives go, Arizona is high on the list, with only Florida, Georgia, and Texas rivaling the state for the number of embarrassing legislators emanating from their political processes.
While Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) — the man whose own family has denounced him for his “deceit and anti-Semitic dog whistles” — usually is cited as the most extremist far-right lawmaker representing Arizona, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) is hot on his heels in trying to harness the racial animus that is the very basis of Trumpism in the GOP, judging from her comments this morning on Fox News about the speeches made by President Biden and Vice President Harris in the wake of the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict.
Rep. Lesko had no compunction about simply lying about the nature of the two top executive branch leaders’ comments as she apparently attempted to burnish her white nationalist credentials in front of the cable news network’s receptive audience.
Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ): “It’s just a sad day in America when the President of the United States and the Vice President of the United States don’t applaud that our justice system passed the test. Justice was served. Instead they say we’re all racists.” pic.twitter.com/YpwAXvJ831
— The Recount (@therecount) April 21, 2021
While the Republican Arizona lawmaker distorts the Democratic leaders’ words to make a sound bite likely designed to fatten her campaign coffers with donations from paranoid neo-Nazis and other defensive racists, her interpretation of the remarks that Biden and Harris made last evening were more the product of her imagination than rooted in the words that were spoken.
Both President Biden and Vice President Harris referenced the “systemic racism” that only someone in total denial of reality could fail to recognize as a characteristic feature of the American justice system in their speeches, a concept that is far from accusing every individual American of personal racism.
“America has a long history of systemic racism. Black Americans — and Black men, in particular — have been treated, throughout the course of our history, as less than human,” Vice President Harris said, a fact that is difficult to refute in a country where enslaved African Americans were intially counted as only worth three-fifths of the free White populace.
President Biden was equally eloquent in his comments on the Chauvin verdict and what it means for our country.
“It was a murder in the full light of day,” the President said, “and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world to see the systemic racism the Vice President just referred to — the systemic racism that is a stain our nation’s soul; the knee on the neck of justice for Black Americans; the profound fear and trauma, the pain, the exhaustion that Black and brown Americans experience every single day.”
Original reporting by David Badash at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.