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BLATANTLY RACIST: Sen. Tommy Tuberville conflates crime and skin color in condemnable Trump Nevada rally speech

BLATANTLY RACIST: Sen. Tommy Tuberville conflates crime and skin color in condemnable Trump Nevada rally speech

BLATANTLY RACIST: Sen. Tommy Tuberville conflates crime and skin color in condemnable Trump Nevada rally speech

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Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) conflated race and criminality while speaking to an audience of MAGA Republicans at the Trump rally in Nevada last night — and, unsurprisingly, they ate it up.

It’s an easy bait-and-switch for a right-wing extremist: just start talking about a group of people that it’s still socially acceptable to dump on, and make a quick switch to another group or demographic.

Tuberville, who replaced Roy Moore in the U.S. Senate after alleged victims said Moore had preyed on underaged teenage girls, stepped up to the podium at Trump’s rally in Nevada to prove that he wasn’t much, if any, of an improvement on his predecessor.

Watch the sleight-of-hand here — he’s talking about criminals, already an amorphous unspecified group that could include anyone from a jaywalker to a man being investigated for election interference, when suddenly, he’s made the switch to talking about ‘reparations’ and suggesting that the people seeking reparations are the criminals.

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It’s so quick and smooth that if you blink you might miss it, but Tuberville starts talking about Democrats and the portrayal of the party as coddling criminals.

“They’re not soft on crime,” he yells. “They’re pro-crime! They want crime, because they wanna take over what you’ve got!”

On the theme of “wanting to take,” he pivots to a separate point that Democrats often advocate, and that conservatives find offensive: reparations, which are brought up in the context of both slavery and the land-grabbing and genocide visited on Native Americans.

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The trick, though, is that he pretends not to have changed the subject.

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“They want reparations, because they think the people that do the crime are owed that! Bullsh*t!” Tuberville declares. “They are not owed that!”

Of course, he’s not the first conservative to pretend that “Black” and “criminal” are different pronunciations of the same word, nor is a Trump rally a terribly surprising place to hear it — but in an America that’s supposed to be equal, hearing this from even a fringe group should be extreme and unexpected.

At a rally held by a former President of the United States, from a sitting Senator? It’s a warning sign.

Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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Stephanie Bazzle
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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