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Land Of More Than 10,000 Racists

« June 2016 »

Memo to Ali Jimenez-Hopper and Tony Cornish: YOU ARE LOCALLY DUMB.

A recurring theme of this column is that State Houses across this great nation are filled with some of the biggest assholes on the planet. If you are of a certain political persuasion and a certain limited worldview and intelligence, state congresses are a place you can get to relatively easily and carry out your small-minded whims while feeding your sense of self-importance without actually having any grander ambitions.

And Minnesota is no different. Two local politicians - one already in power, and one hoping to be - recently crossed my eyes, and both exhibit the kind of small-minded racism that makes them perfect for writing a state's laws.

Our first example is Tony Cornish, who of course is the chair of the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee. I say "of course" because he recently penned a letter to the editor espousing all the talking points you'd expect from a privileged white Republican who's sick of hearing minorities complain about excessive use of force by police. His list of tips for avoiding your murder at the hands of the authorities starts with "Don't be a thug" and proceeds in an entirely predictable manner from there.

How predictable? He includes the traditional "if you think your rights are being violated, shut up and file a complaint later". Even if you ignore the fact that in many cases, "later" means from jail, from a hospital bed, or frequently from the morgue, how fucking privileged and obtuse do you have to be to believe that's a viable option in this day and age? I mean, I'm middle-aged, middle-class, and white, and even I know enough about The System that I don't ever want to get caught up in it for any reason.

Tony Cornish should know even better than I do how The System works, because he's part of it. But no, he just goes to the local paper and blames anyone abused by police of making "furtive movements". It's funny how furtiveness is inversely proportional to albedo in the eyes of so many. Oh, and apparently believing it's illegal to be on the street after 2 a.m. Cornish does not indicate at what time it becomes legal to be on the street again, or what people who work non-standard shifts are supposed to do, but that oversight is mainly due to the fact that his letter makes it clear he doesn't think black people have jobs.

And he gets to write laws! And if we're really, really "lucky", Ali Jimenez-Hopper will be there to help him!

She certainly has a campaign strategy as winning as her personality. In a recently released audio recording, Jimenez-Hopper can be heard explaining the problems with her opponent to the state endorsing convention (which endorsed her) in mid-May. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"She brings up that she is half black and she uses that as a strength. She brings up that she is in support of LGBT and that lifestyle and puts out pictures on twitter of her and her wife. She is for more socialist programs which is against what our party believes in. Now while I don’t have a speech formally prepared, I know from the bottom of my heart that I am not for socialist program. I believe in small businesses and I believe that hard work will prevail. I believe in low taxes. I believe in the traditional marriage in the sense that it’s between a husband and wife and that family is important. We need to have these values so we can go forth and think about your community."

Now, that's awful from start to finish. But holy shit, that first sentence! There is no way to read that that isn't straight-up "don't mix the races" talk. As of now, the recording has only made it to a local blog and ThinkProgress. There's no indication that any news organization in the state has any idea this quote exists, so nobody has yet asked Jimenez-Hopper why being half-black isn't a strength, or how the hell that sentence can live in the brain of someone with that hyphenated last name. But I certainly hope it happens, because the result should be astonishing.

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