Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said America “was founded on racism” and is still a racist country during his keynote speech at Saturday night’s Third Annual Clinton Dinner in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Our country was founded on racism—and is still racist today. In Arkansas, I said why I believe there’s no denying this reality; and why it’s on all of us to change it. pic.twitter.com/cHLKmCMGEB
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 18, 2019
“And this country, though we would like to think otherwise, was founded on racism, has persisted through racism, and is racist today,” said the former Texas congressman, who lost his 2018 senate race to Ted Cruz. O’Rourke called the racism “foundational” because of the legacy of slavery before launching into an attack of the president and his rhetoric and policies.
O’Rourke’s comments echoed statements he made during a campaign stop in Nashville, Tennessee last month when he said the country was “founded on white supremacy.” (RELATED: ‘Wax My Ass, Scrub My Balls’ — This Beto O’Rourke Poem From 1988 Is Beyond Belief)
“Every single institution and structure that we have in this country still reflects the legacy of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and suppression even in our democracy,” he said then.
Many Twitter users pushed back on O’Rourke’s framing, with some questioning whether maligning every white person in America along with their ancestors was the best tactic, and others wondering if O’Rourke, himself a white person, was the best person to carry the message.
“You’re the worst, and so were your forefathers!” Is not typically a winning message. https://t.co/QwvC7WuxNG
— Cody Derespina (@CDerespina) August 18, 2019
Beto may be way behind in the polls, but he does get first prize for most annoying and sanctimonious candidate https://t.co/RcGEkZAeE9
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) August 18, 2019
How can this message fail? https://t.co/vRCITpxpVE
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) August 18, 2019
Heading into 2020 and the Democratic platform is unabashedly, “Vote for us or you’re racist.” https://t.co/D7780y3W8b
— Bridget Phetasy (@BridgetPhetasy) August 18, 2019
Racism DOES exist today… the PERFECT example is this white candidate for President who pretends to be hispanic by using an ‘ethnic nickname’ because he thinks that’s all it takes to trick non-whites into voting for him.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) August 18, 2019
“So elect me, a privileged but woke white person, to fix it.” https://t.co/SlK061Mu5U
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 18, 2019
Agreed. Now get out of politics, you white privilege spoiled rotten son of privilege. Spend the rest of your days in penury paying penance. There are plenty of non-white people better able to share this message than you. https://t.co/ImliiFpU68
— Michael Berry (@MichaelBerrySho) August 18, 2019
He’s one step away from smearing feces all over himself in an intersection for attention. https://t.co/GLkFhMDbME
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) August 18, 2019