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MSNBC’s Johnson: Allen West Gives Republicans Racism ‘in Blackface’

On Monday’s The ReidOut, MSNBC host Joy Reid and contributor Jason Johnson excoriated Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate retired Colonel Allen West in the aftermath of his hospitalization for severe COVID. Reid gleefully mocked West — a former senior fellow for the Media Research, parent organization of NewsBusters — as Johnson accused him of providing “racism” for the Republican party “in blackface.”

After using a mocking tone to smugly read some of Colonel West’s tweets about his treatment for COVID, Reid went to her guests — Johnson and Democratic strategist Xochitl Hinojosa.

 

 

Allowing Hinojosa to go first, Reid then turned to Johnson and went after West as she posed:

And the guy who wants to replace Governor Abbott — who is already so far to the right that he’s basically to the right of Attila the Hun — is the guy who — I remember him from Florida. He’s the guy who mock-executed an Iraqi policeman and got in trouble in the Army. Here’s a couple of his quotes.

On the Barack Obama White House, “If you’re here to stand up, [to] get your musket, [to] fix your bayonet, and [to] charge into the ranks, you are my brother and sister in this fight.” He said that black people were better off during segregation because they had better educational opportunities, and called Islam “not a religion.” Your thoughts?

In his response, Johnson trashed the Texas Republican:

Allen West — he is the zeitgeist of the Republican party right now. They want that same kind of — they want that sort of natural — all-natural flavor of racism, but they want it in blackface with a 1990s  flat-top haircut. That’s what they want, and that’s what they can get out of Allen West.

Reid’s suggestion that Colonel West had somehow argued in favor of segregation appears to be an out of context account of an interview he gave with Fox Business host Stuart Varney in 2016 when he was referring to a book published by conservative author Jason Riley. Riley does not argue that segregation was somehow a good thing, but rather that the introduction of welfare as part of the Great Society was more harmful to the black population than segregation.

This tasteless episode of MSNBC’s The ReidOut was sponsored in part by Safelite. Their contact information is linked.

Transcript follows:

MSNBC’s The ReidOut

October 11, 2021

7:20 p.m. Eastern

JOY REID: It should come as no surprise that most of this is brought to you by Governor Greg Abbott, a guy up for reelection and wants to outdo the hard right-wing nuts in his party, including Allen West, the former Florida congressman and permanent Tea Party troll who is currently in a hospital with COVID pneumonia and live-tweeting his disdain for vaccine mandates. Here’s just a sample of what this potential governor has to say.

Quote, “I can attest that, after this experience, I am even more dedicated to fighting against vaccine mandates. Instead of enriching the pockets of Big Pharma and corrupt bureaucrats and politicians, we should be advocating the monoclonal antibody infusion therapy. As governor of Texas, I will vehemently crush anyone forcing vaccine mandates in the Lone Star State. … Our bodies are our last sanctuary of liberty and freedom. I will defend that for everyone…”

(…)

And the guy who wants to replace Governor Abbott — who is already so far to the right that he’s basically to the right of Attila the Hun — is the guy who — I remember him from Florida. He’s the guy who mock-executed an Iraqi policeman and got in trouble in the Army. Here’s a couple of his quotes. On the Barack Obama White House, “If you’re here to stand up, [to] get your musket, [to] fix your bayonet, and [to] charge into the ranks, you are my brother and sister in this fight.”

He said that black people were better off during segregation because they had better educational opportunities, and called Islam “not a religion.” Your thoughts?

JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know, look, speaking of educational opportunities, one of the crimes that we’ve seen lately in the state of Texas, is this new book banning that they’ve got where they’re chasing after books and they don’t want kids to learn about Critical Race Theory. That’s why I have Jerry Craft right behind me. He writes great books for kids, and these are the kinds of things they don’t want. But this is the thing, Allen West — he is the zeitgeist of the Republican party right now. They want that same kind of — they want that sort of natural — all-natural flavor of racism, but they want it in blackface with a 1990s  flat-top haircut. That’s what they want, and that’s what they can get out of Allen West.

if he can actually get out of bed and hopefully realize that he could actually catch COVID again because the magical antibodies that he thinks he has now will not keep him any safer if he continues to run around and grab hand the way that he is, he will be the kind of person maybe Republicans in that state want. But here’s the problem: The state of Texas is not nearly as Republican as the idiots that they seem to want to have running…

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