“Mayor Lightfoot’s blatant anti-white racism is abhorrent. I call upon President Biden, Kamala Harris, and other leaders of our country – of all races – to join me in calling for Mayor Lightfoot’s resignation. Our leaders must condemn all racism, including anti-white,” the former member of the House of Representatives from Hawaii tweeted on Friday.
Gabbard was referring to Lightfoot’s decision this week to grant interviews only to “Black or Brown journalists,” citing the need for “diversity and inclusion” in the media.
It was the words “anti-white” that drew the ire of online Democrats, however, as they piled on Gabbard to insist there is no such thing. Many sought to redefine the very notion of racism, not as discrimination based on race – as US laws do – but as the “power plus privilege” relationship championed by Critical Race Theory.
“There is no such thing,” tweeted trans activist Charlotte Clymer. “There are no systemic or widely-cultural barriers for white people that infringe on how we move through the world.”
“White is not a culture,” argued Virginia Democrat Qasim Rashid, adding that white people bringing this up are just “defending being racist.”
Others simply said “anti-white racism” isn’t a legitimate thing, accompanied by a GIF of Vice President Kamala Harris cackling as if that proved their point.
One prominent Twitter commentator went for whataboutism, pointing out that the Biden administration is “funding multiple genocides but Tulsi Gabbard is focused on white identity politics and the culture war” instead.
There were also personal attacks that sought to rewrite history – such as claims that Gabbard’s 2020 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination was “destroyed” by Hillary Clinton, or that she got “dragged” by Harris during the debates, when the exact opposite actually happened.
Conservatives, on the other hand, held up Gabbard’s tweet as an example of courage the Republican party did not possess.
“Is there any [Republican] elected official who has called out Mayor Lightfoot’s behavior as explicitly anti-white?” asked Darren Beattie, a former Trump speechwriter who now runs Revolver.news.
The fact that Gabbard called for Lightfoot’s resignation before the congressional Republicans “is not a good look for the GOP,” said Logan Hall of the Daily Caller.
The Columbia Bugle wondered if the party needed to “get permission from Frank Luntz” – a marketer who is a landlord to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) in DC – before they joined Gabbard.
Richard Hanania from the Center for Study of Partisanship and Ideology quipped that Gabbard’s tweet shows why she will never be a Republican.
“She talks of ‘anti-white racism’ when conservatives are only supposed to be interested in the anti-Semitism of those opposed to bombing Hamas,” he wrote.
Gabbard was the first Hindu member of US Congress, representing Hawaii from 2012 to 2021, after serving in the US Army in Iraq and Kuwait. She was also the vice chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2013 to 2016, resigning to endorse the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) over Clinton.
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