Apparently nobody told Mark Kirk that mixed-race people exist.
We’ve seen politicians self-destruct at debates before. Back in 2011, Rick Perry blew up his quest for the GOP nominationby forgetting which three agencies he’d eliminate from the federal government. More recently, erstwhile California Senator Loretta Sanchez (D) wrapped up her debate with Kamala Harris (also D because California’s weird) by dabbing. And of course, there’s all the sh*t that Donald Trump has stepped in, most notably at the second debate.
Still, this might take the cake. Mark Kirk (R), currently the junior U.S. Senator serving from Illinois, said this at a debate between himself and Tammy Duckworth, the Democratic nominee for his seat
Yes, that actually happened. Tammy Duckworth, who is a decorated war hero of Thai-Chinese and European-American descent, just had to listen to a dude say this to her:
“I’d forgotten, uh, that your, uh, parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.” *deafening silence*
A few things here.
First: Duckworth’s father is an American who served in World War II, and, on his side of the family, Duckworth can trace her lineage back to at least one ancestor who did, in fact, serve in the American Revolution.
Second: Kirk informing said war hero that he knows more about her family history than she does is maybe the most stereotypical case of mansplaining I’ve ever seen.
Finally: what was he even trying to say there? What point was he trying to score? This whole election, Kirk has been running as a moderate — distancing himself from Trump, the alt-right, birtherism, etc. So why did he suddenly become a Tammy Duckworth birther? Was this an attempt at a massive reversal, instead embracing everything he’s rejected so far? Or is he just letting his casual racist side slip?