During an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) again showed us he doesn’t know history by saying that the GOP is the party of the Ku Klux Klan. Mitchell was noting how Sen. Bernie Sanders’ populist messaging seems to be resonating, even if there is a lack of data to support his claims. Worse yet, there have been some reports showing that his proposals, like universal health care, would be disastrous for the working poor. Rangel mentioned the end of the Republican Party, and the misappropriated racist ties, towards the end of the clip cut by our friends over at The Washington Free Beacon (via WFB):
We are seeing the end of the Republican Party as we know it, a party that has the Ku Klux Klan, has the Tea Party, the Freedom Party, and this used to be the Party of Lincoln, and we’re seeing it fall apart,” Rangel said.
The racist organization was founded in the Reconstruction era by southern whites, many of whom were Democrats, and it committed acts of murder, intimidation and other violence against blacks. While the organization still exists, its numbers are greatly depleted compared to its heyday.
This isn’t the first time Rangel has gone off the hinges concerning Republicans and racism. In 2014, he said that Southern Republicans still support slavery. It was an accusation so wild that even ardent liberals called it embarrassing and deserved no place in politics. At the time, ESPN writer and CNN commentator LZ Granderson said that anyone who thinks like Rangel regarding race and politics is an “idiot.”
“I’m trying to figure out why he’s even still in office,” said ESPN commentator LZ Granderson after observing that Rangel has been cited on 11 ethics violations over his career as a congressman representing Harlem. “If you think what he says is true, then I’m just going to tell you the truth: you’re an idiot.”
“Slavery, and that time period, does not exist today,” he continued. “Is there racism? Absolutely, but it doesn’t exist in the same way it did during slavery times.”
“I think it’s hard because it just feels so non-productive given the tone and the conversation that has been going on in this country for some time,” CNN anchor Michaela Pereira observed.