Listen, we all know there’s a lot of racism in America. Like, a lot you guys! Given that the entire country was built on the labor of black slaves and the slaughter of Native Americans, it’s as American as apple pie. But according to Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly, it is un-American to even talk about racism! And the real victims in all of this are...car salesmen.
Last week, House Republicans voted to undo an Obama-era guidance that was intended to curb discriminatory practices in auto lending. The guidance was based on a 2011 study which found that black and Latinx customers were more likely to be stuck with higher interest rates for their car loans than their white counterparts.
Democrats like Maxine Waters defended the guidance on the grounds that, y’know, racism is bad. But to hear Kelly—who, surprise surprise, was a car salesman before he came to Congress, and who got into a shouting match with Waters over the issue—tell it, all that stuff about prejudice and wanting to protect black and Latinx consumers is a bunch of unpatriotic hogwash.
Kelly appeared on Fox News on Tuesday from what appeared to be a diner where, in the background, someone spelled “Fox” in bacon. There, he opined that, here in America, we don’t talk about racism and therefore it doesn’t exist. Via ThinkProgress (emphasis mine):
“We have seen the economy take off,” he told Fox & Friends. “I just think that if you come to the floor and there are 60 minutes to debate. 30 minutes on each side. But as I was sitting there, I had 30 minutes of Democrats coming down and talking about how bad automobile people are because they discriminate against nonwhite buyers. I said that’s not America. We don’t talk about those things.”
To be fair, Kelly’s conception of race doesn’t appear to be very sophisticated. It almost sounds like he sees “automobile people” as its own racial demographic:
“We are a people of diversity, but we come together to make America great again….I mean, listen, we are still the United States of America, not Divided States of America, and if we can’t talk better than what happened on the floor the other day. I was disappointed and the Democrats that came down, every single person demagoguing and talking about how bad automobile people are. It’s just not true.”
That’s right, the real victims here are not the people being discriminated against (because we just don’t talk about that stuff), but the “automobile people” who are just trying to live their lives and discriminate against non-white people. It’s a damn shame.