In the latest case of white politicians attempting to stifle the myriad of rising Native 2018 candidates, a local Republican official in Kansas was apparently itching a little too hard to say the quiet part out loud, calling congressional candidate Sharice Davids a “radical socialist kick boxing [sic] lesbian.”
Davids is a unique candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat up for grabs this November. If elected, the Ho Chunk Nation member would be the first Native American woman elected to Congress in U.S. history and would also be the first gay Kansan to represent the state in Washington. She’s also a former MMA fighter and currently works as a lawyer, having obtained her law degree from Cornell. This election cycle, she may be at the top of a historic group of emboldened Native candidates, who happen to overwhelmingly be women.
While this all sounds good if you’re a progressive or someone interested in Native representation, it also means a lot of easy targets for lazy racist assholes. Enter Michael Kalny.
Kalny, a Republican precinct committeeman in Shawnee, reportedly sent a message that can be categorized as several things—racist, sexist, and homophobic, among others—to Anne Pritchett, who heads up one of the Johnson County Democratic Women’s chapters. As the the Kansas City Star reported on Tuesday, the message was a direct attack on Davids, who won her crowded primary in August:
Little Ms. Pritchett- you and your comrades stealth attack on Yoder is going to blow up in your leftist face. The REAL REPUBLICANS will remember what the scum DEMONRATS tried to do to Kavanaugh in November. Your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian will be sent back packing to the reservation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pritchett told the Star the message came as a response to several comments she previously posted on Kalny’s Facebook page. Both Davids and her opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, followed the usual steps, denouncing the comment as not representing Kansan values. But Kalny, for his part, showed his hand when the Star rang him up, asking the reporter: “What is this lady trying to accomplish?” before stammering that he had to talk to his lawyer and hanging up the phone.
To pretend the story began and ended here would be the simple thing to do. Davids has had to face attacks on her race and sexual orientation throughout both the primary and her ongoing battle with Yoder. Earlier this year, Yoder blew his own dog whistle when asked about Davids and Bruce Welder, her main opponent in the primary, saying, “neither of them are from around here, and both want to force their radical ideas on those of use who have dedicated our entire lives to this community and this state.”
Two quick notes: First, Davids was raised in Kansas, went to high school and community college in the state, and returned after working her way through law school, per the Star. And second, if you’re going to call someone a “radical socialist kick boxing lesbian” as an insult, I’d make sure said “kick boxing lesbian” can’t put you in a choke hold with her damn legs.
What I’m getting at is if Kalny is truly a REAL REPUBLICAN, he’ll meet Davids in the octagon to sort this out once and for all.
Correction: This post originally stated that Davids would be the first Native American elected to Congress. She would actually be the first Native American woman.