West Virginia Senate Candidate Gives a Truly Deranged Defense of His Racism

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West Virginia Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship, a snowman magically brought to life mid-melt, has come under fire over his latest utterly bizarre and objectively bad campaign ad. In the ad, Blankenship continued his attack on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (whom he previously nicknamed “Cocaine Mitch” for some reason), saying that McConnell’s “China family has given him tens of millions of dollars.”


Blankenship was referring to McConnell’s wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, and her family. After receiving a hefty backlash to the racism in the ad, Blankenship responded with one for the books, telling Roll Call:

“They’ve always said about me, West Virginia people. Is West Virginia people racist? We’re confused on our staff as to how it can be racist when there is no mention of a race. There’s no race. Races are negro, white caucasian, Hispanic, Asian. There’s no mention of a race. I’ve never used a race word.”

Aside from the obvious fact that using the word “negro” in 2018 proves perfectly that you are racist, a fair amount of the problems here arise from Blankenship’s worryingly feeble grasp of English syntax and probably words in general. For example: “race word.” Also, “is West Virginia people racist?” Earlier this week, Blankenship appeared on Fox News to defend his use of the word “Chinaperson” in describing Chao’s father, via Mediaite:

“I don’t see this insinuation by the press that there’s something racist about saying a Chinaperson. Some people are Koreanpersons, some of them are Africanpersons. It’s not any slander there. But both families are very powerful in both countries.”

A lot of people have been arguing that Kanye West’s recent flirtation with white supremacists is all actually a piece of brilliant performance art. I think they’re picking the wrong person. I’m now starting to suspect that Blankenship is a performance artist, or maybe just a character from Tim and Eric. I mean I know that he’s probably just a racist dummy and a viscerally embarrassing representation of the people of West Virginia, but what if?? Either way, I just need to know one thing: Is, in fact, pray tell, West Virginia people racist?

Isha is a staff reporter who covers pop culture, representation in media, and your new faves.