Senator Kevin Cramer: Sometimes People Are Racist Against North Dakotans
Senator Kevin Cramer recently made some comments defending President Donald Trump in his feud with Rep. Elijah Cummings, and in them suggested that he’s at times a victim of racism because people make “snide” remarks about North Dakota.
From the Washington Times:
“I could be a victim of racism, but I don’t offend easily, I just don’t offend that easily,” Cramer said.
When a reporter asked “how could you be a victim of racism,” Mr. Cramer said sometimes he gets “snide” comments about being from North Dakota.
“Well, if somebody said something about being from North Dakota, every now and then I get a snicker about it, somebody will say something about North Dakota in some snide way, I don’t offend because I’m comfortable with where I come from, I’m comfortable with who I am. I’m comfortable with my own accomplishments and the accomplishments of our state,” Mr. Cramer said.
NBC News reporter Frank Thorp provided a full transcript of Cramer’s remarks on Twitter:
While discussing Pres Trump's comments RE: Cummings & The Squad, @SenKevinCramer says "I could be a victim of racism"
Pressed on how that's possible:
"If somebody said something about being from ND, every now and then I get a snicker about it"
FULL exchange, for full context: pic.twitter.com/Kja8LPwtyz
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 30, 2019
This point was clumsily made by Cramer, though not entirely off the mark. I wouldn’t have used the term “racism” to describe people who look down on North Dakotans – there are lots of people of lots of ethnic backgrounds who are from North Dakota – but I think there’s a larger point about harboring ill-will toward other people based on superficial things which shouldn’t matter. Like race. Or cultural background. Or their geography.
If you say mean, disparaging things about people because they’re from “fly-over country” or “dumbfuckistan” (as Saturday Night Live once described George W. Bush-voting America) are you really operating on a higher moral plain than people who say that sort of thing about people because of their skin color? Or sexual orientation? Or religion?
Hate, it seems to me, is hate.
Cramer could have been more articulate in making this argument, but he’s not wrong, though he might have more credibility in making the argument if he weren’t also an ardent supporter of a President who leverages distrust and hatred among the various demographics of Americans as political tools.