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HORIST: Making a monkey of DeSantis

HORIST: Making a monkey of DeSantis

I will understand the Democrat’s history of making a racial comparison between Negroes and primates.  In fact, that sad history is well documented in a book I am writing.  Understandably, there is a hypersensitivity to such allusions among much of the black community.  In one of his first television interviews, Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis may have put his hand in a political “monkey trap.”

Before going on, I should first explain the allusion to a “monkey trap.”  One of the ways to catch a monkey is to cut a hole in a coconut and place a piece of fruit – preferably the proverbial banana – inside.  The hole is made large enough for the monkey to reach in, but not large enough to withdraw its fist with fruit in hand.  Rather than releasing the fruit, the monkey will remain captured.  At least that is the legend.

Saying that the voters of Florida should not “monkey up” their state by electing the Democrat’s far-left candidate with his socialist proposals of everything for everybody.  Unfortunately for DeSantis, Gillum is the black mayor of Tallahassee – with emphasis of the descriptive “black.”  According to the left, that transformed a bit of cliché language into a racial slur.  When something is perceived to be just right, we often advise not to “monkey around with it.”  When we want things to be done properly, we want no “monkey business.”  And it is hard to believe that there are any parents of toddlers – of any ethnicity – that has not referred to them as “cute little monkeys.”

The monkey trap is an apt analysis to the DeSantis controversy.  He put his hand – quite innocently it seems — in the racial monkey trap and now he cannot get away from it.  The “trap” is really the left-wing media that believes they can sell the Republican candidate’s maladroit off-hand comment as part of a deep-seeded racist strategy.  For them, it is an opportunity to obsessively pump undeserved credibility in their false narrative of endemic Republican racism – and distract from the fact that the most pernicious and violent institutional racism is found in the major cities over which Democrats have long governed.  But, that is a story for another day.

What DeSantis said was:

“Florida elections are always competitive, and this is a guy who although he’s much too liberal for Florida, I think he’s got huge problems with how he’s governed Tallahassee, he is an articulate spokesman for these far-left views, and he’s a charismatic candidate.

“I watched those Democrat debates and none of that is my cup of tea, but he performed better than the other people there, so we’ve got to work hard so that we continue Florida going in a good direction. Let’s build off the success we’ve had with Governor Scott.

The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state. That is not going to work. That’s not going to be good for Florida.”

I included his full remarks so that we can see the context of the comment.  What is highlighted is what the news media presents out of context and dwells upon incessantly.  In fact, it took a significant search of the media reports to even find the full statement.

In reading the full statement, it is clear as a spring day in Florida that DeSantis’ comment was in reference to screwing up policies that have been successful.  If he had said not to “screw this up,” would that mean he was making a sexual remark?

Sensing another phony gotcha moment, the press piled on with a vengeance.  They declared it to be an intentional strategic move to win over hardline racist voters – which the left peddles as being synonymous with Republican voters.

As is often the case when the anti-Trump media operates as prosecutors in the evidence-free court-of-public-opinion, they offer no room for reasonable doubt.  They express their biased opinions as facts.  According to them, DeSantis’ comment was not only racist, but strategic intended planned with malice of forethought.  To them, it was a dog whistle that the left exaggerated and amplified to the level of a bullhorn.

Certainly, in the over-heated, hyper-sensitive atmosphere of political correctness and identity politics, it was an unfortunate choice of words.  It has nothing to do with DeSantis’ intent as it does with playing to the hypersensitivity of progressive indoctrination.  It is a form of snowflake-ism in which self-victimized individuals seek out every opportunity to allege that they have been victimized.

It is even more than that.  It is a strategic effort to provoke racial tensions to maintain black belief in the false racial narrative of the Democrats.  Since Democrats have never offered anything positive to the black community, it is essential that they be made to see Republicans as enemies no matter how wrong and dishonest it may be.

In fact, I consider the entire concept of dog whistling to be a bit of a play for social and racial paranoia.  Once we engage in twisting benign comments into self-defined personal insults, we are self-propagandizing.  Unfortunately, this is being done on a cultural scale – and the mendacious reaction to the DeSantis statement is just the latest example.

I do believe that objective people seeing DeSantis’ complete statement would recognize that his monkey-ing it up referred to policy – juxtaposing the current conservative Republican policies with the socialism proposals of his opponent.  That is why reports take a few words out of context.

DeSantis was in no way, shape or form making a racial reference – intended or unintended.  There is nothing in DeSantis’ record that suggests any hint of racism – not personally or policy-wise.  What the Democrats and left-wing media have done is to twist a statement out-of-context to wrongfully smear a candidate they do not like.  The fact that so much of the media would engage in such partisan bull sausage may explain the low regard most Americans have for the Fourth Estate.

There is a page two to this sad saga of media dishonesty.  Some of those #NeverTrump panelists did note that DeSantis, in underscoring the challenge Gillum poses, complimented his opponent as an “articulate spokesman for these far-left views, and he’s a charismatic candidate.”

If you were inclined to wince at the “monkey this up” reference, one might see such compliments as evidence that the “monkey this up” term was not intended to be a racial statement or personal insult.  It was issue based.

But not for the unhinged left.  According to them, saying a black person is articulate and charismatic is get ready for this lulu is a racial insult.  As this weird theory goes, if you say a black man is intelligent, you are implying that most are not.  Devotion to that bogus theory means that you cannot compliment an individual black person.  If I say Janet Jackson is beautiful (which she is), does it mean that I think all other black women are not?  If I were even saying that Gillum is an honest man, does that mean all other black men are not?  The argument is so ridiculous that it is impossible to understand the intelligence and integrity of those proffering it.  But they are out there.

You may recall that Joe Biden got into a bit of a brouhaha over his description of then candidate Barack Obama.  He said, “… you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”    If ever there was a statement that implied a negative view of the general black population, that was it.  There was no mistake that Biden was referring to Obama personally with a “first ever” comparison to others. 

In saying Obama was the first of the type he described, was Biden comparing Obama’s articulateness, brightness and cleanness to a lack of those attributes in such past black presidential contenders as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Walter Fauntleroy, Alan Keyes, Herman Cain and even Frederick Douglass. And that is only a partial list of the scores African Americans who ran for President of the United States at one time or another.  Or was Biden’s recognition of Obama an implied comparison to all black males?

It is noteworthy that Biden’s prima fascia race-based compliments of Obama were a comparison to others of that race.  It was not about issues or policies.  It was about the person and the people. And yet, the media did not go into obsessively hyped criticism of Biden.  He was not accused of being a racist.  It was laughed off as the kind of foot-in-the-mouth statement that lovable Biden is prone to make now and then.

The media’s monkey-ed up DeSantis controversy is just another example of an elitist news industry working to divide America and promote tribal hostility for the sake of partisan advantage. 

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.