'Raghead' slur wins Stupid Thing of the Week

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As a Palmetto State native, whether I like it or not, it’s my pleasure to once again bestow the Stupid Thing of the Week award to a fellow South Ca’linian. The charming snakepit ambience of that state’s politics has been on display lately in the attempts to torpedo  state representative Nikki Haley’s gubernatorial campaign with unsubstantiated claims of her alleged sexual infidelity. That’s pretty slimy stuff, but when Haley’s post-“scandal” poll numbers didn’t drop, I knew there was probably worse slander to come. Sure ‘nuff, as if on cue, a state senator has now injected raw racism into the campaign less than a week before the primary. Lexington state Sen. Jake Knotts went on an Internet talk show last night and called Haley a “raghead,” a racial slur based on her Indian heritage (Haley’s parents are Sikhs who came to the U.S. from India). Wait, it gets even better. Knotts’ exact quote was, “We already got one raghead in the White House, we don’t need another in the Governor’s Mansion.”

And that, in a nutshell, is the real face of day-to-day politics in that lovely land to our immediate south. It’s that kind of forward-looking optimism and inclusiveness that has kept my home state perennially stuck somewhere between 48th and 50th in lists of states’  education, income, environmental quality, etc., etc.

S.C. state senator Jake Knotts. Oops, wrong picture
  • S.C. state senator Jake Knotts. Oops, wrong picture

There he is -- the real Jake Knotts
  • There he is -- the real Jake Knotts

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