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WaPo Can’t Believe White Supremacist Senate Candidate Really Means It

It's "discourse" that's the problem?

Virginia Republican Senate candidate Corey Stewart

Virginia Republican Senate candidate Corey Stewart

A few things about Virginia Republican Senate candidate Corey Stewart:

  • He described as “one of my personal heroes” Wisconsin congressional candidate and self-described “pro-White Christian” Paul Nehlen, who suggests deporting all Muslims, and whose overt and various hatreds have led Breitbart to break ties with him, along with a Twitter ban.
  • Stewart joined his endorser Jason Kessler at a rally for Kessler’s group, Unity and Security for America, last year. Kessler, of course, was the organizer of the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally, with the Nazi salutes and the “blood and soil” chanting, and the murder of counter-protester Heather Heyer. After the Charlottesville rally, Stewart declared there was “no reason to apologize.”
  • A self-described “proud Southerner” who was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, Stewart has declared that the Confederate flag is “what makes us Virginia, and if you take that away we lose our identity.”
  • In recent tweets, he describes children crying for their parents at the border as “leftist terrorism props” and calls for no “amnesty of any sort.”

Corey Stewart just won the Virginia GOP Senate primary. And the Washington Post‘s response (6/15/18) was an editorial headlined, “Corey Stewart’s Win in Virginia Means Further Degradation of Civic Discourse.” Yeah, that’s the problem—discourse.

In an exemplar of elite media mealymouthing, the Post defines (and laments) Stewart’s embrace of white supremacist ideas, and the people who act on them, not as him being a white supremacist, but as “court[ing] white supremacists,” his racist comments not as him being a racist, but his “seeing…pandering to racism [as] a valuable tactic.”

Nowhere do the Post editorialists explain whence they derive the requisite insight into Stewart’s soul to distinguish between mere calculation and true beliefs. Much less do they advise the black, brown, Muslim, Jewish and other people at the sharp end of such “courting” and “pandering” as to how they might best appreciate the distinction.

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Janine Jackson

Janine Jackson

Janine Jackson is FAIR's program director and and producer/co-host of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. She contributes frequently to FAIR's magazine, Extra! and co-edited The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s (Westview Press).

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