Stop Hiding Behind Your Skin Color When Running For Office

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., attends a House Judiciary Committee hearing
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Was Ron DeSantis' "monkey it up" comment a racist "dog whistle" against his Florida gubernatorial challenger Andrew Gillum? Gillum and the Left seem to think so, but Andrew Klavan believes this is all a strategy the Left employs against their political opponents, one he thinks will backfire big time in Florida.

“My rule is this: if you are running for office, if you are asking the American people for power, you cannot hide behind the color of your skin. You got to play the game on the same field as everybody else,” Klavan said. “If Ron DeSantis would say that to a white man, and he would, then he can say it to a black man. This thing about "dog whistles" — crap. If you can't hear it, it's not there.”

Video and transcript below:

I have to say, the way that some of the press reported this was absolutely disgusting. The Hill, CNN, they had headlines that said "DeSantis says it's 'monkeying things up' to vote for a black candidate." He was talking about socialism. He was praising Andrew Gillum, he was saying what a talented guy he was, but it's really clear he was saying his philosophy was no good, but Gillum pounced on this like crazy.

The whole point is to make you watch your tongue so you can't think straight, the whole point is to make you watch, if you slip, if you say something that can be spun, you have to always be thinking so you can't really think as clearly as you want to if you're a candidate. Gillum just absolutely makes hay out of this on Fox:

Andrew Gillum: "It's clear that Mr. DeSantis is taking a page directly from the campaign manual of Donald Trump, but I think he's got another one coming to him if he thinks that in today's day and age Florida voters are going to respond to that level of derision and division. They're sick of it... In the handbook of Donald Trump they no longer do whistle calls, they're now using full bullhorns...We've got to make sure that we stay focused, I think, on the issues that confront everyday people. I'm not going to get down in the gutter with this DeSantis and Trump, there's enough of that going on, I'm gonna try and stay high and try to talk about what the North Star and the future is for the state of Florida...I think that's what people want..."

First of all, I'm glad he's gonna stay high, because if this election is gonna go this way I'm gonna stay high too! That was expert Democrat politics because he says: "look how divisive he is being" because he said "monkey" and it's Trump, Trump, Trump. Trump's a racist therefore DeSantis is a racist. It's just all BS because the guy was talking about socialism, and that's what Andrew Gillum doesn't want to talk about.

He doesn't want to talk about the fact that Tallahassee has been lagging behind other cities in the Florida economy while he was mayor, he doesn't want to talk about what socialism means, what it means is that your work, your time, your life belongs to the state, and your money can be spent the way the state says, not the way you say. He doesn't want to talk about that, he wants to talk about "monkey." Let's just look one more time again at him using this phrase to see if it really is a dog whistle:

President Barack Obama: "I come from Chicago, so I want to be honest, it's not as if it's just Republicans who have monkeyed around with elections in the past, sometimes Democrats have too."

Wait, now that I hear it again maybe it was a little racist... oh wait, that was Obama! Not only was that Obama using that racist phrase – he was running against McCain, and now McCain's dead! is that a coincidence? I don't think so my friends! This is ridiculous, just come out and say it, Andrew, just come out and say: "I'm a socialist, you want to vote for that?" See how far you get.

My rule is this: if you are running for office, if you are asking the American people for power, you cannot hide behind the color of your skin. You got to play the game on the same field as everybody else. If Ron DeSantis would say that to a white man, and he would, then he can say it to a black man. This thing about "dog whistles" – crap. If you can't hear it, it's not there. This thing about "secret subterranean bigotry" crap – I mean even little babies react more kindly to people who look like the people around them, so maybe we all have that a little bit in our heads, but that's all of us, that's blacks and whites.

if you have a philosophy, if your philosophy is racist I will stand against you down to the wire, I will stand against you if I believe that you are a racist, but I don't believe in your secret dog whistle garbage. It is just garbage. It's like "Ocean's Eleven," you're in or you're out. You're running or you're not. If you're running, run on your policies, let the people see what you believe. You're a socialist? You're standing with Bernie, you're standing with a guy who honeymooned in the Soviet Union, in the slave state of the Soviet Union, you're standing with a guy who stood with the communists in Nicaragua, who stood with the communists in Cuba. You're standing next to me? I want to hear about that. I don't wanna hear about the color of your skin, I don't give a rat's – I really don't – and so I think this is gonna cost them votes.

I think they pulled this trick too many times, and they pulled it too fast, because again what are the rules of racism? What are the rules of using the word "monkey"? Obviously if say that to a black person directly that's racist, but if you're just using the phrases we all use, if he's "monkeying around" or whatever we use it for, because we're all related to monkeys obviously, if you're using it that way I just do not see it.

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