Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) on Monday said that Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) could not be a victim of racism because he was a successful lawmaker on Capitol Hill.
Republican lawmakers have been conspicuously silent since President Donald Trump launched a barrage of racist attacks on Cummings over the weekend, calling his home district of West Baltimore a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” and a “very dangerous & filthy place.” On Monday, Cramer decided to speak out.
In a lengthy exchange with reporters, Cramer suggested that people of color who have been successful can no longer be victims of racism. “It does get a little bit tiring to have somebody who’s achieved as much as Elijah Cummings somehow calling people racist as though somehow he hasn’t been given a fair shake,” Cramer said. “My goodness gracious, he’s the chairman of a major committee, he’s elected to Congress.”
He continued, “I’m not really in the position to determine whether an offense has been made or not, but I also know that people in this town that are members of Congress that have achieved high things don’t make very good victims. They’re always liberals that are claiming victimhood, and yet they’re paid the same as us. They have the same power as every other person that’s in Congress, some of them have achieved high accomplishments like Elijah Cummings, who, again, it’s impossible not to respect him.”
“I’m saying he’s not a victim of racism, and he’s been given great privilege, and just have a policy discussion,” he added.
Cramer then claimed he himself “could be a victim of racism” but added, “I don’t offend that easily.” When asked how he could be a victim of racism, he replied “Well, if somebody said something about being from North Dakota, every now and then I get a snicker about it.”
Cramer also outright rejected the premise that Trump was racist, saying, “I mean, I know Donald Trump pretty well. He’s not racist.”
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
A person of color’s success or achievements do not make them immune from racism, nor does that success disprove the realities of racism or white privilege.
Negative stereotypes about the state of North Dakota are not an example of racism.
When reporters called out Cramer on Monday for claiming the president was not being racist by telling four congresswomen of color to “go back” to their home countries (three of the four Democrats were born in the United States), Cramer responded, “You keep bringing color into it.”
“Donald Trump didn’t say it was about race,” he added later. “Donald Trump didn’t mention race as far as I know.”
If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership. His radical “oversight” is a joke!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2019
I have known Al for 25 years. Went to fights with him & Don King, always got along well. He “loved Trump!” He would ask me for favors often. Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score. Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops! https://t.co/ZwPZa0FWfN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2019
Trump himself doubled down on his attacks against Cummings Tuesday morning, accusing the seasoned lawmaker of being corrupt and stealing money from Baltimore.
“I am the least racist person there is anywhere in the world,” Trump insisted.