This time, it’s the liberals who are accused of being racist—and with good cause. A liberal Super Political Action Committee (PAC) in Kentucky tweeted that GOP Senator Mitch McConnell’s wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, was using her connections to send jobs to China, and included a link to an earlier article accusing her of racism toward U.S. workers.
The Super PAC, Progress Kentucky, is committed to defeating McConnell in his bid for reelection. The comments about Chao and China were posted only on Twitter. They were along the lines of this tweet: “This woman has the ear of @McConnellPress — she’s his #wife. May explain why your job moved to #China.” The tweets also said Chao’s “Chinese money” was buying the election for McConnell; her family has given more than $80,000 to her husband’s campaign.
Chao, whose family is from Taiwan, moved to the United States when she was 8. She was President George W. Bush’s Secretary of Labor and now is a Distinguished Fellow at the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.
McConnell’s team said the tweets were “race-baiting.” Specifically, Campaign Manager Jesse Benton said: “We just think this kind of race-baiting has absolutely no place in American politics. We think Progress Kentucky should really be ashamed of what’s been going out under their name. People should be fired and a public apology should be issued. I think everybody of good conscience in Kentucky should agree that these sort of attacks should be pushed to the side.”
Progress Kentucky Executive Director Shawn Reilly said: “Progress Kentucky strongly denies that the organization has engaged in any such thing. Benton’s statements are an attempt to divert attention from the fact that Mitch McConnell has engaged in the selling of the American middle class overseas for decades.”
Whatever the intention, whatever the venue, whomever the person, attacks or comments on anyone’s ethnicity are wrong & patently unacceptable
— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) February 26, 2013
Reilly later issued an apology, saying: “We apologize to the secretary for that unnecessary comment and have deleted the tweets in question. In addition, we have put a review process in place to ensure tweets and other social media communications from Progress Kentucky are reviewed and approved prior to posting.”
Stereotypes and broad assumptions based on racial/ethnic generalities aren’t acceptable, no matter what issues a group stands for or who says them. See Stereotypes: Embrace or Deny Them? and Challenges in Diversity Management: How Do Stereotypes Affect Us?