Congressman Al Green’s Statement on Bigoted ‘Monkey This Up’ Comments Made by Florida Republican Gubernatorial Candidate

Aug 30, 2018

(Houston, TX) On Thursday, August 30, 2018, Congressman Al Green released the following statement regarding the racist comments made by U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis (FL-06), Republican candidate in Florida’s gubernatorial race:

“I love my country, and my love of country will not allow me to remain silent when there is a moral imperative to speak up and stand up for the great ideals America stands for. 

“The ‘monkey this up’ comments made by Congressman Ron DeSantis aren’t just harmful to any one state or group of people. They are harmful to every state in the United States and every person in our country. They strike at the very heart of the majestic language in our Pledge of Allegiance ‘one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’

“The use of animal imagery to dehumanize African-Americans is as old as the use of that imagery to justify the enslavement of Black people. If not confronted, these dog whistle comments can set the tone and tenor of elections across our Nation. They represent the politics of the segregationist George Wallace when he stood in the schoolhouse door. They are the ‘separate but equal’ politics of Jim Crow. They regrettably and unfortunately are further evidence of the harmful impact of President Trump’s bigotry. 

“The President has set the tone and tenor of political discourse for those who choose to engage in bold bigotry. He has done so:

  • By calling the mothers of professional athletes dogs with his ‘s.o.b.’ comments; 
  • By attacking the I.Q. of a Member of Congress; 
  • By insisting that there were ‘some nice people’ among the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and bigots in Charlottesville; 
  • By indicating that certain members of the LGBTQ community should not serve in the military; 
  • By belittling countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America with his ‘s---hole countries’ comments; 
  • By attempting to ban Muslims from entering our country; and
  • By acquiescing to the comments made by Rep. Ron DeSantis, whom he has endorsed as the Republican candidate for governor of Florida.

“Lastly, this statement is not about one election. It’s about whether we will elect to stop this infusion of bigotry into our politics. As we approach this Labor Day holiday, we should fight for a country that honors the contributions of all to make a better life for themselves and their communities.

“I salute Mayor Andrew Gillum for taking the high road of liberty and justice for all. I welcome the criticism of those who would chastise me for exercising the moral imperative to stand up to bigotry.”