February 19, 2020 Media

Newly Discovered Recordings Show Jason Lewis Making Series of Racist Comments

Lewis: “The problem in the Black community is the gangsta culture.”

Just days after announcing that Donald Trump Jr. would headline a fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis, newly discovered recordings obtained by the Huffington Post show Lewis making a series of racist comments about the black community—including proclaiming that “the problem with the Black community is the gangsta culture,” declaring “it’s time somebody says ‘White Lives Matter,” and pushing statistics commonly cited by white supremacists on his radio show. President Trump handpicked Lewis to run for Senate in Minnesota to help him win a state he lost by just 1.5 points in 2016.

“Jason Lewis has shown the people of Minnesota who he really is, and we should believe him,” said Ken Martin, Chairman of the Minnesota DFL. “Jason Lewis has repeatedly demonstrated throughout his time in public life a pattern of making racist, misogynistic and disparaging comments – and proven time and again that he does not stand up or fight for the people of Minnesota.”

When asked to respond to his racist comments, the Huffington Post reported: “Lewis’ campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”

Here are the highlights as reported in the Huffington Post:

  • In August 2015, Lewis proclaimed, “maybe it’s time somebody said, ‘White Lives Matter,’” which is categorized as a neo-Nazi hate group.
  • “Lewis then incorrectly claimed that white people are disproportionately killed by Black people, an argument relying on false information that is commonly used by white supremacistsaccording to the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
  • In 2015, Lewis said “the real problem” with race in America was people having children without getting married first and then said, “The problem in the Black community is the gangsta culture. The problem in the Black community, in all ethnic communities, and in poor white communities is out-of-wedlock birth rates.”
  • In 2015, Lewis compared Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil disobedience protests to Clive Bundy–a white farmer who, backed by an anti-government militia, faced an armed standoff with the government over money he owed for grazing fees. Bundy once wondered if black people were “better off as slaves, picking cotton.”
  • In July 2015, Lewis compared tax brackets to slavery, complaining that rich people pay too much in taxes and saying, “We used to call this slavery when we did it by race. Now we do it by economics, so I guess it’s OK.”
  • “In 2008, while filling in as a host on the Rush Limbaugh show, Lewis said, “during the times of slavery, we targeted Black folks. Well, now I guess it’s OK to target wealthy folks.”

Lewis has a long history of offensive comments, such as lamenting that he can no longer call women “sluts” anymore or that black people have an “entitlement mentality.” Trump handpicked Lewis to run for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota and is the only Republican Senate challenger in the country Trump has endorsed to date. Trump’s campaign has said they plan to spend $30 million to win Minnesota in 2020 – compared to just $35,000 in 2016 – and aims to aggressively target the support from communities of color.