Failed politician and person and current CNN pundit Rick Santorum has once again spoken in public and in so doing, condemned himself and those around him to ridicule for his outrageously racist and false ideas about the world and history. Speaking to a group called Young America’s Foundation (which to my ears is a dog whistle for ‘Hitler Youth’), Santorum gave his explanation of our country’s history and what he thought was uniquely white supremacist about it. “So they came here mostly from Europe and they set up a country that was based on Judeo-Christian principles. I say Judeo-Christian: the Mosaic laws, Ten Commandments, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. The morals and teachings of Jesus Christ. That’s what our founding documents are based upon. It’s in our DNA, you know.” It’s not. It wasn’t. Santorum, not unlike many evangelicals and born again-style Christians, have a Santa Claus-like understanding of the books of the Bible. 

Normally, white supremacists like Santorum and other evangelicals like him stop here, as details and facts about these assertions are easily complicated by reality. However, in the clip you can watch below, Santorum begins giving his revised version of the United States’ history, along with his equally historically inaccurate summary of non-white countries—a sort of comparative racism lecture, if you will. He says that places like Turkey and China, with millennia of history, have cultures and societies that have “evolved” or “changed” over time, but not the United States. Did you know that? You didn’t know that because it isn’t true. But then, as proof (maybe?) or something, Santorum explained that “We birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here. I mean, yes we have Native Americans but candidly there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.” #RemoveRick began trending before you could spell G-A-R-B-A-G-E F-I-R-E.

The phrase “birthed a nation” naturally brings to mind American cinema’s first feature film The Birth of A Nation, and its horrific racism and promotion of the Ku Klux Klan as American heroes. Santorum is dumb enough to possibly not be aware of the racist lineage of one of his talking points. However, his general incompetence is coupled here with attempts at erasing nations of Native peoples from our blood-soaked history, erasing Black Americans from our white supremacist history, and being wildly incorrect about the history of other regions in the world, all at the same time.

Santorum’s offensive ideas—if they can be called ideas—on everything from race and culture to women and the rights of people not named Rick Santorum, are just some of the reasons he shouldn’t be allowed on television as a pundit. The most obvious reason is that he isn’t very smart. He’s not good at having or articulating ideas. He’s not good at articulating anything other than bigotry and ignorance—and sadly there are a lot of people better at selling that to the public than Rick Santorum. In fact, the only real reason to have him on television is to wonder at the spectacle of someone so truly inept being able to function at all, in any capacity. #RemoveRick very quickly became a trending topic on Twitter as calls grew for Santorum’s tenure on CNN to end.

The nonprofit IllumiNative, which works to center attention on the very viable and longstanding cultures of Native peoples, gave a very simple set of responses to Santorum’s vapidity.

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And Native activists and citizens across the land are not here for Santorum’s bullshit.

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You can read about the Iroquois Confederacy, founded in 1142, and its influence on our country’s earliest stages of development, here. Maybe Rick can go back to school and get that history lesson needed to graduate fifth grade.

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Here are a few people that would have totally agreed with Rick just a couple of elections ago. Is that a culture change? Hard to say, as Rick and people like Rick don’t really have honest thoughts on the matter. They’re just rationalizing their racism.

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Santorum’s continued existence in the public sphere is always infuriating.

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Can someone please be more eloquent in their explanation for why #RemoveRick is trending?

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Perfect.

Washington Post reporter Jeremy Barr reported that Santorum had this piece of new revisionist history to add to the conversation, tweeting: “I reached out to CNN PR for comment on this and got the following statement from an outside comms person representing Rick Santorum: Santorum: ‘I had no intention of minimizing or in any way devaluing Native American culture.’ That is the whole statement.”

The fact that Santorum is about as intelligent as a bag of 113-year-old toenail clippings doesn’t change the very intentional phrasing of “but candidly.” Santorum shouldn’t be allowed to have a job pressing his poorly thought-out theories on the public, because candidly, it’s irresponsible for anyone to even tangentially support his statements.

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