At a rally on Monday to oppose immigration reform, Tea Party co-founder Ken Crow praised the assembled crowd for recognizing the importance of “well-bred Americans.”
In a video posted by The Nation’s George Zornick, Crow told rally attendees, including high-profile Republicans like Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz and Iowa Congressman Steve King:
From those incredible blood lines of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and John Smith. And all these great Americans, Martin Luther King. These great Americans who built this country. You came from them. And the unique thing about being from that part of the world, when you learn about breeding, you learn that you cannot breed Secretariat to a donkey and expect to win the Kentucky Derby. You guys have incredible DNA and don’t forget it.
Zornick writes that, despite the reference to Martin Luther King, “the ‘breeding’ talk made it pretty tempting to see this in racial terms as well.’”
This isn’t the first time conservative rhetoric related to immigration reform has been plagued with racial undertones. Last month, former Florida governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush made headlines when he labeled female immigrants as “more fertile” than American-born women.
Watch the video of Crow’s remarks below: