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Is George Santos' blatant racism getting a pass? It sure seems so.

The Republican rep's lies are getting a lot more attention than his bigoted extremism. Why?


Republican Rep. George Santos’ extensive lies have vaulted him into pseudo-celebrity — or infamy, depending on how you look at it. 

His seemingly ever-growing list of fabrications has made him and the voters who cast ballots for him into a public mockery. He somehow seems to be getting a kick out of being the subject of late-night comedy routines and satirical sketches

But I do question whether the now-infamous persona of “George Santos, the fabulist” has unjustifiably distracted us from “George Santos, the racist ignoramus.” 

A prime example of this can be found in some of the recent media coverage of Santos’ December interview with a Brazilian podcast, in which he said he was mugged in broad daylight in New York City. The interview was conducted in Portuguese and translated by "The Rachel Maddow Show."

I heard and read many pundits discussing the implausibility of his mugging claim. But a racist remark he made during that same tale seems to have largely flown under the radar. 

“Before asking any questions, they weren’t Black, they were even white, but they robbed me,” Santos said in the interview. It was an overtly racist remark that suggested Black people are prone to criminality, and it seems to be in the wind as far as much of the media is concerned. 

It’s odd to me that some of Santos’ biggest controversies regarding race seem to be drowned out by his tsunami of scandals. This is a guy who attended a right-wing event in New York alongside white nationalists late last year. He’s a guy whose campaign unapologetically shared racist imagery. He’s a guy who reportedly recently hired Carl Paladino, who once publicly praised Adolf Hitler and suggested the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, last year was a hoax. (Paladino later called his Hitler remark a “mistake," and he has deleted the Facebook post about Buffalo.)  

The fact these things haven’t spurred the same outrage as Santos’ lying truly speaks to the way overt racism has made its way back into our political discourse. 

Is Santos a liar? Absolutely. Is that the extent of his disqualifying character traits? Not by a long shot.