Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI
Republican Party groups are continuing to partner with right-wing troll Dinesh D’Souza for fundraising. D'Souza has mocked the survivors of the mass shooting in Parkland, FL, claimed that Rosa Parks was an “overrated Democrat,” and written that slavery wasn’t “a racist institution” and “the American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well."
D’Souza was the headline speaker for a March 10 fundraising event for the Flathead County Republican Central Committee in Montana. The Daily Inter Lake, which was allowed to attend the event while “reporters with the Missoulian and Montana Public Radio could only speak with attendees outside,” reported that “the evening was a can’t-miss event for many of Northwest Montana’s current and aspiring political leaders”:
State Reps. Derek Skees, R-Kalispell, and Mark Noland, R-Bigfork, state Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, Montana House candidate Shawn Guymon, Flathead County Sheriff candidate Calvin Beringer, and U.S. Senate candidates Matt Rosendale, Troy Downing and Al Olszewski were all seen greeting guests in the center’s lobby beforehand. U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., came in just before the event.
D’Souza is also scheduled to keynote an April 14 fundraising dinner for the Bonneville County Republican Party in Idaho. The group stated that Idaho Republican gubernatorial candidates “Congressman Raul Labrador, Dr. Tommy Ahlquist, and Lt. Governor Brad Little are expected to attend and offer remarks at the second annual event.”
Bonneville County GOP first vice chair Bryan Smith has defended the group's choice, telling "EastIdahoNews.com that his organization has received some pressure to cancel D’Souza’s speaking engagement" but the local party isn't considering changing the speaker:
“We’ve had phone calls to two of our phone numbers. They often don’t leave names, or it’s a bogus name with no return number,” Smith tells EastIdahoNews.com. “Nobody on the executive committee involved in organizing the event thought for a moment to get another speaker. It’s a free country. We believe in free speech. We do not cancel people because we disagree with their views. Let him come and speak, and then we can judge it on the outcome.”
D’Souza was invited to the Lincoln Day Dinner before the controversy erupted. Smith says one reason is because the author “epitomizes the great American dream.”
D’Souza should be considered too toxic to have a place in mainstream politics.
Last month, the right-wing pundit took to Twitter and repeatedly mocked the student survivors of the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. While D’Souza eventually apologized, his comments were part of a long pattern of vitriol. As Daily Beast Senior Editor Andrew Kirell wrote:
Over the past year, D’Souza has: suggested the Charlottesville white-supremacist rally (which led to the murder of an anti-racism protester) was a “staged event” designed to make the right look bad; shared a meme calling former President Barack Obama a “gay Muslim” and suggesting Michelle Obama is a man; started a conspiracy theory that the media covered up Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock’s background as an anti-Trump activist (he wasn’t); used a photo of a grieving military widow—despite her protests—to attack football players kneeling during the national anthem; and defended Adolf Hitler, who sent thousands of gay people to death camps, as being “NOT anti-gay.”
D’Souza also called civil rights activist Rosa Parks an “OVERRATED DEMOCRAT,” and wrote of slavery: "Was slavery a racist institution? No. Slavery was practiced for thousands of years in virtually all societies. … the American slave was treated like property, which is to say, pretty well." He also called for a repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, explaining he believes that the “law should be changed so that its nondiscrimination provisions apply only to the government.” (Many of D’Souza’s other idiotic remarks can be found here and here.)
D’Souza pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions to a Republican Senate campaign in 2014. He has since claimed that the prosecution was “a political prosecution” and attacked prosecutor Preet Bharara as “a familiar Indian type, one of those gang leaders out of 'Slumdog Millionaire' transplanted to the United States. … Since Preet Bharara doesn't have a strong Indian accent he may be employable as one of those tech guys who helps you fix your computer.”