Driving While Brown 1
Shorter Connie O’Brien (Republican member of Kansas House):
I know she’s illegal because of how she looks.
[O’Brien] spoke during the meeting of her son’s difficulty paying for classes in 2010 at Kansas City (Kan.) Community College and a feeling of despair at waiting in line at the college with a female student who appeared to them to have been born outside the United States.
“My son, who’s a Kansas resident, born here, raised here, didn’t qualify for any financial aid,” according to a recording of her statement to the committee. “Yet this girl was going to get financial aid.”
“My son was kinda upset about it because he works and pays for his own schooling and his books and everything and he didn’t think that was fair. We didn’t ask the girl what nationality she was, we didn’t think that was proper. But we could tell by looking at her that she was not originally from this country,” she says on the recording.
During the meeting, Rep. Sean Gatewood, D-Topeka, asked O’Brien to clarify her remark.
“Can you expand on how you could tell that they were illegal?” Gatewood asked.
“Well, she wasn’t black,” O’Brien said. “She wasn’t Asian. And she had the olive complexion.”
Representative O’Brien denies any racist content in her words, characterizing it as an “innocent remark.”
But, you see, that’s the thing about racism. By and large, most racists don’t consider themselves as racists; they think they are normal and that everyone else is wrong.
It’s just part of how they were taught to view the world, to them as natural and innocent as an April shower.
Via Tapped, where Julianne Hing provides excellent commentary.
February 28, 2011 at 3:16 pm
[…] a post last week, I suggested that one of the insidious aspects of bigotry is that most bigots do not see their […]