Winsome Sears, a black Republican, won the lieutenant governor election in the state of Virginia, seemingly undermining any suggestion that racism among GOP voters helped propel Republican Glenn Youngkin to win in the state's gubernatorial contest.
But Mehdi Hasan, the host of "The Mehdi Hasan Show," is rejecting that line of argument.
"The argument that white supremacy & racial resentment couldn't have helped power Youngkin to victory in VA because the Republicans elected a black lieutenant governor - Winsome Sears - is as convincing as saying Trump isn't a racist because he made Ben Carson his HUD secretary," Hasan tweeted.
Hasan continued to stand by his statement amid pushback.
Responding to Bloomberg opinion columnist Eli Lake, who had noted that racists and white supremacists do not vote in favor of electing minority candidates, Hasan wrote: "Racists happily voted for Trump who appointed Ben Carson and Nikki Haley to high positions. You need to stop thinking of racists as just KKK members. Plenty of 'ordinary' Americans have racially resentful views. Stop being so reductionist."
Lake pressed the matter further: "So are you saying @WinsomeSears is an avatar of racial resentment and white supremacy? What about @JasonMiyaresVA? Or do you think the racists who voted for @GlennYoungkin split their ticket and @TerryMcAuliffe voters voted for the GOP Lt. governor and AG?"
Hasan fired back: "Are you saying that running on fake 'critical race theory' campaigns isn't racist? Because that's what I am saying. And yes, lots of people of color give cover to, and enable, racism all the time. See Carson, B. Haley, N. Or are you saying people of color can't be racist??"
Tim Graham of the Media Research Center was also among those who pushed back against Hasan.
"Except the 'white supremacy' Republicans VOTED for Sears. If they were a pile of racists, she would have lost," Graham wrote.
Hasan responded: "Yes it's a new rule of American politics! If you have ever voted for, liked, or befriended a Black person you can never again be accused of holding any racist views or supporting any racist policies. You're immunized, to borrow a phrase not so beloved to Republicans. Gotcha."