U.S. Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL) became the latest Republican to spit on his party’s minority outreach plans this week, when he marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act by suggesting to a black voter that the law may not be constitutional.
During a town hall in Gainesville, Florida on Monday evening, a 57-year-old African-American man named Melvin Flournoy asked Yoho,”Do you think that any part of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 [sic], do you think any part of that is constitutional?”
“This country grew through a lot of growing pain. We’re going through it again,” Yoho replied. As we grow as a country and prosper, we’re going to go through it again in the future. That’s why I’m so thankful for the Constitution because it allows us to do that.”
“Is it constitutional, the Civil Rights Act? I wish I could answer that 100 percent,” the congressman continued. “I know a lot of things that were passed are not constitutional, but I know it’s the law of the land.”
Video of his response is below, via ThinkProgress:
Yoho, who was a large-animal veterinarian before joining Congress in 2013, is hardly a legal expert. But he’ll surely be relieved to know that the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act is no longer in question.
Of course, Yoho is also no expert on race relations. In 2012 he added photos of himself to campaign bumperstickers to make sure voters didn’t think he was a “Jap,” and last August he claimed that Obamacare is “racist” because its tax on indoor tanning “disenfranchised” him.
You may also not be surprised to learn that Yoho is an unapologetic birther.
Despite all this, the freshman representative is considered to be a safe bet for re-election in Florida’s 3rd congressional district (although he will have to beat back a primary challenger from a role-playing opponent, Jake “Chazz Darling” Rush).
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr