Law prof.: Republican base is KKK members, 'old, angry, white Southern men'
A UCLA law professor argued recently on social media that the Republican Party’s base is comprised of “old, angry, white Southern men with reactionary views on race.”
Jonathan M. Zasloff, who teaches torts, legal history, and environmental law at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), responded to a thread on Facebook about House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and recent controversy over whether or not he spoke to a white supremacist group in 2002.
In screenshots of comments obtained by Campus Reform,which have since been deleted, Zasloff states that Scalise was communicating with the base of his party.
“He was merely reaching out to the Republican base,” wrote Zasloff. “You always have to communicate with your core supporters.”
Zasloff wrote that Republicans are “relying upon Klan members as their core base.”
“That is the Republican base: old, angry, white Southern men with reactionary views on race,” he said.
Frank Pray, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), said he was shocked to see the professor’s statements.
“I did a double-take the first time I saw it,” Pray told Campus Reform, “How could someone write something so ignorant, hateful and bigoted on a public forum like Facebook?”
Pray challenged Zasloff statements on Facebook in an extended argument, at one point citing Mia Love, Susana Martinez, and Marco Rubio as examples of minority Republicans.
“Unpersuasive. That’s the political equivalnet of ‘some of my best friends are Black [sic], Jewish[,] Latino, etc.’ They are the GOOD ones, who understand that ‘those people are taking ‘our stuff,’” Zasloff responded.
“Instead of wanting to argue facts with me, he just dismissed all of my points,” said Pray, “It was frustrating because he never considered I may have had anything valuable to say at all. If this is how he treated a stranger on Facebook, I can only imagine how he treats conservative students in the classroom.”
Pray later published his experience with this encounter on the Carolina Review, the conservative newspaper at UNC, of which he is the editor-in-chief.
“While it is true that white men do make up a significant proportion of the Republican base, they do not make it up in its entirety. Additionally, there is no way you can quantify what the white men who comprise this group believe, other than what is in the official platform of the Republican Party,” wrote Pray in the article, “It is simply ridiculous conjecture to state that they are reactionary about race and hint that they are racists or hold racist tendencies.”
According to OpenSecrets, Zasloff has given a total of $14,300 to Democratic candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and former Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.), as well as Democratic PACs since 2000.
He has also published several articles on climate justice, and has suggested the FCC should pull Fox News off the air.
Zasloff did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @LaurenLouClark