Mitt Romney hasn’t been having a good week. After a rough exchange with a Vietnam vet over gay rights, Romney’s campaign is now catching criticism for using the phrase “keep America American.” Why? Well, because it’s a phrase that was used by the Klu Klux Klan in the 1920s and the Know Nothing Party in the 1800s.
The Huffington Post reports that the Know Nothing Party used “Keep America American” as a rally cry against immigration and Catholics. The Klu Klux Klan used the phrase in a similar fashion in the 1920s to rally people against blacks, gays, Jews, and Catholics.
In a recent piece in the LA Times, Romney said:
“There are people in this room who are informed and who care about this election, who recognize that this is a defining time for America. We have on one side a president who wants to transform America into a European-style nation, and you have on other hand someone like myself that wants to turn America around and keep America American with the principals that made us the greatest nation on Earth. And I will do that with your help.”
It doesn’t quite have the same meaning that it did in the past. Right?
Here’s a Romney campaign ad where he uses the phrase “keep America American.”
It isn’t likely that Romney purposefully chose to borrow a phrase from the Klu Klux Klan, but that isn’t stopping some people from calling Rommey a racist. The AmericaBlog, which first pointed out the significance of “Keep America American,” says that it’s only fair to call Romney a Klansman since the Republican party insists that President Obama is a socialist.
“In an era in which it’s apparently okay for Republicans to accuse President Obama of being a socialist, I guess we now need to ask if Mitt Romney is a Ku Klux Klansman… So, is Mitt Romney a closet member of the KKK?”
Mitt Romney isn’t a Klansman (I don’t think) but I bet he stops using the phrase “Keep America American.”