Freshman Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) says she meant nothing offensive by saying that the GOP still had to find a “great white hope.”
“Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope,” said Jenkins. “I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington.” As examples, Jenkins mentioned Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Jenkins’ spokeswoman Mary Geiger told the [Topeka Capitol-Journal] that Jenkins’ remark was not meant to refer to “race, creed or any background.” Said Geiger: “There’s no doubt the Republican Party has gone through some dark and challenging times in recent years, but thankfully bright young leaders have stepped up to lead the party into the future and she hopes to be a part of it. That was the intent of her comments — nothing more and nothing less. Congresswoman Jenkins apologizes for her choice of words.”
Unless Rep. Jenkins was taken out of context and she was looking for a copy of the 1970 film The Great White Hope starring James Earl Jones as Jack Johnson, it’s pretty clear what her intentions were, more or less. I know a dog-whistle when I hear it.
On the other hand, it was mighty nice of her to include Rep. Cantor, though; he’s Jewish. So I guess her bigotry is limited only to race. How enlightened of her.