Mike Huckabee Aims for the Gutter

Former Arkansas governor draws flack for an immigrant-scapegoating tweet.

John Taggart/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

What, exactly, is wrong with Mike Huckabee? That’s what a lot of observers are asking after the former Arkansas governor and Christian minister tweeted out a photo this morning of what appears to be a group of Latino gang members, and joked that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi—one of the Republican Party’s favorite Democratic bogeywomen—had just introduced her campaign committee to take back the House.

There are two glaring problems here: First, the tweet is racist in its implications. Second, amid an ongoing border crisis in which President Donald Trump has made deeply dehumanizing statements about desperate asylum seekers—going so far as comparing them to insects—Huckabee’s tweet falls into a Republican pattern of low-brow scapegoating.

Trump and his minions regularly conflate Latino criminals and gang members—MS-13 in particular—with the vast majority of people who enter the country from down south, legally and illegally. In reality, these are overwhelmingly law-abiding people who come to work, and often to escape horribly violent conditions back home. And the data shows that immigrants are significantly less likely to commit crimes than Americans who are born here.

The Twitter response to Huckabee was swift.

https://twitter.com/AdamSerwer/status/1010507244163813376

Just yesterday, in the midst of outcry about Trump’s family separation policy, the president held a press event at the White House with so-called angel families, people who had a relative killed by an undocumented immigrant.

Without a doubt, those families deserve sympathy. But the event’s timing, intended to deflect from the pain the administration is inflicting on other, often severely traumatized parents and children at the border, makes it a most callous political move.

Later this morning, after touting his upcoming appearance on the “Huckabee Show,” Trump took his own jab at Pelosi.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate