California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis has developed a reputation for speaking out of school. Her remarks in November blaming President Joe Biden for putting Vice President Kamala Harris in the corner earned her a spanking from the White House. And as the Globe reported earlier, that was not the first time she criticized Biden.
But in reaction to today’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Lt. Gov. Kounalakis went beyond the tears and outrage that have been prevalent on public radio and veered into weird racist territory.
In a bizarre statement she referred to justice Clarence Thomas, one of six Supreme Court Justices voting in the majority, but the only black one to do so, as a “Saudi Arabian father.”
Appearing on MSNBC, the lieutenant governor said, “Who is Clarence Thomas? Is he my Saudi Arabian father who’s going to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body, with my life?”
The remark drew immediate condemnation, and even attracted eyebrow raising attention from the liberal San Francisco Gate.
The idea that lieutenant governor finds the supervision of the majority’s sole black member so off-putting cannot be ignored. Why she would find Justices Gorsuch or Coney Barrett to be so much more tolerable is for her to explain.
Is her comment Islamophobic as well?
The California Globe has reached out to the lieutenant governor’s office and will include her reply should she choose to issue one.
To give context, during the MSNBC interview ahead of the odd Clarence Thomas statement, Kounalakis said:
“Who are these six people?” Kounalakis asked. “Twenty-five percent of Americans have faith in the Supreme Court. What does that mean to the institution?”
“We have held up the Supreme Court as the authority as the very important and powerful institution of American Democracy.”
“I think this decision is delegitimizing the Supreme Court.”
“Who is Clarence Thomas? Is he my Saudi Arabian father who is going to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body?”
Lt. Gov. Kounalakis added:
“Be prepared to live in defiance of these six people who think that they have the right to tell you what you can do with their bodies.”
When MSNBC’s Tur asked her if she was telling people to break the law, Kounalakis said:
“No. “I’m telling people that they can access, under California law, their rights that were protected by the Constitution.”
You can watch her MSNBC interview here.
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