Sharper Point: Rep. Stringer’s words racist — but not why you think

Jun 15, 2018, 11:26 AM | Updated: 1:51 pm
(Facebook Photo/David Stringer)...
(Facebook Photo/David Stringer)
(Facebook Photo/David Stringer)

Arizona state Rep. David Stringer is taking heat for making supposedly racist remarks at a Republican men’s forum.

What I find interesting is that everybody seems to be focusing on the part of his speech where he said that “there aren’t enough white kids to go around” while discussing school integration in Arizona.

I don’t know if his claim that 60 percent of public school children in Arizona today are minorities is true. Or if that complicates racial integration efforts. If he’s correct with his numbers and racial integration is a goal, then maybe saying that we don’t have “enough white kids” isn’t a racist statement.

I think the media is drawn to that part of his speech because he actually mentions skin color.

But I want to focus on something else Stringer said that is racist — and politically stupid, to boot.

After making the “white kids” statement that has everybody so worked up, he went on to say that “immigration is politically destabilizing.”

On this point, he’s right (although probably not for the reasons he thinks): Immigration can be politically destabilizing.

When my biological father became a U.S. citizen, he didn’t just leave his native country of Jamaica behind; he left its pervasive political ideology behind as well. That ideology helped create a Jamaican economy where the average person earns barely $12,000 (U.S.) per year.

Many immigrants advocate for, and vote to, adopt the same policies here that helped create bad conditions in their home country. Conditions that drove them here.

So, yes, Rep. Stringer, immigration can be a destabilizing political force.

But, moments later, when he talks about how our country’s “demographics” will change thanks to immigration, he’s totally using a racist dog whistle: “If we don’t do something about immigration very, very soon, the demographics of our country will be irrevocably changed and we will be a very different country — it will not be the country you were born into.”


Make no mistake, when he says “demographics” he means skin color — not political leanings and voting trends.

Now, that is offensive. And racist.

But he went beyond just being racist. He became a bad Republican.

What Stringer said flies in the face of American ideals and sensibilities — and Republican sensibilities. There’s a part of the Republican playbook that says candidates and officeholders need to make a distinction between immigration and illegal immigration.

One can be against illegal immigration and not be a racist. Illegal immigration creates crime at the border. The people who work in the shadows can easily be taken advantage of. And trudging through the blazing heat of the Arizona desert can have deadly consequences for those who cross the border illegally. It’s not inherently racist to be against illegal immigration.

But what Stringer is complaining about in regard to legal immigration is.

My immigrant father hates illegal immigration — but he’s a big fan of legal immigration. It’s what’s made it possible for him to become a Republican in the first place.

I’m a fan, too. Because I wouldn’t exist without it.

Jim Sharpe

Kari Lake, Republican candidate for Arizona governor, speaks on stage at the Conservative Political...
Jim Sharpe

Why Kari Lake should tell Katie Hobbs to get a face tattoo

To ensure a fair election, KTAR News host Jim Sharpe has an outlandish idea: Kari Lake should insist Katie Hobbs get a face tattoo so the electorate can tell Hobbs apart from her twin sister.
14 days ago
(Twitter Photo/@RepAndyBiggsAZ)...
Jim Sharpe

Andy Biggs, Italian satellites and other GOP lunacy came out of Thursday’s Jan. 6 hearing

What came out of Thursday's Jan. 6 hearing -- including the claim U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona asked for a presidential pardon -- has KTAR News host Jim Sharpe believing some Republicans should be happy Donald Trump lost.
2 months ago
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)...
Jim Sharpe

How did fewer Arizona drivers equal more road rage?

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe is peeved since road rage incidents in Arizona seem to be climbing despite fewer drivers on the road.
5 months ago
(AP Photo/David Goldman)...
Jim Sharpe

Too many ‘mental’ members in Arizona Legislature

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe wonders why Republican Arizona Legislature members continue to push bills that propagate the idea there was widespread election fraud in 2020.
5 months ago
(Screenshot via Maricopa County Attorney's Office YouTube)...
Jim Sharpe

Failing future — and current — victims means Maricopa County Attorney Adel should resign

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe believes Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel should resign after her office failed current -- and likely future -- victims by missing a charging deadline for about 200 cases.
5 months ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Union High School District)...
Jim Sharpe

How about actual ‘safe spaces’ for Phoenix Union students?

Following a Monday shooting at Cesar Chavez High School, KTAR News host Jim Sharpe asks if school resource officers should have a renewed presence at Phoenix Union High School District.
9 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Sharper Point: Rep. Stringer’s words racist — but not why you think