Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes waded into racially charged waters this week, blasting U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) as “kind of like Sambo” when he voices concern about racial inequality.
“He’s kind of shucking and jiving for the white man,” McInnes said Wednesday during a riff on his online talk show “Get Off My Lawn,” using a term for African Americans considered derogatory and stereotypical since the days of the Civil War.
“Cory Booker grew up rich in an all-white suburb. He’s basically a white guy. His parents were very wealthy executives at IBM,” McInnes, who is white, continued. He added that he thought any outrage Booker expresses on racial issues was part of a dance directed toward white audiences.
“He wants to be a black dude, so he pretends that he’s down with the brothers and he acts outraged about racism all the time, for white people,” McInnes said. “That gets him votes from whites.”
The clip was first isolated by the website Right Wing Watch on Friday.
“What these guys are really trying to get is white votes because that’s the majority of people in this country,” he added. “If you’re in Japan, you want Japanese votes.”
Vice Media declined to comment on McInnes’ statements. Despite his role co-founding Vice Media in 1994, McInnes departed the company more than a decade ago and is prevented from saying much about it publicly due to a non-disparagement agreement.
The brand has worked tirelessly to distance itself from McInnes and some of his more provocative right-wing online commentary — a matter that has taken renewed urgency as the company culture comes under the scrutiny of the MeToo movement.
Since leaving Vice, McInnes has spent most of his time plumbing the depths of far-right fever swamps. In 2014, Thought Catalog published his most infamous piece, “Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural.” The story was taken down after a swift public outcry.
“Haven’t you seen all the totally functional, happily married, normal trannies walking around? They aren’t all dead, you know. They sell flowers at the local village and bake pies for their scores of adopted children,” said McInnes in the piece, which you can read here. “By pretending this is all perfectly sane, you are enabling these poor bastards to mutilate themselves. This insane war on pronouns is about telling people what to do.”
McInnes has said on multiple occasions that the piece blew his career and cost him “millions” of dollars.
Despite this checked past, McInnes occasionally found a home on Fox News with hosts like Sean Hannity and Greg Gutfeld. While on the network, he has claimed that men are raped more often than women and that women would be happier if they stayed at home instead of working.