Rep. Dianne Feinstein and Steve Bannon have something in common. According to both of them, if you go to a certain type of school there’s no way you can be bigoted or racist.
Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon is no stranger to controversy. As editor of Breitbart dot com, Bannon stated he had intentionally led the site to become the haven of the alt-right and white identity politics.
After being booted from Trump’s White House last month, Bannon raised eyebrows in an interview with 60 Minutes last weekend when asked if he is a racist. His answer was essentially he can’t be racist because he went to a racially integrated school in Virginia.
“I was raised in a desegregated neighborhood. The northern side of Richmond is predominantly black. I went to an integrated Catholic school,” he told host Charlie Rose.
Cut to a week later and Sen. Feinstein appearing on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper’s fill-in host, Dana Bash. Bash asked Feinstein about her questioning the deep Catholic faith of Trump’s federal appeals court nominee, Notre Dame law professor Amy Barrett.
Feinstein and others came under fire from fellow senators, including Mike Lee and Ben Sasse, as well as conservative groups for her blatant religious litmus test of Ms. Barrett.
Feinstein, in particular, said among other inflammatory things, “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.”
“I’m a product of Catholic education. I sat in doctrine classes for four years for five days a week. I think that Catholicism is a great religion, I have great respect for it.”
She continued to list her I-cannot-possibly-be-an-anti-Catholic-bigot cred saying, “I’ve known many of the archbishops who have been in my community. We’ve had dinner together, we’ve spoken together over many many decades and I’ve tried to be helpful to the church whenever I could.”
Is Steve Bannon a racist and Dianne Feinstein an anti-Catholic bigot? Only they know what is in their hearts, but both have decided their background of where they went to school means they cannot possibly be racist or bigoted despite their words or actions which cause such questions to be raised.
Essentially, both are resorting to a version of the “My best friend is ___________” tactic to excuse themselves.