Republican congressman George Santos, whose lies and scandals have been an ever-growing source of embarrassment for the GOP and the New York district that he represents, has now dragged the memory of Rosa Parks into his mess. Though Santos has not claimed to actually be the famed Civil Rights-era figure, he has compared himself to her in remarks that have drawn outrage and ridicule from the internet and even Parks’ family.
Santos says he won't "sit in the back"
Santos’ strange and offensive statement came as a belated response to comments that Republican Sen. Mitt Romney made at President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech in February. The Utah senator told reporters that “given the fact that he’s under ethics investigation, he should be sitting in the back row and being quiet instead of parading in front of the president.” Appearing on the conservative Mike Crispi Unafraid podcast, Santos was asked about Romney’s words and his interaction with the senator. According to Santos, Romney “goes to the State of the Union of the United States wearing the Ukraine lapel pin and tells me, a Latino gay man, that I shouldn’t sit in the front, that I should be in the back.” Failing to implement the internal filter that would tell most people to stop talking, Santos continued in his self-defense, saying “Well, guess what, Rosa Parks didn’t sit in the back and neither am I gonna sit in the back.”
Santos' comments draw the reactions that you'd expect
TMZ reported that Parks’ niece Rhea McCauley told the gossip site that she and other members of Parks’ family were offended by the comparison. Others were less polite to the congressman.
Bossip called him Rachel Dole-Santos, comparing him to racial poser Rachel Dolezal.
— Bossip (@Bossip) July 11, 2023
This is “what happens when they stop teaching Black history,” the group Occupy Democrats tweeted.
What happens when they stop teaching Black history.https://t.co/ZxDUXW4Nak
— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) July 10, 2023
Democratic activist Marty Taylor mockingly predicted that Santos will come up with lies concerning Parks and even buses.
New info on George Santos and Rosa Parks. We expect Santos to declare Rosa Parks is his mother and she died on 9-11. Santos was also the bus driver that refused Parks a seat on the bus. This just in: George Santos invented buses. #DemVoice1 #ProudBlue pic.twitter.com/CaYmpFuUhS
— Marty Taylor (@RealMartyT7) July 10, 2023
CNN reporter Anderson Cooper reacted to Santos’ Rosa Parks comparison with a sarcastic “oh snap” and then gave his audience a quick history lesson on the real Rosa Parks, followed by a recounting of Santos’ many lies.
“Cereal Liar”…Rep Santos compares himself to Rosa Parks…
How dare he…these House Reps are all delusional liars! He wouldn’t know the first things about Civil Rights or being an upstanding Rep.#BlackLivesMatter #BlackTwitter #woke #GOP @repsantosbr #politics pic.twitter.com/TSd9J5OFq4
— Aletha (@CampbellAJ70) July 11, 2023
Star Trek actor George Takei, a notable Asian American and LGBTQ+ activist, simply tweeted “Enough, George” at Santos.
Enough, George. https://t.co/un9ZANtFMf
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 11, 2023
Given the long list of lies, exaggerations and alleged frauds perpetrated by Santos, it’s likely that he will continue to say outrageous things. And it’s equally as likely that social media will be there to tell him how ridiculous he is.