Let’s face it: Vice Presidential Debates are boring (except for the time Joe Biden mopped the floor with Paul Ryan). A lot of Americans don’t even know who these two people are, and the likelihood that the election will be thrown off course by anything they say is pretty low. So, for the most part, those of us who were tuning in were just looking for something to make fun of. And Mike Pence really stepped into that role when he voiced his frustration about Kaine’s repeated references to Trump’s “Mexican’s are rapists” statement:
“Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again,” Pence exclaimed.
It’s probably the most famous example of Trump’s bigotry there is. And I could see how you’d be sick of hearing about it if it was your job to try and make Trump seem like a reasonable human being. It’s basically everybody’s go to argument as to why Trump is unfit to be president. That and his never having been involved in any sort of leadership role ever.
Pence would have been fine if he had just called it the Mexican comment or even used the phrase Mexican thing and not accused Kaine of having “whipped it out.” But to the amazement and glee of all of the masses watching this boring event he phrased it in the best way humanly possible and became an instant hit on Twitter.
The hashtag #thatmexicanthing has been trending quite nicely all night. Many of the resulting tweets have a lot to do with institutional racism and the complete dismissal of Mexican Americans on the part of Mr. Pence:
— Pili Tobar (@pilitobar87) October 5, 2016
#ThatMexicanThing is what a racist person says when they don't want to talk about injustice of a group of people they consider below them.
— tamjomi #ImWithHer (@tamjomi) October 5, 2016
— Amor (@amor6194) October 5, 2016
Others were just in it for the dick jokes:
— Ellison Report (@ellisonreport) October 5, 2016
Even Hillary Clinton got in on the action:
The statement wasn’t just funny and memorable but it has also helped to draw attention to just how amazingly dismissive Mike Pence was of his running mate’s racism. Had it not been a conveniently packaged easily meme-able phrase we may all have forgotten by Wednesday morning. After all, racism is just sort of something that Trump does and it hasn’t really seemed to hurt him all that much in the past. But now, because there’s an apparent phallic reference involved, people will remember that moment for weeks. And hopefully as they’re remembering it they’ll recall the casual racism that Pence was really referring to.
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