Prominent entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has responded to criticisms about his comparison of statements made by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and others to “wizards of the grand KKK.”
Ramaswamy, during an event in Iowa, expressed concerns about a “new Neo racism on the left,” referring to a 2019 statement by “the Squad” member Pressley: “We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice.”
Addressing CNN’s “State of the Union,” Ramaswamy said, “It’s in the same vein to assume that based solely on one’s skin color, one can determine the character or views of that person. It’s inappropriate for Pressley to suggest that my skin color should dictate my opinions.”
In reaction to Ramaswamy’s comments, Pressley’s team made a fundraising appeal, stating, “We usually avoid reacting to such accusations, but this time, it went too far. Referring to Ayanna as ‘a modern grand wizard of the KKK’ for her stand against racial injustice is misleading and damaging.”
Ramaswamy’s remarks came after he was questioned about facing racism in the US, referencing both Pressley’s comment and a recent nickname given to him by journalist Kara Swisher. He believes the current approach to viewing people by their genetic attributes aligns with the ideologies of the KKK.
CNN’s Dana Bash confronted Ramaswamy about equating Pressley’s words with the violent history of the KKK. Undeterred, the entrepreneur argued that some politicians believe people of color should hold specific viewpoints, adding, “We all concur about the KKK’s sinister legacy. So, who, today, mirrors such beliefs? Those advocating for racial bias.”
During the same discussion, when asked about a racially motivated shooting in Jacksonville, Fla., Ramaswamy expressed his condolences, emphasizing the need for psychiatric care for individuals dangerous to their communities. He also commented on the racial atmosphere in America, blaming the media and politicians. Ramaswamy mentioned that he hasn’t personally encountered white supremacy, believing that “much of the current racism originates from the left.”
His recent debate saw multiple candidates challenging him, creating quite a stir. Current polls place Ramaswamy third in the 2024 GOP race, with 7 percent support.