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Michigan GOP lawmaker apologizes for mocking California as ‘land of fruits and nuts’ in LGBT slur

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A Republican Michigan lawmaker in Michigan said this week that he regretted calling California “the land of fruits and nuts,” which his colleagues interpreted as a bigoted slur against LGBT people.

While arguing for the repeal of regulations on chair lifts, state Rep. Al Pscholka (R) pointed out that California had already deregulated the industry.

“In Michigan it costs nearly twice, nearly double that of unregulated surrounding states to install these simple residential lifts, higher costs encourage people to buy their products in neighboring states,” he explained. “Sometimes they even install them themselves. And in a district like mine, Indiana is only a short drive away.”

“California—even California, the land of fruits and nuts—has deregulated this industry,” Pscholka quipped, adding, “Probably shouldn’t have said that. Sorry, Mr. Speaker.”

Openly gay Democratic state Rep. Jeremy Moss said that Pscholka’s remarks were obviously intended as a slur.

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“It’s a play on words, but everybody knows it’s just a derogatory term to refer to gay people as fruits,” Moss explained. “It was written on papers in front of him. He was reading them. He thought it was funny and gave a feigned apology (on the floor). This was a planned joke at the expense of gay people.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Pscholka insisted that the remarks were intended “to be jocular, not derogatory.”

“I apologize to anyone who was offended by my comments,” the statement said. “It was truly not meant in a derogatory manner.”

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Listen to audio of Pscholka’s remarks below.


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Republican analyst says Trump is ‘threatened by’ being challenged by women: ‘It hurts his ego’

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According to one Republican commentator, President Donald Trump's decision to lash out at four Congresswomen of color stems from his inability to handle being challenged by women.

In a segment with MSNBC host Ali Velshi, Rina Shah, who runs Republican Women for Progress, said that she's been the target of racist attacks from Trump supporters ever since she announced she wouldn't support him.

"I believe that what this president is doing is fanning the flames," she said. "He cannot denounce white supremacy, white nationalism. This is a moment in which he could have kept his mouth shut. You know, this tit-for-tat with [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi (D-CA) and 'The Squad,' he didn’t need to engage in it. If I was advising the president, if I were one of his advisers, I would have said stay out of it. But he doesn't listen to anyone around him."

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Shep Smith goes off on Trump’s racist attacks: ‘A misleading and xenophobic eruption of distraction and division’

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Fox News newsman Shep Smith began his Monday show by calling President Donald Trump's racist comments about four congresswomen of color "xenophobic" and a "distraction" for the purpose of "division."

"Our reporting begins with President Trump’s latest misleading and xenophobic eruption of distraction and division," Smith opened with. "Directed this time at a group of minority women in the United States Congress. 'Go back to where you came from,' that is what the president wrote on Twitter just yesterday and today he called them haters of America and Jews. The president is defending those statements and when asked if he thought the tweets might be racist, his response, 'Not at all.'"

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Even neo-Nazis think Trump’s racism ‘goes too far sometimes’: Investigative reporter

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An investigative reporter that has embedded with neo-Nazis and Klan members explained Monday that President Donald Trump’s language echoes what these far-right groups have been saying for years.

In an MSNBC panel discussion, Vegas Tenold explained that when Trump says things like this it's almost expected at this point because he's been saying racist things since the birther campaign.

"He’s a racist; we have known for a long time that he is a racist," Tenold said. "'Go back to where you came from,' it’s peak racism, it’s, you know, the original form of racism. He’s been on this thing for a long time."

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