As the five Democratic presidential candidates gathered onstage Tuesday night for their first primary debate of the season, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee kicked back with his iPhone and tweeted nearly every thought that ran through his head — or, at least that's what it seemed like. As Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders discussed income inequality and wealth distribution, Huckabee posted a racist tweet that featured a disturbing analogy mocking Asian people. "I trust @BernieSanders with my tax dollars like I trust a North Korean chef with my labrador!" the former Arkansas governor tweeted.
Huckabee's tweet is in reference to the terrible stereotype that people in Asia eat dogs and other animals typically kept as household pets in the West as regular meals. While dog meat is available in North and South Korea, the delicacy is not as popular as it was decades ago. According to a 2014 USA Today report, dog meat has been falling out of fashion in South Korea due to changes in generational attitudes. "There are no young customers," South Korean chef Oh Keum-il, whose restaurant once specialized in dog meat, told the news source.
Yet Huckabee seems to think this tired stereotype is not only appropriate, but also a great way to gain new followers. What's a better way to appeal to the American people than making racist comments?
This isn't the only insensitive comment Huckabee live-tweeted during Tuesday's Democratic debate. The former Arkansas governor related racism in America to "sin," ostensibly implying that crime is correlated with race. However, Huckabee contended that there is no "skin problem" in America.
He followed that tweet with the common counter refrain, "All lives matter." It seems like Huckabee used that mantra in an appeal to criminals, but when placed in the context of his former tweet, it's seemingly harmless sentiment is suspect.
Later in the debate, Huckabee compared Sanders' free public-college education plan with a Bernie Madoff-style Ponzi scheme. Huckabee has yet to deliver his own education plan, or discuss how he would lessen college tuition to help alleviate student debt.
Huckabee has been known to make insensitive and thinly veiled racist comments without batting an eye. In late 2014, the former Arkansas governor sparked controversy when U.S. News & World Report published an excerpt from Huckabee's upcoming book that compared Beyoncé to a prostitute and Jay Z to a pimp. "Does it occur to him that he is arguably crossing the line from husband to pimp by exploiting his wife as a sex object?" Huckabee wrote.
Huckabee, it's time for you to stop.