Rep. Tammy Duckworth is a congresswoman, war veteran, and candidate for the U.S. Senate in Illinois. She is a dedicated public servant and trailblazer by all accounts. So, of course, as an Asian American woman, she would be attacked by an entitled white politician trying to cast doubt on her military and ethnic heritage.
Sen. Mark Kirk questions opponent's American heritage in Illinois debate
Duckworth is seeking to unseat Republican Senator Mark Kirk. On Thursday night during the Illinois senate debate, Duckworth mentioned her family's history of military service.
"My family has served this nation in uniform, going back to the Revolution," Duckworth said. "I'm a Daughter of the American Revolution. I've bled for this nation. But I still want to be there in the Senate when the drums of war sound. Because people are quick to sound the drums of war, and I want to be there to say this is what it costs, this is what you're asking us to do... Families like mine are the ones that bleed first."
Kirk responded with a snarky dig at Duckworth's heritage: "I'd forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington." The implication: how could a woman who looks like you have any sort of connection to something so purely American as the Revolutionary War?
Well, allow Tammy to explain.
Duckworth's mother, Lamai, is from Thailand (of Chinese descent), but her late father, Franklin, was a Marine veteran whose family history traces back to ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. Tammy Duckworth was severely wounded in the Iraq War, losing her legs while serving as a helicopter pilot.
In response to Kirk's remark, Duckworth took a moment to thoroughly annihilate the senator's racist snarkitude, detailing her family's military heritage -- including the fucking statue erected in her honor.
"There's been members of my family serving in uniform, on my father's side, going back to the Revolution," Duckworth said. "I belong to the William J. Penny Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution right here, and if you go to Mount Vernon, Illinois, you'll see a statue of me put up by the Daughters of the American Revolution next to one of our great patriots, Molly Pitcher, one of the first women to pick up and take her husband's position during the Revolution. I'm proud of both my father's side and my mother, who's an immigrant. She became an American citizen in her fifties. I'm just as proud of that."
After the debate, Duckworth tweeted a photo of herself -- in uniform -- with her parents:
To further drive home the point, Duckworth tweeted a photo of her and that statue she was talking about.
Consider yourself moded, Senator.
Lara Sisselman, a spokesperson for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee called Kirk's remark "offensive, wrong, and racist," and pointed out Kirk's own weak-ass history about lying about his military record.
"Senator Kirk has been caught lying about his military record over ten times, but he was quick to launch false attacks questioning Congresswoman Duckworth's family's long history of serving our country," said Sisselman. "A struggling political campaign is no excuse for baseless and despicable attacks, and Senator Kirk owes Congresswoman Duckworth and her family an apology."
Kirk's campaign deflected the hell out of the moment, issuing a statement that did not include an apology or any reference to the senator's remarks. "Senator Kirk has consistently called Rep. Duckworth a war hero and honors her family's service to this country," campaign spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis. "But that's not what this debate was about. Rep. Duckworth lied about her legal troubles, was unable to defend her failures at the VA and then falsely attacked Senator Kirk over his record on supporting gay rights."
Recent polls have shown Duckworth with a significant lead in Illinois. Say goodbye, Senator Kirk.