Jim Coughlan (pictured), the controller of Dutchess County, N.Y., who is running for a state Senate seat, fired off a bigoted tweet aimed at MSNBC political commentator Melissa Harris-Perry (pictured). “Keep your dirty stinking paws off my kid you damned dirty ape,” he tweeted. Coughlan is insisting that he did not know his target was an African-American, according to the New York Daily News.
Coughlin claims his fiery remark was in response to Harris-Perry’s comments about child-rearing. Harris-Perry, who has been in the center of the right-wing noise machine, has promoted the idea of how society needs to think in a collective manner about its children. She has expressed in the past how children are not private property and not just extensions of ourselves but how they belong to their communities. Harris-Perry’s parenting comments have ignited a firestorm of anger, with some opponents believing thinks children belong to the government rather than to their own flesh and blood.
Even though Coughlin is adamant that he had never seen Harris-Perry and was unfamiliar with her body of work, he insists that his comment was not racist at all, stating he was just repeating a well-known quote from the film, “Planet of the Apes.”