FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

A Confrontation With Kobach’s Chamcha (Lackey, in Hindi)

Photo Source DonkeyHotey | CC BY 2.0

As I write this, Kris Kobach, the ‘He Was Trump Before Trump’ Republican nominee for Governor of Kansas, along with Donald himself, are getting ready for a rally in Topeka at the Kansas Expocenter. Kobach’s campaign manager and chamcha@jrclaeys tweeted recently in regard to the rally, “It’s gonna be YUGE! #ksleg #RemainRed #MAGA.” As you can see Claeys’ chamchagiri (lackeyness) extends from ‘Trump Before Trump’ to ‘Trumpier Trump.’

Last Wednesday, I was sitting on the ground, on a mat, as I have been doing for the past eight weeks outside Kansas’ 1st District Rep. Roger Marshall’s office embroidering a piece that’s intended to draw attention to one of our government’s many egregious policies, a white pickup pulled up and parked outside the Republican campaign office that has popped up adjacent to Marshall’s hardly-anyone-ever-in-there office.

After loading his pickup with Kobach signs, the driver of the pickup walked up and loomed over me for about 20 minutes and delivered a racist, misogynistic tirade, mocking my birth in India and trashing a whole roll-call of Republican targets, including Native Americans, immigrants, and Kobach’s Democratic opponent Laura Kelly.

When the guy, after I asked him several times to go away, finally got back in his truck, I wrote down our conversation as best I could from memory. So the exchange below is not exact quotes, but rather paraphrased:

He introduced himself, but I didn’t catch the name. Then he asked who I was.

> Is that a real name, ‘Pretty’?

It’s not ‘Pretty,’ it’s Priti.

> What are you doing here?

Im demonstrating against our governments domestic and foreign policies… police brutality, attacks on immigrants, the war on Yemen —

> — If youre going to talk about Yemen then you need to talk about South Sudan, Somalia…

Yeah, let’s. Were arming rebels there. We’re the largest military with bases all over the world.

> What would you have us do?

Stop arming countries like Saudi Arabia. Stop supporting dictators.

> Youre not even from here.

Im from here. Im a citizen just as much as you. Are you Native American? Were all illegal. You. Me.

By now he’d become visibly Republican: red in the face and hovering even closer as I remain seated.

> We’re settlers. You’re speaking about Native Americans? We civilized the Native Americans.

Demonstrating with his foot:

> They they crushed babies with their feet… My uncle was killed by an illegal immigrant in a car accident.

What does that have to do with anything? Thats just one incident. What about when you white people kill people with your cars? Then nothing?

> One illegal is too many. One illegal is too many… Do you have a job?

This is my job. I can sustain myself. Maybe you need hundreds of thousands of dollars of income. I don’t.

> Whats that silly hat youre wearing?

[I was wearing a ‘pussyhat]

> You know hundreds, hundreds of women have called the office to show their support for Kavanaugh. Hundreds. They hate women like you… How long do you plan to be here?”

This is a public sidewalk. Im making art and have every right to be here.

> To a certain extent.

At this point I just want him to leave so I could continue working on my piece.

But then he reached out his foot and kicked my artwork pattern that was lying on my work-mat beside me.

> Whats this you’re doing?

Stop doing that. Dont touch that with your foot. Please leave. Go.

Then in a sing song voice, he says:

> No, ha! ha! ha! I just want to see what you’re do-ing.

He continued to touch the pattern with his foot. I thought, Isn’t it ironic that he’s using the same foot to kick my artwork that he used to describe barbaric acts that he claimed were committed by indigenous people of this land.

Then he walked around to the other side, and looked at my embroidery.

> The message is good, but…

He apparently had not grasped that it was a work inspired by my horror at the treatment of immigrants on our southern border.

> … good luck.

He started to walk away.

You need luck more thanI do.

> What did you say? Do you mean in the election?

No, generally.

>What are you going to do after the election?

Ill be here.

> Get a job

You do what you do and Ill do what I do. What did you say your name is?

> John Doe. Good luck.

Later, when I described the guy to my friends, one suggested it could have been J.R. Claeys. I looked over some photos, and he did look like Kobach’s manager. But I’d never met Claeys, so I couldn’t be sure. Kobach’s office has not responded to my email inquiry.  

More articles by:

Priti Gulati Cox is an interdisciplinary artist, and a local coordinator for the peace and justice organization CODEPINK. She lives in Salina, Kansas, and can be reached at p.g@cox.net. Please click here to see more of her work.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
September 20, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World
Rob Urie
Strike for the Environment, Strike for Social Justice, Strike!
Miguel Gutierrez
El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pompeo and Circumstance
Andrew Levine
Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway
Louis Proyect
A Rebellion for the Wild West
T.J. Coles
A Taste of Their Own Medicine: the Politicians Who Robbed Iranians and Libyans Fear the Same for Brexit Britain
H. Bruce Franklin
How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East
Lee Hall
Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry
Louis Yako
Working in America: Paychecks for Silence
Michael D. Yates
Radical Education
Jonathan Cook
Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage Before He Exits?
Valerie Reynoso
The Rising Monopoly of Monsanto-Bayer
John Steppling
American Psychopathy
Ralph Nader
25 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare for the 2020 Elections
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality
Vincent Emanuele
Small Town Values
John Feffer
The Threat of Bolton Has Retreated, But Not the Threat of War
David Rosen
Evangelicals, Abstinence, Abortion and the Mainstreaming of Sex
Judy Rohrer
“Make ‘America’ White Again”: White Resentment Under the Obama & Trump Presidencies
John W. Whitehead
The Police State’s Language of Force
Kathleen Wallace
Noblesse the Sleaze
Farzana Versey
Why Should Kashmiris be Indian?
Nyla Ali Khan
Why Are Modi and His Cohort Paranoid About Diversity?
Shawn Fremstad
The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric
Mel Gurtov
No War for Saudi Oil!
Robert Koehler
‘I’m Afraid You Have Humans’
David Swanson
Every Peace Group and Activist Should Join Strike DC for the Earth’s Climate
Scott Owen
In Defense of Non-violent Actions in Revolutionary Times
Jesse Jackson
Can America Break Its Gun Addiction?
Priti Gulati Cox
Sidewalk Museum of Congress: Who Says Kansas is Flat?
Mohamad Shaaf
The Current Political Crisis: Its Roots in Concentrated Capital with the Resulting Concentrated Political Power
Max Moran
Revolving Door Project Probes Thiel’s White House Connection
Arshad Khan
Unhappy India
Nick Pemberton
Norman Fucking Rockwell! and 24 Other Favorite Albums
Nicky Reid
The Bigotry of ‘Hate Speech’ and Facebook Fascism
Paul Armentano
To Make Vaping Safer, Legalize Cannabis
Jill Richardson
Punching Through Bad Headlines
Jessicah Pierre
What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America
John Kendall Hawkins
Draining the Swamp, From the Beginning of Time
Julian Rose
Four Funerals and a Wedding: A Brief History of the War on Humanity
Victor Grossman
Film, Music and Elections in Germany
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ahmet Altan’s “I Will Never See the World Again”
David Yearsley
Jazz is Activism
Elliot Sperber
Captains of Industry 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail