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Mark Kirk and Tammy Duckworth


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In a stunning moment during a Thursday night debate, an embattled U.S. senator cast doubt on his opponent’s military and ethnic heritage.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), seeking to unseat Sen. Mark Kirk (R) in Illinois, invoked her family’s military service while answering a debate question.

“My family has served this nation in uniform going back to the Revolution,” Duckworth said. “I am 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 was offered a chance to rebut. “I’d forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington,” he said.

Duckworth’s mother, Lamai, is Thai, but her late father, Franklin, was a Marine veteran whose family roots in this country trace to before the American Revolution. Tammy Duckworth was severely wounded in the Iraq War, losing her legs while serving as a helicopter pilot.



he apologized in Twitter, sort of (he didn't say what for). https://twitter.com/MarkKirk



Kirk’s recovery from a stroke has been a key focal point in the campaign, as he’s been tasked with proving he’s still fit to serve in the U.S. Senate. Kirk has addressed that in TV ads, which show his vast medical advances. His campaign in September also released a one-page letter from his neurosurgeon which read that he had made a “full cognitive recovery.”

But comments he’s made have raised eyebrows, including likening President Barack Obama to a “drug dealer in chief” over a $400 million payment to Iran linked to the release of American prisoners.



That seems standard Trumpist fare.




To many people, this comment seemed to come out of nowhere. Most of the reactions on social media seemed to be of total disbelief. Where the hell did that come from?

But to people of color, people of non-Christian faiths, and especially immigrants, this is probably not a shock. Even when you have literal military service to your name, there’s always a higher bar for proving your patriotism if you’re not a white, native US citizen — to the point that even basic facts about your life will be questioned.




Kirk, a former intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, was caught making multiple embellishments and misstatements about his military record, including where he served. He said during the debate that those mistakes paled in comparison to allegations that Duckworth mishandled problems as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.


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This seriously pissed me off big time. The Duckworth family has a proven history of serving our nation and Tammy herself lost her legs doing so. Using her ethnicity to question her patriotism is one of the lowest things I've seen in politics... and that's counting all the things Cinnamon Hitler has said too. 

No one would question my father for his military record or question whether my family has a history of service because we're obviously white. I see no valid or moral reason why Representative Duckworth, or anyone who is a member of a minority group, shouldn't be given the same benefit of the doubt.

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