In yet another embarrassing episode, George Santos, the congressman from New York, compared himself to Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks. However, this comparison only added to the controversies surrounding Santos, who is currently under multiple investigations related to campaign finance laws and his embellishments regarding his resume, career, and background, which helped him secure his public office.
Santos is currently awaiting trial following his arrest in May on 13 charges, including wire fraud and theft of public funds. Despite these legal challenges, Santos refuses to be silenced and recently spoke out on Mike Crispi’s Unafraid program. In the interview, he vehemently criticized Sen. Mitt Romney and other establishment Republicans, accusing them of getting away with compromising their principles for the sake of maintaining a harmonious relationship.
During the interview, Santos revealed that he was asked to sit in the back of the congressional chamber by Romney during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address earlier this year. He also criticized Romney for wearing a Ukraine lapel pin during the speech. It was this interaction that led Santos to draw a parallel between himself and Rosa Parks.
Santos lamented, “Mitt Romney, the man goes to the State of the Union of the United States wearing a Ukraine lapel pin, tells me, a Latino, gay man that I shouldn’t sit in the front – that I should be in the back. Well, guess what? Rosa Parks didn’t sit in the back, and neither am I going to sit in the back. That’s just the reality of how it works.”
The reference to Rosa Parks stems from her historic act of defiance in 1955 when she refused to give up her seat in the segregated “colored” section of a bus to white passengers. Her bravery and resistance sparked the Civil Rights movement and inspired the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
By comparing himself to Rosa Parks, Santos implies that Romney was attempting to segregate him, as a minority and LGBTQ community member, to the back of the chamber. Santos firmly believes that Romney, living in a different world, is in for a bumpy ride.
While Santos awaits trial and faces multiple probes, including an Ethics investigation in Congress, his father and aunt managed to raise the $500,000 needed to bail him out of jail. Santos’ involvement in various problematic and illegal activities surfaced only after he was elected as the congressman for New York’s 3rd Congressional District in 2022.
In addition to the charges brought against him in New York, the House Ethics Committee expanded its investigation to include allegations that Santos fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits. The indictment claims that he misrepresented his financial situation by applying for benefits while earning a substantial income from an investment firm in Florida. The document also reveals his misuse of campaign funds for personal expenses, such as car payments and luxury items, and his false statements on financial disclosure forms, including fabricating his education background and work history, as well as falsely claiming that his mother died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.