(NewsNation) — Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon said in a debate that a man approached her and said he was switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party because he was upset about sexually explicit material in his child’s school library.
Comedian Stephen Colbert, who has made a living poking fun at politicians and their rhetoric, took what Dixon said and cracked a joke about the man not being real.
It turns out, that man might be real after all, and he is not happy Colbert suggested he didn’t exist.
Former Michigan Democratic House candidate Khalil Othman claims to be the man in Dixon’s story. The joke seemed to go over well with Colbert’s crowd, but Othman did not find it funny that someone suggested he didn’t exist.
“It is actually absolutely disrespectful when you deny the existence of someone who is just a concerned parent that voiced his opinion along with thousands of people who went out to the different board of education meetings, saying, ‘We don’t want these sexually explicit books in our school,'” Othman told NewsNation’s Chris Cuomo from a Tudor Dixon rally in Michigan.
Othman said it is OK for people to have disagreements about things, but not to deny someone else’s existence. Othman is a part of a group of Michigan parents who have backed Dixon’s campaign in an effort to get books with sexual material in them banned from schools.
Othman said Democrats are “extremists” on the idea of not banning sexual books from schools. His beef with Cobert however, was the suggestion he did not exist.
Scientists and philosophers have long debated and struggled to define existence for human beings. In Psychology Today, psychologist Ralph Lewis said “you don’t have a brain, you are a brain” and that the concept of “self” or being someone was an “elaborate illusion.”
So perhaps, there is more nuance to Colbert’s joke than meets the eye — or maybe Othman’s anger was well placed.