I wrote this four years ago. The “dark vein” has become clogged arteries and a failing heart. I sense things are coming to a head. I would amend slightly my saying that the Republican Party is not inherently racist. This is true overall but the Trump campaign attracted a new flock of Republicans that absolutely are. Racism has found a home there and the attempt to wipe out the entire legacy of Barack Obama has a basis there as well. With a triumvirate of Trump, Bannon and Sessions. Racism will flow from the top down.
On “Meet the Press”, Retired General Colin Powell made some wide ranging remarks including some about the Republican Party and how some within it “look down on minorities” and how it is tolerated by Party leaders. He provided examples of language used by Sarah Palin and John Sununu. He discussed the Party’s failure to acknowledge the changing demographic in the country and discussed the need for a thorough self-assessment to make required changes before finding themselves perpetually unable to win Presidential elections. I waited to hear the discussions on the Fox News talk shows and while disappointed, I was not surprised with the result.
They first attacked the messenger, “How could Gen. Powell say these things after the Republican Party has done so much for him?” “He’s not really a Republican anyway” and it’s part of a plan to deflect from GOP criticisms of lack of diversity in the incomplete Obama cabinet. They pointed to Hispanic Governors and the newly appointed Black Senator within their party. They heralded their diversity within the party pointing to Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio. They disavowed Powell’s claim the Party had moved drastically to the right and claimed in terms of diversity things in the Party were the “best they’ve ever been!”
To sum it up, Gen. Powell is an ungrateful traitor and the Party is on the right track, with a few misguided individuals that don’t represent the party. My initial response is probably not printable but you can get the secondary response. I’ll preface it by saying that the Republican Party is not inherently racist, many if not most are drawn to the party by economic policies and perhaps a social agenda that may not be racist although the disparity in impact on minorities is well documented. Their problem is that the image of the party reinforces just the things Colin Powell talked about on a daily basis. Even if we dismissed Sarah Palin and John Sununu as being outcasts (Sununu was a leading surrogate for the Romney campaign) and not representative of the Party. Those who are minorities aren’t likely to dismiss the language coming from all of the loudest voices in the party. Mitt Romney went to the NAACP Convention so he could say that he did, and then talked about Black people later that night at a private fundraiser saying they only wanted “free stuff”. Anyone listening to the Republican Primary debates watched as every candidate (except Jon Huntsman) raced to the right to ignore the rights of Hispanic citizens and Bills are being introduced in Congress as we speak to revoke citizenship of brown people born in this country if their parents were undocumented. They wanted to electrify fences and supported roving armed militias to shoot the “enemy”.
Newt Gingrich painted Obama as the “Welfare President” and the Romney campaign among their many lies claimed Obama wanted to eliminate work clauses in the welfare requirements to pander to “his base”. Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh attack the President on a personal level on a daily basis. Commercials attacking China and mocking the Chinese ran incessantly. Anne Coulter, Michelle Malkin and others make a living on disparaging others including minorities and hate is their only message. And lastly and perhaps most important is voter suppression. State by state in Republican controlled legislatures, systematic steps are taken to limit minority voters by removing them illegally from the rolls or causing such long lines as to hope they simply give up. Heightened voter ID laws don’t accept many forms of existing sometimes government issued photo ID’s but if you have a gun license in states like Texas, you’re good.
Have you ever read the comments on even the mainstream Republican web sites? Here are a couple comments from today. The first about Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor benefiting from Affirmative Action to get into Princeton.
“Boy! Sure wish my race would get me into Princeton, a free education at the expense of tax payers. Funny that we give all the minorities free stuff but we don’t give our own free education No… make our own take out loans, they won’t leave the country and they can pay it back.”
Another regarding Colin Powell’s comments on Meet the Press,
“This colored racist has proven what he is and how he thinks. Hey Powell bite me”
Again, the Republican Party in and of itself is not racist. The loudest voices of the Party and its media outlets provide a forum for all manner of racist comments to be expressed either using code words or directly, generally without criticism and then there’s the whole Birther thing which is racist through and through. So while everything I’ve seen on Fox News so far is to deny, deny, deny. If the Party wants to be perceived differently, I’d think they’d need to try actually doing something different. General Powell was the messenger, the message thus far was not received.
Featured Photo: notmytribe.com