2006: The Return of the Racist Republican
With Republicans having proved their complete incompetence at governing the United States and with no record left to run on but fear, the 2006 mid-term elections are already making this the year of the racist Republican. Several of Republican’s favored candidates nationwide, including Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Utah, Montana, and North Carolina are running openly racist campaigns.
Our own Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-5) is the closest example of a conservative Republican relying on nothing but her unashamed racism in order to appeal to a conservative population.
Virginia Foxx is a Racist
Firstly, as New Orleans drowned one year ago and we lost our greatest city, while Bush cut cake with Senator John McCain, Virginia Foxx was one of just 11 members of congress (all Republicans) to vote AGAINST sending federal aid to the Gulf. She cast aside the millions of drowning, starving, dying people of the Gulf. She then squirmed around and lied about “accountability provisions,” as her reason for voting against it, and offered instead to pray for the poor bastards. However, she’d already voted for a tinier aid package with far fewer accountability provisions, but then we forgot about it because there were 1000s of people dying on TV and nobody was doing anything! She lied, and people died, suffered, and continue to suffer because of her refusal to help afflicted minorities.
Secondly, Virginia Foxx was one of a handful of congress-critters this year to vote AGAINST renewing the seminal 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects Americans’ ability to vote regardless of race, class, or color, or creed. Virginia Foxx would rather the darkies go back to being happy slaves, as she blames her decision on discrimination against southern whites!?
Thirdly, this year Virginia Foxx held a hearing in Winston-Salem on undocumented Hispanic workers. That hearing was called “Gangs, Fraud, and Sexual Predators: Struggling with the Complications of Illegal Immigration.”
Virginia Foxx not only doesn’t care about black people, she doesn’t care about brown people, or anybody who is not as white and faux-Christian as Pat Buchanan. (It should be noted that Buchanan is leading the racist way, arguing in his new book for "an immediate moratorium on all immigration," in order to preserve the dominance of the white race in America.)
After she was released from Appalachian State University in a swirl of controversy, the Foxx’s rise through the Republican ranks has been uncanny.
It is because Virginia Foxx is a racist. It sounds harsh, and it is certainly a serious critique to level against a public figure. I don’t call Virginia Foxx a racist lightly, or because I want my congressional representative to fear diversity. But I do say it sincerely.
Virginia Foxx is a racist.
Ill say it again.
If she votes like a racist…
If she refuses to guarantee African-Americans and Hispanics basic voting rights in the United States of America in the year 2006…
If she justifies her vote by blaming it on prejudice against southern whites…
If she refuses to send aid to minority populations decimated by Hurricane Katrina while we spend $250,000,000 a day killing Arabs in Iraq…
If she calls undocumented Hispanic workers “sexual predators”…
If she takes $15,000 from criminal GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, which was made by ripping off Native American tribes, and then refuses to return that money…
…Virginia Foxx is a racist.
Psychologically, “conservatism” is a “set of neuroses rooted in "fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity," according to a 2003 study funded by the US government. A student looking at today’s conservative Republican government would be sad, but academically honest, in casting a similar diagnosis on the modern Republican Party. This mid-term election year, as many have noted, the GOP is betting its electoral chances on one thing – racism. After discovering its’ own incompetence at governing a nation, the Republicans are once again turning the deepest and darkest psychological caverns of the American population by running several federal and state campaigns based on racism, as well as issues based on racism, and sometimes not so subtly. Sadly, their racist rhetoric follows the Republican precedent of the last 60 years.
The Rise of the Racist Republican
Opposition to the civil rights movement gave rise to the modern Republican Party. Racist Democrats began joining the Republicans as early as the 40s, when it appeared the Democrats were beginning to soften their formerly hard-line racial views. In 1948, a prominent southern Democratic senator named Strom Thurmond broke from the Party to run a losing campaign for President on a segregationist ticket. Over the course of the next two decades however, Thurmond would give political clout to southern racists, leave the Democratic Party, and join forces with the Republican Party forever. He would also be widely recognized as a key element to Nixon’s racist “Southern Strategy” in 1968.
Thurmond of course, spoke white power while secretly fathering a bi-racial daughter he had with a 16 year old African-American. Strom Thurmond was a GOP senator until just 3 years ago, and remains a fitting symbol for the deep hypocrisy and underlying racist strategy of the modern Republican Party.
New Orleans…one year later
The memories of New Orleans before the storm, for those of us lucky enough to have been there, will forever be cherished. The nightmarish hysteria while nature unleashed hell on the Big Easy will (and should) forever haunt us. Dead and anonymous bodies lining the flooded streets. Mass confusion. The looting. Giant trees ripped from the earth battering through historic mansions. The ninth Ward. The bridge over Lake Ponchatrain. The drowned cemeteries. The Quarter. Jackson Square. Cafe Du Monde. Street performers. Destroyed. Gone. Forever. Probably dead.
Then, as you watch hell unleashed, you learn that the guy in charge of handling all this, FEMA’s Michael Brown, is only qualified for emergency management because he is the former head of an Arabian horse league and that the Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff doesn’t understand that he’s the one in charge of federal response, and that he is learning from a live NPR interviews about the NOLA convention center, filled with thousands of people dying from thirst and hunger and trauma! You learn that while the our most culturally colorful city is destroyed beyond recognition, George W. Bush isn’t grabbing the bullhorn and uniting us and telling us that it will be OK, and that we will fix everything because we are America. NO! There’s no war to ratchet up support for, and George W. Bush is busy playing country music star with some fake teeny-bopper cowboy/songwriter, and cutting birthday cake with John McCain in Arizona while America is losing its greatest city!!! And then the Republicans blame the locals?
The federal government is silent while anarchy and pandemonium and looting become the necessity for survival on the streets. You see families hunched on the pinnacles of their rooftops hoping their house doesn’t wash away, and they’ve been waiting there for three days for someone to help!?! While New Orleans and the entire Gulf are swallowed into the ocean, the media runs images of black people “looting” and white-people “finding food.”
Question: Would this have happened in St. Augustine Florida?
Answer: No way in hell. That’s a white city full of retired Republican voters. It sure didn’t happen when Hurricane Charley hit in 2004.But, Louisiana isn’t really a swing state like Florida is, and last year wasn’t really an election year like 2004 was.
And what do we have a year later? A scapegoat, as always, that’s for sure. Michael Brown, (or “heckuva-job Brownie”, as Bush says), the former head of FEMA, is now a household word synonymous with incompetence. Thousands upon thousands of wrecked and splintered homes remain untouched. Thousands of people remain displaced. Thousands remain hungry. Thousands of human souls and families with children have become wandering ghosts, American refugees in our own country!
The absence of competence from this good-old-boy federal government pours through each day like water into the attic.
Bush recently made a visit back to the Gulf to celebrate his photo-op from 5 days after the storm last year. A local pancake joint would offer another great place for a photo-op…
“As Bush tried to squeeze his way through narrow spaces between tables, waitress Joyce Labruzzo, asked him: "Mister President, are you going to turn your back on me?"
"No, ma’am," Bush said, with a laugh and a pause. "Not again."
As I swallow my anger at his snide joke, I just think about how reassured Joyce must feel. Maybe Bush isn’t an incompetent President after all. PLUS, he got in that great photo-op with those black kids! I guess he’s down with diversity (even though none of the top 20 officials at the White House, save one Hispanic, are anything but pearly white.)
But its not just stark raving nutcases like Foxx
But its not just stark raving nutcases like Foxx that are daily embarrassing the national Republican Party by letting their coded language become braver and their tongues slip a little bit more.
It is candidates like 2008 GOP Presidential favorite George Allen. Allen recently called a young American of Indian descent a “macaca” in front of an all white Virginia crowd. Macaca is a racial slur meaning “monkey/monkey boy,” although some of Allen’s top notch GOP staffers were able to clarify that it wasn’t racist and actually translated to “sh*t-head.” I guess they think they’ll be working for the President some day. “Welcome to America, and the real world of Virginia,” Allen told the young man (who coincidentally, was born-and-raised in America and the real world of Virginia.) Allen is from California.
The national Republican Party, rather than repudiate Allen’s racial slur, was happy to reward it. The next week President Bush gleefully punished Senator Allen with a fundraising visit to help in his failing Senate campaign this year against Democratic hopeful Jim Webb (who was Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy.)
In Florida, Republican Senatorial candidate Katherine Harris decided that Jews, Mormons, atheists and deists were no longer qualified for public office (sorry Thomas Jefferson!) Harris Says, “…if you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin." Fortunately, Harris will never have a chance to legislate much of anything, as she is garnering less than 30% of the vote in a state that usually votes for Republicans in statewide races.
Tramm Hudson, the Republican aiming to replace Harris in her old congressional seat, let voters know he would carry their racist torch into congress. “I’m from Alabama,” he said, “and I know from my own experience, that blacks are not the greatest swimmers, and may not even know how to swim.” Thanks for that scientific analysis Dr. Moreaux!
At a conservative Baptist church in Mississippi, the congregation voted out a 12-year-old boy who "asked Jesus to live in his heart" — because the child is biracial and church members didn’t want the black side of his family attending with him.
Rush Limbaugh, who has a racist history of his own has people calling people of Vietnamese descent “gooks” on his show.
White House spokesperson and former Fox News anchor Tony Snow says that “racism is no longer a big deal.” Snow, however, talked about “tar-babies” in one of his first press conferences earlier this year.
Utah State Senator Chris Buttars (R) says that he “thinks Brown v. Board of Education is wrong to begin with.”
Now, inevitably, some Republican trying to change the subject from his/her party’s racist record will bring up one of three things…
The three things
1) More Republicans than Democrats voted for the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
That is a fact. However, that was at a time when those southern racist Democrats known as “Dixie-crats” such as Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, were still in the Democratic Party. After learning that the Democratic Party wasn’t just intent on protecting white power, Southern racist Democrats such as Thurmond and Helms left the party and became full-blown racist Republicans – never to look back. The 2006 renewal of this same Voting Rights Act is quite telling; 33 (of 435) congressional representatives voted against it. This time the ALL in opposition were Republicans.
2) Republicans are running three prominent African-Americans this year.
Congratulations! I commend your drastic improvement! But why are you making such a big deal about it? There are literally 100s of races for Governor, Congress, and Senate each year. Three candidates is all you can do? Want a cookie? Ignoring the fact that each candidate is handily behind in the polls, if they won they would be your first two black governors and second senator since reconstruction. Oh yeah, and Bush talked to the NAACP for the first time in 6 years. Some record of race relations!
3) Robert Byrd was in the KKK
Again, this is a fact. However, unlike Thurmond, Byrd denounced the KKK and apologized for his involvement with it more than 50 years ago. Bush thinks laws passed before 1978 are ”archaic”, and you are trying to stick an 89 year old man and modern champion of civil rights as a racist? Nice try. Yeah, he also used the “n-word” in 2001…while talking about white people. If Republicans were really concerned, they’ll try worrying about all those people still in their party who never converted from the KKK.
Take Republican Congressional Candidate James L. Hart in TN-8 for example (TN-8 is right outside of Memphis by the way.) According to the AP, Hart vows to work toward keeping ``less favored races'' from reproducing or immigrating to the United States. In campaign literature, Hart contends that ``poverty genes'' threaten to turn the United States into ``one big Detroit.'' Charming candidate these Republicans are running!
Our own Senator Liddy Dole (R-NC) LOVES to campaign with the racist Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT).
But, he hates black people:
Back in 1994, while campaigning for a second term, Senator Burns dropped by a local newspaper, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and told an editor an anecdote about one of his constituents, a rancher who wanted to know what life was like in Washington.
Mr. Burns said the rancher asked him, "Conrad, how can you live back there with all those niggers?"
Senator Burns said he told the rancher it was "a hell of a challenge."
The anecdote was published, and Senator Burns apologized. When he was asked why he hadn't expressed any disapproval when the rancher used the word nigger, the senator said: "I don't know. I never gave it much thought."
What a COWBOY! This is the same guy who tells working women that its ‘OK” to lose their jobs to outsourcing because they can just go home and be housewives. This is the same guy who calls Arabs “ragheads.” Burns is running against Montana’s state senate leader and well known organic farmer Jon Tester.
Democrats have not always been the party of inclusion and diversity, but we lost our racist elements to the GOP beginning in the 40s, and have been the only party to elect African Americans to congress since then. The one exception is former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts (who declined to join the congressional black caucus, calling them “race-hustling poverty pimps.”) Democrats, on the other hand, have elected America’s only African-American governor Doug Wilder, in the former capital of Confederacy – Virginia. There are also currently 45 members of the Congressional Black Caucus (all Democrats), as well as one black Senator (a Democrat).
Our elected officials aren’t always perfect, and America is still learning to recover from a seriously racist and segregated past. However, as a whole, Democrats are working to reconcile that racist past with equal opportunity in the present. Republicans are using 2006 to celebrate the racial divisions in America (Hispanic/Caucasian…anyone…?) and to exploit the delicate and exposed wounds of racial division, particularly in the south. Democrats will never run on racial discrimination, and that scares some Republicans, because they know that the majority of America is on our side.