Overplaying the Race Card
Racism still alive/They just be concealin’ it — Kanye West, Never Let Me Down
Hearkening back to the days when American conservatives openly defended the “peculiar institution”, today some conservatives are returning to their prejudiced roots and embracing hate speech and hateful policies across the country. The moral bankruptcy, practical lunacy and political idiocy demonstrated by these short-sighted tactics undermine their future as a palatable movement. Several examples follow:
Rand Paul: Loves Country Clubs, Not sure about Civil Rights Act
Tea Party darling Rand Paul beat his establishment opponent in the Kentucky Republican primary this week. His national media victory lap soured quickly because of his alarming statement on NPR, where he said that he may not have supported
government intervention to protect people from racial discrimination in America. He said that out loud in 2010.
This is the same person who claims to detest discrimination by every entity, except private businesses. It totally makes sense now that he gave a faux-populist victory speech at a country club.
Even more disturbing, Rand Paul defended his disgraced former spokesperson Chris Hightower as being “not racist” before resigned in 2009. Why did he have to say this? Because Chris’ MySpace page prominently featured pictures of lynchings and said “Happy Ni—r Day.” I can’t imagine what qualifies as racist in Rand’s world.
History, re-written by the losers
The conservative-dominated Texas Board of Education has proposed changes to the state’s history and social studies curricula that rename the slave trade the “Atlantic triangular trade.” Apparently, the smuggling, shipping and slaughtering of slaves was so abhorrent that they’d rather not talk about it or have students even hear about it.
In an attempt to outdo their predecessors who actively opposed the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, conservative leaders in Arizona have taken race baiting to a fever pitch. In the span of 1 month, they:
- Made racial profiling legal and mandated
- Made ethnic studies classes and programs illegal
- Enabled discrimination against teachers with accents
- Watched their Senior Senator John McCain run an ad assuring Arizonans that he’s “one of them.”
Racism is bad morally and ethically.
It’s also bad politics.
Conservatives have a choice to make. Some are making the wrong one.
They can continue making racist identity plays to cater to a shrinking minority (overt racists) within a shrinking majority (white Americans). They can appeal to the worst in people and maybe pick up small victories here and there. They can define themselves as the movement that embraces exclusion, ignorance, and hate.
Or they can choose a more solid path.
They can realize that there is strength in bringing people together. There is strength in being open to the values of others and working with new people to strengthen our nation. They can embrace the abundance mentality that defines the honest hopes, dreams and ambitions of every family in America that wants tomorrow to be better than today.
The movement that does the latter will be the movement that moves our country forward. I know which side I’m on.