mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“Roger L. Simon Gets Racism Backwards”: Racism Made A Comeback Because It Worked Politically For Republicans

I think The Field Negro is actually a little too polite about Roger L. Simon’s essay blaming Democrats for the deterioration in race relations in this country during the Obama Era.

I just wonder if Mr. Simon is aware of the psychological projection involved in his conclusion.

Just a few years later, the scab appeared very much healed with the inauguration of America’s first African-American president, a man who would be elected twice. I didn’t vote for him for policy reasons, but his election brought tears to my eyes as a former civil rights worker. America’s long nightmare, as Dr. King might have put it, was over, at least as over as things could be in this imperfect world.

But it wasn’t – not by a long shot. It went the other way. Driven by what I call in my book “nostalgia for racism,” racial enmity was brought back as surely as Michael Corleone was pulled back in in Godfather III.

Why?

Power, of course. The Democratic Party relies on the perceived reality of racism for the identity politics on which it feeds. Racism is the lifeline of the Democrats. Votes lie there.

I agree that the explanation for our curdled race relations lies in the quest for power, but not in the way that Simon says.

It was certainly possible to treat President Obama the way that Morgan Freeman asked to be treated by 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace, as a person rather than as a black person. But that’s not the way he was treated. From at least the time of the Beer Summit with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the right chose to attack the president on racial grounds. No white president would have felt compelled to produce their birth certificate just to quell the cacophony of nonsense he was encountering that threatened to drown out everything he wanted to prioritize.

This wasn’t necessary. John McCain showed some actual restraint during his campaign in refusing to make a major issue out of Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and in making the decision to dispute accusations by his supporters that Obama is an Arab or a Muslim. After McCain’s loss, however, no one of similar stature stood up to quiet down those same racially charged accusations.

The Republicans were fully supportive of the Tea Party revolt, and the result was the end of Eric Cantor, John Boehner, and 18 Republican candidates for president (not named Trump)’s careers. They were all shortsighted, but they made their mistake because they put their quest for power over their responsibility to show real moral leadership.

I can’t identify a single thing that President Obama has gained by being subjected to this racism, and he certainly didn’t encourage it. I doubt very much that he got any votes out of it, although the Republicans certainly lost a few. On the whole, though, ramping up racial polarization helps the Republicans keep control of the House of Representatives because a racially divided country divvies up the districts in a way that is advantageous for the white party. Racial minorities are much more regionally concentrated.

The truth is, most Republican officeholders probably aren’t all that racist, but “votes lie there” and it takes actual moral fiber to make the decision that some power isn’t worth having on some terms.

Racism made a comeback because it worked politically for the out-party. But it quickly devoured them, and now they’re left with a nominee who all decent people cannot support.

 

By: Martin Longman, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, July 12, 2016

July 13, 2016 - Posted by | Birthers, Racism, Republicans | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Mitch McConnell said it bluntly the day of the inauguration – our main goal is to make Obama a one term president. From that moment, the GOP has been on a blocking campaign that has lasted for eight years. In spite of not much cooperation, Obama has accomplished a great deal and will be remembered as a pretty good president. It is too bad collaboration was not an option. Sure, the President is at fault, but he did not get a warm reception either.

    Bill Maher has noted there is not an insignificant percentage of the GOP party (it could be 5% to 10%) that hates Obama because he is Black. This racism has never been quelled and Trump has counted on it in his rise to the presumptive nominee. Remember his 80% of white homicides are committed by black assailants comment, when the percentage is more like 15% per the FBI. Did he correct this misstatement?

    We cannot tolerate a president who is racist nor bigoted, xenophobic or misogynist. This, by itself, should discount his candidacy.

    Like

    Comment by Keith | July 13, 2016 | Reply


Share your comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: