June 16, 2010

Republicans on race--revisited

Observers of the modern Republican party have noted that they are particularly sensitive to issues of race. They resent accusations of racism in their own caucus, but see race used against them when it is convenient. Iowa Rep Steve King has made news arguing that Obama is racist and favors blacks over whites. I am reminded of Jon Stewart's interview with candidate Obama when he asked him how his white side would vote in the booth. Every time someone from the right wing pops off, I remember the "one drop" rule from the American south. One drop of black blood makes you black, not white. Lest any of us forget, Homer Plessy, of the separate but equal case, was 1/8th black, and had to tell the train conductor that he was black to be arrested for being in the wrong car!

The problem for the Republicans is that they have moved since the 1970s toward a party that encourages white fears in the South in order to win races. They routinely make pilgramages through the south defending the Confederate flag, or defending Bob Jones University, or using the words "state's rights" as much as tehy can. John Ashcroft famously sucked up to White Supremacist organizations in the South, and he is far from the only one.

The Republican party appears to be moving backward on race, either with the Hispanic vote or with African Americans. And Steve King is one of their worst spokesmen on this issue:
"As Adam Serwer explained yesterday, 'This is, of course, the same Steve King who has defended the Confederate flag, advocated for racial profiling, referred to the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses as 'separatist groups,' and said that people in the Middle East would be 'dancing in the streets' if Obama was elected because of his middle name. He was also the only -- repeat -- only congressman to vote against recognizing the contributions of slaves in building the U.S. Capitol, where King now spends his time spewing this kind of nonsense.'"


Monk-in-Training said...

ugh, this is so hard to stomach.

I remember people yelling at me that the Scriptures 'clearly' said that race mixing (miscegenation)was a sin, that interracial marriage was WRONG, and against God's plan, besides being 'unnatural'.

I remember the old 'white' and 'colored' signs, and I remember black people stepping off the sidewalk as we passed. I am 52, these things happened in the 60's as a child.

The last time I heard the anti interracial marriage argument (openly) from Scripture was in the late 80's.

I think that is one of the most annoying things around, is that this attitude is still here! :(

Streak said...

I agree, Monk. This is stomach turning stuff.