Are Republicans Racist? No, But…

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Dennis Sanders

Dennis Sanders is the Associate Pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Minneapolis, MN.  You can follow Dennis through his blogs, The Clockwork Pastor and Big Tent Revue and on Twitter.  Feel free to contact him at dennis.sanders(at)gmail(dot)com.

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127 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak
    Ignored
    says:

    To be a bit more blunt, when many R’s hear talk of racism or the struggles blacks may have, their first thought is about themselves, not blacks. Talking about how race may affect blacks is only a “card” to play; its not a real issue, just part of nasty political game to hurt R’s. The idea of empathy can be overblown or overused, but at its core, empathy, or at least the ability to fake it, is key tool to dealing with actual humans. If you have some empathy when someone tells you about their lives you listen to them and their story not for what it means to you but what it is like for them.Report

  2. Avatar Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    It probably isn’t helping the GOP cause any that the right-wing-meme-o-sphere immediately spun this as “The One Black Senator in Congress wasn’t invited to attend because Thanks Obama”Report

    • Avatar Michelle in reply to Patrick
      Ignored
      says:

      Except that he was invited and, like his fellow Republicans, declined.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Michelle
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        says:

        My understanding is that he was invited as a spectator. The complaints are that he was not invited to speak.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Michelle
        Ignored
        says:

        Will,
        all to the well and good, but if he didn’t ask to speak, shame on him
        (and a poor political play, at that).Report

      • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Michelle
        Ignored
        says:

        The speakers were all more famous and influential than Scott. He should’ve been honored to attend.

        Scott has been a Senator for all of two minutes after being appointed to the seat, not winning an election.

        The speakers, by contrast, are heavyweights in either politics (presidents and such), the CBC, black entertainment (Oprah), or black activism.

        I suspect they thought about inviting Thomas to speak, but immediately realized he would say things not compatible with King’s philosophy. (Indeed, Scott has argued for reducing food stamps, a goal I don’t think King would’ve tolerated.)

        Let’s face it, there isn’t a black speaker who could honestly put forward ideas that are at all compatible with King’s. King was a radical leftist, arguing for the poor and disenfranchised and that is partially why he was great. The right then (say William Buckley) and now don’t agree with or respect what he actually said and did.

        In fact, the democrats there are probably just barely left-wing enough for King to have found common ground with.Report

      • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Michelle
        Ignored
        says:

        I mean a “black Republican speaker who could…” obviously.Report

      • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Michelle
        Ignored
        says:

        Especially after Thomas’s recent ruling on the voting rights act. I suspect King himslef might’ve disinvited Thomas after that.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Michelle
        Ignored
        says:

        My understanding is that he was invited as a spectator. The complaints are that he was not invited to speak.

        “I can’t find time in my busy schedule, but if you were to make it more about me, I could squeeze it in.” It’s the type of excuse a politician would make without realizing that most of us don’t see narcissism as a virtue.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Michelle
        Ignored
        says:

        “Scott has been a Senator for all of two minutes after being appointed to the seat, not winning an election.”

        Imagine if a huge Republican rally in Washington D.C. had invited the junior senator from Chicago (who’d won his seat after his opponent dropped out of the race), but not actually asked him to speak.

        Would this be seen as a snub? Would it be seen as a black mark, as it were, on the Republican racial record?Report

  3. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto
    Ignored
    says:

    Thanks for this post, Dennis. I was about to make one on the unbearable whiteness of the League given the lack of posts on the March at all…Report

  4. Avatar Herb
    Ignored
    says:

    “Republicans do not hate Black folk, they just don’t care about our lives.”

    Sorry, Dennis, this makes no real sense. If racism is not blame the lack of concern about black people’s live, then what is?Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Herb
      Ignored
      says:

      Sometimes the two things look very similar, as in the argument Texas’ Attorney General recently made in support of redistricting.Report

    • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Herb
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      says:

      I believe the argument is that this is “merely” insensitivity, rather than intentional evil, hence it’s not really malicious.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Herb
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s just plain ignorance on the part of Republcians. Big uncharted places on the map. Hic sunt dracones.

      I never quite figured out why the GOP hasn’t gone after the older Conservative Black vote. It’s not as if Republicans haven’t put black men on the Supreme Court or trusted them with senior advisory positions: Condi Rice, f’rinstance. Whatever else was wrong with Bush43, he was no bigot. Cared more for Africa than any American president including Obama.

      What really needs to happen here, if the GOP is ever to get on the right side of the racism issue, and it’s so obvious, is to simply quit with the Voting Rights fiasco. They’re on a Woozle Hunt, alienating millions of black voters in their search for mythical Voting Irregularities. Hispanics, too. Just stop it already, GOP nut jobs. It’s no sin to be a conservative. Preach a positive message, it’s not as if you can’t turn all that negativity around and say “We want equality for all Americans. Our route to equality works and theirs doesn’t.” That’s all it would take.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        yeah, but they’d have to put up SOME evidence for that statement.
        (seriously, I’m not asking for much. put one or two employers in the ghetto, and be able to have some sunshine stories)Report

      • Avatar Barry in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        “I never quite figured out why the GOP hasn’t gone after the older Conservative Black vote. ”

        It’s for the same reason that right-wing, patriotic, business-owning Jewish people in a certain European country several decades back were not courted by a certain right-wing political party.

        Because they were more useful as enemies than as friends.

        The modern GOP was formed by the migration of the more racist faction in US politics, in a time far more racist than now. Anything which ignores that will lead to confusion, just as ignoring the scorpion’s basic nature led to the frog’s death.Report

      • Avatar Art Deco in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Um, no. It is because black voters are not particularly sensitive to conventional advertising appeals and black opinion leaders have no interest in making deals with the Republican Party. The notion that the Republican Party wins votes by mobilizing the rest of the electorate against blacks is deranged.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Art,
        Shall I bet you ten big bucks?

        On welfare, even?Report

      • Avatar Sam in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Art,

        Just as the Republican Party never attempted to mobilize the rest of the electorate against gays, right?Report

      • Avatar Art Deco in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Gay groups lobby for legal changes (mostly by asking for power drunk appellate judges to invalidate settled law). Some people support the extant law.

        Programs like AFDC provide long-terms doles for people neither elderly nor disabled; where I lived, you got an apartment thrown in; all you had to do was get knocked up.

        Our political discourse would be more fruitful if people like the two of you would get over the idea that opposition to your various and sundry pet causes is illegitimate in and of itself. You will not get over the idea, but you should.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Our political discourse would be more fruitful if people like the two of you would get over the idea that opposition to your various and sundry pet causes is illegitimate in and of itself.

        That got an honest-to-goodness belly laugh.Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        @art-deco I’m going to keep this really brief, since avoiding each other is almost certainly going to be the best policy for both of us.

        But one wee quibble — gay groups quite obviously have employed strategies other than the one you describe, and with increasing success. Most of our recent triumphs have been either from legislatures or at the ballot box. Your facts are, at best, outmoded.Report

      • Avatar Art Deco in reply to BlaiseP
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        says:

        When you are done laughing, Patrick, you might ask yourself how else would anyone interpret the two remarks previous to mine.

        Russell Saunders, I don’t want you near me either.

        We have had over 30 referenda on the subject in question at the state level with an almost unbroken string of victories for our side of the argument, and we are still having this asinine public policy shoved down our throats. That ought to discredit the idea that the appellate judiciary is anything but a claque of partisans when push comes to shove, or that the constitutional system is anything but a cheap pantomime, or that the portside has even minimal intellectual integrity. Enjoy yourselves.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        What really needs to happen here, if the GOP is ever to get on the right side of the racism issue, and it’s so obvious, is to simply quit with the Voting Rights fiasco. They’re on a Woozle Hunt, alienating millions of black voters in their search for mythical Voting Irregularities. Hispanics, too.

        That is, the GOP is very efficiently disenfranchising groups likely to vote against them, with the full connivance of their allies on the federal bench. Nothing fiascoish about it.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        We have had over 30 referenda on the subject in question at the state level with an almost unbroken string of victories for our side of the argument,

        You need to start reading more recent newspapers.Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Tut, tut, @art-deco. So pointlessly nasty.

        Anyhow, whether or not the string of referenda have gone your way is moot. The question is whether or not gay rights groups lobby primarily regarding judicial activism, or if they do so in support of legislative or electoral outcomes. By your own statement, it is clear that even in your benighted area of the country things are not as you claimed they are.Report

      • Avatar Jeff Lipton in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Art Deco:
        The notion that the Republican Party wins votes by mobilizing the rest of the electorate against blacks is deranged.

        The man has obviously never heard Lee Atwater’s [in]famous quote. ‘Nuff said.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        When you are done laughing, Patrick, you might ask yourself how else would anyone interpret the two remarks previous to mine.

        Dear sir, what struck me as amusing was not that to which you were responding. It was your superlatively awesome choice of self-referentially unaware words.

        I’ll repost your comment here, again:

        Our political discourse would be more fruitful if people like the two of you would get over the idea that opposition to your various and sundry pet causes is illegitimate in and of itself.

        Right here, in this subthread, you called gay marriage ‘asinine’ public policy.

        I can’t call that anything other than you holding firmly to the idea that opposition to ‘traditional marriage’ is illegitimate in and of itself. Hell, in the quote, ‘pet causes’ is clearly meant to be both pejorative and de-legitimizing, making the irony self-contained, no less.

        You want to have an argument without dragging feelings into it, I’m usually okay with that (lost my temper with George the other day, but everybody has bad days).

        But when you drag your own feelings about what is legitimate or not into it, well, it comes across as laughable sour grapes when you complain that someone else is doing it.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Herb
      Ignored
      says:

      Herb,

      I’ll hazard a reply here: The problem is not racism. It’s that blacks have become such a dependable voting group for Democrats that the GOP has given up trying to make inroads. That’s not racism per se, it’s simply acknowledging reality and not wasting resources on what appears to be a lost cause.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Mike Dwyer
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m pretty sure that deciding that an entire race is a “lost cause” electorally, to the point that their interests and, as Texas’ defense of its gerrymandering shows, their very ability to have a say in government are ignored, is racism.Report

      • Avatar Michelle in reply to Mike Dwyer
        Ignored
        says:

        Mike, while it may be acknowledging a reality, it still seems they could make some efforts even if it might not win immediate votes. Acknowledging the significance of the March on Washington by accepting speaking invitations would have been a start. Have Republicans nothing good to say about King’s “I Have a Dream” speech or the positive gains of the Civil Right movement such as putting an end to Jim Crow and ending impediments to the vote? Sure seems like it. What would it have cost Boehner or Cantor to speak up instead of being cowed by the actual racist elements of the conservative movement?Report

      • Avatar Herb in reply to Mike Dwyer
        Ignored
        says:

        ” It’s that blacks have become such a dependable voting group for Democrats that the GOP has given up trying to make inroads.”

        Seems reasonable. But did Democrats get a monopoly on black votes before –or after– the Republicans implemented the Southern Strategy? Let’s not pretend that this is a case of a party trying, failing, and then giving up. Republicans a generation ago deliberately chose to provide a comfortable home for this country’s racists and –shock of all shocks– now find little to no support from the ethnic group they once so cavalierly maligned. It’s not chicken and the egg. It’s cause and effect.Report

      • Avatar Barry in reply to Mike Dwyer
        Ignored
        says:

        “It’s that blacks have become such a dependable voting group for Democrats that the GOP has given up trying to make inroads. That’s not racism per se, it’s simply acknowledging reality and not wasting resources on what appears to be a lost cause.”

        Yes, it’s all exogenous.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Herb
      Ignored
      says:

      “Republicans do not hate Black folk, they just don’t care about our lives.”

      Sorry, Dennis, this makes no real sense. If racism is not blame the lack of concern about black people’s live, then what is?

      As a Republican, I will tell you. I don’t care about almost anyone’s lives based on their ethnicity. I don’t really care what problems Italian-Americans, German-Americans, English-Americans, Polish-Americans, Dutch-Americans, Danish-Americans, Jamaican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Costa-Rican Americans, Cherokee-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Korean-Americans, Irish-Americans, Scottish-Americans, French-Americans, Spanish-Americans, or Canadian-Americans face, because that would be complicated and pointless. The groupings are not very useful except to race-baiting politicians.

      We interact with people in different spheres and in different capacities, and more useful groupings are homeowners (broken down all sorts of different ways), store owners, bar owners, gas station employees, assembly-line workers, and others are doing. How is your local industry doing? What kind of overreaching policies does your police force have this month? How are your banks screwing with people? What obstacles are being thrown in the path of American Americans, which includes all the above groups?

      To single out a race for special treatment is racist, because even your purest attempts at intervention may carry heavy costs that far exceed the benefits. We’ve had about 50 years of that, regarding blacks, Appalachians, and anyone else whose poverty gets pimped. The solution has often been far worse than the initial problem, and keeping your head down and trying to avoid giving away any information that might flag you as “someone to help” has proved pretty wise in many cases, because the people who show up to help are dumb as rocks, committed religiously to the idea that their helping, however destructive and misguided, earns them some kind of social bonus points, and most of them would be as happy burning witches to prove their moral purity. The rest just don’t care and go through the motions for a paycheck, which means they’re at least sane and amenable to reason and common sense.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        The groupings are not very useful except to race-baiting politicians.

        Wow, George, you’re just the worldliest guy in the world, aren’t you?Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
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        says:

        Well, I guess it is considered more worldly to be a race-baiting politician, but being “worldly” used to be a rather derisive term in some contexts, akin to “whore.”

        Given how many interracial couples we have, and all that’s gone on since the 1700’s, how is race the most relevant aspect of a human being in America at this point? We’re not, in theory, zoo animals, we are individuals with individual families, relations, friends, histories, and interests.

        If all you’ve got to define yourself, at this stage of society and technology, is the same definition that a lost Angolan would use when he got stranded in a bizarre accident with a lost Estonian in 1385, then you pretty much don’t have any advancements, abilities, or interests to speak of.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        How is race the most relevant aspect of a human being in America at this point?

        Well, that’s a question, isn’t it?

        Given that the answer to that question is highly divergent among minority groups, when compared to us whitey white folk, this can imply a few things about you or the world, George, really.

        (1) George highly underestimates how race is relevant to minority group’s experiences. You’re wrong. For the record, I think this is probably the most likely explanation, given my interactions with you here on the blog.

        (2) You think all those surveys that people do of minority folks are severely fundamentally and laughably flawed. This might require a bit in the way of explanation, given that I’ve seen you talk about public opinion polls when it comes to stuff like how unpopular Obamacare is.

        (3) Those surveys are correct, but you think a majority of those minority folks don’t have any “advancements, abilities, or interests to speak of”. Which in turn implies…

        (3) They don’t, and hey, maybe those white Nationalists guys have a point. Or…

        (4) You really are a racist, George.

        Feel free to tell me if I made an error in there anywhere. I’ve had a couple of drinks, maybe I’m missing something.

        Any way I parse this logic tree – assuming I’m not making an error… you’re either a jackass, or a racist, or you’re supremely incurious about the experiences of others, or you’re hugely dismissive of any data bits that don’t conform to your idea of how people actually think about their experiences, or you have specific qualms about reports like this one. Or I suppose the final two possibilities are that there is no way to glean any knowledge about the human condition using anything resembling the scientific method, or the racial purity folks have a point.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, the Republicans mostly wrote off the Blacks when they all jumped in with Democrats, the most racist people on Earth, people who see racism in everything, and haven’t stopped talking about race since they were bidding on black slaves down at the peer.

        Once they united, the rest was inevitable, since after that marriage most blacks would never be able to understand anything, even a can of Little Friskies, without the lens of race. It would happen to any people who got in bed with Democrats, because racism is the only line Democrats are selling. It’s sad, because blacks not only didn’t do anything to deserve such a fate, but were by far the most prominent Democrat victims. But like almost all abusers, there’s a relationship that forms and the abuser has a huge vested interested in winning over the victim, even if the bait is as bad as the original offense. You see this in sex crimes, kidnapping, and all other sorts of avenues, and the perpetrator will keep up the ruse no matter how much obvious damage the victim suffers, because the suffering just gives them more excuses as to why they perp is staying involved, and more opportunities to explain their continued involvement.

        The thing is, the perp can’t see it, because they’ve convinced themselves that they really are helping.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to George Turner
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        says:

        You know what, George?

        I find virtually everything you’ve written on the subject of race to be condescending, elitist, overwhelmingly stuffed full of privilege, partisan to the point of sheer idiocy, and basically evidence of the charge that you’re either a fool or a bigot or both.

        I’ve tried to read you as charitably as I’m able, but that last comment alone… dude, if you said that in my house I’d throw you out. Physically if need be.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
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        says:

        Well, that’s exactly the reaction that most Southern slave owners had when confronted by Republicans and abolitionists over racial issues. We got thrown off of a lot of plantations, having offended the sensibilities of the slave owning class. We eventually came back and freed their slaves despite their most ardent protestations, and they hate us to this very day for the insult to their character and the purity of their breeding.Report

      • Avatar Cascadian in reply to George Turner
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        says:

        Oh, look, it’s the Nixon peekaboo. What a novel dance.Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to George Turner
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        says:

        George, I think you are overlooking the power of the Republican party to be a unifying force of American solidarity.

        Why, they have managed to unite both former slaves, AND slaveowners together in one single party! That party is the Democrats of course, but still, thats a singular achievement!Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, there was nothing Republicans could do to prevent Johnson’s strategy of buying black loyalty, because if the Republicans had ever tried such a thing the Democrats would’ve blocked it. As it was, the Republicans could barely overcome the Democrat filibuster of the Civil Rights Act. Then the black leadership realized that the Republicans, although long committed to helping them, weren’t actually wide open for a massive guilt trip because they weren’t the ones who’d been slave owners, southern plantation owners, KKK members, and segregation enforcers. That rendered them pretty poor targets for racial shakedowns. The Democrats, on the other hand, love buying votes with other people’s money.

        So Johnson was free to act to achieve “a legacy”, having of course opposed every single civil rights bill during his entire stay in Congress right until the last one. Then Johnson said, “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.” And so he did with his Great Society program, about which he bragged, ““I’ll have those n******s voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

        And so it went, with blacks already herded into Democrat Northern ghettos, they were shoved from the ghettos into disastrous government housing projects (most of which were later torn down in horror) as a form of “help”. Welfare broke up many of their previously highly stable families (they’d been more stable than white families) and created generational dependence, while all the Democrat messaging was aimed at convincing them that they can’t succeed in life with Democrat help. What are Republicans supposed to do to compete, give out crack?

        The Democrats are still at it, lowering reading standards so most blacks won’t have the skills to compete in the private sector (Obama is now allowing states to set lower standards for blacks than white and Asians). For Johnson and subsequent Democrats, luring them back onto the plantation was all too easy, while all the Republicans can offer is the struggle of freedom and free enterprise, not making race-based exceptions or granting special privileges.Report

      • Avatar Sam in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        George,

        Just so I’m clear: do you genuinely believe that today’s Republican Party is not at all related to the Southern Democrats that you appear to be genuinely excoriating below? Because I think everybody here can agree that Southern Democrats were a loathsome group…then. I think most people here would acknowledge that those Democrats no longer are affiliated with that party; they’ve found a different home. Do you actually disagree?Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
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        says:

        I know tons of Southern Republicans, and very, very few used to be Democrats. Yet the South didn’t swing Republican until the elections of 1994. They didn’t win in Georgia until 2004, or Louisiana until 2007. Who was running those states up until then, aside from during Reconstruction? White Democrats.

        If the GOP had appealed to racist Democrats, then the inroads would’ve been made in the deep South instead of the peripheral South, which was urbanizing. It would’ve attracted the less-educated rural whites instead of the upwardly mobile Southerners in the periphery. It’s core support would’ve come from native, long-term Southerners, and the older Southerners, who were much more racist, would’ve switched. Instead, it was the opposite. The deep South remained stubbornly Democratic and racist for far longer. Older racist Democrats remained loyal to the Democratic party. The Republican gains were made in the periphery, and mostly among immigrants from other regions moving to the South. Eisenhower and Nixon, too, won only in the periphery, where racism was less entrenched. And as time goes on, and racism fades, more and more white Southerners abandon the Democrat party. Of course, the cause and effect there may be reversed, because as they abandon the Democrat party they’ll naturally become less racist.Report

      • Avatar Stella B in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Democrats turned Republican include Richard Shelby, Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond. Many racists left the Democratic party after the Civil Rights Act was signed. They were welcomed into the Republican party. I could instantly name three off the top of my head even if you don’t personally know any.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
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        says:

        You can name them off the top of your head because the handful of racists that switched to the Republican party are critical to the unsupportable Democrat myth that they all switched. They didn’t. They myth got started sometime after Clinton lost the South, and grew to prominence when George W Bush kept carrying the region. It’s refuted by the data, but Democrats are as desperate to believe it as much as Austrians want Hitler to be German and Beethoven to be Austrian, or that Lincoln was a Democrat and Jefferson Davis was Republican.

        The racist Southern Democrats hated one group even more than Blacks, and that group is Republicans. That’s why they wouldn’t switch parties and went to their graves voting for Democrats, and why so many prominent racist Democrat families retained their seats and their power, such as Al Gore’s family, the Laundrieu’s of Louisiana, Clinton’s mentor William Fulbright.

        Fritz Hollings of South Carolina was elected speaker pro tem in South Carolina in 1951, and as governor flew the Confederate flag. Some racist legacy there, eh? He ran for the Democrat Presidential nomination in 1984 and he didn’t leave the US Senate until 2005.

        Hollings’ colleague in the Senate was James Eastland of Mississippi, who famously argued “The Southern institution of racial segregation or racial separation was the correct, self-evident truth which arose from the chaos and confusion of the Reconstruction period. Separation promotes racial harmony. It permits each race to follow its own pursuits, and its own civilization. Segregation is not discrimination… Mr. President, it is the law of nature, it is the law of God, that every race has both the right and the duty to perpetuate itself. All free men have the right to associate exclusively with members of their own race, free from governmental interference, if they so desire.” He retired in 1978 and maintained his close personal relationship with Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden until his death in 1989.

        As a prosecutor, John Stennis tried to convict three blacks of murdering a white sharecropper, knowing their confessions were obtained through police torture, including flogging. The Supreme Court struck down their conviction in 1936, which is why white police had to quit torturing confessions out of blacks. He went on to oppose all civil rights legislation, including the 1968 bill, and even voted against making Martin Luther King Jr day a national holiday. He retired from the Senate as a Democrat in 1989. Bill Clinton named an aircraft carrier after him.

        I can go on forever about all the Southern segregationist Democrats who did not lose their seats, and how almost all the Southern legislatures remained under Democratic control, the same people who’d supported segregation, until sometime during George W Bush’s term in office.

        Meanwhile, in Northern cities, the white Democrats kept re-electing the same politicians who kept dreaming up giant black housing projects to keep them mollified, and keep them away from white folks, and when that failed simply fled the inner cities so their kids could go to better schools. Even now these same Democrats are suing to prevent blacks from getting vouchers so their kids can go to a school that hasn’t been run into the ground by Democrats.Report

      • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        George, there were many racist Southern Democrats for sure.

        But during the Civil Rights movement, one party supported African Americans. This party still gets massive numbers of African American votes.

        The other party (and its leading intellectuals including Buckley) did not support the movement. That party created the “Southern Strategy” to punish the pro-Civil Rights movement party electorally by winning the votes of all the racist voters in the South, with the use of dog whistles like “Cadillac-driving welfare queens.”

        The fact that you don’t see this absurd and silly and, dare I say it, dumb, to the nth degree, where n is the highest conceivable number.

        I agree with Patrick, that I would throw you out of my house.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        But during the Civil Rights movement, one party supported African Americans.

        Yes, the Republican party. The Democrats kept voting against all the Civil Rights legislation, usually not even letting it get to a floor vote. They’d been doing that for a hundred years. The 14th and 15th Amendments were passed with zero Democrat votes. Even Northern Democrats voted unanimously against those. By the 1870’s Civil Rights legislation could’ve been passed, but Democrats were opposed, just as they were in the 1880’s, 1890’s, 1900’s, 1910’s, 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s, and into the 1950’s.

        Given the Democrats frequent and large majorities, they could block all civil rights legislation, for a century, until the minute they decided to pass it, because Republicans lost their large majority when they allowed blacks to count as a whole person instead of three fifths of a person. Democrats took full advantage of that.

        The crux of the Southern strategy wasn’t to attract racist Democrat votes, because those were all hard-core Democrats who would never switch. The idea was to peel off urbanized, educated Southerners, professionals, managers, and business people. What kind of idiot would think the Republicans would try to attract poor, union, working-class, elderly, generational Democrat voters? They didn’t. They couldn’t even offer any racist policies to replace all the racist Democrat policies. They had no real constituency in the South, and what they did have in the region were the Republican minority who’d been standing up to Democrat racism since the Civil War. Do you really think Republicans would sell out their own core voters to gain a bunch of poor racist Democrats who would never vote Republican if their lives depended on it? So they didn’t. All they did was uphold Republican values like a strong defense, minimal government interference, free enterprise, and opposition to wacko hippy socialism. That appealed to people not just in the South, but throughout most of the rest of the nation, which is why Democrats bled members throughout the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s.

        It took Republicans thirty to forty years to gain dominance in the South, having to rely on all the educated new suburbanites, immigrants, and tech firms. The racist Democrat voters kept on voting for Democrats and went to their graves voting Democrats. Many kept voting for Democrats even after they were dead.

        Democrats, of course, can’t face the ugly truth, which is why they so desperately construct such myths, to the point where they are compelled to write posts about how Republicans are the real racists at least three times a day – every day, for decades. What else, other than some deep-seated psychological problem, could explain such compulsive behavior? They have to keep repeating the mantra because it’s otherwise so unsupportable and silly. It requires work, a willing suspension of disbelief, and a massive emotional investment, all aimed at avoiding guilt.Report

      • Avatar Cascadian in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        So, the Dems are Racist and the Repubs Statist. That makes sense.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        In theory Republicans aren’t statist, but it seems they change when they get to Washington. That Democrats are racist is beyond question. They’re probably the only political party in the world that fought a war to preserve perpetual, heritable, race-based human slavery. Having lost that war, they spent a century making sure blacks were poor, oppressed, and powerless.

        In the South they couldn’t drink out of the same water fountains, eat in the same restaurants, or often vote, at least once the Democrats succeeded in getting all the black Republicans out of office.

        In the North, blacks usually couldn’t live in the same neighborhoods, and often weren’t welcome in the same clubs. Black history in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, and many other cities are testaments that Democrat racism wasn’t just confined to the South. During WW-II factory managers decided to put blacks on the assembly lines next to whites. Northern Democrat union members went on strike and threatened violence, proudly saying “We’d rather see Hitler and Tojo win than work standing next to a n*****!”

        When Eisenhower had to confront Democrats over Brown vs. Board of Education, he had to send in troops. Kennedy, a fellow Democrat, tried a better approach, calling MLK who was in jail and offering him support, which caused a huge swing toward Kennedy instead of Nixon among in black community. Of course then Kennedy had MLK constantly wiretapped, and Jackie got to hear all about MLK’s crazy love life. Johnson, whose many quotations about race are quite famous, and damning, saw the political opportunity in running with John Kennedy’s legacy on race relations, and unlike Republicans who had to butt heads with racist Democrats, Johnson was one. He used every trick in the book to convince them that they could, despite the seeming impossibility of it, simply buy black loyalty for cheap if everyone would just get behind his idea. Almost all the racist Southern Democrats did, and almost all kept their jobs and won with even bigger margins.

        Since then Democrats have treated blacks almost like a crop, made to deliver votes without getting much in return except for lip service, disastrous housing projects, welfare (which caused immense social damage to the black community, which Daniel Patrick Moynihan made no bones about), and a free pass on just about everything else, so long as they keep voting for white Democrats.

        Many blacks complain about the blind loyalty blacks give to a party that constantly betrays them, arguing that being loyal also means their needs can be safely ignored because they’re not going to vote Republican anyway. Hand in hand with that is the fact that Republicans have no motivation to offer anything either, since nothing they do is going to win any significant number of black votes. So the “voice” and political power Democrats seemingly give to blacks might as well be a handicap written on a golf score. It’s just there and they don’t have to take a single swing to earn it.Report

      • Avatar Cascadian in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        @george-turner “Since then Democrats have treated blacks almost like a crop, made to deliver votes without getting much in return except for lip service”

        Kind of like SoCons, Libertarians and PaleoCons?Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Pretty much, except what libertarians, soCons, and paleoCons want is to be left alone, so it works out. However I should mention that me and many of my friends got free gas for five or six years with our special neoCon Sweet Iraqi Crude discount cards.

        But back to the point, it’s probably a tragedy that just as Democrats were realizing the evil racism of their ways, they seized more firmly onto a bunch of Marxist class warfare nonsense, causing them to jump from treating blacks as an underclass (that could possibly vote for them) to treating them as another oppressed group (obviously oppressed by Republicans, just because – it makes the story work. Just pretend…).

        Hey, another oppressed group they could represent, and fight for! “Speak truth to power! Fight the authority!” Being the historical oppressor didn’t really fit in with their reinvigorated self-image as class warriors, so in buying absolution they also worked hard at forgetting – and pretending. They raised a couple of generations this way, and filled text books with it.

        The evil-doers in the story are of course their enemies, the Republicans. “Republicans must be racist because Democrats aren’t, and somebody sure is because we talk about white racism all day long, daddy!”

        And thus is born a generation of Democrats who can’t really conceive of the fact that the history of racism is largely the story of the Democrat party and its identity politics, a politics they’ve never abandoned. Needless to say, they feel comfortable just walking up to Republicans and accusing them of racism, because they have no idea that not only is it not so, but many of their most esteemed Senators and Representatives are the same people who defined Southern racism, wrote it into law. Enforced it. In the North, Democrats were busy getting huge kickbacks on construction contracts for substandard, third-world housing projects, designed to keep blacks separate, but grateful.

        And every day, they go on the Internet and pat themselves on the back for not being racist like those Republicans who tried to secede from the Union, formed the KKK, and opposed all the Civil Rights legislation for a hundred years.Report

      • Avatar Cascadian in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        @george-turner Um, I’m a libertine paleocon, but thanks for the history lesson. No, if we’re talking about history to the present, I’d say the Repubs pretty much killed off any meaningful notion of State’s Rights with Texas v White and the wording of the 14th. Medicare D and Raich were great ways of giving me the finger and maintaining the tradition. Glad you enjoyed the bennies of your neocon card.Report

  5. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    Today, on his radio show, Sean Hannit bemoaned how the word “racist” had been watered down and does not do justice to the “real oppression that Republicans and African-Americans once faced.” Yep. You read that right.Report

  6. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    My mamma said never go where you’re not wanted.Report

  7. Avatar Mike
    Ignored
    says:

    At the current time, I don’t see any effective strategy for Republicans getting more than the tiny sliver of African American votes they currently get. Watching MSNBC the other day, that issue came up, and their angle on it was for the Republicans to adopt a Democratic platform of issues. Obviously that’s not going to happen. There are two major issues that will prevent any near term receptiveness on the part of African Americans to the Republican Party:

    1) Everything’s Racist: I remember during the 2008 election a Hillary supporter acquaintance of mine was livid at the thought that Hillary supporters would be attacked by Obama supporters as racists. “They better NOT try to pull that!” Well, after Obama won the nomination, she immediately attacked me as racist, since what possible reason could I have for not supporting Obama? Even though she knew I was a McCain supporter, that suddenly became a racist position to hold after Obama won the nomination.
    Now of course, any disagreement with Obama, his platform, his issues…anything is considered racist.Skinny? a racist dog whistle. Professorial? Another way to say uppity. It’s just a constant stream for 5 years of every opposition to Obama is racist. There are no longer policy differences, only racial ones. Now this has been such a steady stream of Republicans=Racism meme, how can African Americans not have been effected by this? Why even take a chance?

    2) African Americans feel that their position is extremely unsecure. I’m not talking about economically, although that too, but politically. It’s as if the civil rights movement could be unrolled any moment. That’s certainly how the voting ID issue has been presented in the media. Not as a common sense measure to secure voting, but as Bull Connor running the electoral process, ready to turn his water hose on any black person who dares ask for a ballot. When you have an entire media establishment running with that to support their party and attack the party that they regard as the enemy, that’s going to make a difference. That’s actually worse than the “Republicans are Racist” meme since it creates the idea that all Black people should band together for political survival. That’s why Black Republicans are hated and treated worse than white Republicans; they represent a crack in a unity that’s needed to prevent a rollback to the Jim Crowe era.

    So African Americans being a wholly owned subsidy of the Democratic Party is likely to persist at least another generation if not longer.Report

    • Avatar Herb in reply to Mike
      Ignored
      says:

      “1) Everything’s Racist:”

      Hate to say it, but there’s a spectrum here. We go from “Nothing’s Racist” on one end to “Everything’s Racist” on the other. While Hillary supporters are indeed known for their obnoxiousness, it’s just not plausible that racism has played no part in opposing Obama. After all, you can’t say the birthers were all that concerned about “policy differences.”

      Maybe they were, but their blathering about raised seals and vault copies might lead one to conclude they were primarily motivated by racism.Report

      • Avatar Mike in reply to Herb
        Ignored
        says:

        Interesting that you bring up the birthers. The Hillary supporter acquaintance I mentioned was, for a brief period, a birther during the 08 primaries. That’ was where the birther story started, with the pro-Hillary PUMAs (Party Unity My Ass). Of course, once her eyes were opened, like Saul on the road to Damascus to the glory that was Obama, she chucked birtherism aside as well as every other critique she had of Obama.

        Now you could argue that the Hillary Democrats were racist, then when they switched candidates, became unracist, but you don’t need racism to see why opponents would buy and support such a wacky theory like birtherism. During the Clinton administration,there were some conservatives who thought the Clintons were smuggling drugs into Arkansas and thought Hillary had Vince Foster murdered. And as for liberals and Bush, whew, they thought, and said, that Bush was preparing FEMA camps to hold Democrats for the Bush Dictatorship.

        So you don’t need racism to explain birtherism. But, I can see why you might prefer it.Report

      • Avatar Herb in reply to Herb
        Ignored
        says:

        “So you don’t need racism to explain birtherism. But, I can see why you might prefer it.”

        Sounds like you’re coming pretty close to denying birtherism had no racial component. Good luck with that….Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Mike
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s a vicious cycle. Voter turnout in the USA is disgracefully low. The meme-du-jour, some Texas jackass saying “I’m going to be real honest with you, the Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they’re going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats” — we’ve all heard it. Thing is, black voters only make up 12% of the population but they’re 13% of voters.

      The vicious part of the vicious cycle gets played up a fair bit but in a working democracy, the politician can only pay attention to those who will vote for him. If they act like wackos, hey, we know that is how democracy is supposed to work. If only 57.5% of all eligible voters turn out, many of whom are Single Issue Johnnies, where are the rest of the voters? Voter suppression is an important issue which has already backfired on the GOP: Blacks are turning out in slightly higher percentages. If the GOP continues along this vein, the situation may only get worse. It’s not bringing out more voters to vote for them, that much is certain.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Republicans have resigned themselves to being the minority party.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        To whatever extent that is true, I believe it ceases to be true as soon as liberals get control of the Supreme Court. Winning, as people sometimes forget, matters.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        When I am being cynical (which can be fairly often), I think we are headed for a world in which the old phrase “elections have consequences” is no longer true. We see this with appointments and the abuse of the filibuster in the Senate.

        And other places.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        The Filibuster only matters because the majority allows it to matter. And the last four nominees are Roberts, Alito, Sotomayor, and Kagan. I think that is actually quite indicative of how elections matter. And I don’t see that changing.

        Democrats were reminded of that when Ralph Nader was the margin of error. Republicans will be reminded of that when the courts – the conservative tilt of which they have simply become accustomed to – go to the other side.Report

      • Avatar Art Deco in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Republicans will be reminded of that when the courts – the conservative tilt of which they have simply become accustomed to – go to the other side.

        Come again? When the Supreme Court declares an unborn child a person under the 14th Amendment and requires said persons to be included in state homicide statutes, get back to me. When the court annuls, invalidates, and enjoins any and all state-mandated racial preference schemes, get back to me. When the court invalidates every salient piece of regulatory legislation enacted after 1932 (including the Civil Rights Act of 1964) as impermissible extensions of federal regulatory power, get back to me. When the Social Security Acts are invalidated as exercises of powers not delegated, get back to me. When the legislative warrants for the Farm Security Agency and Food and Nutrition Service are invalidated as exercises of powers not delegated, get back to me. When the legislative warrants for the Department of Housing and Urban Development are invalidated as exercises of powers not delegated, get back to me….Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        . When the court invalidates …(… the Civil Rights Act of 1964) as impermissible extensions of federal regulatory power, get back to me.

        Recommended reading: section 5 of the 14tth Amendment.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Art, if you don’t think it’s conservative now, how do you think it will be when President Obama/Clinton/Biden/Cuomo gets to pick Scalia’s or Kennedy’s replacement?Report

      • Avatar Art Deco in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Appellate courts are wretchedly unprofessional as is. You are telling me I must put the appellation ‘conservative’ on the current court and behave as if anyone on my side of the argument was getting its way from the courts because it could be worse. This I do not understand.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP
        Ignored
        says:

        Then reject it. It’s not my central point so I don’t much care. But do you reject my central claim, that it will actually matter a great deal if Kennedy or Scalia is replaced by a Democratic nominee?Report

    • Avatar Jeff Lipton in reply to Mike
      Ignored
      says:

      Not as a common sense measure to secure voting, but as Bull Connor running the electoral process, ready to turn his water hose on any black person who dares ask for a ballot.

      That’s because these are NOT “common sense measure[s] to secure voting” as has been shown again and again. Those implementing them have STATED that their goal was to disenfranchise “Democrats” .

      If Republicans want to not be seen as anti-black or anti-woman or anti-gay. maybe they should act like they’re not anti-black or anti-woman and anti-gay. There is good reason I call them the party of Stupid or Evil.Report

    • Avatar Sam in reply to Mike
      Ignored
      says:

      Mike,

      With due respect, Republicans could change their policy positions on numerous issues and outflank Democrats. There are ways to win votes. They’re just not ways that Republicans would ever even think to consider.

      As for the idea that civil rights aren’t being rolled back, I find it odd that you’d point straight at voting, as voting is precisely the place where voting rights are being rolled back. There is, after all, no actual issue with in-person voter fraud. It doesn’t happen. And yet Republicans are oddly insistent on preventing it. We’re meant to believe that more minorities don’t have appropriate IDs than do whites just per chance, as if nobody knew of this before the policies were written. That’s absurdist, and there’s no reason for anybody to waste anytime pretending otherwise.Report

      • Avatar Mike in reply to Sam
        Ignored
        says:

        ID’s to vote are standard pretty much throughout the world. The idea that it’s some crazy racist poll tax is what I would consider absurdist. You may think that US voting is fraud free except where people have to show ID’s but from the Republican point of view, the only reason Al Franken is in the Senate is because several precincts reported more votes than registered voters.

        During the last election, we had several precincts in PA that reported 100% of votes for Obama and zero for Romney. It’s not impossible, but it seems improbable. There was the woman in Cincinnati who voted 5 times and would never have been caught if she hadn’t foolishly confessed to it on video. And of course there was the infamous video in which a vblogger had no trouble identifying himself as Attorney General Eric Holder and was able to request a ballot in his name.

        Now there are a lot of issues in which the left may genuinely think that Republican positions or opposition to Obama are racist. I’m sure such emotional cripples as Chris Matthews are absolutely sincere in thinking that any opposition to Obama is racist. But when it comes to ID’s, I don’t, for even a second, think that you guys really think IDs for voting are about poll taxing the black vote. It’s about maintaining the Democratic lead in voter fraud. You guys have been working the fraud angle for so long, you think it’s an absolutely legitimate right of Democrats to game the vote if needed.Report

      • Avatar Sam in reply to Sam
        Ignored
        says:

        So in an election with tens of millions of votes, you want to quibble with how many exactly? A hundred? A thousand? And if that means excluding 100,000 from the polls, so be it?

        But no, of course, this isn’t about race at all. It’s about who those excluded people are mostly likely to vote for, not the color of their skin.Report

      • Avatar Murali in reply to Sam
        Ignored
        says:

        Why aren’t SS cards issued with a photo?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Sam
        Ignored
        says:

        Murali, we get them when we’re babies. My daughter already has hers.Report

      • Avatar Murali in reply to Sam
        Ignored
        says:

        Why do children need an SS card, can’t it be issued when people are 16?Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Sam
        Ignored
        says:

        I think it’s to make sure that everyone gets one. I’d imagine that the process could be changed. A lot of people lose them and have to get another one when they turn working age.

        The next issue would be that for DL’s (and non-driver ID’s) we have DMV’s. We don’t really have the federal equivalent. For passports, we do it through the mail. We *could*, I suppose, use post offices for that purpose.

        I think the bigger issue is that we have an odd relationship with national ID’s. I think we generally recognize the utility, but the concept of a required national photo ID kind of freaks us out. Despite the general usefulness to all involved. So we basically make the process as inefficient as we possibly can.Report

      • Avatar Jeff Lipton in reply to Sam
        Ignored
        says:

        Mike:
        But when it comes to ID’s, I don’t, for even a second, think that you guys really think IDs for voting are about poll taxing the black vote.

        The people implementing them have [a] admitted that that’s EXACTLY what they are, and [b] have found NO proof of voter fraud. Read the news, be educated — the facts have a liberal bias.Report

      • Avatar Stella B in reply to Sam
        Ignored
        says:

        Children get SS cards so that their parents can claim them as deductions on their taxes.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Sam
        Ignored
        says:

        Children get SS cards so that their parents can claim them as deductions on their taxes.

        Also… many insurance plans will require an SS number fairly promptly if you are going to list the child as a dependent, and they need one for certain government services. When my granddaughter was recently born, the hospital staff asked, “Do you want to apply for an SS number for the child?” while they were collecting the information for the birth certificate.Report

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to Sam
        Ignored
        says:

        ID’s to vote are standard pretty much throughout the world.

        This statement is factually incorrect.

        ID’s to vote are in fact “nonstandard”, and certainly the sorts of photo-ID laws that you’ve seen pushed in the U.S. recently are far more stringent than the requirements in other countries where identification is required.

        Even in cases where “ID’s are required to vote”, in most of the countries that have documentation requirements, the actual “ID” part includes one of a very long list of acceptable forms of identification. All note that this includes many countries where national ID cards are the norm (which is not the case in the United States, more on that below).

        Ireland, Canada, India… they all have long laundry lists of acceptable documentation, down to “a copy of your recent utility bill”. The UK, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand have no ID requirements at all.

        Spain, Greece, France, Malta, Belgium, and Italy require government-issued photo identification, but they have standardized, mandatory government issued photo IDs.

        More here.

        States that have passed legislation rejecting a national ID card include: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Maine and Utah.

        I’ll note the large prevalence of “red states” on that list, which is an interesting dichotomy, to me anyway.Report

      • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Sam
        Ignored
        says:

        I have a question, Patrick. What’s the point of registration, residency requirements, age restrictions, citizenship restrictions, and disfranchisement of felons? Any one of these – including registration requirements, will clear far more people off the rolls than telling them they have to flash a driver’s license. How far are you willing to go to ensure “access to the polls” &c?Report

      • Avatar J@m3z Aitch in reply to Sam
        Ignored
        says:

        Mike seems to be arguing thatvthere’scwidespread voter fraud. Yet every specific allegation of significant fraud that has been made lately has been disproven. Assertions are easy, but proof seems to be rather scarce.Report

  8. Avatar Kim
    Ignored
    says:

    http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/
    Escaped from Syria before the fighting.
    So, um, probably not dead.
    (do read the link, it’s bracing).Report

  9. Avatar Shazbot3
    Ignored
    says:

    “None of this means that the GOP is akin to the political wing of the Klan. There are many good Republicans who don’t hate African Americans or another other minority group.”

    I’m not defending the Klan, just pointing out that the same defense could be offered of the Klan, where it would obviously be seen as a flawed defense, just as it is a flawed defense of Republicans.

    The KKK will often say that they don’t hate blacks and just want to protect whites. Of course, this is BS given that their actions harm blacks.

    Here is a link about how the Klan is “softer and gentler” and those Klan members will tell you that even in the past, the Klan was mostly good. (Just as Dennis suggests of the GOP.)

    There are dissimilarities between the Klan and GOP, obviously, especially in degree. The Klan is evil and the GOP is just really awful. But what is an invalid argument in defense of the one is invalid in defense of the other as well.Report

    • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Shazbot3
      Ignored
      says:

      Whoops, here is that link:

      http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/12/a-kinder-gentler-ku-klux-klan-we-do-not-hate-anyone-imperial-wizard-says/

      It is very interesting. The Klan was filled with ordinary people (just like the GOP) who did awful things out of ignorance. Still is filled with such people.

      Indeed, in most respects, Klan members (and surely GOP members) are good people.

      Two important lessons to remember:

      1. Plato: All people aim at the good. But ignorance is evil and creates evil.

      2. Arrendt. Evil is banal, not like an intentional cruelty that builds up in the consious mind. Rather is evil is done by ordinary people with intentions that probably feel like good intentions in their conscious mind.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Shazbot3
      Ignored
      says:

      There are dissimilarities between the Klan and GOP, obviously, especially in degree. The Klan is evil and the GOP is just really awful. But what is an invalid argument in defense of the one is invalid in defense of the other as well.

      If this sort of mess pleases you…Report

  10. Avatar Art Deco
    Ignored
    says:

    Your complaint is that Mr. Boehner, who is not at loose ends, did not attend a pointless commemoration which included, among others, Al Sharpton. Your complaint is frivolous.

    ==

    And Davis’ critique is not worth much either. The notion that contemporary racial discrimination is all that important in influencing economic outcomes is difficult to credit and the notion that some sort of civil rights strategy will have much appreciable effect is even moreso. What you can do to improve economic circumstances for blacks offends a number of Democratic interest groups, so it will not be done. Blacks tend to cast ballots as an affirmation of identity, so it will not for many decades to come injure the Democratic Party at the polls. Republicans have little influence over the municipal governments where most blacks congregate, so are not in a position to be helpful in most circumstances.

    Republican would do well to advocate consolidation of municipal police into metropolitan forces. A properly re-deployed and energized metropolitan force could do much to improve the quality of life in slum neighborhoods, as might replacing property taxes as the principal means of local finance. No, suburban Republicans will not advocate it. Even were such a policy fantastically effective at improving the quantum of public order in the slums, it would not get its progenitor more than about 2,500 votes out of those neighborhoods. Too bad, but that’s where we live.Report

  11. Avatar Art Deco
    Ignored
    says:

    Ummm…maybe because not coming makes you look like bigots?

    There is no reason for the Republican leadership to cringe in front of the likes of you, or the news media, or the black grievance industry.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Art Deco
      Ignored
      says:

      The problem is, if it looks bad to Dennis, it looks bad to a number of folks who might otherwise be sympathetic to the GOP.Report

      • Avatar Zac in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Why would they care if it looks bad? After all, they’d only ended up “cringing” before the “black grievance industry”. And as Mr. Deco so Art-fully put it, “Blacks tend to cast ballots as an affirmation of identity”.

        Gee, I wonder why people think Republicans are racists.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Because it may be costing them elections, is why they would (or should) care.Report

      • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Will, I can almost guarantee you that you will not find one voter in fifty who both noticed and cared, and most of them would not vote Republican anyway. It is superlatively unimportant.

        A question Mr. Truman:

        Should it concern me that I am graced with stupid insults from the likes of ‘Zac’? I see no point in being witlessly other-directed. If Zac wishes to pleasure himself in this way, he can go ahead. That goes for the rest of the boors in this joint.

        I am not employed as a campaign engineer or pollster. It is not my job to concern myself with what sells and I have no skills in that realm. I would like the Republican Party to push good policy at all levels. These days, any relationship between good policy and whatever Mr. Boehner is scheming to do is fairly random, but I will still cast a Republican ballot in a federal election because the stupid party is merely stupid and not evil like the other party (bar when they conspire with the evil party to do something stupid and evil, like tossing out green cards to Mexican turnstile jumpers).

        It would be naive, however, to think that good policy will win you many votes. You have maybe a quarter of the population who follow public affairs, about half of whom have a mental filing system which allows them to keep track of anything very well (and many of these made up their mind years ago and are not budging). People cast ballots for all manner of arbitrary reasons, and even issue-oriented voters have peculiar priorities obsessed with trivia like ‘torture’ and marijuana laws. That’s just the world in which we live.

        Elected officials remain better aggregators of individuals preferences than tenured judges meeting in secret. Everyone knows that, though professional-managerial types who have contempt for the rest of us believe otherwise (with the excuse that whatever they do not care for is ‘unconstitutional’). The haute bourgeois are nearly as tribal as anyone else; just a different tribe.Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah, those people who have contempt for the rest of us are really annoying.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        The problem is, if it looks bad to Dennis, it looks bad to a number of folks who might otherwise be sympathetic to the GOP.

        Politics being what it is, this is a fair point. But the fact that it is a fair point depresses me. In a better world, elections would be decided based on policy, rather than on which politician does a better job of showing that he cares.Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        The problem with the GOP and minority voters must be similar to what Mark Twain said about Wagner’s music- “Its better than it sounds.”Report

  12. Avatar Zac
    Ignored
    says:

    Well, Art, it’s good to know that you find your own words quoted back to you to be “stupid insults”. Perhaps there’s hope for you yet. I, for one, am more than happy to be lumped in with the “boors at this joint”, which is apparently the group of people unwilling to put up with your unbelievably condescending and moronic bullshit. As a daily reader of this site, it stuns me that you haven’t yet been sent packing by moderators the same way they forced out Van Dyke and Bob Cheeks. Hopefully, this thread will one day be used as evidence in the discussion between them that ends your exile, a day that cannot come soon enough.Report

  13. Avatar Art Deco
    Ignored
    says:

    I understand his points. I just do not respect them.Report

  14. Avatar Stella B
    Ignored
    says:

    The recovery period for a stent is four hours of lying flat and avoid heavy lifting until the bandage falls off. Three weeks is more than enough time to recover adequately for a few minute speech.Report

  15. Avatar Jeff Lipton
    Ignored
    says:

    One HUGE problem is that those who have been supporting racist policies and politicians have to look into their souls and recognize the darkness they have growing there. Take Mr Saunders recent post. He talks about what it took him to realize the prejudice he had, the unreasonableness of it, and his desire to change.

    Those who believe in the “black grievance industry” (and I’m sure there’s one for gays and trhe transgendered, too), who believe the new voter ID laws are not DESIGNED to be racist, who believe that there’s no GOP War on Women — these will have a hard time looking themselves in the eye and saying, “I have done people wrong, I have been a jerk, I need to correct myself.”

    I have plenty of black spots in my soul, too. I pretty much detest anything to do with India.But I acknowledge my black spots, I know this is wrong, and I try not to affect my behavior ( since most of my office-mates are H1Bs, this is kind of important). Those who support the racists need to do the same.Report

  16. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    There’s a really sharp joke from All in the Family where Edith is asked about the advancement of African Americans and she says something like, “Well, now you see plenty of black doctors and lawyers and business people. I think they’ve done very well on television.” I sort of see this the same way. The “optics” of speaking at this event are great and affirm the struggles of African Americans, but at the end of the day, it’s hard to say what will back up the message being sent. Now, I do agree that it sends a message to turn down the offer, which I’m not sure why any politician would want to send.Report

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