Is the Republican Party in the USA Racist? Are the GOP — “The Grand Old Party” — kind to Blacks and other minorities, or is their entire purpose and strategy to demonize Blacks and win elections off their backs while only pretending to want and welcome Black skin into power?

We all remember the race-baiting of Senator Macaca and the political lynching of Harold Ford, Jr. in Tennessee.

Can you remember the last time someone from the White House invoked the Racial stereotype of “the lazy Black man” by branding that very label to a major Black candidate running for presidential office?

…a White House official criticizes Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as demonstrating “intellectual laziness” during his campaign, for allegedly trying to get by on charisma alone and not doing the heavy lifting expected of serious presidential candidates. We won’t be the first to note the irony in that the senior White House official works for a president who himself has been often criticized for not exactly exercising his neurons as vigorously as he exercises his muscles. But that doesn’t make it less ironic.

Over the weekend both Jack Kemp and Newt Gingrich — both conservative Republican stalwarts — make it clear to the current All White Male Gang of GOP presidential candidates that they must not eschew the minority vote as reported by the Washington Post:

“We sound like we don’t want immigration; we sound like we don’t want black people to vote for us,” said former congressman Jack Kemp (N.Y.), who was the GOP vice presidential nominee in 1996. “What are we going to do — meet in a country club in the suburbs one day? If we’re going to be competitive with people of color, we’ve got to ask them for their vote.” Making matters worse, some Republicans believe, is that the decision to bypass the Morgan State forum comes after all top GOP candidates save McCain declined invitations this month to a debate on Univision, the most-watched Hispanic television network in the United States.

The event was eventually postponed. “For Republicans to consistently refuse to engage in front of an African American or Latino audience is an enormous error,” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), who has not yet ruled out a White House run himself. “I hope they will reverse their decision and change their schedules. I see no excuse — this thing has been planned for months, these candidates have known about it for months. It’s just fundamentally wrong. Any of them who give you that scheduling-conflict answer are disingenuous. That’s baloney.”

In today’s New York Times, columnist Bob Herbert argues Republicans do not like Blacks:

Enough is enough. Last week the Republicans showed once again just how anti-black their party really is. The G.O.P. has spent the last 40 years insulting, disenfranchising and otherwise stomping on the interests of black Americans. Last week, the residents of Washington, D.C., with its majority black population, came remarkably close to realizing a goal they have sought for decades — a voting member of Congress to represent them.

A majority in Congress favored the move, and the House had already approved it. But the Republican minority in the Senate — with the enthusiastic support of President Bush — rose up on Tuesday and said: “No way, baby.”

Herbert also reveals the Republican “Southern Strategy” of the late Lee Atwater — political pundit for the GOP in the reign of Ronald Reagan:

In 1981, during the first year of Mr. Reagan’s presidency, the late Lee Atwater gave an interview to a political science professor at Case Western Reserve University, explaining the evolution of the Southern strategy: “You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger,’ ” said Atwater. “By 1968, you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff.

You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.”

I wonder if Republicans are purposefully baiting Black stereotypes for political gain?

Or is this current trend against minorities part of the nature of mainstream conservative thought in America? Or are the entire GOP wholly misunderstood in their public statements and actions when it comes to the Black vote in the USA? What do you think?

11 Comments

  1. Right Wing political hack Bill O’Reilly recently said this on his TV show about Blacks:

    Summary: Discussing his recent dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at the Harlem restaurant Sylvia’s, Bill O’Reilly reported that he “couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship.” O’Reilly added: “There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea.’ ”

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200709210007?f=h_top
    It is harrowing and unbelievable that kind of ignorance gets on air.

  2. Hat tip to “Cindy” who didn’t want to post a comment, but sent me the following Time magazine article from 2002:

    Here’s some advice for Republicans eager to attract more African-American supporters: don’t stop with Trent Lott. Blacks won’t take their commitment to expanding the party seriously until they admit that the GOP’s wrongheadedness about race goes way beyond Lott and infects their entire party. The sad truth is that many Republican leaders remain in a massive state of denial about the party’s four-decade-long addiction to race-baiting. They won’t make any headway with blacks by bashing Lott if they persist in giving Ronald Reagan a pass for his racial policies.

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,399921,00.html

  3. I believe that the US politicians are being misinterpreted; they’re motives are not nearly as racist as many “liberals” and minorities want to believe.
    Obama was acused of laziness in his campaign – a valid acusation at the time it was made. So what? Why does that have to be racist? Are we at the point of ethno-guiltism that a White man can’t call another man lazy if that man is Black?
    In other cases the Republicans are more concerned with political leanings and economic position than with race. There’s little point in their campaigning to poor minorities since their not going to get those votes anyway. The US is too polarized now for “swing campaigns” to be viable.

  4. Hiya jonolan!
    It’s good to have your perspective on this matter.
    I don’t think anyone can get away with calling any Black person “lazy” in any context and get away with it in our current political climate just as Joe Biden got in trouble when he called Obama “clean” and “articulate.” Those are all stereotypical cues that have negative historic connotations.