3:58pm January 18, 2013

The GOP’s Race Problem

Alabama Primary 2012

In the last fifty years, the Republican Party has developed an enormous problem with race. After the presidential election of 1964, they mutually agreed to embrace a southern, evangelical strategy that resulted in abandoning the minority voting bloc. The political party once associated with the eponymous President Abraham Lincoln has become the voice of extremism and vulgarity. Most Republicans can argue until they’re blue in the face that this isn’t the case, but the visceral images we continue to see and the contumelious rhetoric used by their party’s spokesmen suggests otherwise.

Over the past four years, there has been an execrable assault launched on President Obama and his presidency. The amount of collusion going on in the halls of Congress has become a historic scourge on the nation.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the rest of the Republican brass stated on day one that their primary goal was to make President Barack Obama a one-term president. Despite all of their puissant efforts, the president was successful on issues ranging from the rebirth of the auto industry to foreign policy as well as his bid for a second term. Let’s be clear: He has received no help in all these matters from the other side of the isle. During the first two years of his term, he wanted to work in a bi-partisan manner, but each time the olive branch was extended it was ignored.

It has become laughable to listen to most Republicans come up with excuse after excuse on why they dislike President Obama and his policies. Very few Republicans can make a credible case based on statistical data. The rest are living in their collective bubbles where facts are foreign and lies are commonplace. The pervasive assertion has been that President Obama is lazy, un-American and not worthy of the position he holds as leader of the free world.

Code language during the Republican primaries and the 2012 presidential election cycle brought to light that the United States isn’t even close to being post-racial. The racist terminology that was espoused by former Senator John Sununu, former Governor Sarah Palin, former Senator Rick Santorum, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Governor Romney revealed the quandary the Republican Party finds itself in today’s political and social climate. As a result, their nefarious train of thought led them to the idea of suppressing the vote, which completely backfired in the end.

Watching the Republican National Convention in August, many things stood out like a sore thumb. The heart of the party is dominated by the baby boomer generation. The lack of diversity in the audience was astounding and it spoke volumes to their core beliefs. Party representatives remain resolute in their desire of not wanting to be led by a Black president for another four years.

Prime examples of their repulsive behavior were their threats to block the confirmation of Susan Rice as the next Secretary of State, which resulted in Rice withdrawing her name from contention and not fully cooperating with the president in solving the fiscal cliff crisis last month.

Two noteworthy Republican military giants recently made reference to their party’s ongoing issues with race.

Retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson made the following statement on MSNBC nightly program The Ed Show in October, “My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people — not all of them, but most of them — who are still basing their positions on race. Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that’s despicable.”

Retired General Colin Powell stated on Meet The Press last Sunday, “There’s also a dark — a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party. What do I mean by that? I mean by that that they still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that? When I see a former governor say that the President is “shuckin’ and jivin’,” that’s racial era slave term… The birther, the whole birther movement. Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the party?

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Senator John McCain had the gumption to stand up against the ugliness of racism when his constituency repeatedly questioned the validity of President Obama being an American citizen. Since then, he has become one of the main political characters alongside his long time ally Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.), Congressmen Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) basking in the squalidness of racist overtones, which speaks to not only his lack of character, but his political party.

The devastating results from election night left some Republicans denying reality. It was the first time a presidential candidate won an election without winning the majority of the White vote. The Republicans were on the receiving end of an epic smack down by minorities and women. They lost demonstrably in every voting category with Blacks, Latinos, Asians and women. President Obama’s diverse base exposed the harsh truth that Republicans refuse to acknowledge. By 2042, Whites will no longer be the majority in the United States.

Some Republicans have acknowledged that if they don’t make sweeping changes in their attitudes toward minorities, their party will become extinct. What is evident is the most extreme elements within their base have eliminated the moderate views. It would benefit the country to have a legitimate, viable second option to choose from that has the best interests of everyone in mind. Until this happens, the Republicans will continue losing ad nauseum.

About the Author

Chris Williams
Chris Williams is an internationally published writer. His work has been featured on the BBC, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, EBONY and Black America Web. You can follow him on Twitter @CWmsWrites.



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