Monday, July 20, 2009

Racism and the Republican Party

One of the many negative attributes of today's Republican Party - besides being controlled by religious extremists and gay haters - is the racism that permeates so much of the Party. And it is not just racism towards blacks. As the GOP convention last summer revealed, the GOP is lily white and despite its lip service to diversity, no diversity exists. Indeed, unless one is a white Protestant generally from the South or rural areas, you are not welcome in the Party. If nothing else, the Sotomayor hearings have helped to underscore this reality. Frank Rich in his usual way does a great job at looking at the phenomenon in his column yesterday in the New York Times. Here are some highlights:
[T]he Sotomayor show was still rich in historical significance. Someday we may regard it as we do those final, frozen tableaus of Pompeii. It offered a vivid snapshot of what Washington looked like when clueless ancien-régime conservatives were feebly clinging to their last levers of power, blissfully oblivious to the new America that was crashing down on their heads. . . .
The hearings were pure “Alice in Wonderland.” Reality was turned upside down. Southern senators who relate every question to race, ethnicity and gender just assumed that their unreconstructed obsessions are America’s and that the country would find them riveting. Instead the country yawned. The Sotomayor questioners also assumed a Hispanic woman, simply for being a Hispanic woman, could be portrayed as The Other and patronized like a greenhorn unfamiliar with How We Do Things Around Here. The senators seemed to have no idea they were describing themselves when they tried to caricature Sotomayor as an overemotional, biased ideologue.
[W]hen Tom Coburn of Oklahoma merrily joked to Sotomayor that “You’ll have lots of ’splainin’ to do,” it clearly didn’t occur to him that such mindless condescension helps explain why the fastest-growing demographic group in the nation is bolting his party. Coburn wouldn’t know that behind the fictional caricature Ricky Ricardo was the innovative and brilliant Cuban-American show-business mogul Desi Arnaz.
It’s the American way that we judge people as individuals, not as groups. And by that standard we can say unequivocally that this particular wise Latina, with the richness of her experiences, would far more often than not reach a better conclusion than the individual white males she faced in that Senate hearing room. Even those viewers who watched the Sotomayor show for only a few minutes could see that her America is our future and theirs is the rapidly receding past.
Unless there is some major change in course, the only question that remains is how soon will the GOP at a national level become a regional party based in the South and comprised mostly of white bigots.


Unknown said...

Very good, thoughtful article. My thoughts were the same as I watched the hearings. Now let's hope that Obama understands that the GLBT community is not going to wait much longer. We need to send him that message.

Anonymous said...

This is an example of how your rose colored glasses have blinded you tot he racism that permeates the left. The left is the source of hate in our country today. The left still wants to use genetics as a basis for access.
I feel sorry for the left. The left HATES me.
But as your political agenda is harmed by my opinion, I doubt you will approve this for posting.

Michael-in-Norfolk said...

I published the above anonymous comments since it is illustrative of the way in which the right transfers its own racism and hate to those who call them out on these issues.

It is also illustrative of the gutlessness of these whiners who want to attack others yet lack the courage of their convictions and are afraid to identify themselves. To me, it sounds like the poster has some self-hate/self-esteem issues as well.