Friday, May 02, 2008

Remind public of GOP racist track record if they mention Wright

Both Obama and Hillary missed an opportunity when they went on Fox News only to be questioned about Rev. Wright. They could have turned it around to a discussion of Republican politician's, right wing talk radio, and even Fox News own far more extensive and virulent history of racist remarks and actions.

If the GOP tries to use Rev. Wright against Obama in fall, we should have their racist resume ready.

Which shouldn't be too hard to do.

Start with the Southern Strategy of covert appeals to Southern racists that began after LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act in 1964 & 1965. LBJ said he lost the South for the Democrats for a generation. He was wrong. He lost it pretty much up until today.

Racist white voters started voting Republican at the presidential level immediately, and down-ticket as racist Dixiecrats politicians migrated from the Democrats to the GOP.

In a 1970 New York Times interview, Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips was blunt about this:

The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats."

Reagan launched his campaign talking about "states rights" a segregationist buzzword in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where the three civil rights workers were killed in the 60s.

Starting with Reagan they began a sustained assault on affirmative action, particularly in college admissions, without bothering with even a fig-leaf of going after other forms of non-merit admissions like legacies with room temperature IQs getting in because their family members went to the school and more importantly, gave money to their endowment.

Using blacks as boogey men in campaign commercials has been a staple of the Republican politicians at all levels. Jesse Helms used his "white hands" commercial to play on white resentment of affirmative action, Papa Bush had Willie Horton to play on fear of black criminals raping white women, and the recent campaign against Harold Ford had only to imply that a white woman might want the only slightly tinted Ford to call her.

Until recently, there was the obligatory stop of GOP candidates at racist Bob Jones University, where inter-racial dating was not allowed until 2000--AFTER George W. Bush made a campaign stop.

There are also the various statements of Rush Limbaugh including his brief tenure as a sportscaster saying Donovan McNabb was only a quarterback because of affirmative action, and Bill O'Reilly being shocked that black people behaved in a nice restaurant and weren't screaming obscenities. Last Fall, Media Matters put together some of the greatest hits of Fox News racism, including Bill O'Reilly saying during Katrina that "Many, many, many" hurricane victims who failed to evacuate New Orleans are "drug-addicted ... thugs"

Besides Bush's inaction during Hurricane Katrina, you have Fox News calling black residents looters and whites "searching for supplies," and a GOP congressman saying the destruction of low income housing was god doing what they couldn't.

compassionate conservatism

As recently as this primary season, Republicans were still debating whether the Confederate flag, a symbol of slavery and oppression to African Americans and most other Americans, should still fly on public property.

Mitt Romney said he would never have a Muslim in his cabinet.

In some of these cases of racism directed at blacks, the righties involved have been demoted or forced to apologize. I don't think they ever have apologized about their Muslim-baiting, particularly their talk radio shills.

Ann Coulter said Muslims should be killed or forcibly converted, Rush Limbaugh said a Muslim prisoner was covered in feces because they don't know how to wipe themselves, and Michael Savage Weiner said we should kill at least 100 million Muslims and that there was no difference the Muslims who attacked us on 9/11 and ALL the other Muslims in the world.

I have left out their Latin American immigrant-bashing, English only campaigns because they are mad someone's Vietnamese grandmother isn't learning English fast enough, fear of brown people breeding faster than whites, fear of gays recruiting our kids (so far they have only been successful with GOP politicians and preachers), and fear of anyone else they can think of that will drive people to the polls without demanding action on actual economic issues.

These are hardly the people to be lecturing the rest of us about racism.

I'm sure I've left lots of examples out, so feel free to add them.

You might also ask Media Matters to put together a "greatest hits" of GOP and/or right wing talker racism, and Outfoxed producer Robert Greenwald to expand and re-promote FOX ATTACKS BLACK AMERICA.

Contact Media Matters.

Contact Greenwald:

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