I just got done reading this opinion piece written by the NYT’s Bob Herbert, the headline of which reads “The Ugly Side of the GOP” which reads sort of like a fantasy piece for race-baiting Democrats who have sought for decades to make the GOP the party of racism. Here’s a snippet:
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.”
At least 57 senators favored the bill, a solid majority. But the Republicans prevented a key motion on the measure from receiving the 60 votes necessary to move it forward in the Senate. The bill died.
At the same time that the Republicans were killing Congressional representation for D.C. residents, the major G.O.P. candidates for president were offering a collective slap in the face to black voters nationally by refusing to participate in a long-scheduled, nationally televised debate focusing on issues important to minorities.
The radio and television personality Tavis Smiley worked for a year to have a pair of these debates televised on PBS, one for the Democratic candidates and the other for the Republicans. The Democratic debate was held in June, and all the major candidates participated.
The Republican debate is scheduled for Thursday. But Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson have all told Mr. Smiley: “No way, baby.”
They won’t be there. They can’t be bothered debating issues that might be of interest to black Americans. After all, they’re Republicans.
First, let me get this out of the way: I agree with Captain Ed on wishing the frontrunner Republicans would attend the PBS debate:
I don’t think that the refusal to attend the PBS debate has to do with inherent racism, but rather a sense that no short-term benefit will arise from engaging blacks during the Republican primaries. It’s an unfortunate calculation. We have messages of empowerment through free enterprise and market-based solutions for education that could resonate, if only our leadership would engage African-American voters early and often. It may not help elect a Republican president in 2008, but it could generate enough interest to replace J.C. Watts as our only black Congressman within ten years of his retirement.
Now, on to the Herbert piece:
The piece contains several misrepresentations, and in some cases outight lies, as well as assumptions made by Herbert that indicate that if someone doesn’t vote the way they want them to, then they must be a racist, all of which are documented and debunked here and here.
Longtime readers of this blog know that racism – specifically racial hypocrisy and double standards – is a topic I blog about often here, primarily because I find it an outright injustice that the real racists in this country, most of who can be found in the Democratic party, routinely get away with “soft” racism in the form of lowering standards for the black community. They do this by continuing to support unconstitutional race preferences in the workplace and in our education system, as well as aiding poor people – of which there are disproportionately more black people than white as a percentage of the population – in becoming dependent on a lifetime welfare check from the government instead of encouraging them to get out and get a job, and encouraging them to take pride in their lives and their accomplishments. In other words, when it boils down to it, the Democrats’ real goal is to not help poor black people succeed, but to instead keep them stupid enough that they’ll continue to vote for Democrats.
But when I see dishonest, factually inaccurate pieces like the one I just read by Bob Herbert, I am reminded that sometimes even smart black Democrats can be stuck on stupid if they think it’s the Republican party who have been the party of racism in this country for the last 40 years. That is not to say that there are no racist Republicans, but when it comes to policies directly and negatively impacting the black community, one only needs to look to the Democratic party to understand which party has done more damage.
Memo to Bob Herbert: Next time you want to call someone out on racism, you might want to examine a lot closer the racists on your own side of the aisle, the ones responsible for helping to keep poor, uneducated black people poor, uneducated black people, and who are guilty of trying to discourage independent thought within the black community via intimidation and insults. But then that would involve thinking outside of the box, wouldn’t it? And oh no, we just can’t have that.
Wed AM Update: Herbert’s remarkably good about staying on message, so much so the the hit piece he wrote yesterday contained a lot of the same information he wrote in a 2005 hit piece on the GOP and racial issues. Brian at Liberty Pundit has the details.