How To ‘Not Get It’ About Race, Part LXVII

minstrel show diversity = GOP

adapted from a print at the Library of Congress

Having spoken in unmistakable code about takers and makers and lazy sponges and gifts to minorities, etcetera, the brain trust of the GOP seems to have hit on a novel new idea:

J.C. Watts for RNC chair?
John Bresnahan / Politico

Former GOP Rep. J.C. Watts says he is being “encouraged” by supporters to run for chairman of the Republican National Committee, a move he says could broaden the party’s appeal to minorities.  —  Watts is not formally entering the race, and he is not critical of current RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who has already announced he will second term in the post. [sic]

But Watts, an African-American conservative who served in the House from 1994-2002, said the GOP defeat on Election Day demonstrates that Republicans need to broaden their appeal to minority voters, and cannot continue on their current path if the party is to be successful in presidential races.

“My concern right now, and I don’t say this necessarily as a candidate [for RNC chairman], my concern is that as a Republican, every single Republican in America ought to be concerned about what has happened in 2008 and 2012,” Watts said in an interview with POLITICO. “In this business, if you’re not growing, you’re dying.” [...]

Ahh. The Minstrel Show Mentality so in evidence at the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia has not abated a bit.

And, in a sense, it’s the hallmark of a party deeply in denial about race and racism: the insulting notion that if you put a “minority” in the figurehead position as national Chair (and “minority” is probably not the term used in back rooms, but more probably a term that rhymes with the midwestern skin pest, the “chigger”) THAT WILL SOLVE THE GOP’S “minority” problem.

BRILLIANT!

The GOP Minstrel Show!

The phony diversity shot

Let’s see what else the mainstream GOP chitchat is about today, shall we?

Narcissist in chief: President Obama honors Rosa Parks anniversary with picture of himself
Lori Ziganto / Twitchy

Update: Adam Baldwin with the win — Just when you think President Obama’s impossibly large ego can’t grow further, he makes it happen! — President Obama loves to insert himself in other people’s biographies….

Ah. (and check out the “mee too!” blogs ALSO attempting to turn the Rosa Parks anniversary into another racial attack at the link)

Well, that’s surely going to be remedied  by NOT re-electing a white loser from Wisconsin whose name escapes me, but sounds like a Toyota hybrid vehicle, in the same way they STRENUOUSLY dumped Michael Steele, the FIRST BLACK CHAIR of the RNC, coincidentally elected not at all to cynically oppose new president Barack Obama, you know, black guy against black guy.

Because, Prius has a lock on the refueling, seemingly, even though he and his party just got their butts handed to them, virtually across the board, and not at all explicable by making The Rombot™ the Scapegoat®.

One of my best friends is a robot!

I’m tellin’ ya! The polls say we can’t lose!

What’s not to get that minorities don’t want anything to do with a racist, hateful, monochromatic GOP? (The only color allowed in is, seemingly, orange.)

The image is still seared in memory: at a Sarah Palin rally in the last of the shirtsleeve weather in 2008, the ONLY blacks seen in one NASCAR type outdoor venue were the SECRET SERVICE AGENTS guarding Palin. There was something unrelievedly hilarious about their obvious squirming, as the “undercover” agents were obvious to everyone present … because they were the only black men in the arena.

The in-your-face juxtaposition of the racial position couldn’t have been more blatant, and, therefore, less commented upon.

ocean of whiteness

But when your only power base in the congress — the House of Representatives–ONLY appoints white men to committee chairMANships (and, late-breaking, a sudden replanting of a woman to head a committee on ‘ethics’ she’s never served on), what in hell do you think you’re saying that a black RNC chairman is going to negate?

Seriously: when the GOP was taken over by former Southern Dixiecrats doesn’t anybody notice that the national party agenda began to blatantly feature and institutionalize the suppression of black voters? Where do you suppose THAT came from? The Party of Lincoln or the Party of Strom Thurmond?

HAT__DVD_OVER_WHITE

A great Christmas oven-stuffer!

But, hell, go ahead, GOP. Elect a black chairMAN to head the Republican National Committee. That’ll solve your minority perception problems.

No. Really it will.

Really.

Courage.
===========================

A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, an honorary Texan, Clown (ditto) and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog

Author: HART WILLIAMS

A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog, His Vorpal Sword (no spaces) dot com.

15 Comments

  1. sure, this ‘newest idea’ sure worked for Alan Keyes to be elected Prez of the USA, right.

  2. Very good distillation of one of the GOP’s of big problems, another being its the party of whackos and crazies. It may take a few more election routs before any serious reflection takes place.

  3. I think the Democratic Party has its own share of whackos. The problem with the Republican ones is that they are the ones setting the party’s agenda!

  4. I’m kind of looking forward to some entertainment value when it comes to the whole GOP tent expanding experiment. And yes, it will be more about perception than about substance – necessarily given their history.

  5. “Racism is the most powerful and toxic accusation in American discourse, one that derails careers and destroys futures. Yet despite its toxicity it is also the one that requires the least amount of evidence; the racism, we are told, is institutionalized or subterranean, so trust that it’s being divined in good faith. Well, that won’t do. Because there is no penalty for unfairly calling someone a racist, as David Frum points out—if it sticks, a point for your side; if it doesn’t, who cares?”

    http://reason.org/news/show/ho.....gly-people

  6. Zusai, the quote may contain elements of truth, but could as easily be an excuse to avoid facing an ugly reality. There is only so much spin the GOP can indulge in at this point I think. Purging the racists, fundamentalists, and Norquist sycophants should be a genuine priority if they want to regain credibility.

  7. Of course you don’t have to go all the way back to Palin to see the lack of diversity. Watching the blinding white of the RNC and election night could have caused retinal detachment.
    Hopefully the Republicans will openly court minorities who happen to embrace their ideology, but it will be a hard sell. Not so much because of race, but because of class distinction. They aren’t really champions of the “little guy”, which most minorities are.

  8. “While commenters have noted blogger Spencer Ackerman’s sleazy suggestion that liberals start labeling random Republicans “racist”—pick a conservative, like “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists”—few noticed the obsession with accusing opponents not of being misguided or wrong, but motivated by racial animus and Nazi-like hatreds.”

    http://reason.org/news/show/ho.....gly-people

  9. When a public figure, any public figure (democrat, republican, or no political affiliation), makes a remark that is perceived to be racist by enough people that it gets widespread coverage and they refuse to comment on what they said or they sidestep questions as to whether is was a racist statement or not… IT WAS RACIST.

    Is that really so hard to comprehend?

    Edit to add – How many others here are old enough to remember their Roman Numerals and know that LXVII is 67? :)

  10. SteveK, Are you referring to a specific statement? The Rosa Parks tweet?

  11. zusa1, No, I wasn’t addressing a specific statement all I was saying what I believe to be a truth.

    My comment was a generalization and though I realize generalizations are a dangerous territory I truly believe that:

    “When a public figure, any public figure (democrat, republican, or no political affiliation), makes a remark that is perceived to be racist by enough people that it gets widespread coverage and they refuse to comment on what they said or they sidestep questions as to whether is was a racist statement or not… IT WAS RACIST.”

    If the ‘Dixiecrats were still in league with the democrats I’d be giving democrats hell but they aren’t… They’re Republicans now and is seems, again maybe just to me, the Republicans are proud and pleased as punch to have them on board.

    So much of the argument I hear from the right is like the argument Lester Maddox used when he pretended to offended by people saying he was selling miniature ‘ax handles’ that represented how he kept blacks out of his restaurant. He said, “Those weren’t ax handles… they were pick handles.”

    Racism rests on all our shoulders. Some want to be part of a solution… Some don’t.

    Edit to add:

    If anybody has a copy of the Dick Cavett Show December 18, 1970 where Lester Maddox walked off the show I’ll give you $50 for a copy… It was grand. Cavett, Jim Brown, Truman Copote, & Lester Maddox… too funny.

    Maddox said, “I’ll give you to the count of ten to apologize.” Where as Truman said, “One… two… three..”

    Live TV had it’s moments.

  12. SteveK, I agree that it shouldn’t be tolerated. But in looking toward JC Watts as a quick fix for what ails them, are they misguided, or are they racist and calling Mr. Watts racial slurs behind his back:
    “(and “minority” is probably not the term used in back rooms, but more probably a term that rhymes with the midwestern skin pest, the “chigger”)”

    The Rosa Parks tweet is another example. I don’t think Obama’s ego is a secret. Until I started looking at this, I hadn’t realized he had inserted himself into the biography of every president since Coolidge with the exception of Ford on the White House website, including Ronald Reagan:

    “Did you know?

    President Reagan designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day a national holiday; today the Obama Administration honors this tradition, with the First and Second Families participating in service projects on this day.
    In a June 28, 1985 speech Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multi-millionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.”

    His perceived ego was the motive for the tweet.

    And since the article brought up NASCAR, from the same article above:

    “First, there was the Journolist leaks, in which members of a listserv inhabited by liberal journalists and academics expressed their desire to see Rush Limbaugh die of a heart attack; to toss their enemies through plate glass windows; to call random conservatives racists; and to rid the country of those “fucking NASCAR retards.” In other words, a confirmation of preexisting conservative stereotypes about members of the liberal intelligentsia. But was the group of 400 writers—the Learned Elders of the Left—attempting to coordinate news coverage? ”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents

  13. “Ahh. The Minstrel Show Mentality so in evidence at the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia has not abated a bit.

    And, in a sense, it’s the hallmark of a party deeply in denial about race and racism: the insulting notion that if you put a “minority” in the figurehead position as national Chair (and “minority” is probably not the term used in back rooms, but more probably a term that rhymes with the midwestern skin pest, the “chigger”) THAT WILL SOLVE THE GOP’S “minority” problem.”

    That doesn’t seem to be the motive behind whoever is encouraging him to run. Perhaps whoever is encouraging him “gets it”, because the next three paragraphs in the article read:

    “Watts would not identify who is lobbying him to challenge Priebus, and reiterated that he has not made a decision to definitely jump into the race.

    Watts complained that Republican efforts to reach out to minority groups have not been sustained or consistent during his 20-plus years as a politician, but rather are executed on ad hoc basis – usually in election years. In Watts’ view, and that of many other Republican leaders and party operatives, if the GOP doesn’t dramatically improve its image with black and Hispanic voters, it will not be able to win back the White House.
    “These old, tired, pathetic models of saying, ‘Okay, in the black [community], when there’s a presidential election, we will form an African-American Coalition for [Mitt] Romney or [Sen. John] McCain,’ I’ll never do that again. That is a joke, that is so tired,” Watts said. “It’s window dressing to say, ‘African Americans for Romney’ or ‘African-American Coalition’ or ‘African-American Advisory Council.’ That’s insulting to the people that they ask to do it when you don’t put an permanent infrastructure in place to give it credibility.””

  14. I repeat.
    “Racism is the most powerful and toxic accusation in American discourse, one that derails careers and destroys futures. Yet despite its toxicity it is also the one that requires the least amount of evidence; the racism, we are told, is institutionalized or subterranean, so trust that it’s being divined in good faith. Well, that won’t do. Because there is no penalty for unfairly calling someone a racist, as David Frum points out—if it sticks, a point for your side; if it doesn’t, who cares?”
    http://reason.org/news/show/ho.....gly-people

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