Tuesday, March 19, 2013

You Can't Take The Racism Out Of Racists

While Republicans endlessly try to "re-brand", this isn't draw poker where you trade in the cards you don't want. There is no way to re-brand as a less racist, misogynistic and bigoted party when your base is filled with racists, misogynists and bigots. Case and Point: A CPAC session that was actually titled: “Are You Sick And Tired Of Being Called A Racist When You Know You’re Not One?”. Talking Points Memo has the painful recap:
A CPAC session sponsored by Tea Party Patriots and billed as a primer on teaching activists how to court black voters devolved into a shouting match as some attendees demanded justice for white voters and others shouted down a black woman who reacted in horror.
. . .
But then questions and answers began. And things went off the rails.

Scott Terry of North Carolina, accompanied by a Confederate-flag-clad attendee, Matthew Heimbach, rose to say he took offense to the event’s take on slavery. (Heimbach founded the White Students Union at Towson University and is described as a “white nationalist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

“It seems to be that you’re reaching out to voters at the expense of young white Southern males,” Terry said, adding he “came to love my people and culture” who were “being systematically disenfranchised.”

Smith responded that Douglass forgave his slavemaster.

“For giving him shelter? And food?” Terry said.

At this point the event devolved into a mess of shouting. Organizers calmed things down by asking everyone to “take the debate outside after the presentation.”

Brown, who took offense at the suggestion modern Democrats were descendants of the KKK, tried to ask a question later once things finally calmed down. She was booed and screamed at by audience members.

“Let someone else speak!” one attendee in Revolutionary War garb shouted.

“You’re not welcome!” a white-haired older woman yelled.

Eventually she asked a question. It was about whether Republicans should call out racist ads.

Attendees interviewed by TPM afterwards expressed outrage at the way the event turned out. Not at Terry and Heimbach — they were mad at Brown.
I've made this point before, but the Republican party will "evolve" on controversial issues like slavery when a large portion of their base is dead. I honestly think a lot of Republican politicians aren't racists or bigots, but there is a very real risk of losing your job and future in the party if you try to condemn this garbage. And while you'd like to think they'd want to be on the right side of history, most of them just care about keeping their jobs. The party will probably be forced to change eventually, but in the mean time it's gonna get real ugly.

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