Republicans, Tea Partyers Claim Slavery, Lynching Not Racially Motivated
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
That's what I expect to hear from the fingers-in-ears, La-La-La! lunatic faction of the GOP. That is, if you can get any of them to admit that slavery and lynching actually happened.
And just to judge by the tons of misspelled signage at Tea Party rallies, including all the quotes taken out of context ("Render unto Casar" said one in Boston on the 14th, which was Jesus' way saying do pay your taxes to the state) and ones accusing the president of being simultaneously a socialist, communist and a fascist, one can't help but come to the conclusion that most Tea Baggers are about as sharp as a fresh bowl of Ramen noodles.
And it would be easy enough to laugh off these idiots as a mere lunatic fringe. But the GOP has tentatively embraced and even encouraged these people, even to the point of creating magic spittle theories and equating a simple lack of audiotape evidence with innocence from charges of spewing racial epithets.
What else is there to say about a newly-inaugurated Virginia governor, a pro South African apartheid voice from the Reagan era who revived a disgraced racist predecessor's dream of a Confederate History Month and without even a mention of slavery and lynching? The fact is virtually the Confederacy's entire existence depended upon slave labor for its textile industry and lynching was a way of keeping that slave labor under their thumbs. To say that slavery and lynching weren't defining characteristics of the Confederacy would be like trying to claim Nazi Germany didn't have anti-Semitic pogroms.
And how clueless are southern Republicans about the plight of a people who were kidnapped and brought here by sheer force and brutality, to hold a well-fed leadership conference less than five years after Katrina in the very city in which the same race of people were made the villains of Hurricane Katrina by right wingers and libertarians? Not one mention was made of Katrina or the still-incomplete cleanup or the fact that roughly one third of New Orleans' mostly African American residents have yet to return to their homes because they were razed to the ground and replaced with luxury condos?
And yet, it seems only little-noted bloggers and editorialist Frank Rich seem able to connect the dots and realize that conservative Republican racism is part of a pattern and not merely, as conservatives would try to convince you, isolated pockets of regrettable behavior. They'll try to convince you through hot-aired, spittle-flecked bluster that the Civil War wasn't, in fact, even remotely about slavery but states' rights.
And ever since that mantra began in Lincoln's lifetime, that the War between the States was all about a tyrannical central government impinging on the rights of slave-owning southern states who were just trying to get by with human slavery, it endured and still endures in full force to this very day.
It endured well into the 80's when "states' rights" was used by Ronald Reagan and his dog whistle racism in kicking off his campaign in the same town where three civil rights activists, one of them African American, were murdered in 1964. A generation later, it endures when "states' rights" is invoked to protest the federal government's watered-down health care "reform" bill that was voted for by far more white legislators than black.
And the GOP's very track record of fielding and electing African American candidates speaks for itself. No southern state since Reconstruction has ever elected an African American to the Senate and to this day even the historically racist Boston Red Sox have more African Americans than the Republican Party has in all of Congress.
(I'll give you a hint as to how many black Republican lawmakers there are on Capitol Hill. How many fingers is this guy holding up? There you go.)
As anyone with a finely-tuned ear can tell you, when Republicans start talking about "states' rights", they're talking about their right to marginalize African Americans, which is to say the "class warfare" that they will go to the death insisting doesn't exist.