The Right Is White [UPDATE]

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If ever there was a time the Republican Party and the political right proved they were institutions with an active agenda aimed against non-whites, it will be April 2010.

1) RNC Chair Michael Steele admits Republican Party alienates minorities

Any doubt that the GOP has had a white agenda should have been abolished when an African American Republican Party chair admitted it:

Steele told a group of 200 students at DePaul University that African-Americans “don’t have a reason” to vote for Republican candidates.

During his remarks he also acknowledged that for decades the GOP pursued “ ‘Southern Strategy’ that alienated many minority voters by focusing on the white male vote in the South.”

Steele was asked to explain why an African-American should vote Republican at a university-sponsored discussion on the conservative movement. The RNC chairman’s response: “You really don’t have a reason to, to be honest — we haven’t done a very good job of really giving you one. True? True.”

[Huffington Post]

2) WI College Republicans Chair quits Republicans citing right-wing race issues

Lora Rae Anderson decided the homophobia, hypocrisy, and un-checked racism from conservatives and Republicans was too much for her, and decided toquit the GOP:

“Racial slurs obviously don’t sit well with me, but when somebody knowingly racially slurs my friends; I am personally insulted… Needless to say, I will not be renewing my membership to the Eau Claire County Republican Party or the Republican Party of Wisconsin for the year 2010.”

[Lora Rae Anderson]

3) Racial profiling gets the OK in Arizona

A new Arizona immigration bill pushed by right-wing anti-immigrant groups and signed by the Republican governor of Arizona “requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect that they’re in the United States illegally.” This of course gives the go ahead to racial profiling. What’s more, the co-author has open ties to a noted neo-Nazi. [Blogging Blue]

4) WI Republicans propose constitutional amendment to ban affirmative action

Lyndon Johnson, issuer of Executive Order #11246, had this to say in 1965:

You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘you are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.

Thirty-five years later, Wisconsin Sen. Glenn Grothman (R) and Rep. Gary Tachen (R) announced they were introducing a constitutional amendment to ban affirmative action in Wisconsin. They were incited to protect white advantages because Assembly Democrats “tried to resurrect the Minority Business Grants and Loans Program on a straight party-line vote.” Grothman said the Democratic-backed bills “tear at the very fabric of our culture.” [Sen. Glenn Grothman]

5) WI Republicans conjure ACORN from the dead to block voter rights

Last week the Wisconsin GOP leadership got their followers to be irate about the Wisconsin Voter Protection Act by invoking ACORN – a now-defunct group that advocated for low income families and communities. It’s no secret that many of ACORN’s constituents included African Americans and non-whites. Now, right wing leaders are taking pride in the fact that they were able to agitate the Tea Party and ultimately kill the voter rights bill which would have, among other things, stopped voter intimidation efforts. [Appleton Post-Crescent, That’s Debatable]

6) All-white Tea Party stomps on WI Capitol

The Tea Party takes regular criticism (from the left, not so much the media) for being grossly misinformed by the GOP on a number of issues,  like the fact that President Obama actually CUT taxes on 98% of working families in Wisconsin. But it is more often criticized (by everyone) for the racist and xenophobic overtones of the signs and commentary seen and heard at its events.  The Tea Party leaders make concerted efforts to shed or downplay its all-white image.

But enough has been written on this topic and you can see photographic evidence of the race-based fears and hate at Tea Parties everywhere on the internet (including our Facebook page) and at least one survey study that indicates as much, but I came across an awesome article this morning that poses an interesting hypothetical… Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black. [Tim Wise]

There’s actually more, I’m sure. But last month really came to a head (for me anyway). To say that the negative signage, comments, and policies aimed against non-white members of society are only pushed by a small number of folks in the right-wing fringe, and are not institutionally a part of the right wing agenda, is a poor analysis. Last month’s examples proved it.

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Cody currently oversees online communications, web development, and graphic design at One Wisconsin Now & the Institute, having served previously as Deputy Research Director.