Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

2/20/2005

Give it up loser

The wingnutters are still in a tizzy over Howard Dean's "racist" comments. In case you missed it, the new DNC Chairman made his outrageous remarks at a meeting with African-American Democrats in Washington the other day:

He surveys the crowd of 150 crammed into the room. "You think the RNC could get this many people of color into a single room?" he marvels. "Maybe if they got the hotel staff in there."


Straight out of Mein Kampf, huh?

Maybe not.

Regardless, the aptly named Baldilocks asks, "Where's the outrage?":


Does he mean that Republicans would only invite the black hotel workers into their midst, rather that the hundreds of thousands of black physicians, lawyers, PhDs, engineers, executives, journalists, etc.?

Or does he mean that most blacks *are* hotel workers or equivalent--and honorably-employed--blue-collar types, rather than (formally) well-educated sorts?

Or does he mean that Republicans would only invite those blacks who were handy at the sort of place in which political gatherings are held (in this case, the Hilton Washington) and would “forget” to invite those who are *deemed* to be “smarter”? Does he think hotel workers aren’t intelligent and are “dumb’ enough to be “lured” into a Republican gathering merely because of simple proximity? (Believe me, many of the most intelligent people out there are among the ranks of blue-collar workers.)


No, stupid, he means that the Republicans are the party of white racists, and therefore unlikely to attract a large contingent of minorities. He means that the only black people you would probably find at a GOP meeting would be the staff.

That's not racism; that's the truth -- albeit it exaggerated, which is appropriate, because it was a fucking joke.

One of the GOP's main tendencies is projecting their own sicknesses onto others. Thus they accuse Democrats of racism, Leftists of moral relativism, and the anti-war movement of fascism.

In case there's any doubt about just which party is the home of racism, one only has to look at the many ties between Republican party leaders and white supremacist groups.

For instance: Trent Lott, who Baldilocks at least has the sense to mention:

Why is newly-minted Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean being let off the hook for this extremely suspect statement?

Does the name Trent Lott ring a bell? Bloggers ran him away from the Senate Majority Leader position (so I’m told; this was a bit before I started following blogs). At least Senator Lott apologized.


Here's the difference. Let's suppose that there is something wrong with what Dean said; let's say it is somehow offensive to minorities. Still, this would pale in comparison to what has come out of the mouths of Republicans and their supporters. Remember what Lott said about Strom Thurmond:

I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either.


Thurmond ran for president in 1948 (!) as a "Dixiecrat" on a platform that included this gem:

We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race.


Thurmond also declared:

All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches.

Lott lamely apologized:

A poor choice of words conveyed to some the impression that I embraced the discarded policies of the past. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by my statement.


Right. Note the words he "poorly" chose: We're proud of it ... if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either. "All these problems" presumably refers to the the "problem" that was the civil rights movement.

Lest it be thought that this was a one-time thing, note that Lott has ties with a prominent "white nationalist" organization, the Council of Conservative Citizens, which decries the "mongrelization of the races" and pines for the days "when the Klan could 'march on Washington' to the cheers of an adoring public, when race-mixing and homosexuality were taboo, when racial separation was the norm". But they're not racist! No sir--because they deny the very meaningfulness of the term racism:

The word racism was concocted by a communist ideologue in the 1920's. The purpose of racism was to instill guilt and shame in the minds of white people and to inflame racial hostility among blacks. This word play succeeded beyond all expectations. Of course, the word racism has no meaning unless whites react to it. Because racism defines nothing, but instead generates dubious connotations, the C of CC refuses to be held hostage by what the word implies at any given moment. It is normal for white people to be proud of their race and heritage. Is that racist?


Yes, yes it is.

And yes, I'm aware that Robert Byrd used to be in the KKK. This hardly changes the fact that the GOP continues to this day to appeal to racism -- or rather, white people's "pride" in their "race and heritage" -- in order to win elections, the presence of Condi Rice and a few other props notwithstanding.

So even if what Dean said was offensive, his crime is a misdemeanor compared to that of Lott. For there is no doubt that Dean's intention behind the remark was not racist; indeed, he said what he did in order to satirize the racism of the Republican Party. The same cannot be said of Lott, however, who spoke in front of the CCC, saying:

the people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy. Let's take it in the right direction and our children will be the beneficiaries.


That is racism, Baldilocks. Not a thoughtless remark; not a momentary gaffe. This is deeply believed, reflected-upon hatred for other races. That's why nobody gives Democrats shit when they say something that might be perceived as racially insensitive: because they have clearly and loudly denounced the ugly aspect of U.S. history that is racism. Until and unless the GOPers do the same, they can expect us to suspect the worst when they say something they shouldn't, and they can expect us to hold their feet to the fire every single time.

Blogarama - The Blog Directory Sanity is not statistical.