Filed Under:  OpEd, Opinion

Those ‘nutty’ conservatives

10th September 2012   ·   0 Comments

On the first day of the Republican National convention two attendees, apparently caught up in the true spirit of the occasion, threw peanuts at an African-American camerawoman for CNN, yelling “This is what we feed the animals.” Although CNN confirmed the incident most media tried to ignore the story.

Many of us were absolutely shocked…not at the peanut-throwing, but to learn that there actually are conservatives who are honest and open about their true racial attitudes.

Yes, conservatives have always promoted racism, regardless of which party affiliation they may claim. Republicans were the “Party of Lincoln,” until 1877, when they made a terrible compromise over a presidential election. Rutherford B. Haynes won the Electoral College vote, but lost the popular vote to Samuel Tilden. The compromise was seriously lopsided: Republicans agreed that Haynes would only serve one term and that they would withdraw U.S. troops that were protecting Black lives and enforcing reconstruction in the South. This not only ended Reconstruction but left Black people at the non-existent mercy of angry, vindictive, violent white ex-slaveholders. The slaughter and abuse was massive. Blacks no longer had a friend in the Republicans.

Conservatives have always been on the wrong side of racial issues. They wanted to keep slavery going forever, which is why their states withdrew from the Union and formed the Confederacy. As the Texas declaration states “—the servitude of the African to the white race…should exist in all future time…”

After slavery, conservatives promoted Jim Crow. They opposed the end of segregation. They opposed and still oppose equal voting rights for Black people. They opposed every piece of legislation and every social movement that even hinted at racial justice. It was in the late ’60s that conservatives stopped being honest. They were looking bad before the world declaring what they really thought, so they got “wise” and started lying about their motives and using code-words to mask their true intentions. Covert racism was allowed to spread like a virus through the nation partly because its existence was vigorously denied by its practitioners.

But when a Black man was finally elected to the office of President, against their best efforts, they “blew their cool” and momentarily got honest again. They declared that the top priority of the Republican Party over the next four years was not to improve the economy, not to improve the quality of life, make a better world or a healthier nation. They declared, and have proven, that their top priority was to ensure that Barack Obama did not get a second term, regardless how many people had to suffer because of their obstructionist, divisive efforts. They sank to new lows, disrespecting the very office of the President only because of the color of the man holding it. They have used lies and scare tactics to whip their people into a racial frenzy, with some calling for civil war or race war.

So that night’s peanut-throwing incident was just a rare moment of honesty in a convention where lies were the norm, no matter how transparent, silly or easily refutable. Why? Because their ignorant followers will believe anything they say.

Racism, lies and ignorance, that’s the Conservative Cocktail…a dangerous concoction.

This article was originally published in the September 10, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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