Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s chief of staff during his time as Secretary of State, speaks in response to former New Hampshire Republican governor and Mitt Romney campaign co-chair John Sununu’s comments about General Powell’s endorsement of President Obama being race based.
“My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people, not all of them, but most of them, who are still basing their decision on race,” Wilkerson said. “Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that’s despicable.”
Let’s keep it real. This is what we’ve known since day one but when we say it the excuse is that we are race baiting. What say you now?
I wouldn’t say that all Republicans are racist or bigoted. That would be untrue and unfair. However, the party is full of them. Conservative pundit champions and media, clearly feed into that mentality, promote and thrive on it. This is one major place from where the far extreme division in our country stems from. There have been too many “slips of the tongue” to make an argument otherwise. From Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives Jon Hubbard’s comment about slavery being a blessing in disguise
to Sarah Palin’s recent “Obama’s Shuck and Jive Ends With Benghazi Lies
” comment and beyond. Actions speak louder than words and are not prone to verbal mistakes due to the deliberate effort it takes to execute them. Examples abound, from the actions of the RNC attendees that threw nuts at a black CNN camerawoman
and said, “this is how we feed the animals” to Republican voter ID tactics that will specifically deter poor and minority voters from voting because they will most likely vote for Obama. Then there’s this guy.
You sir, are not helping.
One of your own, an insider, who served as Chief of Staff to Republican General Colin Powell during his term as Secretary of State in the George W. Bush Administration has pointed out definitively, clearly and publicly that the Republican party is full of racists. It’s not a big revelation to many but for some it is a statement that you need to come to terms with for the sanity of the country. And for those of you Republicans who aren’t of the mindset of the Sununu’s of the party you should understand that what you are supporting comes from that mindset. It also begs the question of, “Are the core ideals of that party, your ideals, rooted in a bigoted ideology that is centuries old, that you were raised with, therefore you don’t think it is what it is?”
A Republican friend of mine who decided to vote for Obama this time around said the reason she leaned towards Romney was because he “looked Presidential”. I asked what that meant and the reply was that he was light skin, gray hair, grandfather type because this is the image she had always seen. The image of a white man as President is the image she’d seen her whole life. That image is what a President was supposed to look like. She is of South East Asian descent. So that means that even someone that looks like her didn’t register to her as Presidential material. That is a form of normalized bigotry perpetuated by our culture that isn’t her fault and isn’t an isolated outlook.
A recent Associated Press polls finds an increase in those harbor these types of feelings whether they are aware of them or not.
Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.
In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell. – huffingtonpost.com “Racial Views: Poll Shows Majority Harbor Prejudice Against Blacks“
So what should Republican supporters do who really don’t subscribe to the type of mentality that Colonel Wilkerson says is rampant in the leadership of the party? What should they do about their support and belief in these ideologies that are dictated and driven by racist and or bigoted premises? First would be to take a long hard objective look in the mirror to try to get to the core of why they believe what they believe and what was behind the original concept of that learned belief. Detach yourself from the rhetoric and the dogma you have learned to accept by standing outside of the issue and contemplate it from there. Don’t be afraid to overturn something you’ve believed for a long time that turns out isn’t true or is negative. Take in different points of view on the argument and the reasons behind them. There is nothing wrong with having conservative views and values. Everyone has some issues they are more liberal about and others they more conservative about. At least be honest with yourself about where they come from and why you have them.
Or not. I’m more liberal about caring what you believe.