Thursday, July 25, 2013

Conservative and Anti-Racist?

Give up, the struggle is not worth it !

This is my message to politically conservatives who want to maintain their illusion that one can be a Republican or a conservative and not be defending racism and the racist social structure of the United States.  Yes, it might have been possible in the 1960's, but it is not possible now.

The lengths that you have to go intellectually to justify your loyalty to the Republican Party are corrosive to your intellectual powers, and they are morally demeaning, and they only get you in deeper.

Since the George Zimmerman verdict, you have been engaged in an ideological skirmish over racial profiling -- which you claim does not go on, and is only rational anyway.  I think I read someone say that it is only "Criminal" profiling.  Anyway the argument goes that since black men and youth are statistically more likely to commit crimes, good police work will see black men and youth as meriting closer watch, the occasional stop and frisk, and even, on more rare occasion, accidental shooting and murder.   None of this is racist, because of statistics.  Well, it is the very definition of racial prejudice: assigning characteristics to an entire group because of the actions of a few.

Of course, you take great offense if someone equates you with Louis Gohmert or Michelle Bachman because you are the members of the same party.

But the core problem is this: the Republican party is getting a shrinking portion of the votes of People of Color.  Among African Americans, you're down to about the share that you would get simply through accidental ballot error -- people hitting the wrong button on the machine.  You are not that low on Hispanics and Asian-Americans but you're tending in that direction.  They think your party is racist.

So, how can it be that People of Color think you are opposed to their interests, even though you are really committed to equality, fair play and the end of racism?

How can it be that so many People of Color misunderstand racism, misunderstand their own interests, misunderstand the situation?  When it is clear to you?

You're like that guy who after driving onto the wrong lane of the freeway, calls 911 to report that hundreds of people are driving the wrong way, in the wrong lane, and creating a very dangerous situation.

The only way that you can think that such overwhelming numbers of people of color can be so wrong about racism is to think that they are easily misled and not very smart.  In other words,  you have say that millions of people are stupid and racist, in order to preserve you conviction that you are not.

You're like the religous fundamentalists who decided that the Bible was never wrong, and now have to argue that whales are really fishes because the Bible said Jonah was swallowed by a "big fish".

Someday you are going to look back and be embarrassed by all of this.



7 comments:

A UU Republican said...

I won't be any more embarrassed than present day Democrats are embarrassed by the fact that their party wanted to protect slavery (civil war) and racism (segregation). Nothing in the Republican party platform or values today is racist in any way shape or form. Republicans are scared to death of being perceived as racist. They've worked to avoid that. I think it's silly to say there is a racist social structure in the USA when our current president is black. I also think it's silly to say the GOP is racist considering two of it's rising stars - Marc Rubio and Ted Cruz - are Hispanic, not to mention the many non-white Republican leaders from over the years. (By the way, I like your blog. Don't take my comments personally, as I don't take yours personally. I'm just trying to talk about ideas, not attack people.)

Tom Schade said...

Still, UU Republican .... how come so few people of color vote for your candidates?

Anonymous said...

Dear UU Republican, it appears that you are blind to the reality of White Priveldge in American society. Racism is institutionized in our culture. People of color live with this fact all of their lives. The fact that we have a Black President hasn't changed anything.

With all due respect, you need to put yourself in the other person's shoes before you make such judgements.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_privilege

A UU Republican said...

Tom, I think why so few people of color vote for GOP candidates is because they've been told for so long by the other side that the GOP isn't for them. Why is it that some people of color make it to the top (Obama) while the majority are stuck in the bottom? I'm as upset about that as you are, believe me. The Democrats say they are for people of color and poverty and inequality, yet after 60+ years little has changed. Why has the Democrats record on this been so unimpressive? I don't think Republican opposition is an answer either, because, like I said, Republicans are scared to death of being perceived as racist. They have historically been helpful in matters of race and I trust they will continue to behave that way (immigration, for one example).

Sorry for the digression, but I think the answers to these questions are more complicated - or perhaps simpler - than race. Non-whites are the majority of the people living in poverty, they can't find work, etc. I think technological advances and the automation of many jobs and skills previously done by people is what is causing a lot of our economy's issues with unemployment. It sucks that non-whites (and whites for that matter) suffer under this. I don't know how to fix that. But I also hesitate to think of there being a racial component to it all.

Anonymous said...

Dear UU Republican, you are ignoring history. When LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 he said, "We have lost the South for a generation". This opened the door for The GOP Southern Stradegy, a racially devisive ploy with its roots in Jim Crow. The Dixiecrats became Republicans and the GOP courted the white racist vote. It immediately became an important part of their base and it still is today.

The latest incarnation of this is the Tea Party. I'm not implying that all Republicans or Tea Partiers are racists, but it's not an overstatement to say that almost all racists identify with the Tea Party. The Tea Party rhetoric intentionally plays to them. The dog whistle isn't very difficult to hear, even for the most casual observer; Birth Certificate, Kenyan, Muslim, etc., all implying "the Other" and completely rediculous and unfounded. No rational person would take it seriously, but racists aren't rational people.

The goal of these antics is to get out the vote, by any means possible while morality and common decency take a seat in the back of the bus. It's why, even though I am a fiscal conservative and socially liberal, I could never align myself with a party that would stoop so low as to use this sort of racial hatred to win an election.

I am proud to be an American and I still beleive in the political process. As Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all of those other forms that have been tried from time to time". I think it's safe to assume that you identify with the GOP for what is right about the party (no pun intended) and you have the best of intentions. I respect and honor your choice, but I also ask you to remove your blinders. If you are going to remain in their camp, please become active in the party make it a priority to clean up this mess.

There is no place in American society for racism and, as UU's, we all have an obligation to call it out wherever we find it. I think that is something all persons of goodwill can agree upon. Blessings.

Joel Monka said...

Question: if it's not possible to be both Republican and UU, and religious people should be socially and politically active, (and in today's world one cannot separate the two)how can you justify morally accepting the tax free status? I'm not speaking of legally- it's easy enough to game the system, skirt the triggers, avoid the IRS hearing- I'm talking morally. Isn't accepting a tax status based on neutrality while advocating partisanship hypocrisy?

Tom Schade said...

Joel -- good question. I don't think that the government has any business dispensing and withholding a tax benefit on the basis of a political action or non-action. If the government wants to give religious bodies an exemption from taxes, then it should figure out what is a religious body and do so. Bribing organizations to drop out of political society with tax incentives is anti-democratic. Isn't it amazing that a corporation has first amendment rights to make political contributions and political statements but a church does not? Or to make it personal, should the government say that any person who agrees to be politically inactive and not vote (renounces their right to political participation) being given a tax exemption?