Ah, yes. George Herbert reminds us that the GOP has not only exploited racist fears in others, but also perpetrated racism. Herbert asks if it's too much to ask the GOP leadership to denounce racism. Probably, yes. But we need to condemn it and call it what it is. This is just a small sampling:
More than three decades later we have Sherri Goforth, an aide to a Republican state senator in Tennessee sending out a mass e-mail of a cartoon showing dignified portraits of the first 43 presidents, and then representing the 44th — President Obama — as a spook, a cartoonish pair of white eyes against a black background.
When a gorilla escaped from a zoo in Columbia, S.C., a longtime Republican activist, Rusty DePass, described it on his Facebook page as one of Michelle Obama’s ancestors.
Among the posters at last weekend’s gathering of conservative protesters in Washington was one that said, “The zoo has an African lion and the White House has a lyin’ African.”
These are bits and pieces of an increasingly unrestrained manifestation of racism directed toward Mr. Obama that is being fed by hate-mongers on talk radio and is widely tolerated, if not encouraged, by Republican Party leaders. It’s disgusting, and it’s dangerous. But it’s the same old filthy racism that has been there all along and that has been exploited by the G.O.P. since the 1960s.
I have no patience with those who want to pretend that racism is not an out-and-out big deal in the United States, as it always has been. We may have made progress, and we may have a black president, but the scourge is still with us. And if you needed Jimmy Carter to remind you of that, then you’ve been wandering around with your eyes closed.
Glenn Beck, one of the moronic maestros of right-wing radio and TV, assures us that President Obama “has a deep-seated hatred for white people.” Some years ago, as the watchdog group Media Matters for America points out on its Web site, Beck said he’d like to beat Representative Charles Rangel “to death with a shovel.” More at NYT
Tim Wise is correct. Obama can't address racism but we can. We must.