Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Racism Is The New (Old) "Not Racist," Cont'd

posted 7/17/2012 by the Salt City Sinner


I pointed out the other day that WND, or Big Joe Farah's Woodshed Of Racist Ultra-Christian Freaks (as I like to call it), has taken a few bold steps over the line that previously separated it from openly white supremacist operations like Stormfront.

Now it seems that major establishment conservative magazine and website National Review has finally been driven over the edge as well.

As Wonkette and Gawker have both pointed out, yesterday's Reagan-fellating column from prominent conservative pundit Jay Nordlinger contains an interesting slip of the tongue:

Truth is, some conservatives lamented the fact that [Ronald Reagan] had indeed "grown" in office. He had gone out of his way to accommodate liberals and moderates, and to accommodate the Kremlin. He was raising taxes, spending like crazy, welcoming wetbacks, pursuing arms control.
Jay Nordlinger, hero of Real (Really White) America

"Welcoming wetbacks," Jay*? I'm sure that your choice of words is bound to help Republicans this November with Latino voters, who constitute an increasingly large slice of the electoral pie.

It's astonishing to me that in 2012 - almost 50 years after the Voting Rights Act of 1964** and the civil rights movement that accompanied and preceded it - people like Colin Flaherty and Jay Nordlinger feel okay about flaunting their racism openly.

Perhaps more disgustingly, they not only get away with it - they are rewarded for it by their white, pasty, mouth-breathing political followers and their calculating, amoral employers.

This is not only bad for the country, it's bad for conservatives and the Republican Party. As the inimitable Joan Walsh put it, Republicans have a "white, older base" these days. When she caught three shades of Hell from the online wingnut commentariat for pointing out that inconvenient truth, she refused to blink:

[My statement was] factually true. On the "older white base" part: Only 64 percent of Americans today are non-Hispanic whites, but 89 percent of voters who identified themselves as Republicans in a 2009 Gallup poll were non-Hispanic whites. In 2012, more than 90 percent of GOP primary voters were white, and voters over 50 comprised a majority of the electorate in every single exit poll conducted, according to the National Journal. In the 2010 congressional midterms, 63 percent of whites over 50 voted Republican. 
That's "an older white base."
Joan Walsh of Salon.com

Ms. Walsh is absolutely right, of course.

The scary thing is that instead of pulling a David Frum and recognizing that the 1950s are long dead and it's time to speak to America as America actually is these days, Republicans have instead engaged in voter purges, passed draconian voter ID laws, and basically done everything within their power to suppress the new minority-majority vote.

That's not only immoral: it's short-sighted and stupid, because that white, aging base isn't going to last forever, and even the dirtiest tricks can't stop the steady march of demographic change.

* - it's worth noting, incidentally, that this kind of racist bull$h!t is swiftly (and distastefully) becoming the calling card of the American right, from conspiracy theories about our first black president's bloodline to open race-baiting at Tea Party events to Mitt Romney's "free stuff from the government" dog-whistle regarding his recent speech at the NAACP.

An interesting side note regarding Mittens' speech to the NAACP: according to the NAACP's Washington, D.C. bigwig Hilary Shelton, Romney brought his own black supporters to the event to provide him with a few much-needed cheers:

"The campaign actually gave me a list of African-American VIPs that they brought in to the NAACP meeting," Shelton told [Ed] Schultz. "So I'm sure those are the ones they sat down with because, quite frankly, none of the rank-and-file NAACPers met with him."

Is Shelton telling the truth? Is she merely speculating? I'm not sure, but her claims are worthy of attention.

** - Texas Republicans are, unbelievably, currently engaged in an end-game strategy to use our current right-wing Supreme Court to possibly overturn (or at least gut) the Voting Rights Act of 1964, which is perhaps the most important piece of civil rights legislation penned in America in the 20th century. If that doesn't reveal the lie behind the GOP's "not racist" squeals, I don't know what would.

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