The Right Opinion

To Appeal to Black Voters, GOP Must Run Gauntlet of Racism Accusations

By Jonah Goldberg · Nov. 23, 2012

If the GOP wants to win more black votes, it will need to get a lot more “racist.”

The scare quotes are necessary because I don't think the Republican Party is racist now (and, historically, the GOP has a lot less to answer for than the Democratic Party does).

But that hasn't stopped a lot of people from slandering Republicans as racist for one reason or another.

Right now, many in Washington – particularly the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus – insist that Republican attacks on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice are racist and, yawn, sexist. The basis for this claim is that some Republicans are calling Rice unfit for the soon-to-be-vacated job of secretary of state. More specifically, they're cross with Rice for what they contend to be her dishonest and incompetent handling of the Benghazi scandal.

And, because Rice is a black woman, well, blah, blah, blah Racism! Sexism!

Never mind that Republicans haven't had a white secretary of state since Lawrence Eagleburger concluded his term two decades ago. Never mind that Republicans appointed the first black secretary of state ever (Colin Powell) and the first black female secretary of state ever (Condoleezza Rice, arguably the star of the GOP convention in August).

Also, never mind that Rice's handling of Benghazi – and several other matters – can quite defensibly be dubbed incompetent.

But that doesn't stop Democrats or liberal pundits from crying racism.

Just consider some recent examples from over the summer. When Mitt Romney visited Michigan, he joked about not needing a birth certificate to prove he was from there. Not very funny? OK, sure. Poor taste? Eh, maybe, I guess. “The basest and the most despicable bigotry we might be able to imagine”? Errr, no. And yet that's what one respected “expert” on race, Michael Eric Dyson, called it on MSNBC. Rather than show some skepticism at the claim, MSNBC host Alex Wagner agreed that Romney was “scraping the very bottom of this sort of racist other-ist narrative.”

At the GOP convention, MSNBC host Chris Matthews explained that “Chicago” was a racially loaded code word. Fellow host Lawrence O'Donnell said Republican convention speakers were reaching “for every single possible racial double entendre they can find.” His sole proof? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a joke about Obama playing a lot of golf.

Now, the cynical motivations behind this relentless drone of slander and stupidity are too numerous to count. Such moral bullying makes white liberals feel better about themselves. It scares moderates and centrists away from the Republican Party, and it no doubt helps dissuade wavering blacks from even thinking about giving the GOP an honest look. Obviously, it helps boost black voter intensity on Election Day. It also does wonders to stifle journalists terrified of having their racial bona fides questioned in any way. And it helps a feckless left-wing black political class explain away their own failures. Racial slander is like duct tape: There's no limit to what you can do with it.

It's worth pointing out that such slander isn't used to get blacks to vote Democratic in the first place. They already do that.

But can you imagine how much worse it will get if Republicans actually do reach out to black community (as they should)?

One of the points of racial slander is to signal that only liberal policies are guaranteed to be non-racist (even when such policies were forged with racist intent, like the Davis-Bacon Act). This is why the Congressional Black Caucus insists on calling itself the “conscience of the Congress.”

That's why policies like school choice are routinely denounced as racist, even though they are largely aimed at improving the lives of inner-city blacks trapped in bad schools. Teachers unions don't like school choice, ergo it's racist.

Any serious attempt by the GOP to win black votes won't involve Republicans copycatting liberal policies. It will require going over the heads of the black and white liberal slanderers to offer a sincere alternative to failed liberal policies on schools, poverty, crime, etc. The more effective that effort, the more the GOP will be called racist.

When Romney, whose father marched with Martin Luther King Jr., spoke to the NAACP, Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast dubbed him a “race-mongering pyromaniac,” primarily for using the term “Obamacare” – a term Barack Obama used himself.

Just imagine the desperate, pathetic attacks in store for a more effective Republican.

© 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


Gregory in Lincoln City Or. said:

Jonah writes as though the "southern strategy" is a Democrat ploy instead of Republican, that efforts to secure Romney's win by turning voters away from the polls was based on voter fraud rather than voter discrimination and that the paucity of black members of the G.O.P. is because of Democrat machinations.

When ethnic minorities have a genuine say regarding Republican policies the Republican Party will be very much like the Democrat Party. The Republican Party is and will remain a party of losers...even more so until the old guard is gone. That's you kids.

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 12:25 PM

MNIce in Minnesota replied:

"turning voters away from the polls"? Say what? Name one single instance in the last three elections in which a Republican would not allow a legitimate voter to vote. The only time I have ever seen someone turned away from the polls by a Republican election judge was when he was not properly registered and did not have any of the legally required identification needed to register on Election Day (and he was a white man!).

However, it is well-documented that in 2008 black men in Philadelphia stood outside of a polling place holding nightsticks and warning voters that they'd better vote for Obama or else. They were charged with voter intimidation, convicted and awaiting sentencing, but then let go because the black man in charge of Mr. Obama's Department of Justice decided to drop the case. This is not equal justice; it's racism. Can anyone doubt that if those guys had white skins and were telling voters they'd better vote for McCain, they would have been handed the maximum sentences permitted under the law?

If you are referring to laws requiring that voters show government-issued photo identification to demonstrate that they are citizens with a legal address in the precinct in which they are voting (under such laws, these IDs must be issued without a fee since the 24th Amendment prohibits anything that smells like a poll tax), then you are repeating a lie which is apparently promulgated by those who wish to allow people to vote illegally.

Why do you want to permit non-citizens to vote? Why do you want to permit people to vote when they are not properly registered to vote in their home precinct, or vote in two different precincts, or otherwise vote more than once in an election? Republicans are interested in fair and honest elections. We want all voters to participate legally, so the voice of the people is fairly heard. We do not want elections stolen, as they apparently were in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Joe in Texas replied:

Greg, you assume too much about the dem/minority voter. You think they have a genuine say about Repbublican policy? First, they have no idea what they're voting for, being so ignorant on policy issues. Second, they're vilified if they get informed, think for themselves, and leave the Dem plantation. So, who's the real racist?

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

Greg, Your so full of liberal BS that its incredible that you might have a thought of your own. The only voter fraud that takes place in this country is by the Demorats. Requiring a voter to show a valid ID card is not a hardship on anyone. It is strange that minorites and the poor can get to the grocery store, doctor's office, church, and anywhere else they need to go but can't get an ID even when its free. Just another bunch of garbage spread by the Demorats so they can keep voting fraud alive and well. The sad part is these same people don't have clue about the issues facing the nation. They have been fed so much BS by the lamestream media and the liberals they can no longer think for themselves. Feel free to follow Odumbo and the Demorats right down the path to Socialism. When it fails ,as it always has, you better hope those poor miniorities you are so fond of don't take everything you own and just maybe your life.

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Jim in Alabama said:

"To Appeal to Black Voters, GOP Must Run Gauntlet of Racism Accusations"...Really?.

Part 1

How about if Conservatives and Freedom Fighters just give it up and join the chorus of derision. The GOP once was the bearer of the banner of freedom for all, but has become infantile and incontinent. It is no longer the place for the anti-Slavery Movement it birthed in the Nineteenth Century. "Why we've brought five Pick-a-Ninnies in off the field in the last year alone." That doesn't really cut it any more.

And an anti-Slavery Movement is what is needed now. We are past the point of preserving our Freedoms. We need to start thinking about finding them all over again. Blacks and Whites and Browns and Reds and Yellows all, might join in common cause, as equals, there alone, if ever. Never will the larger powerful more privileged group succeed in enticing the smaller less prosperous ones by condescension, by inviting them to join in a struggle to supposedly gain what they themselves are already willingly surrendering. We will not succeed in convincing large numbers of any minority to join a group that merely condescends, to imagine ways it might manipulate them, to come on down and get under the Big Tent. They can see it's become something smaller, more on the order of a side show, or even a freak show, of no real relevance to them whatsoever.

Let the GOP be pronounced a compromised, racist failure. Is that really so far from the truth? Let's agree that it's forgotten the meaning of Freedom. Let's add to the charges, and be clear, that it has become joined with the Democratic Party as a false choice and a distraction to Freedom Fighters. Let us call it a part of a bi-polar singularity called the Democrat Republic Statist Party. United in common purpose to increase Government and diminish, still more, our ever shrinking freedoms.

Let's clearly redefine the Tea Party not only as a Pro-Family, Pro-Freedom, Pro-Constitutional Party, but also as an anti-Slavery Party and as an anti-Fascism Party and above all as an anti-Racism Party. To stand for limited government we must also be strong in our stand against these social diseases that serve in large part in the rationale for ever expanding governmental controls.

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Jim in Alabama said:

Part 2

The Tea Party Movement needs to define itself as distinct from the GOP. It needs to be conceived as a Second Party, not a third. It needs to define the battle as between the statist DNC-GOP cabal and a new Party of Constitutionally limited government. It must make plain its determination
to be an ally to the GOP, then, and only then, when the Republican Party plainly remembers its better angels, and proves it by the dedicated Freedom Fighters it puts forth to run for office, and by how well it then supports them.

Let's go back to the "gauntlet of racist accusations" that Jonah defines (pretty accurately) as the root of all Republican fears.

Step one: Agree, precisely, to the limited degree it's true. The New Tea Party's position should be, Yeah, there's no shortage of racism and part of the answer is not to lie about it. Most of it's hateful and destructive. AND some of it's more about Pride and Affirmation. White Racists need to be called out. So do Black racists. To fail on either side of THAT equation is cowardice. The answer to all of it is Brotherhood. The answer to all of it is the recognition of our common humanity and above all our common struggle for freedom. The intentions of those promoting White racism and those promoting Black racism are identical.

Step two: Finally. It's time to name the real enemy. It's time that the Democratic Party, first and foremost be run through the Gauntlet of Racism Accusations. It's time to make plain that throughout their long history, the intentional aggravation of racism has been their Primary Method in seeking Power.

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Jim in Alabama said:

Part 3

It is known that for 100 years from the 1860's to the 1960's the Democrats modus operandi was to promote violence and suppression by inflaming white people's fears of black people. The end of Slavery was a Republican victory. Martin Luther King was a registered Republican as were most of his followers. It was only through the Republican's defeat of Democratic resistance that Blacks were assured their rights to vote. Then and only then did the Democratic Party move in force to claim the black vote. They turned on a dime. From being unified against the Voting and Civil Rights Act that the Republicans fully supported, they came around to support LBJ's Great Society, which he signed, saying, in an aside to some of his white Democrat colleagues, "We'll own the N*ggers for 50 years with this."
Little changed in their methods of gathering power. They added a new element and began promoting violence and suppression by inflaming black people's fear and hatred of white people. Increasingly inclusive of Communists and Socialists they honed their methods of Propaganda with the Marxist Leninist models. Calculating that they could afford to loose the support of overt white racists, they targeted the more liberal white anti-racists that the Republicans had so much to engender. Mere Equal Rights, championed successfully by Republicans was refined as racist, in a "rigged game', and Special Rights became the Democrats new political mantra. It was discovered that whites' fear of blacks was still a potent political tool, especially if shame and guilt were added to the formula.

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Jim in Alabama said:

Part 4

Have the Democrats Freed the Blacks? Have they helped Hispanics find the American Dream?

The answer is a resounding "No" and "No". They were Slavers then and they are Slavers now. We can be infinitely more graceful, but Freedom Fighters need to be as strident and determined as the ugliest Leftist in making this case.

They've filled your communities with Abortion Clinics. They've loved you so much that they've halved your population, with their friendly advice.

They hired a bunch of phony Pimps to stand in front of you and tell you to Be Black in a way that makes the Racist White Leftists your masters and destroys your Community.

You need to ask why the misery index in every major Democrat controlled city is off the charts.

You need to ask why the black family, once stronger by many measures than the white family, has been completely destroyed? You need to ask why the majority of black kids are without a father? Did you do that to yourselves or was it done to you?

Why did the Slave Master of the past keep you from learning to read? Why are the Democrat Slave Masters of today keeping you from any decent education?
Why did the Slave Master of the past keep you from Marriage? And why have the Democrat Slave Masters of today kept it almost as rare today?

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Jim in Alabama said:

Part 5

The Slave Masters of the past thought themselves generous for giving you food and a roof as well as work, because they claimed you couldn't care for yourselves.
For the same reasons the Democrats of today flatter themselves for feeding and housing you, while rarely permitting you the pride of real work.

The Slave Masters then permitted Religion in so far as it served them. Jesus called for obediance to God from both the free and the slave. And for the obediance of slave to master. To the disappointment of some He came to free souls first and then to let the world follow if it might. But the strength of Christian Faith as embraced by the Slaves was such as to put their Masters to shame and remains an immense force today. The greatness of Salvation through Jesus has been matched by the vison of Freedom through the example of Moses. The Democratic Party has succeeded today in co-opting the Black Church, by and large, and leading it back to Egypt, and back to the Plantation.

Though a minority, there are many in the black community who recognise these truths. They must be recognized and encouraged and made part of the leadership of the New Tea Party. Alveda King is not alone. Allen West is not alone. Though to the RNC, to their eternal shame, he was.

The Democrats have impoverished the Black Community. Hispanics for the greater part are in the same boat. The Democrat/Socialist game needs exposing without mercy. They blame the Rich. Demonize them and throw every legislative monkey wrench into their evil money making schemes possible. Regulate them to a point of paralysis. Tax them to the edge and over. Slow the economy. Take what can be gotten from taxes and borrow three times more, as a hedge against future prosperity, and pronounce yourself Robin Hood as you pass out the rancid goodies to those whose impoverishment you have fully assured. Pummel their neighborhoods with propaganda till you're certain that ANY challenges to the plan will be met with villification or violence.

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Jim in Alabama said:

Part 6

I see these truths pretty plain as concerns the Black Community. But there are no issues as to the legality of the presence of African-Americans, while the Hispanic populations of this country evoke a different set of issues.

I can sympathize with every possible position on the question of illegal immigrants, because I've held every one of them at some point.

I know people who hire them. As one hard working man said, it's because, "I never want to hire another stinking hippy." He pays them what they're worth because it's a free market and others will if he won't. He's helped a few to get legal and winked at the bogus paperwork of others still in process. He's had to become savvy about what does and doesn't fly. The point is that his respect for them as hard workers and good and decent men is profound and it's largely mutual.

I think in a free country no honest businessman should want for honest workers. I think that in a country that values freedom, and sees it as the practical equivalance of self reliance and person responsibility, anyone here, who exhibits those traits to such a degree that a citizen would vouch for him, should be permitted to stay. And anyone who has come for a free ride at our expense should be made to leave if they cannot prove able to care for themselves.

Gingrich had this right. Bush did and Obama probably does. We need to do what's right, not what may or may not get us votes, or better yet we should do both. Our stiff necked stance against the illegals, our politically moronic pronouncements of a willingness to split Families apart, earned us the well deserved contempt of most of the Latino Community and brought us right up to the gates of hell this past election. A "comprehensive" solution is now inevitable. The fight needs to be about keeping those here who are worth having here. And about letting ONLY those come here who bring something of value to the table. we not only want Latinos to come, but we want the best of them to come, because we are fighting for the Prosperity of the United Staes of America, because that leads to freedom for all of us. The best political views I've heard all insist we make the best deal and pass it requiring its implementation to be contingeant upon a pre-defined and measureable certifification of success in making our borders completely secure, by authorities in the States of CA, AZ, NM, and TX .

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Gregory in Lincoln City Or. said:

Here's Martin Luther King Jr.'s words on party affiliation. I guess he wasn't Republican as Jim in Alabama would have you believe. "Politics
As the leader of the SCLC, King maintained a policy of not publicly endorsing a U.S. political party or candidate: "I feel someone must remain in the position of non-alignment, so that he can look objectively at both parties and be the conscience of both—not the servant or master of either."[31]
In a 1958 interview, he expressed his view that neither party was perfect, saying, "I don't think the Republican party is a party full of the almighty God nor is the Democratic party. They both have weaknesses ... And I'm not inextricably bound to either party."[32]
King critiqued both parties' performance on promoting racial equality:
Actually, the Negro has been betrayed by both the Republican and the Democratic party. The Democrats have betrayed him by capitulating to the whims and caprices of the Southern Dixiecrats. The Republicans have betrayed him by capitulating to the blatant hypocrisy of reactionary right wing northern Republicans. And this coalition of southern Dixiecrats and right wing reactionary northern Republicans defeats every bill and every move towards liberal legislation in the area of civil rights.[33]
Although King never publicly supported a political party or candidate for president, in a letter to a civil rights supporter in October 1956 he said that he was undecided as to whether he would vote for Adlai Stevenson or Dwight Eisenhower, but that "In the past I always voted the Democratic ticket."[34]
In his autobiography, King says that in 1960 he privately voted for Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy: "I felt that Kennedy would make the best president. I never came out with an endorsement. My father did, but I never made one." King adds that he likely would have made an exception to his non-endorsement policy in 1964, saying "Had President Kennedy lived, I would probably have endorsed him in 1964."[35]"

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Jim in Alabama replied:

Excellent Gregory. I appreciate the correction. My brain is surely an accident that occurs somewhere between the last thing I happened to read and ancient urban myths that others have long since forgotten. But why do you describe my well noted error as something that I "would have you believe"? It suggests an intention to deceive, which is certainly unkind, and, frankly, quite dishonest since you know me not even slightly.

It's interesting also that you should offer such a detailed and "scholarly "
rebuttal to one point that supports a view to which I offer such a qualified and relative acknowlegement. While supporting many accusations against the Republican Party my main point is that the Democrats' history is worthy of an infinitely higher magnitude of contempt.

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 5:36 PM

countrygirl in Texas replied:

Bravo Jim! Very well done. These are ideas to actually inspire real change, and hope. I pray that many read them, and begin to exert the efforts to implement a return to reason. Thank you, for all it took, and for posting!

Friday, November 23, 2012 at 6:57 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA said:

First off, any caucus not of any one state should be banned. I have no problem with the Rep&Sens of GA, or PA, or MA, or CA, or IA, or LA, or VA, or WA meeting to discuss bills, amendments, resolves, etc. in non-partisan interest of their state, & the USofA ways. But, any othere caucus is abhorrent.

Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Soapy Johnson in Washington said:

Enough with the codewords and dog whistles, real racists tell it like it is ...

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Kevin from Arkansas in USA replied:

The also know the racist history of the Democrat Party:

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 10:48 PM