By Richard Andrew
Is there a prerequisite that to be a member of the Tea Party you have to be a racist? The Tea Party, as you likely know, is the outrageous, dangerous appendage of the Republican Party. With the recent passing of Jim Crow style voter ID laws in North Carolina, there leaves no doubt that the GOP has a dark racist side to it. To paraphrase Chauncey DeVega during an interview with Mike Papantonio “The GOP is renewing a method of con-job that dates back to the Civil War. It is to support an old argument that poor white folks can blame all their economic troubles on the poor black and brown folks. The Tea Party has carried this one step further. They have caused black folks to resent the progress of Latinos.”
What happened last Sunday when Rep. Steve King was interviewed by David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press? King defended his remarks of calling “undocumented immigrants“, as Zack Beauchamp wrote, “drug mules” with “cantaloupe-sized calves”. King added that “many young undocumented immigrants were “drug smugglers”. Present on Mr. Gregory’s panel and listening to all of Rep. Kings’ bigoted rant, was Republican strategist, Ana Navarro. She was clearly holding back the anger and hurt that King had slammed on all Latinos. Ms. Navarro responded by saying: “First of all, I think Congressman King should get some therapy for his melon fixation. I think there might be medication for that. I think he is a mediocre congressman with no legislative record and the only time he makes national press is when he comes out and says something offensive about the undocumented or Hispanics. . . . There are other voices who are the adults in the room and who are working hard towards a reform. And I think it’s going to happen. I’m more optimistic than most.”
Pierce Williams, writing for Politics, in an article he called, “It’s Bizarre and Ridiculous How Racist Republicans Are”, wrote that, “almost a third of Latino adults now get their news exclusively in English. Maybe someone should tell the Republicans to check their racism at the door and watch what they say about Latinos.” He continues, “a majority of Latinos of all ages now lean Democratic. Although most Republican House districts don’t have heavy Latino presence. . . .44 House Republicans have a substantial number of Latino constituents. Democrats only need to flip 17 seats. . . to win back the House next year.
So, because racism is ever-present in the GOP, perpetuated by its Tea Party members, things are starting to improve for our African-American and Latino brothers and sisters. In spite of the GOP’s attempt to nullify their vote , the alternative for these folks of color, is to participate in the democratic process and rid itself f these bigots by voting them out. Racism sells to the GOP faithful. Expect more as we approach 2014.
Richard Andrew is a contributor to Ring of Fire.