Folks, let’s just call these events, and others like them, for what they embrace.
100% pure, unadulterated racism.
Example 1 – The bumper shown in the featured image of this post, spelling renege “re-nig” is blatantly racist. There is no other reasonable explanation for intentionally spelling the word that way. None. In a recent interview with Forbes, Paula Smith of Hinesville, Georgia defended the sticker she created saying “she is not racist, she just wants Obama out of office.” She then went on to defend her use of the racial epithet by saying:
“According to the dictionary [the N word] does not mean black. It means a low down, lazy, sorry, low down person. That’s what the N word means.”
If you’ll buy that, I’ve got some ocean front property in Arizona for sale.
“They’re just pushing harder and harder to get more and more of you dependent upon them so they can get your vote. That’s what the bottom line is. I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”
Almost as soon as the video hit the internet, outrage ensued. Santorum then spent days backstroking his comments saying:
“If you look at it, what I started to say is a word and then sort of changed and it sort of — blah — came out. And people said I said ‘black.’ I didn’t.”
I’m sorry, Rick, that’s almost as lame as Paula’s comments about her bumper sticker.
Example #3 – Trayvon Martin
This is perhaps the most disturbing of the three. Trayvon, a 17 year old African American, was walking back to his house after purchasing a bag of Skittles and an Iced Tea. George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watchman, called police to report a ‘suspicious character’. According to the 911 transcripts, Zimmerman said “This guy looks like he is up to no good. He is on drugs or something.” When the police dispatcher asked him if he was following Martin, and Zimmerman said yes, the dispatcher told him not to. Zimmerman ignored the police, continued to follow Martin, and then shot and killed him.
On the 911 tape, you can hear Zimmerman tell the police that “these a**holes always get away” followed by “f**king coons“.
Zimmerman has yet to be charged by the Sanford, Florida Police Department because of the 2005 ‘stand your ground’ law.
A Google search reveals that none of the current GOP candidates have issued statements regarding this issue and, in fact, when Mitt Romney was asked about the murder by a Reuters reporter, he ignored the question.
The conservative blogosphere has reacted with everything from defending Zimmerman, or the Sanford police department, to bashing the mainstream media.
Redstate finally weighed in yesterday, if only to complain that “the media feeding frenzy over this particular story – one out of the thousands of homicides in this country – in apparent response to a left-wing campaign to keep it in the national news, reflects at best a loss of perspective and at worst a cynical effort to inflame racial division in an election year.”
Glenn Beck‘s news site, theblaze, also covered the story, but led with this headline: “Al Sharpton dismisses self-defense argument in shooting of teen.” As all good Beck followers know, Sharpton is a black agitator who can’t be trusted, thus Zimmerman must be innocent. The article dwells at length on why Martin was serving a school suspension, but does not mention Zimmerman’s criminal history.
Beck’s site then followed that up with a scare story yesterday evening about a “black militia organization” vowing to find Zimmerman. Notice how the framing of it turns an issue of basic justice in which people of all colors have a common interest into one of racial controversy in which vaguely menacing and radical black groups are on the rampage. Suddenly it’s back to us against them. – WalkOn
Of course, none of these conservative media sites mention Zimmerman’s 50 calls to 911 over the last year or his arrest for beating a police officer or the domestic violence charges against him. Nope. It’s all about stereotyping Martin as a black ‘thug’ in a vain effort to justify what, by all accounts, is a premeditated, cold blooded murder of a teenager.
Commenters on these conservative sites are also saying that Zimmerman couldn’t possibly be racist because, well, he’s not white, he’s Latino!
To his credit, the only conservative commentator I have heard calling for justice in this case is Bill O’Reilly
When you put these three examples alongside the birther nonsense, the references to Obama being “Kenyan” from not only Tea Partiers but GOP candidate Newt Gingrich, the reference to Obama being a “food stamp President” to Glenn Beck’s insane assertion that President Obama “hates white people“, the picture becomes clear.
There are elements within the conservative right that are, by their very nature, racist and it’s these elements that are not only steering the broadcast GOP positions on issues, but , even worse, are being pandered to by the GOP candidates for the Presidential nomination.
To deny this is to deny reality.
Now, not all conservatives fit this mold, to be certain. However, this contingent of paranoid racist conservatives is getting louder, gaining traction, and garnering influence in the GOP more and more as time goes by.
If you thought the 2008 election was ugly and marred by veiled and unveiled racism, I fear you haven’t seen anything yet. The prospect of another four years with a black President will be enough to send these folks right over the edge.
- Glenn Beck site The Blaze suggests Trayvon Martin was a dangerous threat (thegrio.com)
- Million Hoodie March Trayvon Martin Protest in New York City (binsidetv.net)
- Metro Atlantans rally for Trayvon Martin, head to Florida (ajc.com)
- Trayvon Martin case: growing calls for removal of police chief ahead of Thursday rally (thegrio.com)
- What Everyone Should Know About Trayvon Martin (1995-2012) | ThinkProgress (tinfoilhatman45.wordpress.com)
- Lead investigator in Trayvon Martin case asked to step down; protests spread to N.Y. (nj.com)