I have to admit that rather than being angry about Republican attempts to lure black voters by twisting and spinning and blatantly lying about who they are as a party and who and what they stand for, I have been watching their contortions with an almost unholy glee.
They have had it so easy fogging the minds of low-information white folks who consist on a steady diet of Fox news, conspiracy theory, and panic-driven racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia, that blinded by buying their own propaganda and bigotry, they have bought the package they sell and continue to make futile attempts to steer us “blah” folks to vote for them, even as they spit on us in public on a daily basis.
Their “intellectual” theorists from the Buckley minions at The National Review, their bloated, bloviating media mouthpieces and money-men, are facing a dark future with few of us of darker in hue voting for the Party of R in the years ahead, and no tactic, stratagem or game plan they come up with from the depths of warped-by-hate brain pans seems to work. Gotta hand it to ’em-they keep trying.
My latest loud guffaw came while reading “Conservatives Try to Rewrite Civil Rights History (Again)” which opened with:
Rand Paul’s unsuccessful speech at Howard University-where he tried, and failed, to paint the Republican Party as the true home for African American voters-didn’t happen in a vacuum. It drew from a heavily revisionist history of American politics, in which the GOP never wavered in its commitment to black rights, and the Democratic Party embraced its role as a haven for segregationists. In this telling of history, black support for Democrats is a function of liberal demagoguery and crude identity politics. If African Americans truly understood their interests, the argument goes, they’d have never left the Republican Party.
The piece went on to explore recent attempts at re-writing racist southern-strategy architect Barry Goldwater’s contributions to black folks.
Write-on R’s. You will write in vain.
We don’t need degrees in political science, or to read right-wing bloggers to know our history. Many of us had Republican grandparents. I know I did, and wrote about it. Black folks talk about politics in barber shops, beauty parlors, sittin’ on bar stools, on the bus on the way to work and around the dinner table. We don’t form our opinions based on punditry. We deal with the daily reality of walking, eating, sleeping, working, driving, shopping and breathing while black.
Black people are not stupid.
The R’s have convinced themselves that the last two national election cycles are some sort of aberration, that just because Democrats had some black guy at the top of the ticket black folks blissed out and will come to our senses once he is no longer the Democrats’ standard bearer. They are completely ignoring the fact that black folks have been voting for white Democrats since FDR started luring us away from the R party of old a long time ago.
Sure, they can buy off a few dusky faces to spout their rhetoric. Just see how well choosing Michael Steele worked out for ya. Opportunists come in all colors. Pasting a dark visage on tainted ideology does nothing to mask the stench of rotting food for thought.
Black people are not stupid.
Nor have we been struck blind, deaf and senseless. We hear dog whistling and the dulcet tones of patronizing put-downs quite well, thank you.
We may not all be PhDs, but a degree from the university of the streets serves us well-we have learned the hard way how to survive in a hostile America. We begin learning the day we are born, drink it in with our mother’s milk or formula and before we are in the second or third grade we learn daily lessons in blackness.
You have Bell-Curve’d us, and Willie Horton’ed us, and Welfare Queen’ed us, as you stand-your-ground and stop-and-frisk us.
The latest cause for R hand-wringing and lamentation and attempts at re-invention is the much touted poll on black voter turnout, surpassing whites.
Even news stories questioning the data results conclude:
Data-parsing aside, what’s clear is that in the last two presidential elections, blacks and whites turned out at roughly the same rate. Coming less than 50 years after systematic efforts to prevent blacks from voting were banned by the Voting Rights Act, that’s a historic milestone. The Supreme Court is set to rule in June on whether to strike down a key provision of the 1965 law.
The news also bolsters the case that the Republican effort to make voting harder for racial minorities-including strict photo ID laws, cutbacks to early voting, and purges of voting rolls-may have backfired, by stoking outrage in the African-American community in particular.
“It made the case very clear-cut to people about what was happening,” Marvin Randolph, the NAACP’s vice president for campaigns, told MSNBC.com. “We could say to people: This is a poll tax.”
“Politics is a lot like physics,” Randolph added. “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”
Yeah. ‘Cause we are not stupid we have a re-action. We’ve been reacting for many years. From slave rebellions, resistance and revolts, through the tough years of reconstruction into the anti-lynching organizing and civil rights movement, we’ve fought, pushed-back and died. We are not stupid. Republicans aren’t the “party of Lincoln.” We know where the Dixiecrats fled to. We’ve watched you eat your own and cast them out when they even approach something resembling reason.
Republican attempts to limit our hard won right to vote just adds fuel to the fire. And they ain’t stopping.
Ari Berman in The Nation last week reported on new voter repression legislation proposed and introduced for 2013 :
• Mandating a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot: Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Washington, Wyoming
• Restricting voter registration drives: Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New Mexico, Virginia
• Banning election-day voter registration: California, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska
• Requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote: Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia
• Purging the voter rolls: Colorado, Indiana, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia
• Reducing early voting: Arizona, Indiana, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin
• Disenfranchising ex-felons: Virginia.
Oh, and by the way: Latinos and Native Americans don’t cotton to the nickname Tonto. That may have worked well for the Lone Ranger and his “sidekick” Indian buddy who was named “stupid” on tee-vee in the 50’s, but promoting Marco Rubio as a patently obvious ploy to get a flood of browns to swamp the voting booths for you ain’t gonna happen.
As my Puerto Rican husband said yesterday, “Nosotros no somos estúpidos.”
So we’ll be gathered together under the Democratic party big tent, seeking shelter from the acidic rain of the Republican hate-fest for the forseeable future.
Guess who is stupid?
cross-posted from Daily Kos