The Blowhard of the NY Fishwrap Op-Ed page Charles M. Blow takes Senator Randall (Rand) Paul (R-KY) to the Op-Ed woodshed with his review of Paul's speech at historically-black Howard University in Washington, DC. THe Blowhard nailed most of the Dumbo hypocrisy about civil rights, but the most telling dog-whistle moment at the outset of the 1980 presidential campaign was St. Dutch's dog-whistle appearance in Philadelphia, MS. Why did St. Dutch open his campaign in Philadelphia, MS? Hmmmm. Philadelphia, the scene of "Mississippi Burning," is where James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were murdered in June 1964. The three young men were civil rights workers in Neshoba County and they were murdered by white racists with the collusion of law enforcement leaders in both Neshoba County and its seat, Philadelphia. St. Dutch made the pilgrimmage to Philadelphia to blow the dog whistle to white racists everywhere. The students at Howard should have rushed the stage and given Senator Rand Paul a little taste of what Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner endured at the beginning of their last night in 1964. A good head-knockin' like white Mississippians delivered early in their 1964 festivities would have done Senator Paul a world of good. If this is (fair & balanced) disgust with white racism, so be it.
[x NY Fishwrap]
Rand Paul Goes To Howard
By Charles M. Blow
Tag Cloud of the following article
(Click to embiggen)
The Republican Party is struggling with its future. Will it be a regional, Congressional party fighting a last-gasp battle for a shrinking base in a David and Goliath war against ominously expanding federal government? Or will it become a national, presidential party capable of adapting to a new American reality of diversity and expression in which the government serves an essential function in regulating public safety, providing a safety net and serving as a safeguard against discrimination?
Senator Rand Paul is trying to find a balance between the two. The same week that a dozen defiant senators threatened to filibuster any new gun control legislation, Paul ventured across Washington to historically black Howard University and gave a speech aimed at outreach and bridge building.
The man is mulling a presidential run after all.
The speech was a dud. It was a clipped-tail history lesson praising the civil rights record of the pre-Southern Strategy Republican Party, while slamming the concurrent record of the Democrats.
It completely ignored the past generation of egregious and willful acts of insensitivity by the G.O.P. toward the African-American community.
During the speech Paul asked, rhetorically and incredulously:
“How did the party that elected the first black U.S. Senator, the party that elected the first 20 African-American Congressmen, how did that party become a party that now loses 95 percent of the black vote? How did the Republican Party, the party of the Great Emancipator, lose the trust and faith of an entire race? From the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, for a century, most black Americans voted Republican. How did we lose that vote?”
You can’t be serious, Senator Paul. In fact, I know that you’re not. No thinking American could be so dim as to genuinely pose such questions.
Let me explain.
Republicans lost it when Richard Nixon’s strategist Kevin Phillips, who popularized the “Southern Strategy,” told The New York Times Magazine in 1970 that “the more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans.”
They lost it when Nixon appointed William Rehnquist to the Supreme Court, a man who, while he was a law clerk in Justice Robert Jackson’s office, wrote a memo defending separate-but-equal during Brown v. Board of Education, saying, “I realize that it is an unpopular and unhumanitarian position, for which I have been excoriated by my ‘liberal’ colleagues, but I think Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be reaffirmed.”
They lost it in 1976 when Ronald Reagan adopted the racially charged “welfare queens” trope. They lost it when George Bush used Willie Horton as a club against Michael Dukakis. They lost it when George W. Bush imperially flew over New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when people were still being plucked from rooftops and were huddling in a humid Super Dome.
They lost it when the McCain campaign took a dark turn and painted Barack Obama as the other, a man “palling around with terrorists,” a man who didn’t see “America like you and I see America.”
They lost it when Republican Representative Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” at the president during a speech to a joint session of Congress. They lost it when a finger-wagging Republican Governor Jan Brewer publicly chastised the president on an Arizona tarmac.
They lost it in 2011 when a Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrinch, who was the front-runner for a while, falsely and preposterously claimed that: “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash’ unless it’s illegal.”
They lost it when another Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, he of “blah people” infamy, accused President Obama of “elitist snobbery” and “hubris” for supposedly saying “under my administration, every child should go to college.” (For the record, the president never actually said that.)
The Republicans lost the black vote when Herman Cain, an African-American candidate for the Republican nomination, began using overt slave imagery to suggest that he had left “the Democrat plantation.”
They continued to lose it when the African-American Republican of the moment, Dr. Benjamin Carson, echoed Cain and said of white liberals:
“Well, they’re the most racist people there are. You know, they put you in a little category, a little box. You have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?”
The Republican Party has a tarnished brand in the eyes of the African-American community, largely because of its own actions and rhetoric. That can’t be glossed over by painting the present party with the laurels of the distant past. Ω
[Charles M. Blow is The New York Times's visual Op-Ed columnist. His column appears every other Saturday. Blow joined The New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor and quickly became the paper's graphics director, a position he held for nine years. In that role, he led The Times to a best of show award from the Society of News Design for the Times's information graphics coverage of 9/11, the first time the award had been given for graphics coverage. He also led the paper to its first two best in show awards from the Malofiej International Infographics Summit for work that included coverage of the Iraq war. Charles Blow went on to become the paper's Design Director for News before leaving in 2006 to become the Art Director of National Geographic Magazine. Before coming to The Times, Blow had been a graphic artist at The Detroit News. Blow graduated magna cum laude from Grambling State University in Louisiana, where he received a B.A. in mass communication.]
Copyright © 2013 The New York Times Company
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