Yes we have all heard the mantra from the left, “those Republicans, those conservatives…are all racists.” I have news for all of you; some Republicans, some conservatives, some Democrats, some Independents, and some Liberals are racist. This article will not focus on individual races regarding racism even though no race is immune from being racist. This article will focus on racism as a political tool. There’s no question about it, racism still exists in many forms and in many areas in the political arena. No one group has a monopoly on racism. In fact, when you play the race card where racism doesn’t exist, you my friend might just be a racist. When you see racism in every act of a political faction, you might be a racist/bigot.
Let’s start with the roots of the Republican Party. The party’s inception was for one main purpose, to fight against extending slavery into the territories. Hmm, they must have wanted to keep blacks out of the territories. Later, one of the icons of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln, led a war to end slavery in all of the United States. Yeah, I hear you, that was the old Republican Party. The Democrat and Republican parties switched sides at some time or another. Bear with me, we’ll get there. The first black members of congress were Republicans. In order for these black congressmen to have been elected, white Republicans would have had to vote for them. The first black senator was also Republican; again, white Republicans would have had to vote for them.
Now we move ahead to the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1957 Dwight D. Eisenhower, Republican president, introduced the Civil Rights Act. I guess the parties had not switched yet. In fact, the final act became a much watered down affair due to the lack of support among the Democrats. Hmm, Democrats watered down the Civil Rights Act from Republicans. No switch yet. The Little Rock incident also occurred at this time, at that time a Republican president had to send in troops to enforce the law that Democrats refused to obey.
Most people recognize the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as the real beginning of the civil rights movement. Well, let’s look at that for a moment. Eighteen Democrat senators and one Republican senator tried to filibuster the civil rights legislation (no switch yet in 1964). It was finally passed despite this opposition. Point of fact, Democrat senators Strom Thurmund and Robert Byrd were strongly opposed to the Civil Rights Act and to my knowledge they have made no effort to switch parties.
Most conservatives I know would agree with this statement, “I long for the day when a man is judged for the content of his character and not for the color of his skin.” The actual quote is, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” I know of no conservative (on talk radio or otherwise) who would not agree with this sentiment 100%. Is that what things like affirmative action have brought us?
Some affirmative action programs may be where conservatives seem to draw away from programs which on the surface seem to be directed towards equality, but are they? Some of the affirmative action programs seem to be like the quote from George Orwell, “all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” In the sixties my father had a heart attack at age 35. Prior to his heart attack he worked in construction and other labor intensive jobs. No longer able to work in his field, he sought help to gain a trade he would be able to work in. One program he applied for he met all the requirements for, save one. He was not black, nor did he have a Hispanic name. Interesting enough though, he was informed that if he had a legal name change to a Hispanic name he would qualify, even though he was not of Hispanic descent. If you were told a program you were applying for was only available to white Christians would you not say that was a racist program? How is this different?
I am more inclined to the label of conservative than Republican. Most conservatives are Republican by default, as this is the more conservative of the two major political parties. Among my favorite political commentators are Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. Political people I admire include Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Allen West, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz etc. We are not of the same race but we are of the same or similar belief systems. I have more in common with a conservative of any race than I do with any white liberal. The conservatives I know believe in the individual’s ability to lift themselves up given the proper help. They do not believe in giving just enough to make the individual comfortable in his poverty. This prolongs and extends poverty from generation to generation.
Do we have a bias towards people who have similar backgrounds and heritage as we do? Sure, any person who says he does not is a liar or has deceived himself. Do we believe a person should be denied access to a government program or available assets because of his race or some other characteristic they have no control over? Of course not. Do we believe a person should be hired strictly because of his/her ability to do the job regardless of their race/gender? Of course we do. Do we want all men to be judged and treated in accordance with the content of their character rather than the color of their skin? Of course we do. If that makes us racist then of course we are.