Lynn Jenkins, Great Republican Dope
While Republican leaders are welcome to shoot themselves in the foot, they shouldn't poison race relations in this country. Such rhetoric creates the type of environment that promotes political violence. Daily recorded threats against the president are at record numbers.
[Black Star News Editorial]
The Republican Party is the party that just keeps giving. The party's generosity is embarrassing.
The party doesn't know when to stop throwing gifts. At this rate, the Democrats will have a lock on the 2012 run on the White House by the Spring of 2011.
The latest gift from the Republicans came from Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas), who, perhaps, is a secret member of the KKK. While addressing a forum on August 19,
this elected representative of the people told a crowd that "Republicans are struggling right now to find the great White hope" to counter President Barack Obama's Administration policies.
"I suggest to any of you who are concerned about it," Jenkins, who is White added, "there are some great young Republican minds in Washington."
The Republicans thought their problem in terms of broadening their following --and with it their electoral base-- came only from the so-called "angry White men."
They need to go back to the drawing board, judging by Jenkins' race-baiting comments. She was clearly saying "Blacks, Latinos and Asians" need not apply.
So what does this say about Michael Steele, the African American chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). It just lends credence to those who argue that Steele was elected merely for cosmetic reasons: Democrats had succeeded in having a Black man elected as president, so Republicans had to pull one out of the hat as well, these Republicans reckoned, according to the critics.
Rep. Jenkins, shortly after her volatile remarks, claimed it was not her intent to offend anyone in "any way, shape or form." Who is she fooling? Why didn't she declare to the crowd that the Republicans were praying for the "great Black hope" to rescue the Party? By her racist estimation, the "great Black hope" already resides on Pennsylvania Avenue.
How does the GOP hope to win in 2012 with these kinds of hate tactics? How do they hope to attract the Latino and Black votes? Perhaps Jenkins believes that the country can magically go back to the 1950s when Black folk were illegally barred from voting?
Gen. Colin Powell warned his party of marginalization unless it abandoned its destructive and narrow-minded politics. In coming out to endorse candidate Obama last year, he said his stomach turned when he heard the vicious attacks against Obama--when his citizenship, his religion, and even his loyalty were questioned. Powell warned that the GOP would become irrelevant unless the party radically changed its politics, and its message, and the tone in which it is delivered; the party had to build a "bigger tent" the decorated retired General said.
The party had already decided the direction to pursue.
Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who has antipathy towards non-White people, had already famously declared that he prayed for President Obama to fail. This was at a time when the new president was struggling to prevent the economy from tumbling into a depression.
So, Powell's intelligent warning fell on deaf ears. The rabid minds wanted blood in the water. Dick Cheney, who ran the White House during George W. Bush's eight years as U.S. president, said he preferred Limbaugh to Powell.
Not a single prominent Republican denounced Cheney's remarks. Powell, even though we disagree with much of his political positions, was a principled and brave man.
Moreover, Powell had put his life on the line for this country and saw action in many theaters of war, including Vietnam and the Gulf War. Then again, it does make sense that Cheney would prefer Limbaugh: Both never served in the U.S. military.
The ugly tone was set very early.
That's why it was no surprise that all the worst elements picked up on the messages from top Republican leaders, such as Limbaugh and Cheney. These elements started showing up with posters depicting President Obama as Hitler; some brought Swastika signs to the Town hall meetings over healthcare reform, creating a lynch mob atmosphere of intimidation and hate.
Some of these racial arsonists were the type that had showed up at John McCain's rallies --in response to Sarah Palin's false accusations that candidate Obama "palled around with terrorists"-- during the campaign and chanted "kill him" when Obama's name was mentioned.
They are the same type that now shows up at the Town halls, including at appearances where the president is present, armed with loaded guns.
Even mainstream politicians such as Tom Delay, the former Congressman, are throwing fuel at the flames. On a recent appearance on "Hard Ball" with Chris Matthews, he declared that President Obama should indeed produce his birth certificate; he either was lending credibility to the lunatic "birthers" or confirming his own state of mind.
The racial combustibility that pervades the country was intensified by Glenn Beck who claimed that Obama, who had a White mother and was brought up by White grandparents, was a "racist" who "hated the White culture."
If a Black TV personality had made a similar remark about Bush, while in the employ of a major media company, he or she would have been fired on the spot then banished from the industry. Thankfully Glenn Beck's show has been abandoned by several major corporate advertisers.
While Republican leaders are welcome to shoot themselves in the foot, they shouldn't poison race relations in this country. Such rhetoric creates the type of environment that promotes political violence.
Already the daily recorded threats against the president are at record numbers. Those who would play with fire at a gas station must think twice. The flames would consume victims indiscriminately.
Responsible Republicans need to stand and denounce the volatile rhetoric. Silence could be construed as approval.
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