To be fair, it’s not a bad thing for Republicans to “get religion” on this issue. In Judaism, every sinner is entitled to repetance if it’s sincere. But are Frist’s motives sincere? Obviously not. This picture is so perfectly posed with arms tightly clasped, the circle perfectly joined, the participants singing the civil rights anthem in unison, that it’s clearly staged with a view toward how it will look to the African-Americans and white Americans sympathetic to the civil rights movement.
According to an Associated Press story, Republicans Visit Civil Rights Sites, reported in the Los Angeles Times, one of those who encouraged this Southern civil rights tour was:
GOP pollster Frank Luntz, who went last year and urged others to go this time, said Republicans could win more black support.
Well, I’ve got news for Luntz, Frist and all those other Southern white Senators: it’s gonna take a lot more than a single photo opportunity or even a tour down the South’s civil rights memory lane for them to overcome the sins of their racist past. They have a lot of atoning to do.
discrimination against blacks in the south was certainly NOT limited to republicans. i don’t even associate with the republican party, but i know this as fact. the entire south (and much of the rest of the country)was (and is still?) infected with bias and hate, including many many democratic politicians, so don’t pin the racist label on the GOP it really has very little to do with the truth. go wave a flag for robert byrd, and make sure its white in case he left his robe in the closet.
Richard Silverstein says
Sorry, but your comment is WAY off base. Which Democratic politicians are infected with hate? You like leveling charges without providing proof.
If you want to go all the way back to Reconstruction, Republicans were admirable in their treatment of Blacks. They held out as long as they could in retaining Reconstruction’s reforms that improved the lives of Blacks. But the Republican Party of today is like the Democratic Party of the 19th century.
It is a commonly accepted fact that the Republican party’s strategy since 1968 in retaining its white support in the South has been to raise social issues that would inflame white opinions against Blacks. Do you not recall Jesse Helm’s election campaign commercial in which a black hand snatched away a white man’s job? Or how about Trent Lott’s ringing endorsement of Strom Thurmond’s 1948 segregationist presidential campaign? Or how about Strom Thurmond himself, dean of the Republican southern senators & closet miscegenist? I could go on & on. Sorry, but Southern Republicans have a lot more explaining to do than Democrats.
I’m not painting Democrats out to be saints. They probably have had their share of bigots (George Wallace in his early days & Lester Maddox) & miscreants. But there is no comparison with the level of racism and hate spewed over the years by Republicans.
I don’t know anything about Robert Byrd’s history. But I’ve never heard a racist word uttered from or about him (not saying he wasn’t that way in the earlier decades of his career) and the media would love to tar & feather him with that if they could. Instead of implying Byrd was a KKK member provide proof. Aside from his racial beliefs whatever they may be, he’s a man of conscience who’s the only Democrat in the Senate who stood up & spoke the resolute truth about Bush’s dirty little Iraq War. I admire him for that.
Mathew Pruitt says
I would agree with you about the rest of them, Richard. I don’t now about Frist though. The man spends his off time saving lives in third world countries. You can disagree with him, but I believe him to be a genuine and straight up kind of guy.
You are both wrong and right on the race bating… both parties are guilty of it. The Democrats have been responsible for enacting laws like Davis-Bacon to keep African Americans from taking jobs from middle-class white guys. Maybe at different times throughout their history, but it is clear that pitting different constituencies against one another is a bipartisan effort. It is a sick and disgusting strategy from either side, and they both owe an apology to the American people.