James Edwards: Republican Suicide

I actually wrote the following blog entry back in October 2009. However, since it was brought back to my attention again this week, I thought I’d re-post it for all the new readers who have been drawn to our website this summer as a result of the constant media attention The Political Cesspool Radio Program has been getting. Enjoy!

The Republican Party has learned nothing from recent history, and continues to do everything it can to repel its base of white voters, in a futile attempt to attract non-whites to the party. They’ve added a new section on GOP.com, which features Republican “Heroes”. You’ve got to see this to believe it. Of the 18, three are white women from the 19th or early 20th century, such as the radical feminist Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, the nurse who founded The Red Cross, and one Ellen Foster, whose claim to fame is that she was one of the first female attorneys in the US. Apparently there have been no significant Republican women in over 100 years.

Of the eighteen “heroes”, nine of them are black men. Seven of them are as ancient as the women. But they certainly have had a huge impact on the GOP and America. Let’s see; there’s Pinckney Pinchback, the son of a slave who became the GOP governor of Reconstruction era Louisiana in 1872. Then there’s Octavius Catto, another son of slaves who became a civil right activist in Pennsyvania, and was murdered in 1871 by “a Democrat” who didn’t like his political activities. Then there’s Joseph Rainey, a runaway slave who went on to become the first “African-American” Congressman, thanks to Reconstruction. And who can forget Jose Celso Barbosa, the black Hispanic who “established the Puerto Rico Republican Party” in 1899. And, whoa Nellie!, what about John Langston? He was the very first “African-American” public official in the US, being elected township clerk in Ohio! He was later named as diplomat to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The GOP helpfully points out that Langston Hughes, whom they refer to as a “literary giant”, was named after him. For some reason, they forgot to mention that many of the poems by this “literary giant” appeared in the newspaper of the Communist Party USA, and that he was a notorious defender of the Soviet Union back when Stalin was killing millions. I’m sure that’s just an oversight.

Then there’s Hiram Revels, who was the first “African-American” Senator, again thanks to Reconstruction. Say, aren’t the GOP’s most reliable voters white Southerners? I wonder what they think of the party celebrating the Reconstruction period like this? Not to worry, because most of them will never know, because Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh will make it a point to never mention this “Heroes” page on their shows. Might not be good for business. Then there’s Frederick Douglass. No need to go into details on him. There’s also one black woman, Mary Terrell, who’s in there because she helped found the NAACP, which has done so much to advance the cause of conservative, limited government over the years.

There are a couple of blacks from the 20th century. One is Edward Brooke, who was elected Senator from Massachusetts in 1966. The other is Jackie Robinson, the first black player in major league baseball. They’re really reaching with this one. Robinson would be none too happy if he were alive today and saw the GOP claiming him as one of their heroes.

As pointed out by a Democratic source, the inclusion of baseball star Jackie Robinson on the list seems particularly egregious. The former Dodger, who broke baseball’s color barrier, was far from a dyed-in-the-wool conservative. Robinson’s ties to the GOP seemed more driven by a personal admiration for Nelson Rockefeller — the New Yorker who would end up being vice president under Gerald Ford — than it was core ideological convictions. In his biography, Robinson said that as the Republican Party leadership tilted towards Barry Goldwater conservatives, he began to have “a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler’s Germany.”

Writing on page 340 of the autobiography, I Never Had It Made, Robinson went so far as to insist that he be called an independent, “since I’ve never identified myself with one party or another in politics.” In 1968 he campaigned for Hubert Humphrey.

“I was not as sold on the Republican party as I was on the governor,” Robinson wrote of Rockefeller. “Every chance I got, while I was campaigning, I said plainly what I thought of the right-wing Republicans and the harm they were doing. I felt the GOP was a minority party in term of numbers of registered voters and could not win unless they updated their social philosophy and sponsored candidates and principles to attract the young, the black, and the independent voter. I said this often from public, and frequently Republican, platforms. By and large Republicans had ignored blacks and sometimes handpicked a few servile leaders in the black community to be their token “niggers.” How would I sound trying to go all out to sell Republicans to black people? They’re not buying. They know better.”

“I admit freely that I think, live, and breathe black first and foremost.That is one of the reasons I was so committed to the governor and so opposed to Senator Barry Goldwater. Early in 1964 I wrote a Speaking Out piece for The Saturday Evening Post. A Barry Goldwater victory would insure that the GOP would be completely the white man’s party. What happened at San Francisco when Senator Goldwater became the Republican standard-bearer confirmed my prediction.”

“I wasn’t altogether caught of guard by the victory of the reactionary forces in the Republican party, but I was appalled by the tactics they used to stifle their liberal opposition,” Robinson wrote of that 1964 convention. “I was a special delegate to the convention through an arrangement made by the Rockefeller office. That convention was one of the most unforgettable and frightening experiences of my life. The hatred I saw was unique to me because it was hatred directed against a white man. It embodied a revulsion for all he stood for, including his enlightened attitude toward black people.”

Yeah, Jackie Robinson, “GOP Hero.”

Out of the 18, only four white men made the list, because, let’s face it, it’s really women and black folks who built the party. But I guess they had to have some token whites, so there’s Ronald Reagan, of course. And if you have to show some white guys, it’s probably best to highlight those who’ve done so much for black people. So there’s Everett Dirksen, a Senator who helped create and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There’s Frank Johnson, a federal judge from the same era, who issued several rulings that helped destroy freedom in the name of Equality. Eisenhower’s in there, for sending federal troops to Arkansas to forcibly integrate the schools. Lastly, of course, there’s good ol’ Abe Lincoln.

Like I said, except for Reagan, these guys are in there simply for what they did for blacks. But I notice the GOP doesn’t quote them on how they themselves felt about black people. Eisenhower famously remarked that the white Southerners weren’t bad people; they just didn’t want their sweet little girls sitting in school next to overgrown Negroes. Lincoln’s views on race are even more well known. He didn’t want blacks to vote, sit on juries, or be allowed to marry white. In fact, he wanted them all removed back to Africa. And these guys are two “heroes” that are supposed to bring blacks running the the GOP? It will never work. Any black person who stumbles on this page will be outraged and disgusted by this blatant pandering. But this kind of thing most certainly will repel white voters, who are the Republican party. The GOP seems hell bent on committing suicide. Well, the sooner the better, and good riddance.

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