First things first; Tuesday, March 15th is Election Day in North Carolina. As responsible citizens we should understand that “Black Lives Matter” and that the aspirations of generations of people of color are always on the ballot. Not voting is never an option for people of color.
This election cycle is absolutely the best teachable opportunity in the last 50 years to educate our communities on the role of race in our political history and current process. Political literacy requires a basic understanding that racism is central to the enduring legacy of bigotry, hatred and exclusion suffered by people of color for over 400 years in America.
To properly understand the denial of equal opportunity today, I’ve found it helpful to refer to the founding principles of slavery. Those principles have been fine tuned, passed down and enculturated into our dominated white society. They continue to guide the willful exclusions of people of color from the fruits of the American Dream. The founding principles are known as the Maryland Doctrine of Exclusion, which I consider the founding principles of American slavery. (See link No. 1 below).
In the 1850s, the Republican Party (GOP) was founded as an anti-slavery political party. It became the party of Abraham Lincoln. Under Lincoln’s leadership the GOP waged the Civil War and its victory ended Black enslavement. During the Civil War the Democratic Party was the party of slavery and the Confederacy. The allegiance of Blacks to the GOP lasted from the Civil War up to the great depression when it began to wane because of progressive policies of Democrat, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The racism of the KKK, white nationalist, birthers and other bigots that is on display in Trump’s campaign for president now constitutes a large and growing part of Republican politics. In the 1960s and 70s, figures like Strom Thurmond and George Wallace led white Southerners out of the Democratic Party and took white populist politics into the GOP. This movement forced most of the remaining Blacks out of the GOP. The racism of today’s GOP has been well disguised and denied since Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” that started in his 1968 presidential campaign. As I wrote last week, The Southern Strategy was a scheme concocted and used by Richard Nixon where race and racism was employed and made a dividing issue between Democrats and Republicans from the 1960s on.
Because of the leadership of the Democrats in the passage of Civil Rights legislation, conservative Democrats abandoned the party and took their dedication to racial bigotry with them to the modern GOP. Those tendencies included the principles enunciated in the Maryland Doctrine of Exclusion. The rallying of the white supremacist to the campaign of Donald Trump resulted in exposing the GOP as the home of white supremacy and right wing bigots.
Understanding the campaign of Donald Trump will enable you to understand why “establishment Republicans” are so desperate to stop him. A very insightful article by Jonathan Chait was recently published in New York Magazine. (See link No. 2 below). In his article Chait explained that by making race and nationalism the text rather than the subtext of Republican politics, Trump threatens not only the party’s agenda but the self-conception of its intellectual class. The conservative movement seized control of the Republican Party momentarily in 1964 during Barry Goldwater’s candidacy, and completely in the decades to come. It succeeded in large part because many whites, especially in the working class, identified the GOP as the party that would protect their security and tax dollars from people of color. Conservatives prefer to deny this history.
The historically silent embrace of bigotry by the GOP has been exposed by the coalition that looks to Donald Trump as its standard bearer because of his anti-Black, anti-Arab and anti-immigrant rhetoric. The white supremacist in this coalition are very vocal and seemingly being welcomed by Mr. Trump. Yes, they’re publishing the brand of the GOP unlike it’s been published in the last 50 years. For this, people of color should be grateful.
Finally, it is important to understand the philosophy of white superiority that has always been demonstrated by the activities of white supremacist and is an underpinning of today’s GOP. A must read overview of this topic is an article on William F. Buckley, a white supremacist icon, and the magazine that he founded, National Review. The 2015 article explained how during the 1960s, Buckley used the National Review and developed arguments that opposed every motion in favor of civil rights to pursue a single goal: “the continued subjugation of America’s Black people.” (See link No. 3 below). These arguments and denial strategies were fully embraced by today’s GOP.
By now it should be abundantly clear that the GOP has implicated itself in promoting racial bigotry and all the denials that they offer simply contradict the branding of their party that is best exemplified by Donald Trump and his coalition of hatred and bigotry. The only hope for the Republican Party is to demonstrate that they are a party of racial tolerance, fairness and equal opportunity. Thus far the deeds of the GOP have branded them in such a way that their word cannot refute it. The GOP has become the David Duke and Donald Trump party. And unless one forgets, David Duke is an avowed racist and the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. What a brand?
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Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on political, social and economic justice. To support our efforts, to unite our politics and economics, please “Like” and follow us atwww.facebook.com/greaterdiversitynews, “Share” our articles and post your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our websites www.GreaterDiversity.com. Finally, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to like and follow our page.