View From Here: An American Tragedy Revisited
If you’re not apprehensive about the candidates running for the Republican nomination, then you haven’t been paying attention. All talk about being in a post-racial society has to be seen now as hopelessly naïve and dangerous to health and liberty.
Former Congressman Rick Santorum got the ball rolling when he said he didn’t want to give Black people other people’s money, and his campaign enjoyed a nice little surge in the polls. Then there is Newt Gingrich, perhaps seeing the surge in Santorum’s campaign after he played his race card, declaring that if invited to the NAACP convention, “I’ll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps”. And then at a recent Republican debate, when FOX correspondent Juan Williams bravely asked questions about Gingrich referring to President Obama as a “food stamp” president, and other Gingrich comments about African-Americans, he was raucously booed and Gingrich received a “whoop and holler” standing ovation for taking the race cards and doing tricks with the deck, answering “Juan” in the most condescending way possible. As Yvette Carnell put it on Your Black World Web site, “We’re in the middle of the greatest downturn since the Great Depression, engineered mostly by the clever and cunning miscreants on Wall St., and all Republicans can say is: ‘Look! There goes a Negro with a welfare check!’”
These are the people who are going to select the Republican nominee. They are the ones passing laws to suppress voter participation by nonwhite people, they are the ones who say they want to “restore America”, glorify the “Founding Fathers”, “take our country back.” There are those of us who don’t want to go back. They’re talking about times that were not very pleasant for African-Americans at all.
And they will have as their eventual candidate, Mitt Romney, of whom Lee Siegel writing in the New York Times Op-Ed, “The simple, impolitely stated fact is that Mitt Romney is the whitest white man to run for president in recent memory.”
So the Republican strategy is to make both the overt and covert campaigns about skin color and stay away from what’s been done to the economy and the standard of living of the 99% of Americans. If they are able to get away with that argument, and have whites vote color rather than their economic interests, seeing in the ever-changing Mitt Romney that one undeniable constant, his whiteness, then President Obama will have a very hard time being a two-term president.
And the danger here is not so much Romney, he’s been on both sides of so many issues we don’t know where he’s going to stand on any issue at any time, the danger is in the people who come in with him. They are not confused. They want to “take the country back,” and will use race as a lever to do just that. And of course, thanks to President Obama’s signing of the Defense Authorization Act, they will have the power to indefinitely detain American citizens who object to a repressive state and who claim it’s their country, too. And if you don’t think that’s possible in the good old U.S., then you haven’t been paying attention.