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Travis Rowley: Race-Baiting Democrats

Saturday, January 21, 2012


“Democrats have been running our inner-cities for the past 30 to 40 years, and blacks are still complaining about the same problems. More than 7 trillion dollars have been spent on poverty programs since Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty with little, if any, impact on poverty. Diabolically, every election cycle, Democrats blame Republicans for the deplorable conditions in the inner-cities, then incite blacks to cast a protest vote against Republicans.” – Frances Rice, Chairman of the National Black Republican Association

Not that liberals ever relent in their shallow quest to widely characterize Republicans as racist, but the Democratic race-baiters seemed to be particularly busy this past week.

Here in Rhode Island we saw Rep. Charlene Lima (D - Cranston) join a chorus of Democrats across the country when she likened Rhode Island’s new Voter ID law to “Jim Crow” policies.

Last summer Rep. Jon Brien (D – Woonsocket) informed everyone on A Lively Experiment that the National Democratic Congressional Committee had been contacting Rhode Island Democrats, pressuring them to reject the anticipated Voter ID bill. According to Brien, they didn’t want to “pass this legislation because you will mess up [the Democratic] paradigm. The paradigm is…the Republicans, those nasty people, are trying to bring us all the way back to the Jim Crow laws.”

I guess Representative Lima got the memo.

The Left continued their obsession with race this week when New York Times columnist Lee Siegel wrote that “Mitt Romney is the whitest white man to run for president in recent memory,” and that that is “the one quality that has subtly fueled his candidacy thus far and could well put him over the top in the fall.”

Liberals always revert back to their default position: America is racist.

In a time when it is arguably a political advantage to be anything but white, and just several years after the election of a black president, Siegel somehow views a black man’s chances in a presidential election equal to that of a Martian.

Sure, President Obama defeated a white man in 2008. But John McCain has nothing on Mitt Romney. At least not in terms of his whiteness!

This is really how liberals think.

South Carolina

Also deciding to illustrate that race is never a factor until Democrats decide to inject it into the discussion was chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party Dick Harpootlian, who criticized Republicans for holding their debate in South Carolina on Martin Luther King Day: “The Republicans are scheduling their debate [for] Monday, Martin Luther King Day, without any regard, whatsoever, [for] the civil rights issues that this state has faced…[Romney should say] 'no, I don't want to have a debate on Martin Luther King's birthday, that's a day we need to celebrate a great American leader.'"

When it was revealed that, in 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus also hosted a Democratic presidential debate on MLK Day, Harpootlian shifted his argument to another false proclamation, claiming that Republicans hadn’t bothered to even “recognize” the holiday or “approach” the black community in South Carolina. Harpootlian denied that he ever said hosting a debate on MLK Day was improper, but instead had merely argued that “it is indicative of a process in which [Republicans] have not engaged the African-American community in this state.”

Just like that, Harpootlian was right back where he started: Republicans are racist.

Blacks made up only two percent of Republican primary voters in South Carolina in 2008. Maybe if Democrats stopped lying to black people by constantly insinuating that Republicans hate them, then perhaps there would be an actual base of black Republicans that Republican candidates could speak to during competitive, small-turnout primary elections.

It seems like a fitting moment to remind everyone that Martin Luther King was a Republican and, if alive, would probably have come to his own party’s defense by telling Harpootlian to stop being such a whiny, hyper-sensitive, little weasel.

And to stop pandering black people to death.

Stopping Republicans From Helping Minorities

Ironically, by disingenuously retreating from his race-baiting comments, Harpootlian came across as if he actually wanted Republicans to steal black voters away from the Democratic Party.

But the last thing Democrats want is for Republicans to be anywhere near minority neighborhoods, speaking candidly and revealing to minorities the damage that Democratic policies have done to their communities. For Democrats, it’s best to just continue fostering an awkward relationship of mistrust between Republicans and minorities.

When Mitt Romney was approached last week by Ruth Williams, an unemployed woman in South Carolina who asked Romney for financial help, Williams reported that “[Romney] got money and he paid for my light bill.”

But because Williams is black, a Miami Herald reporter was horrified by the incident: “As an African-American woman it galls me. I don’t even like to watch it. I felt like it plays into every sort of patronizing stereotype of black people.”

Have the government give them anything they want. Just don’t show me a black person receiving personal charity. It’s too painful!

Republicans can’t help black people. Democrats get too offended.

Race-obsessed and on a perpetual mission to smear Republicans as racist, when Newt Gingrich called Barack Obama “the best food-stamp president in American history” liberals were the ones who insisted on conjuring up images of black food-stamp recipients – accusing Gingrich of racial insensitivity despite the fact that most food-stamp recipients are white.

Liberal Fox News reporter Juan Williams tried to get Gingrich to acknowledge that his words were “particularly [insulting] to black Americans” during last Monday’s debate. Gingrich’s response: “First of all, Juan, more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in history. I know among the politically correct you're not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable.”

But Williams went on to argue that, when speaking about black people in particularly, Gingrich did say at one point that “black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps.”

Only Democrats could be insulted by such a message. Poverty is the condition that makes someone eligible for food-stamps. And a job is the way out of poverty. While Republicans explain how Democratic policies destroy economic opportunity, and then point out a pathway to prosperity, all Democrats can do in the face of such criticism is to remind black people to be insulted – which has gotten them absolutely nowhere ever since they migrated under the Democratic banner several decades ago.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and a consultant for the Barry Hinckley Campaign for US Senate.

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