Republican Party: You Are What You Are!

When I was a youngster there was a familiar, frequently cited comedic narrative in my neighborhood that spoke to and spoofed the ways African Americans were often portrayed by the mainstream media. It was believed that if a newsworthy event happened in the black community, news reporters would purposely pass by the African American physician, lawyer and school teacher in order to interview “Pookie the Crack-head.”

It is for this reason that I was not so quick to respond to sensationalist headlines of bigotry and racism at McCain/Palin rallies… 

I soberly assumed that reports of attendees yelling derogatory racial epithets and shouts of “kill him” were confined to fringe elements that were being overrepresented in order to feed a carnivorous 24-hour news cycle. There was indeed evidence to support my initial assumptions. Republican intellectuals such as George Will, Peggy Noonan and David Brooks expressed fear and disgust over Palin’s lynch-mob rhetoric that brought out the base elements of the party. And even when the crazy-haired lady in Minnesota referred to Senator Obama as an “Arab,” one could see a few attendees shaking their heads in embarrassment and shame prior to Senator McCain’s ill-worded rebuke.

I admit now that I was just plain wrong. The “Obama Bucks” distributed on the Chaffey Community Republican Women of California newsletter [ironically created to parody the ideology of the people who ultimately took it seriously] and the “Waterboard Barack Obama” posting on the official Web site of the Sacramento Republican Party have pushed me over the cliff of compassion and attempts at understanding the conservative agenda. The RNC can no longer simply denounce such hateful acts without first admitting that the Republican “southern strategy” of racial division has become their national modus operandi and self-definition. As far as the Grand Ol’ Party is concerned, fear, hate and bigotry rule the day!

Maybe my critical lenses were obscured by naivety or clouded by hope. Possibly both. My hope that such unadulterated ignorance and unapologetic hatred could not be that prevalent cultivated a naïve perspective about a critical mass of Americans in general, and the GOP in particular. But I guess H.L. Mencken was correct, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public!” So now I have learned my lesson. In the words of President Bush, “bite me once, shame on you. Bite me twice…..well, don’t bite me!”

Watch closely…