Raging Revisionist Republican Racism Ramping Up for 2012 Races

February 4, 2011 | By | 16 Replies More

Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) has made efforts to reconcile his past strong support for segregationist organizations with statements that such organizations as the Citizens’ Councils and more recently the Council of Conservative Citizens in Yazoo City and Mississippi are “town leaders” and just “business organizations.” Those same folks started the segregated Carroll Academy in Yazoo City Mississippi, where Gov. Barbour’s kids went to school. Governor Barbour was mentioned in a recent Weekly Standard article as a possible GOP nominee to run for president against President Barack Obama in 2012.

Governor Barbour said of racism and segregation in Yazoo City, Mississippi as he grew up there in the 1960’s; “I just don’t remember it being that bad.”

That Governor Barbour should have sentimental recollections of the most racist, segregationist organizations in his hometown isn’t surprising. In the recent Weekly Standard article Barbour says he went to hear a speech by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. but, didn’t hear anything because he was “distracted by girls.”

Farther North, Republican US House member Michele Bachmann (R-MN) had this to say about America, the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and slavery during the early American years; “…the very founders that wrote these documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the united States.”

Congresswoman Bachmann apparently is unaware that many of the Founding Fathers were slave owners and that Article I, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the US Constitution declared slaves to be 3/5 of a person for the census and purposes of apportionment of US House seats, tax disbursements and the Electoral College. Slavery and involuntary servitude, except prison slavery, were abolished by the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution adopted on December 18, 1865.

Before the 2008 election, Rep. Bachmann also called for investigation of then Senator Obama and his supporters as “Anti-American.”

It’s not surprising that the Republicans would see an avowed segregationist or a radical revisionist as potential contenders for the GOP presidential nomination given the Republican Party’s rampant racist history in its pursuit of electoral victories.

In the 2010 midterm elections, GOP and Tea Party sponsored efforts sought to suppress Hispanic voters in Nevada and other battleground states.

Two billionaire brothers set up the financial foundation for the Tea Party and other groups’ efforts to oppose any change in the political environment that the brothers deem unacceptable to their extreme far right wing philosophy. The efforts of the groups supported by the billionaire brothers apparently are now are focused on voter suppression in states such as Illinois, Wisconsin and Nevada where key Democratic seats in the US Senate are up for re-election in two weeks. The seat once held by President Obama, the seat held by Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, and the seat held by the Democratic author of campaign finance reform, Russ Feingold are all in play. Republicans or the Tea Partiers are involved in alleged “voter security” efforts in all three states. See, also, this video. And see here, here, here and here.

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In Nevada, Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle has run a number of highly charged ads about alleged support by Senator Reid of “illegal aliens.” A new group calling itself “Latinos for Reform” has attempted to buy ads on Univision, a Spanish speaking network, urging Latino voters to skip the November elections. Univision has refused to run the ads. “Latinos for Reform” has the same PO Box as the group that organized the “Swift Boat Veterans” circa 2004 against Senator John Kerry’s Democratic bid for the presidency and is run by the former Bush administration liaison to the Hispanic community. And see here.

In Wisconsin, WisconsinNow, a public interest group has disclosed it has video and taped evidence of voter suppression plans or “caging” by Wisconsin Republicans, the Wisconsin Tea Party and “Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin” in the Russ Feingold race. Americans for Prosperity was started by the billionaire brothers and was formerly run by former GOP House power Dick Armey. There’s a twist in Wisconsin in that student voters are also targeted along with minorities in Wisconsin. Students, according to U.S. Supreme Court decisions and federal law, may register and vote as long as they reside in the state where they attend school. And see here.

In Illinois, Republican Senatorial candidate Mark Kirk was caught on tape about his efforts to make sure the “vote was secure” in African-American areas of the state of Illinois which usually turn out heavily for Democratic candidates. See this video. And also see here.

The real twist to the GOP efforts in Illinois is that the Republicans’ poll watching efforts are run by an avowed “birther” who has circulated petitions to impeach President Obama and filed suits to declare President Obama ineligible for the presidency because he has failed to prove his American birth. Minority voter intimidation tactics by Tea Partiers have also been alleged in Texas.

The Republican Party has by clear and convincing evidence has stood and stands ready to prevent African-American, Hispanics and other minority voters from voting by subterfuge and other improper tactics which arise to the level of a “property qualification” prohibited by federal constitutional law. The other “caging” tactics adopted by the RNC, its state affiliates and their Tea Party and allied groups merely appear to violate federal civil rights statutes, privacy statutes and laws which outlaw criminal conspiracies to violate such statutes.

In 1981, the RNC in New Jersey sent out postcards to voters and challenging any voter where the post card was returned as undelivered or undeliverable (some 45,000). The areas where the post cards were sent were overwhelmingly black. The RNC calls this “unremitting and ingenious” tactic “caging.” “Caging” is where the RNC makes a systematic attempt at minority voter suppression by creating massive mailing lists of voters and challenging them on the claim the voters do not reside at the location listed on the voter rolls.

The practice was challenged in court and a consent decree was entered into by the Republican National Committee which prohibited such practices by the RNC nationally. Consent Order, Democratic National Committee v. Republican National Committee, CA No. 81-3876 (D. N.J. entered Nov. 1, 1982).

In 1986, in Louisiana, the RNC engaged in a similar post card mailing effort attempting to have 31,000 voters removed from the voter registration rolls, the consent decree was re-opened by the Democratic National Committee and stopped these practices. Settlement and Stipulation and Order of Dismissal, Democratic National Committee v. Republican National Committee, CA No. 81-3876 (D. N.J. entered July 27, 1987). It appears that the tactics being used by Republicans and their surrogates in Illinois, Wisconsin and Nevada may have needed pre-clearance by the Court and are unauthorized.

In 2008, there was a new twist added to the RNC “caging” arsenal. The Michigan Republican Party sent the post cards to addresses in low-income and minority neighborhoods where the RNC doesn’t get support and prepared to challenge the predominantly black and Hispanic voters from lists of persons which had foreclosures done on their homes! After another suit was filed, the RNC backed off, again!

In 2008, some covered states the GOP sought to suppress minority votes by subterfuge by sending out fliers or mailers to the black and Hispanic areas telling voters polling places had changed or the election date was changed or changed if it rained. Some violence or threats were indicated.

The GOP has a long history of a “Southern Strategy” to carve out white voters from the Democrats by supporting segregation and suppression of minority votes; which history goes back to Civil War Reconstruction, not just back to GOP Presidential nominee Richard Nixon. It seems that until some court of competent jurisdiction speaks to the Wisconsin, Illinois and Nevada issues we will see that history of Republican racist voter suppression efforts, backed by corporate billionaires and their Astro-Turf front groups, repeated in the 2010 elections and beyond.

So, as we venture into the 2012 presidential season, expect more and more of the glorification by Republicans of a past that never was in America. The goal is to steal away the American Dream from the elderly, disabled, widows, orphans, the young, single mothers, the Middle Class, minorities, the poor, students and any other group deemed “Anti-American” by their extreme far right wing raging revisionist Republican racist corporatist leaders in the run-up to the 2012 elections and beyond. The Republican “American Dream” is a government of wealthy WASPS, by wealthy WASPS and for wealthy WASPS. Nothing could be more anti-American.

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Category: American Culture, Bigotry, History, Politics

About the Author ()

imothy E. Hogan is a trial attorney, a husband, a father of two awesome children and a practicing Roman Catholic in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Hogan has done legal and political work in Jefferson City, Missouri for partisan and non-partisan social change, environmental and consumer protection groups. Mr. Hogan has also worked for consumer advocate Ralph Nader in Washington, DC and the members of the trial bar in the State of New York. Mr. Hogan’s current interests involve remaining a full time solo practitioner pioneer on the frontiers of justice in America, a good husband and a good father to his awesome children.

Comments (16)

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  1. Karl says:

    Tim states

    "Congresswoman Bachmann apparently is unaware that many of the Founding Fathers were slave owners and that Article I, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the US Constitution declared slaves to be 3/5 of a person for the census and purposes of apportionment of US House seats, tax disbursements and the Electoral College. Slavery and involuntary servitude, except prison slavery, were abolished by the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution adopted on December 18, 1865."

    I think your conclusion regarding Michelle Bachman is a just a bit biased by your own viewpoint concerning the founding fathers.

    Of the delegations sent to Philadelphia only those of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia "favored" slavery. all of the others wanted it abolished from the very start – Including many who currently would be considered "slave owners" by your standards.

    Not all of the Founders from the South opposed slavery. According to the testimony of Thomas Jefferson, John Rutledge, and James Madison, those from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia favored slavery.

    Taken of course from a biased website.

    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-wall/wal-g003.h

  2. Tim Hogan says:

    Karl, the bloody US Constitution as adopted by the 13 states included slavery as part of it, or can't you read? Of course the Founding fathers supported slavery to one degree or another else it never would have been allowed or accountd for in the Constitution in the first place.

  3. Karl says:

    Tim,

    Learn your history. The majority if the signers did not want slavery and especially nothing to do with the slave trade.

    The concesssions in the Constituton that refer to "slaves" were agonizably allowed to get all thirteen colonies to sign on the the Declaration of Independence and to keep those States with large numbers of slaves like Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina from using "other persons" i.e. non-voting slaves from bolstering the number of representatives these states would have in congress and the also their number of votes in the electoral college. If the slaves had been given full legal status their owners would have had more voice and votes in the government.

    See:

    http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_slav.html#

  4. Karl says:

    Tim,

    Jefferson was outright angry that his denunciation of slavery had been stricken from his original draft of the Declaration of Indpenedence. It was an outright evil that he wanted to see ended his entire life.

    Why did Jefferson have slaves? Most were inherited, a few were purchased but most of the increase was from births to married slaves. He understood that laws and culture made it very unlikely that any plantation owners could afford to set their slaves free unless they could be somehow first be educated to the full status of free citizens. The Laws of Virginia also made it so that any freed slaves could not stay in Virginia for more than one year.

    As a young man he sought out ways to free them, but as he grew older he found himself rationalizing that there was no way short of an entire civil war that it could be done. He was just as much a slave to his culture and pocketbook as were the rest of the southern plantation owners. The laws set in place by the aristocrats made his desire unattainable.

    He was a slave himself to the things of this world, but would not admit to it.

    anyway, the Americans were not the one's bringing the slaves to America for sale. It was the lucrative trade of the British and condoned by the King.

    This was how the British established the operations of plantations and helped the southern Aristocray have the potential to make them huge profits.

    When young, Jefferson was an idealist that wanted to find a way to end slavery in America. As he grew older he conceeded there just was not a way to do it that would not bring about a civil war. Firty years after his death that Civil

  5. Wow, Karl, that was a masterful piece of almost correct.

    Slavery was a deal breaker. The compromises in the Constitution were intended to keep the subject out of discussion for 20 years. In that time, the southern states thought they could work sufficient influence through Congress to guarantee that slavery would not be overturned and they were right. It was kept off the table effectively until the 1850s and we know where that led.

    Nevertheless, since a slave was made equal to 3/5s of a man for the purposes of voting, and the owners were the ones who voted those partial people, the plantation system pretty much ran rough-shod over national policies until Lincoln was elected.

    You make it sound like a gentlemanly difference of opinion. It was an ugly, greedy, self-serving bit of political shenanigan and effectively puts the lie to the spin the Right has been trying to present of these iconic, holier-than-thou super beings who wrote the Constitution.

    As far as getting all the states to sign onto the Declaration of Independence, slavery had virtually nothing to do with it—everyone's livelihood was at stake. The slavery issue reared its ugly head in the Constitutional convention.

  6. Erich Vieth says:

    John Nichols of The Nation reports:

    "Ten years ago, in a display of judicial activism unprecedented in American history, Justice Antonin Scalia engineered the Bush-v-Gore ruling that handed the presidency to a Republican who had lost the nation’s popular vote and was threatened with defeat in a Florida recount. Scalia’s moves removed any serious doubt about his partisan preference.

    Now, however, the justice has removed any doubt about his ideological preference within the Republican Party, with an announcement that he will be meeting with—and, undoubtedly, providing talking points for—Michele Bachmann’s Tea (Party)-stained “Constitutional Conservative Caucus.”

    Scalia, the most determined activist on a high court that has been redefined by its results-oriented conservative majority, will deliver the inaugural address to the right-wing representatives as part of a speaker series that features no less a constitutional scholar than Fox News host Sean Hannity."

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/157117/antonin-scal

  7. Tim Hogan says:

    Karl. you are wrong.

    The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776.

    The US Constitution, which took the place of the weak federal government Articles of Confederation, was ratified in 1789 and had absolutely NOTHING to do with the contents of or which states would sign the Declaration of Independence. The only agreements by the Southern states as to the ratification of the Constitution was that a Bill of Rights would immediately thereafter be submitted to the states for their consideration.

    You are entitled to your opinions but, not entitled to be totally wrong on your facts.

  8. Karl says:

    Mark states:

    "As far as getting all the states to sign onto the Declaration of Independence, slavery had virtually nothing to do with it"

    If you call a majority of 10 wanting Jefferson's language condemning slavery in amd 3 not wanting it there "virturally nothing," I beg to differ.

    North and South Carolina and Georgia were prepared to walk out and not sign – a guess that was "virtually nothing."

    The southern minority got their way because the North needed them as the British were already engaged in suppressing the north with its protests against the oppression of the King George.

  9. Mea culpa,

    Karl was correct in pointing out the excision of language pertaining to the slave trade from the Declaration of Independence. My bad.

    Part of the reason, however, had to do with a blanket condemnation of a business practice of which England was not alone, and the potential offense to future allies was thought too big a risk. However, it did rankle the sensibilities of the South.

    BTW, Virginia was the largest slave-holding state at the time. It was not surpassed till much later. I find this interesting because some of the most forward thinking of the Founders were Virginians and yet even these men found it difficult to address this fundamental issue constructively. Although acknowledging its ugliness, both Jefferson and Washington refused to emancipate their slaves.

  10. Karl says:

    Jefferson and Washington would have had to give up the ability to make and maintain the wealth that afforded them influence in the nation.

    Some would have rallied behind them, but the South and other racists would have gpne down a different path altogether and Britian would have likely ruled for decades or more longer.

  11. Karl,

    Yeah, it always seems to come down to the money, doesn't it?

    One quote—and I'm sorry, I no longer know who said it, I stumbled over it while researching one of my novels—from a Southern patrician in discussing the issue of slavery said "We must have the negro slave—they do work no white man will do."

  12. MikeFitz17 says:

    In light of the subject matter of this thread, and the comments above, I have one question to ask: Where is George Orwell when you need him?

    Or more to the point, where is *our* Orwell, the trenchant observer who, equally adept with pick axe and scalpel, tears apart the reigning hyprocrisies of the day?

    True, there are many fine writers out there who have done a lot of great work exposing the absurdity of the Republicans' glorification of a past that never was. The same goes for the many bloggers and journalists who have written compellingly about the follies of the Global War on Terror and the stupidity of much of American foreign policy, particularly as it concerns the Middle East.

    But how I long for Orwell's return, if even for a day, for few writers had his eye or his heart, nor wrote with his crystalline lucidity. I would give almost anything to read his take on the Tea Party movement, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, climate change denialism, the WikiLeaks revelations, "reality" TV, Republican obstructionism, the Democrats' habitual sell-out of their constituencies, the Great Recession and bail-outs for Wall Street and the big banks.

    Orwell is remembered today primarily for his great allegorical novels, "Animal Farm" and "1984." But I believe his greatest legacy is to be found in his personal essays, book reviews and long form reportage, such as "The Road to Wigan Pier" and "Homage to Catalonia."

    Orwell believed passionately that a better world is possible (as I am sure the majority of DI blog readers would agree), and toward this end he spent his career drilling into the twin scourges of his day: colonialism and totalitarianism. Because Orwell wrote during desperate times (the worst depths of the Depression, the darkest days of World War II), his writing, even 70 years on, possesses an urgency, an edge and a heft, that makes a mockery of almost all of what passes today for mainstream journalism.

    In one of his most important essays ("England Your England," 1941), Orwell opens with these words:

    "As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.

    "They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are ‘only doing their duty’, as the saying goes. Most of them, I have no doubt, are kind-hearted law-abiding men who would never dream of committing murder in private life. On the other hand, if one of them succeeds in blowing me to pieces with a well-placed bomb, he will never sleep any the worse for it. He is serving his country, which has the power to absolve him from evil."

    What follows is one of the most incisive, tough-minded, loving and brutally honest examinations of British society and culture, indeed, of modern life, ever committed to print.

    It stands as a model for what all political writing should be. Alas, it also stands as a stinging indictment of how far it has fallen.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      MikeFitz: That is quite an intense passage by George Orwell. It's almost as explosive as the bombs he is describing.

      Who is the present-day Orwell? Not to sound self-aggrandizing, but you are, and Tim is, and I am. I'm referring to citizen journalists, because we are not beholden to corporate financial temptations.

      This concept of "citizen journalist" resonates strongly with me. Anyone interested in gearing up might want to consider going to the National Conference on Media Reform sponsored by Free Press. It's in Boston this year, April 8-10. I've attended the past three national conferences and I intend to be in Boston this year. Here's the link for anyone interested citizen journalism (and doing your port to reform establishment journalism): http://conference.freepress.net/

  13. MikeFitz17 says:

    Erich: That is quite a challenge you issue, but I think you make a good point. Citizen journalism is becoming the new paradigm, which only makes sense. In a sense, we all control the printing press, and it's just a few mouse clicks away. But as with any new frontier, there are many new opportunities and dangers.

    Speaking for myself, I will try to write as Orwell wrote: with fairness and honesty; as a friend of clarity and an enemy of claptrap; as a man, in Orwell's words, who "is generously angry — in other words, of a nineteenth-century liberal, a free intelligence, a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls."

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