Dog Whistles in the Dark

I wrote in “Looking Back” about how far we have come in my lifetime on race relations. It was a positive spin on the appalling willful blindness our friends in the Republican Party continue to exhibit.

That our President is a racist is beyond denial. That a substantial portion of the people who voted for him feel the same way is painfully obvious. That a majority of the Republican members of Congress and State Legislatures are passing laws designed to disadvantage people of color and promoting policies consistent with a country controlled by whites. It is commendable that some leaders of the Republican Party disavow the more blatant and socially unacceptable appeals to white superiority. But the reality is there is an underground river of racism flowing through the party’s enactments.

Why else would legislative districts be redrawn with surgical precision to pack Black voters into political ghettos? Why else would we see Republican Legislatures and Congress rushing to make it harder for people to vote by reducing available polling places, the days and hours they are open and eliminating the days when blacks are more likely to vote. Why do we have new laws passed by Republicans requiring already registered voters to additionally provide photo IDs at the polls. Study after study has shown false impersonation is a non-existent problem. Are you voting for those with this agenda? Are these your values too?

There is only one reason to do so. It is to put people of color down and increase the voting power of those same white racists who love Donald Trump and vote Republican.

Saying “Black Lives Matter“ is a call to recognize how often they don’t. Asking to relocate statues and other symbols glorifying those who fought and died to keep black people enslaved is a call to recognize that what they symbolize is a campaign to perpetuate evil. It does not deserve to be honored any more than the wartime exploits of those who murdered Jews. Where do you stand?

Nothing illustrates the truth that for too long and continuing to the present Republican States like Florida still have a hard time recognizing injustice if it involves injustice to Blacks. This week, for the first time in Florida history, a white man was executed for killing a black man. He killed not one but two blacks in racially motivated killings. Those killings took place in 1987 more than 30 years ago.

It takes a long time to overcome a culture of premeditated racism. One party and its voters have a long way to go.

Jerry Scribner August 25, 2017

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