December 14, 2003

A Defining Moment

[ via Latino Pundit ] :

I don't read the Black Commentator that often (they're a little too... strident (?) for my tastes). So I missed this commentary on Dem front-runner Howard Dean:

The Black Commentator | Dean Makes Racial-Political History

Howard Dean’s December 7 speech is the most important statement on race in American politics by a mainstream white politician in nearly 40 years. Nothing remotely comparable has been said by anyone who might become or who has been President of the United States since Lyndon Johnson’s June 4, 1965 affirmative action address to the graduating class at Howard University.

For four decades, the primary political project of the Republican Party has been to transform itself into the White Man’s Party. Not only in the Deep South, but also nationally, the GOP seeks to secure a majority popular base for corporate governance through coded appeals to white racism. The success of this GOP project has been the central fact of American politics for two generations – reaching its fullest expression in the Bush presidency. Yet a corporate covenant with both political parties has prohibited the mere mention of America’s core contemporary political reality: the constant, routine mobilization of white voters through the imagery and language of race.

I'm a bit surprised that Dean gets any praise from the BC, but if they're like me, I'll vote for anyone besides the current resident in the White House; an unelectable buffoon.

But here's the real kicker for me:

In 1968, Richard Nixon won the White House. He did it in a shameful way – by dividing Americans against one another, stirring up racial prejudices and bringing out the worst in people.

They called it the "Southern Strategy," and the Republicans have been using it ever since. Nixon pioneered it, and Ronald Reagan perfected it, using phrases like "racial quotas" and "welfare queens" to convince white Americans that minorities were to blame for all of America's problems.

That's from the very beginning of Dean's speech. I'm sure that last part will piss off a lot of Repugnants and some "moderate" Democrats, but no truer words were spoken.

Posted by ronn at December 14, 2003 12:30 AM

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