Race-baiting has been the historical shame of the GOP for some time now, and I can only hope it will haunt the once-moderate Mitt Romney with many a sleepless night, whether he wins or loses. Mitch McConnell’s 2010 pronouncement to voters that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president”, and a steady stream of subtle and not-so-subtle racist imagery has combined to create a rabid, perhaps even dangerous, mindset among some lawmakers and a minority of their constituents. Worse still is the ugly and prejudiced mindset revealed among a mostly white, male, wealthy elite. We are all at risk of such bigotry seated deep in our subconscious, but as a cunning campaign cudgel, it’s pretty damning to these reprehensible Republicans.
The son of a Wisconsin candidate for Senate turned heads over the weekend when he indulged in a favorite Republican pastime: appealing to racism to get out the vote. But that moment was only the latest in a campaign chock full of race-bating appeals and utterances the Republican Party has been using to try to defeat Democrats.
The subtle appeals to racism, reminiscent of President Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” help pave the way for the more outrageous forms of blatant racism.
From the coded appeals to the blatant manifestations, here are 9 racist things that have happened during the 2012 election campaign.
1. Wisconsin Senate Candidate’s Son: We Can Send Obama ‘Back to Kenya’
The website Buzzfeed reports that yesterday morning, Jason Thompson told a crowd of supporters at a brunch that “we have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago — or Kenya.” Thompson is the son of former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, who is now running for Senate. In attendance at the brunch was Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee.
After Thompson said the Kenya remark, a woman in the audience shouted out, “we are taking donations for that Kenya trip.” A tenet of so-called birtherism is the belief that Obama was born in Kenya instead of the U.S.
2. Right-Wing Media Air ‘07 Tape of Obama
After the infamous “47 percent” remarks Romney made, the right attempted to fire back with their own “secret” video of President Obama. It failed miserably and helped reveal the right-wing media’s racist playbook.
On October 2, conservative pundit Tucker Carlson released what his website, The Daily Caller, called a “racially charged and at times angry speech.” It was Obama speaking in 2007 about the failure of the federal government to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and he also praised his former preacher Jeremiah Wright.
Carlson attacked Obama for “using an accent he almost never adopts in public” and for participating in a rally “closer to an Al Sharpton rally than a conventional campaign event.”
The race-baiting stayed constant when Carlson appeared on Sean Hannity’s show.
The problem was that the speech was already reported on in 2007–and the media didn’t seem to make much of it.
Read the rest at AlterNet.