Thursday, August 30, 2012

Deep in the overheated heart of GOP diversity

Leaving the Paul Ryan is lying fact checkers to their work and moving on to a secondary theme I've been seeing this week from the GOP, that being their new found dedication to diversity. First noticed it when the leading Republicans at Detroit News starting pushing this fantasy and now seeing it's more widespread.

WaPo takes a perfunctory look at the latent racism in Tampa today. They rightly note it's hard to hide the glaring whiteness in the sea of faces on the convention floor. Non-whites comprise only 2% of the attendees and none of them have a leading policy role in the party. And of course, GOP mustered all dozen or so persons of color that hold some power in the party and gave them speaking roles. But seriously, who do they think they're fooling?

The latent racism in the party base was bubbling just under the surface all week. There was the black CNN camerawoman pelted with peanuts by a couple of attendees. They shouted, "This is how we feed the animals here."

Camerawoman was not surprised. She's from the Deep South where darkies, especially women, are supposed to keep to their place. And holding a camera for a major teevee station ain't one of them.

But that's just a couple of guys who probably spent too much time at the open bars. This earlier incident was much more illustrative of what ugliness bubbles just under the carefully constructed veneer of diversity at the RNC.

This happened at the end of the floor fight over seating Ron Paul delegates:
There were energetic shouts of “Aye!” and “Nay!” as a Puerto Rican party functionary—Zoraida Fonalledas, the chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization—took her turn at the main-stage lectern. As she began speaking in her accented English, some in the crowd started shouting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”
The Puerto Rican correspondent turned to me and asked, “Is this happening?” I said I honestly didn’t know what was happening—it was astonishing to see all the brittle work of narrative construction that is a modern political convention suddenly crack before our eyes. None of us could quite believe what we were seeing: A sea of twentysomething bowties and cowboy hats morphing into frat bros apparently shrieking over (or at) a Latina. RNC chairman Reince Priebus quickly stepped up and asked for order and respect for the speaker, suggesting that, yeah, what we had just seen might well have been an ugly outburst of nativism.
Nativism being the polite word for flat out, hate-based bigotry so firmly embedded in the heart of the angry base who still call the Civil War, the War of Northern Aggression and mutter about illegals stealing their country.

On the bright side, there are signs they're a diminishing group. Apparently Lindsey is worried:
“The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”
Of course, in the short term, even though they're shrinking, they're no less dangerous. They're angry. They get drunk. They have guns. Lots of guns. Doesn't take much to piss them off. That so rarely ends well.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Well, I have some guns too, but sadly, I'm sober all the time.

Angry? You bet, but not to be angry at the barbarians would be wrong, methinks.

7:34:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Nothing wrong with being angry about real things.

12:13:00 AM  

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