The GOP has a big problem with racism

*NOTE: This post was accidentally submitted (as ‘Dear GOP: You lied’) before it was ready. My best guess is that I was drowsy and hit ‘publish’, rather than ‘save draft’. The version of this post that was submitted was far from complete. Upon discovering this, I deleted the post. I apologize and I will be more careful in the future.

Jeopardy answer:

Once upon a time, there was a man-an “exceptional” man born into an “exceptional ” Western country.  Over the course of his life, this man was a businessman, a television entertainer, an author, and an investor. His various occupations enabled the man to accrue great wealth, and to many, he was viewed as a celebrity. But wealth and prestige was not enough for this man. He sought more-he sought to be the leader of this Western country. Fueled by ignorance, backed by more wealth than any person truly needs, and armed with a Grand Canyon-sized ego, this mendacious media mogul recently announced his candidacy for presidency of the United States.

Jeopardy question:

Who is Donald Trump?

Following their failure to capture the White House in 2012, officials within the Republican Party realized they had a problem. While the GOP was successful on the state level, with many Republican governors, they were feeling the sting of a series of failures on the federal level. In addition to losing the presidential election in 2012 and 2008, the GOP also lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. To identify the GOP’s shortcomings, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus commissioned a special report to identify the problems that plagued the Republican Party. This report-the Growth and Opportunity Projectwas released in Spring 2013.  “Last week, I received the Growth and Opportunity Project’s report. As it makes clear, there’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; our primary and debate process needed improvement … So, there’s no one solution: There’s a long list of them.” said Priebus, following the release of the report. Further to his point about the GOP’s failure to be inclusive, the report noted:

If we want ethnic minority voters to support Republicans, we have to engage them and show our sincerity. President George W. Bush used to say, “Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande and a hungry mother is going to try to feed her child.” When Hispanics heard that, they knew he cared and were willing to listen to his policies on education, jobs, spending, etc. Because his first sentence struck a chord, Hispanic Americans were willing to listen to his second sentence. We heard this from other demographic groups as well. President Bush got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote, a modern-day record for a Republican presidential candidate.

If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence. It does not matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies. In the last election, Governor Romney received just 27 percent of the Hispanic vote. Other minority communities, including Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, also view the Party as unwelcoming. President Bush got 44 percent of the Asian vote in 2004; our presidential nominee received only 26 percent in 2012. As one conservative, Tea-Party leader, Dick Armey, told us, “You can’t call someone ugly and expect them to go to the prom with you. We’ve chased the Hispanic voter out of his natural home.” We are not a policy committee, but among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. We also believe that comprehensive immigration reform is consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.

I believe the GOP genuinely wants more Hispanic-Americans (and other racial minorities) voting for them. I just don’t think they have the first clue on how to court that demographic. Its been three years since the release of the Growth and Opportunity Project and the GOP is still not inclusive, nor have they been welcoming to ethnic minorities. Republicans have advocated for and pushed through legislation that would have an adverse impact on People of Color and they’ve blocked the implementation of policies that would greatly benefit PoC.

GOP-led Voter ID laws are a great way to engage minority voters-by pissing them the fuck off. Rather than preventing the virtually non-existent problem of voter fraud, such laws disproportionately impact People of Color. One result of this is lower voter turnout among African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans, which has the effect of disenfranchising members of both demographics (gosh, I wonder if Republicans are aware of this). Thankfully, federal courts have ruled several times that Voter ID laws are unconstitutional. Sadly, I fear Republicans will continue this line of minority “outreach”, bc they know minorities typically vote Democrat, and that simply won’t do. Curiously, the less disenfranchising and simpler solution-listening to the concerns of People of Color and working on legislation to address those problems-appears to be off the table. For a party that seeks to court ethnic minority voters that’s really odd behavior.

So is Republican opposition to government assistance programs.

Despite the fact that these programs provide a lifeline for millions of USAmerican families, Republicans have demonized such them for decades. Worse, this demonization has taken the form of many myths surrounding those who receive government assistance. These myths have seeped into the minds of USAmericans and continue to persist no matter how often they are debunked. Among the myths are:

  • the mythical “welfare queen” (popularized under President Reagan)
  • “welfare makes people lazy” (debunked here)
  • “people on welfare abuse drugs” (refuted here)
  • the “undocumented [I refuse to use the term “illegal“]  immigrants receive welfare” myth (no, they don’t)
  • the myth “welfare pays too much” (Daily Kos debunks that myth here)
  • the “only blacks are on welfare” myth, which continues to thrive in spite of it being 100% wrong

Living in the South, I’ve heard these myths more times than I can count. Thanks Republican douchebags-for demonizing poor people and creating, propagating, and racializing these myths. And make no mistake, myths surrounding welfare and government assistance are racialized. When people speak of welfare, or TANF, or SNAP, they’re not speaking of the millions of white people who benefit from those programs. They’re using racially coded language popularized by conservatives:

Even though blacks and whites make up a roughly equal percentage of welfare recipients, welfare has been a racialized issue for decades. In his 1999 book Why Americans Hate Welfare, political scientist Martin Gilens examined a paradox: Americans generally supported the idea of government helping at the poor, but seemed to hate welfare — the program that made that idea into a reality — in high numbers. Sorting through various data streams, Gilens found the key explanation to be that white Americans believed welfare money was supporting lazy black people, not the deserving poor: racialized views about welfare recipients were “central elements in generating public opposition to welfare.” The reason for this embedding, Gilens’ work suggested, was media representation. Post-1950 newspapers, magazines, and television shows systematically portrayed poor people as black people, linking welfare and blacks in the white American imagination. Thus, when Newt Gingrich called Obama a “food stamp president” in the last election cycle, he didn’t need to say “black” for the racial punch to land.

Needless to say, the GOP continues to introduce legislation aimed at cutting government assistance programs. Such legislation takes the form of lifetime caps, grocery store restrictions, size limits on families, drug testing and more. There’s a perverse irony in the fact that Republicans are trying their damnedest to fuck over African-Americans, but are completely oblivious to the white people and non-African-American senior citizens, children, and veterans who make use of government assistance programs. Or maybe they’re not oblivious. Maybe they just don’t give a shit. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. The passage of legislation aimed at reducing funding for welfare programs would increase suffering, so the intent of the legislators matters little. What matters is the outcome of these policies and how they affect people.

That’s Republican “outreach” for you-paint all poor people as lazy moochers who won’t get up off their asses and get a job, choosing instead to suck at the teat of a government only all too happy to give away money (or Obamaphones ::snicker::) that “rightfully” belongs NOT to them. They don’t deserve to be beneficiaries of the very system they pay into. Almost as if they’re second-class citizens (or worse) who need the approval of the dominant racial group to simply exist.

Speaking of needing the approval of the dominant racial group, comprehensive immigration reform is another issue in which the GOP continues its unique form of outreach. In June 2013, the US Senate (governed by the Democrats) passed a comprehensive immigration bill, S.744.  Despite the benefits of the bill, the Republican-led House wouldn’t even vote on it. Then, in late 2014, President Obama announced plans to expand DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. He paired this with a new program-Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). Among other goals, President Obama hoped these initiatives would help keep immigrant families together and boost the economy. Of course, thanks to Republican obstructionism, DAPA has not been implemented and neither have the updates to DACA. This hardly seems like the kind of “outreach” likely to woo Hispanic-Americans to vote for Republicans. And it is certainly at odds with the wishes of a majority of Hispanic voters:

A solid majority (66%) of Hispanic voters believe passing new immigration legislation soon is extremely important or very important according to the new survey. This is up six percentage points from 2013, when 60% of Latino registered voters said it was extremely important or very important to pass significant new immigration legislation in 2013 (Lopez et al., 2013).

Between consistently voting for cuts to government assistance programs and opposing immigration reforms, it’s clear the GOP wants the votes of African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans, but don’t give a shit about their concerns. Moreover, given their opposition to policies and measures that would improve the quality of life for ethnic minority voters, I suspect there are some underlying racial prejudices and biases among most of the GOP. Given the Republican response to Donald Trump’s recent comments regarding Mexican immigrants, I believe my suspicions are spot-on.

In announcing his candidacy, Donald Trump jumped into a crowded car full of clowns all hoping to win their party’s nomination. Unfortunately, surrounded by the likes of Bush, Christie, Cruz, Fiorina, Graham, Huckabee, Jindal, Paul, Pataki, Perry, Rubio, and Santorum, Trump doesn’t really stand out. He holds many of the same political positions as his fellow candidates. Like many of his peers, he:

  • worries more about the non-threat (to this country) of ISIS rather than the very real threat of homegrown terrorists of the right-wing variety
  • is a strong supporter of Israel, a country condemned by the United Nations for its human rights violations
  • is a gundamentalist  who opposes sensible restrictions on firearms
  • believes, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that human driven climate change is a hoax
  • wants a strong military, which probably means adding more zeroes to an already strained defense budget  (which exceeds the combined budgets of the next 23 world powers on the list)
  • irrationally opposes and advocates for repealing the Affordable Care Act (despite having no plan in place to aid the millions of people who would lose their health insurance in the wake of a successful repeal of the ACA)
  • is an advocate for “traditional marriage”, whatever the fuck that means given the multiple forms of marriage found in the Bible (curiously, he had no problem being divorced and remarried twice)

How then, could poor Donald Trump rise above the rest and become a unique voice for his party? After spending several fitful minutes rubbing his two brain cells together, he came up with a plan-a great plan. The greatest of all plans. He would do what no other candidate was doing. He would say what no other candidate was saying. And thus, following the announcement of his candidacy, he uttered these infamous words:

When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically.
The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.
Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

Not content to be a generic clown, Donald Trump’s racist comments subsequently elevated him to the coveted role of head clown.

I wonder how Trump would react if a politician or media figure tweaked his comments and directed them at white USAmericans? After all, there’s no shortage of drug dealers, rapists, and criminals in the U.S. who are white. Would he take umbrage at such comments? Would he think it unfair to tar all white people based on the actions of some whites?

In any event, Trump’s racist rhetoric has not been well-received. That’s putting it mildly. The list of companies who have ended their business dealings with Trump include Farouk Systems, Macy’s, NBCUniversal, Televisa, and Univision. In addition, there is a great deal of anger within the Hispanic community:

The Latino community could not take this quietly, with actors and singers taking to the virtual streets to denounce Trump.

The honor roll of protesters began with J. Balvin, Roselyn Sánchez and Cristián de la Fuente of Colombian, Puerto Rican and Chilean heritage, respectively; all had been scheduled to participate in the Miss USA Pageant on July 12, but on principle dropped out. Cheryl Burke, Thomas Roberts and Natalie La Rose also stepped down from the telecast in solidarity with Latinos, and Mexico has withdrawn from the Miss Universe pageant.

Latin artists Juanes, Shakira, Maná and Eugenio Derbez offered support in videos and in comments during their concerts. In solidarity, Ricky Martin moved his foundation’s golf tournament from a Trump golf course in Puerto Rico to another venue. And Miss Universe sponsors such as Farouk Systems Inc. withdrew from the Miss USA pageant.

Latinos took to Facebook and Twitter in Spanish and English and to myriad Latino organizations’ platforms, where many were motivated to sign a protest petition on Change.org initiated by El Pasoan Guillermo Castañeda: It gathered more than 200,000 signatures in less than three days.

Trump’s xenophobic comments were also criticized by Mexico’s Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, celebrity/activist America Ferrera, former Miss Colorado USA Marybel González, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, and Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. Speaking on Trump’s inflammatory comments, Rev. Slauero said:

“We’re listening very, very closely, not just what candidates say but what they don’t say – the sins of commission and the sins of omission,”

They’re listening. So what, if anything, are those candidates saying? And what about other leading conservative pundits? As near as I can tell, the following individuals are the only presidential candidates and Republican officials to publicly criticize Trump’s bigotry.

RNC Chief Strategist and Communications Director Sean Spicer (6/16/15):

CNN COMMMENTATOR: There are a lot of Hispanic voters who will not be happy, Sean, with Donald Trump saying something like that. Let me read from the GOP postmortem, the autopsy. Among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. And it talks about inclusivity, so how does that need square with the kind of rhetoric that you hear Donald Trump using?

SPICER: I mean, as far as painting Mexican Americans with that kind of a brush, I think that’s probably something that is not helpful to the cause.

But I think to the issue of illegal immigration, Mr. Trump and others have addressed that we need to be very firm on border security and look at ways to make sure America has fixed its broken immigration problem and finds a way to allow for people from whether it’s Mexico, Canada, Europe or wherever, to enter this country in a more systemic and more helpful way to our overall economy.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush who is married to Columba Bush (who is Mexican-American) (6/29):

Still shaking his head in pique, he then led reporters back to the room they’d just been in and took a handful of questions, beginning with one in Spanish about Donald Trump’s recent comments describing Mexican immigrants as rapists, murderers, and drug dealers. Trump spends his life fighting with people, Bush answered in Spanish. And he doesn’t, Bush said, represent the values of the Republican Party.

During Bush’s earlier remarks in the gym, he’d said that his campaign strategy was to go everywhere, answer every question, and say the same thing in every venue, too, instead of tailoring his message to please this or that audience or staying inside what he suggested was his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s cozy, invitation-only cocoon.

But when Bush was asked the same question about Trump’s remarks in English, he seemed put out at having to repeat himself, then gave a milder version of his original answer: “I don’t agree with him. I think he’s wrong. It’s pretty simple.”

Former New York governor George Pataki (7/1/15):

“The last week of news coverage over the language used by Donald Trump to describe Mexicans has left me and a lot of other sensible people wondering what century we are living in,” Pataki said in his open letter.

He compared Trump’s rhetoric to the language used about Italian and Irish immigrants a century ago.

“Here we are in 2015 and a leading candidate for the GOP nomination for president is calling Mexicans criminals, rapists and drug dealers. This is unacceptable,” said Pataki, one of the most moderate Republicans running for the White House.

Speaking before a crowd of Republicans, Pataki (who also penned a letter to his fellow GOP candidates asking them to join him in criticizing Trump) later said:

“I mean, I’m as frustrated as anyone that we don’t enforce the laws and control our borders,” the former governor said. “But the vast majority of people who come here from Mexico want to build a better life for their future, for their family, for their kids. That’s what America’s always been about. We have to make sure it’s being done legally, but you don’t, don’t, don’t attack the character of those who are trying to build a better future.”

Senator Lindsey Graham (one of the few Republicans to sponsor the 2013 Senate immigration bill S.744) (7/1/15):

 “I said from day one, when you label a group of people as rapists and drug dealers, says more about you then it says about them.”

After two weeks of silence, Senator Marco Rubio spoke up (7/3/15):

Failed 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney (7/4/15):

In a CNN interview over the holiday weekend, Romney was asked if Trump’s comments hurt the Republican Party. Answering in the affirmative, Romney added “I think he made a severe error in saying what he did about Mexican-Americans“.

And now for the other reaction from Republicans. You know, the ones who have no problem with embracing racist rhetoric. Supporters of Trump include:

FOX “News” host Megyn Kelly (who used Ann Coulter’s recent book ‘Adios America’ to defend Trump) (6/29/15):

KURTZ: What a lot of people hear — even when Trump goes over the top — they like the fact that he doesn’t apologize. They like the fact that he doesn’t parse his words like most politicians. The average politician would have backed off and clarified many times by now. But Trump gets away with it because he strikes a chord.

KELLY: Well, I mean, Ann Coulter has got a whole book out right now that makes this point. Now granted, she’s not running for president. But she —

RIVERA: Nor would she ever be elected with that point of view —

KELLY:  But she cites data that does support the fact that some, obvious, immigrants who come across the borders do turn out to be criminals, and that’s —

RIVERA: I researched it tonight —

KELLY: None? No immigrants turn out to be criminals?

RIVERA: I never said that. Undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the citizen population of the United States.

Sean Hannity, tv and radio host (6/29/15):

HANNITY: We’ve got a problem in this country. If he [Trump] can make that statement and CNN refers to it as “racially-tinged,” because [inaudible…] could play this on TV. Floor to ceiling drugs confiscated by people crossing our southern border. You want to talk about crime? Well what do you think — who’s coming from Latin America and Mexico? Are they rich, successful Mexicans, Nicaraguans, El Salvador residents? No! Why would they leave if they’re so successful? It’s people who have not had opportunity in Mexico and so they will raise all this money and give it to these human traffickers, human traffickers take full advantage of them, take every penny they’ve got and then maybe get them across the border in a perilous journey which some people don’t make it. Now if we really care about our fellow human beings, we owe it to them not to put that — sort of like a sign up that says “Take a risk you can try and come across because we’re gonna make it easy for you” and it turns out not to be so easy. But if we had a fence, if we wanted to secure the border, it wouldn’t be a problem. So when Trump says, “are they sending their best, their brightest?” In other words, if you have a pool of people, if we opened up America’s borders, and who would apply to come to America? We probably would have our choice of doctors, and lawyers, and computer programmers, everybody wants to come to America. You know that’s a great thing, we’re not building a fence to keep people in, we’re building a fence to prevent people from coming in because the world would flood here, which they’ve been doing.

2016 Presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz (6/29/15):

“I like Donald Trump. I think he’s terrific, I think he’s brash, I think he speaks the truth,” Cruz said Tuesday morning on Fox News. “And I think NBC is engaging in political correctness that is silly and that is wrong.”

[…]

Cruz, whose father is Cuban, said he doesn’t believe Trump should apologize for his remarks, pointing out that “the American people are fed up” with the illegal immigration problem in the United States.

“He has a way of speaking that gets attention,” Cruz said on Tuesday. “And I credit him for focusing on an issue that needs to be focused on.”

Steve Doocy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Brian Kilmeade, co-hosts of FOX’s “Fox & Friends” (6/29/15):

“Fox & Friends” co-hosts Steve Doocy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Brian Kilmeade agreed with Trump Tuesday morning, arguing that the “Apprentice” brought in a huge profit for the network, and gave away money in return. The hosts seemed to speak highly of Trump for his handling of the situation.

“He is not going to take it lying down,” Kilmeade said.

“[NBC] never wanted him to run in the first place,” Hasselbeck added, “perhaps because he was bringing in millions of viewers to the network … and money.”

“It was the No. 4 show on TV!” Doocy replied.

“I guarantee you they would not be worried about this if he wasn’t doing so well,” Kilmeade argued.

Doocy also added that Trump “was right” in his comments about immigrants, adding that the southern border “does have a problem.” He admired of Trump for standing by his comments and not apologizing or backing down.

“He takes no prisoners,” Doocy said.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa (7/1/15):

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said on Wednesday that he admires Donald Trump’s “scrappiness” and defended the GOP presidential candidate’s comments on illegal immigration.

“I would say to Donald Trump, I appreciate the scrappiness of him … when he’s attacked by other people, he counterattacks and plunges forward and he delivers more facts to support the statement that he’s made,” King told host Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day.”

King then defended Trump’s controversial remarks on Hispanic immigrants earlier this month.

The Iowa lawmaker said that his experiences with border security had convinced him Trump is more accurate than not.

“You know, I heard that Donald Trump just on Saturday night, here in Iowa, made a statement, that he pointed out about how many of these kids that are coming into the United States from Central America are sexually violated and raped. He said 80 percent,” King said.

“I’ve been down to the border and checked across these places, the number I come back with is 75 percent are sexually abused on the way to the United States,” he said.

“I’d say in Donald Trump’s defense, someone’s doing that to these kids that are being raped and abused,” King added.

“And, when they’re coming across Mexico, it’s a reasonable assumption to conclude the people doing that are Mexicans.”

Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review (7/1/15):

For all its crassness, Trump’s rant on immigration is closer to reality than the gauzy clichés of the immigration romantics unwilling to acknowledge that there might be an issue welcoming large numbers of high school dropouts into a 21st-century economy. If we don’t want to add to the ranks of the poor, the uninsured and the welfare dependent, we should have fewer low-skilled immigrants — assuming saying that is not yet officially considered a hate crime.

The point surely could be made much more deftly by anyone not named Donald J. Trump. In the meantime, he fills the vacuum, and enjoys the whirlwind.

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union (7/2/15):

“I think it is easy for people to attack Donald Trump over what he said,” American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp said. “I think they ought to listen to what he is saying. I actually know Donald Trump. He is not a racist. He is trying to characterize the fact that a broken immigration system can lead to a lot of problems.”

[…]

Schlapp said that while the “tone and the words he chose are different from what I would choose,” he understood the point Trump was trying to make.

“I actually heard on the radio today him saying what he was talking about is illegal immigrants. And that’s an incredibly important distinction to draw,” said Schlapp, adding: “When you have a broken immigration system, it’s hard to characterize the nature of the illegal immigrants that come into our country.”

Conservative pundit and virulent anti-‘anyone who isn’t a white person’ Ann Coulter claimed Trump got his ideas from her book ‘Adios America’ (7/2/15):

Coulter also heaped praise upon Trump in a July 1 column.

Former Texas governor Rick Perry (7/2/15):

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry had a similar response during an appearance at the National Press Club on Thursday: “Let me say, I do not think Donald Trump’s remarks reflect the Republican Party. I think the Republican Party is reflected in people like me.” Several hours later his campaign sent a press release touting an even stronger Perry response to Trump during a Fox News interview.

Here’s that “stronger Perry response”-

Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum (7/5/15):

“While I don’t like the verbiage he’s used, I like the fact that he is focused on a very important issue for American workers and particularly, legal immigrants in this country,” Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator and presidential candidate said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday.

“People who are coming illegally, obviously, are coming with a bad intent, let’s just be honest. They’re coming with the clear intent of breaking the law. I don’t think we can sugar coat that, but that doesn’t mean that everybody who’s coming across is a rapist or a murderer or anything else,” Santorum said. “I think Donald points to a very important thing, which is we have a serious problem of illegal immigration in this country that is undermining American workers: by flattening out wages and lowering the standard of living for those in the U.S. legally.

But he also said, “I certainly wouldn’t have said those things. I don’t agree with his comments, obviously.”

Adding to the chorus of support for Donald Trump, all ’round bigot Rush Limbaugh defended the Donald on the July 2 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show (video at the link).

Rounding out the list of Trump’s cheerleading team is FOX “News” contributor Monica Crowley. Crowley appeared on the July 2 edition of America’s Newsroom to inform the other GOP candidates to follow Trump’s lead on immigration (video at the link).

GOP officials claim they want the party to extend their reach beyond their conservative, white, aging, heterosexual, cisgender, male base. They claim they want the Republican Party to reach out to ethnic minorities. In practice, however, they’ve continued saying and doing things that alienate the very groups they claim to be reaching out to. Whether its unnecessary Voter ID laws with their disproportionate impact on People of Color or legislation aimed at reducing the budget for government assistance programs, the GOP continues its hostility towards ethnic minorities.  Unlike the implicit racism of those initiatives however, the GOP’s approach to immigration has caused the festering racism within their ranks to bubble to the surface. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the reaction to Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant remarks. For a party that claims to want Hispanic voters on their side, one would think Republican officials and prominent politicians would quickly and unequivocally condemn Trump’s racist bile. And yet, for all that some candidates responded shortly after Trump decided to wave his ‘Proud Racist’ badge, others took their sweet old time. And unlike the swift, aggressive condemnation of Trump from the Hispanic community and various corporations, the criticism leveled by many of the presidential candidates and conservative officials was largely tepid. To make matters worse for the GOP, those supporting Trump’s comments are undermining their party’s ability to reach out to the Hispanic community. And it’s not lost on me that the vast majority of Trump’s conservative critics have avoided labeling his rhetoric as racist. Almost like they’re scared of the word. It will be interesting to see how the Republican Party attempts to move forward. Will GOP officials meet with Trump and ask him to dial back on his anti-immigrant stance? Will they attempt to quietly distance themselves from him and paint him as a fringe candidate? Or will they enter overtly racist mode and join the white supremacists and conservative voters who applaud Trump’s bigoted stance on immigrants? Whatever happens, one thing is apparent-until Republicans confront and exorcise the racism festering within their ranks, courting ethnic minority voters will be an uphill battle.

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The GOP has a big problem with racism
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