Oliver Willis

Poor Put-Upon Conservatives Get Saddled With Racism. Here’s Why.

Bloomberg’s Dave Weigel has written a piece from the conservative perspective, noting how they feel besieged and put-upon when we on the left assign malicious racial intent to their actions. They feel under siege, the poor dears, they feel smeared, the precious darlings. Oh well. This, like many other things, does not occur in a vacuum.

The core Republican vote is white and male, overwhelmingly so. Nearly ever other demographic group in America votes for the Democratic Party: Women, blacks, Latinos, LGBT, Asian, etc. This isn’t new.

The right panders to the needs and fears of its core vote. In the last few elections it has gone overboard in this mission to the point where it is actively engaged in efforts to exclude those beyond its cover vote from even voting in the first place.

Voter ID efforts undertaken by Republican governors are done to exclude black votes. Other conservative figures have even proposed litmus tests for voting. Anyone with a cursory understanding of U.S. history and the fight for access to the the ballot box might understand why that strikes many of us – black and white – as troubling.

Added to that are conservative policies that are often dressed in the same rhetoric once used by conservative god Ronald Reagan of racial divisiveness. Never mind the actual demographics of welfare, for the right it is always the inner city hip-hop listening drug addicted caricature that is dragging us down. They implement useless drug screening programs to show their base that they are, in fact, keeping the animals at bay.

In elections where the choice of the multi-ethnic multicultural majority prevails, we are told it doesn’t count. I mean, if its not the choice of white men it can’t be real. NOT REALLY. Wink.

So it is through that lens that the actions and rhetoric of the Republican right is viewed. They have senior leaders who speak at events organized by David Duke, ask about Obama’s birth certificate, slam him for being anti-colonial (hello George Washington), then whine like babies when called out on the subtle – or not so subtle – racial demagoguery they engage in.

(And their chosen media heroes – people like Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh – are often blatant racists)

The poor dears. The poor babies. I weep for them.