Friday, March 6, 2015

Rhetoric vs. reality

For years I’ve heard complaints from the political right that people were being “unfair” to it when the topic turned to race relations and politics. Those folks insist, probably to this day, that the Republican Party eliminated slavery in the 1800s and Jim Crow 50 years ago and complain that African-Americans reject them because “they don’t understand the history of the Democratic Party.”

I heard today, however, that not one — not one — member of the congressional leadership of the current GOP is participating in tomorrow’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the march in Selma, Ala., that resulted in the Voting Rights Act. I would think that if they were so proud of that achievement they would be the first to laud it.

Perhaps the reality that the folks who now run the Republican Party had absolutely nothing to do with civil-rights gains made then (if anything, they opposed them) has finally hit the fan. I wonder just how many of their constituents told them not to bother — or even if they took a poll because they represent districts that tend to be hostile to folks voting who don’t think the way they do. (Then again, they didn’t attend the golden jubilee of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 2013, either.)

After all, who was it that has always tried to gut that law? Who today is passing voter-ID laws that would keep people from voting? If the shoe were on the other foot they would scream bloody murder.

Bottom line, talk is cheap.

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