FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The GOP’s Racist Trifecta

by WAYNE MADSEN

The Republican Party, which has adopted the “4 R’s” of neo-conservative undemocratic political action — refusal (to vote), recount, redistricting, and recall — is attempting to stage yet three more gubernatorial coups in November’s off-year elections — Kentucky and Mississippi on November 4 and Louisiana on November 15. A trifecta win for the GOP will put yet another racist stamp of approval on the Republican Party, the so-called “party of Lincoln.”

In Kentucky, GOP intimidators (officially known as “challengers”) will be posted at 59 polling places in African-American precincts in Louisville. Because the governor’s race between Democratic Attorney General Ben Chandler and Christian fundamentalist-backed Republican Ernie Fletcher is close, the GOP plans to challenge the credentials of African-American voters. During the Florida presidential recount in Miami-Dade county, we all witnessed what the Karl Rove-inspired process of intimidation can do to affect the democratic process. In Miami, GOP thugs and shouters managed to disrupt the recount process in the same manner that imported white “challengers” plan to upset the voting process in Louisville by refusing African-Americans access to the polls. It should also be remembered that Jeb Bush’s Florida State Police hindered African American access to polling places in some of the more rural parts of the state.

In light of such Jim Crow tactics by the Republicans in Kentucky, Democratic Governor Paul Patton might want to think about stationing plainclothes state law enforcement officers at Louisville’s African-American polling places to eject any Republican “challengers” who get out of line. The Democrats, a party that abides by a tenet of intimidation-free voting, will not be using challengers in any of Kentucky’s polling places.

In Mississippi, former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, who has spent the last few years lobbying for George W. Bush’s corporate pals in Washington, DC, is challenging incumbent Democrat Ronnie Musgrove for governor. Although Musgrove is a conservative Democrat who has received the backing of the National Rifle Association, Barbour has not missed any chance to inject race into the election.

Barbour has courted the openly racist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), an offshoot from the Ku Klux Klan-aligned White Citizens Councils of the segregation-era South. Barbour’s photo with CCC leaders appears on the group’s web site. Barbour has not asked the group to remove it. The racist CCC advocates establishing a “Congoid” nation of African-Americans in select southern states and a Latino nation of Hispanic-Americans in the southwest. The rest of the United States would be a Nordic-Aryan nation of whites. The CCC also attacks “liberal Jews” like Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, leaders of the women’s’ rights movement.

Barbour has also been playing the Confederate flag card. Musgrove favors a referendum on whether to remove the symbol from the Mississippi while Barbour appeals to the racist redneck element in Mississippi that wants to keep the “Stars and Bars” flying high in the state. Barbour, a racist throwback who a few years ago admitted he didn’t know how to use the Internet or a computer, is out of step with younger people in Mississippi. A few years ago, the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Mississippi agreed to drop the Confederate flag as Ole Miss’s symbol and recently they sent packing the “Colonel Reb” mascot from university sporting events. Barbour, a modern version of past racist Mississippi politicians like Theodore J. Bilbo and Ross Barnett, threatens to undo all of Mississippi’s recent advances in race relations.

Barbour’s racist campaign, which is not unlike that of one-time Louisiana’s GOP gubernatorial candidate, Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, has not been condemned by national Republican leaders, many of whom condemned Duke’s campaign and endorsed his Democratic opponent. At a rally for Barbour, Vice President Dick Cheney had this to say about the GOP candidate: “We are proud to know your next governor, and we are proud of the campaign he has run: positive, hopeful, and optimistic.”

Louisiana, Democratic Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a conservative Democrat, is slightly trailing Bush’s former Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Bobby Jindal, a 32-year-old son of immigrants from India. As Louisiana’s secretary of Health and Hospitals, Jindal slashed $400 million from the department’s budget, a move that severely impacted poor African-Americans and whites in the state. However, it was such slashing and burning of social programs that brought Jindal to the attention of the Bush administration, which was quick to appoint him as a deputy to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, the infamous welfare slash and burner from Wisconsin.

Although race plays less of a factor in Louisiana’s election than it does in Mississippi and Kentucky, there is a slight element of racism in the contest. Although Jindal, a Rhodes scholar, is backed by mostly wealthy and pro-business country club whites and Indian-Americans, there is nary an African-American present at any Jindal campaign functions, while Blanco has amassed a traditional cross-section of support from African-Americans, Cajuns, Hispanics, and gays and lesbians in the Bayou State. Jindal has gone out of his way to promote the “defense of marriage” act and other anti-gay measures.

Coming on the heels of the travesty of the recall election in California, where Nazi and Hitler admirer Arnold Schwarzenegger catered to the anti-immigrant fears of California whites, a trifecta gubernatorial win for the GOP will further encourage the xenophobes, racists, and Christian fundamentalists who have seized control of the party of Lincoln. Post-election victory visits by Fletcher, Barbour, and Jindal to the White House and GOP-controlled Congress will be as stomach-wrenching as the scenes of Schwarzenegger parading around Washington while his home state was being ravaged by catastrophic firestorms and ousted Governor Gray Davis was left to confront the emergency.

The voters of Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana have a chance to send a message to the GOP racists. They should cast aside threats of intimidation and phony corporate-inspired polls and cast their vote against those who would return this country to segregation and bigotry. And theer is a clear message for the Democratic Party is these GOP tactics. It’s time to fight back and not be shy about it. As said about the KKK in the movie, “Mississippi Burning, “these people crawled out of the sewer”…..maybe the gutter is where we ought to be” in order to confront them.

WAYNE MADSEN is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth. He is the co-author, with John Stanton, of “America’s Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II.

Madsen can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com

 

More articles by:
May 30, 2016
Ron Jacobs
The State of the Left: Many Movements, Too Many Goals?
James Abourezk
The Intricacies of Language
Porfirio Quintano
Hillary, Honduras, and the Murder of My Friend Berta
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes on ISIS are Reducing Their Cities to Ruins
Uri Avnery
The Center Doesn’t Hold
Raouf Halaby
The Sailors of the USS Liberty: They, Too, Deserve to Be Honored
Rodrigue Tremblay
Barack Obama’s Legacy: What Happened?
Matt Peppe
Just the Facts: The Speech Obama Should Have Given at Hiroshima
Deborah James
Trade Pacts and Deregulation: Latest Leaks Reveal Core Problem with TISA
Michael Donnelly
Still Wavy After All These Years: Flower Geezer Turns 80
Ralph Nader
The Funny Business of Farm Credit
Paul Craig Roberts
Memorial Day and the Glorification of Past Wars
Colin Todhunter
From Albrecht to Monsanto: A System Not Run for the Public Good Can Never Serve the Public Good
Rivera Sun
White Rose Begins Leaflet Campaigns June 1942
Tom H. Hastings
Field Report from the Dick Cheney Hunting Instruction Manual
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail