Tuesday, December 23, 2003
From The Black Commentator:
Howard Dean’s December 7 speech is the most important statement on race in American politics by a mainstream white politician in nearly 40 years. Nothing remotely comparable has been said by anyone who might become or who has been President of the United States since Lyndon Johnson’s June 4, 1965 affirmative action address to the graduating class at Howard University.
For four decades, the primary political project of the Republican Party has been to transform itself into the White Man’s Party. Not only in the Deep South, but also nationally, the GOP seeks to secure a majority popular base for corporate governance through coded appeals to white racism. The success of this GOP project has been the central fact of American politics for two generations – reaching its fullest expression in the Bush presidency. Yet a corporate covenant with both political parties has prohibited the mere mention of America’s core contemporary political reality: the constant, routine mobilization of white voters through the imagery and language of race.
Last Sunday, Howard Dean broke that covenant:
In 1968, Richard Nixon won the White House. He did it in a shameful way – by dividing Americans against one another, stirring up racial prejudices and bringing out the worst in people.
They called it the "Southern Strategy," and the Republicans have been using it ever since. Nixon pioneered it, and Ronald Reagan perfected it, using phrases like "racial quotas" and "welfare queens" to convince white Americans that minorities were to blame for all of America's problems.
The Republican Party would never win elections if they came out and said their core agenda was about selling America piece by piece to their campaign contributors and making sure that wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of a few.
To distract people from their real agenda, they run elections based on race, dividing us, instead of uniting us.