Yesterday two members of the Republican Party demonstrated that the members of this cult (it is no longer a true political party) are comfortable swimming in the deepest cesspools of white supremacy and systemic racism any time and all the time.
Exhibit A is a nonentity from Louisiana, State Representative Ray Garofalo, who began to whine about how badly white America is being portrayed in more truthful and historically accurate educational books being used or considered by school systems in his state. When whining was not enough he started to argue about the need for “balance” and then he said:
“If you are having a discussion on whatever the case may be, on slavery, then you can talk about everything dealing with slavery: the good, the bad, the ugly,”
Being able to recount anything “good about slavery” Representative Garofalo attempted to moonwalk away from the sheer, arrogant stupidity of his statement. But words do matter and his words revealed a not surprising ignorance and insensitivity to the criminal aspects of the history of the treatment of Black Americans by white Americans and how – even in the third decade of the 21st century – there are just too many white Americans who just don’t care.
Like the soon to be forgotten State Representative Ray Garofolo of Louisiana.
Not to be outdone, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, was chosen to provide the Republican response to President Biden’s message to the Joint Session of Congress. It was to be expected that Senator Scott was not going to become a cheerleader for President Biden and the Democrats, but for him to say that Democrats are trying “to tear us apart” and that little white boys and girls are being taught that they are “the oppressors” was more than ridiculous, it was, given America’s history of systemic racism and its foundational history of white supremacy, obscene.
But it turned out that Brother Scott was just getting warmed up. For a Black man from South Carolina to stand before a national audience and proclaim that “America is not a racist country” ranks right up there with the old saying about “don’t believe your lying eyes”. Tim Scott knows, must know, that this isn’t true. After all, he lives in the state where a young white man named Dylan Roof shot and killed nine Black Americans while they were praying with him, and when he was apprehended by the police there was no gunfire and the police bought him a hamburger.
Meanwhile, last week white police officers in Elizabeth City, North Carolina – just up the road from Senator Scott’s home state – shot and killed an unarmed Black man by the name of Andrew Brown, Jr. – while in the process of serving a summons (not an arrest warrant) for a nonviolent crime.
In America the racial disparities to be found in healthcare, education, employment, law enforcement and housing are seriously documented and undeniable – no matter what Senator Scott says. And when the President of the United States publicly announces an agenda to end systemic racism in America it is only a good start if people like Senator Scott and his fellow Republicans continue to believe that there is no systemic racism that needs to end.
To correctly state that systemic racism is part of the American sociopolitical fabric and that therefore America is a racist country, is not to say that every white American is a racist.
Because every white American has a choice and Senator Tim Scott and the Republicans are not helping white Americans make the right choice by continuing to reside in the Great State of Denial.