I never thought of myself as racist. My parents were involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and I worked seven years at a civil rights law firm that handled a variety of discrimination cases. Because I surrounded myself with like-minded people, it was very tempting to believe that the United States was truly healing from its racist past and moving towards a better future.
Then in 2002, I married my (now ex) Algerian Muslim husband. It was then that I really learned about racism in this country.
Let me tell you, as a white woman married to a man of color, I learned first hand what it is like to be racially profiled by law enforcement. I learned about the unintentional, clueless and downright ignorant discrimination of my white “friends.” I learned hard lessons, like that as a white middle-class woman, I was (and am) a person of privilege in this country. Not everyone was just like me, and to pretend that was the case was just plain dumb. There is a color bar still in these here United States, and many people (both black and white) are just full of absolute hate.
Nothing is more socially painful than to see the unintentional cluelessness of some white people, not to mention the mostly white-peopled political parties on both sides of the aisle, when it comes to this issue.
Take the flack over the Republican Party’s tweet about Rosa Parks this past week.
For want of a better proofreader, the Grand Old Party lost this week’s media war thanks in no small part to words relating to racism. The liberal media gave the GOP hell for the mistyped tweet about Rosa Parks single handedly “ending racism” in 1955. A few hours later, the GOP corrected the tweet to say
Previous tweet should have read “Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in fighting to end racism.” [Emphasis added.]
but the damage was already done.
Without skipping a beat, the allegations of racism were leveled at the Republican Party because of its persnickety and pesky opposition to the statist policies of the Obama administration.
Of course Rosa Parks did not end racism, but is this simple typographical error “proof positive” of racial insensitivity? Isn’t a typo just a typo?
We won’t ever know if the GOP really “typoed” or not, but the fact that people reacted to this the way they did, and that they were justified in doing so, is evidence that the GOP needs to clean up its act with regard to race relations.
This gaffe comes on the heels of the GOP’s recently initiated “Growth and Opportunity Project” (get it? GOP?). The so-called “autopsy” report recommends that the Grand Old Party be more “inclusive” to “demographic partners” who are…guess who? Hispanics, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, African Americans, Women, and Youth.
It is big news that the Republicans are now “officially” waking up to the fact that the demographics of the country are changing.
“Better late than never,” I suppose, but it may be more appropriate to quote the song from JoJo, “Too Little Too Late.”
If the GOP is really sincere about its efforts to appeal to their “different demographic partners,” why are they dispatching Rand Paul to open the African American Engagement Outreach Center in Detroit? Rand Paul (bless his heart) did not exactly endear himself to the African Americans at Howard University earlier this year by reminding them of the fact that the GOP was the party that ended slavery.
The Republicans are stepping in it even deeper by calling it the “African American” Engagement Outreach center. Detroit has one of the highest Arabic American populations in the country. Yes, Detroit is a largely African American city, but voters of other ethnicities and races live there too, right?
In my humble opinion, the flack over this tweeting disaster really demonstrates the GOP has a lot to overcome it’s white-male-rich-only image, and maybe it will overcome this … someday…someday.
Of course there is more I can say about this issue!
But, pluhease don’t even get me started with the Democrats!