GOP Says It's Not About Race. But It's Always About Race!

When they say it's not about race, it's about race.

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When they say it's not about sex, it's about sex. So what is it when they say it's not about race?

Minnesota Republicans in Chisago County had to answer that yesterday.

The slavery image was posted Wednesday morning and by the early afternoon it had been taken down and the entire Chisago GOP Facebook page was down for a while.

The page reappeared later in the day and the Chair of the Chisago GOP issued an apology saying, "It should not have been posted, and the party is saddened by it." The caption on the post says "Slavery, against it? Don't buy one."

While Minnesota Republicans were apologizing, the New York Times' John Harwood cited a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that the partisan divide is about race.

Whites tend to hold negative views of Obamacare, while blacks tend to like it. Specifically, 55 percent of whites, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found this year, consider Mr. Obama’s health care law a bad idea, while 59 percent of blacks call it a good idea. On immigration, 51 percent of whites oppose legal status for illegal residents, but 63 percent of blacks and 76 percent of Hispanics favor it.

The statistics mirror the core philosophical division in Washington’s fierce battles over taxes, spending and debt. Whites say government does too much, while blacks and Hispanics say it should do more to meet people’s needs.

This is nothing new, but the media only rediscovers these attitudes every decade or so, Digby observes.

1955 - They are an inferior race
1965 - They aren't good workers
1975 - They make old white customers uncomfortable
1985 - Affirmative action means their diplomas are bogus
1995 - They're the victims of a culture of dependency
2005 - They're culturally out of step with the mainstream

It's always something.

Harwood cites pollster Stanley Greenberg:

“While few explicitly talk about Obama in racial terms, the base supporters are very conscious of being white in a country with growing minorities,” Mr. Greenberg wrote. “The base thinks they are losing politically and losing control of the country.”

So it's not just about race. As we've been saying, it's about power, control. It's almost as if white America fears becoming a minority here. As if they know how minorities are treated in this country because through most of its history they've been doing most of the treating. As if they fear a future in which their children and grandchildren could face discrimination and structural obstacles to their achieving the American dream.

So what's the problem? Just suck it up and work harder, isn't that how it goes?

About Tom Sullivan

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NC-based blogger, political activist and consultant.

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