January 31, 2014

If you watch Fox News or listen to AM hate talk radio you've probably heard many conservatives proclaim that racism is dead so git along little dogie.

Bolling: ...it's getting tiring. We have a black president, we have black senators, we have black heads of captains of business, companies. We have black entertainment channels. Is there racism? I don't think there's racism. The only people perpetuating racism are people like this gentleman from the NAACP, are the Al Sharptons of the world. Let's move on. Let's move on.

Finally some in the GOP are admitting the obvious. Republican racism is having an impact on the immigration debate in America and not in a good way..

For more than a year House Republican leaders have insisted the chamber would act on new immigration laws. And for more than a year, Republicans have done virtually nothing on the issue — despite intense pressure from activists, business groups, and the nation’s changing demographics.

And although there are a variety of reasons for inaction, one Republican lawmaker recently offered a frank acknowledgement that for many House Republicans, there’s one issue at play that’s not often discussed: race.

“Part of it, I think — and I hate to say this, because these are my people — but I hate to say it, but it’s racial,” said the Southern Republican lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “If you go to town halls people say things like, ‘These people have different cultural customs than we do.’ And that’s code for race.”

There are a range of policy reasons for opposing plans to liberalize immigration or to regularize undocumented immigrants in the country, ones revolving around law-and-order concerns and the labor market. But that perceived thread of xenophobia, occasionally expressed bluntly on the fringes of the Republican Party and on the talk radio airwaves, has driven many Hispanic voters away from a Republican leadership that courts them avidly. And some Republicans who back an immigration overhaul, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and one of the Republican Party’s most vocal champions of a pathway to citizenship, acknowledge that race remains a reality in the immigration debate.

“There will always be people [who have] different reasons for opposing the change. We have a history in this country of demagoguery when it comes [to immigration]. You know, ‘Irish Need Not Apply.’ There’s nothing new going on today that’s gone on before. This isn’t the first time that there’s been some ugliness around the issue of immigration,” Graham said.

“There’s some racist people, certainly,” said Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and advocate for immigration reform. “But I want to think it’s a minority and that’s not what’s going to decide the immigration debate.”

It's not a shock that the anonymous source for Buzzfeed's story is a "Southern Republican" and that code words are routinely used to try and cover up said racism. I bet you can guess who many of the others are that oppose immigration reform over a racial bias.

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