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Rand Paul
Big week in conservative outreach to the black community!

Rand Paul went to the Harvard of historical black colleges — Howard University — to school a roomful of already educated black students on how President Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and that all of the NAACP’s founders were Republicans. (Some were also white! And really light-skinned Negroes!!! And Ida B. Wells!!!!) Of course, all the students (and me and most black people who can read) already knew this.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes’ mocked of Paul’s speech (he compared it to Brad Paisley’s and LL Cool J’s ode to Revisionist History and False Equivalencies, “Accidental Racist):

In his speech to black students at Howard University, Rand appeared to assume that his audience didn’t understand the history of the civil rights movement. The Republican from Kentucky also attempted to rewriting his prior statements about the landmark Civil Rights Act.

“Both Rand Paul and Brad Paisley seem to think the way to bridge the racial divide is a double helping of sheer earnestness,” Hayes remarked. “But earnestness, as nice a trait as it is — believe me, I know of where I speak — is no substitute for a sophisticated understanding of how our past relates to the present, or a commitment to policies that would bring about material improvement.”

“Contrary to Paul and Paisley, achieving racial progress in this country isn’t just a matter of having the right conversations, it’s about bringing about genuine equality, and if history has taught us one thing, it’s that equality comes from struggle, not from group hugs.”

Republicans during the time of slavery were the abolitionist party. And contrary to popular conservative belief, Black people are not mindless hoards who just go with whomever gives us candy. This is why so many of us made terrible slaves — despite being stripped of dignity, humanity and culture and being raised by our captors — and kept running away and getting beat up/disfigured/murdered all the time. Wouldn’t mindless followers make “perfect” happy slaves? Hmm? Hmmmm! And yet slavery is dead. Such a mystery.

When the GOP was the party of “end slavery now” the group most affected by slavery — enslaved and freed blacks always under threat of being kidnapped and forced back into that crime against humanity — supported Republicans. Your abolitionist’s favorite abolitionist Frederick Douglass  was a Republican. We all know this. Rand Paul, like a lot of GOPers don’t want to acknowledge that the beef black people have with the GOP now is that they’ve embraced all these racist apologists that make up a sizable chunk of their voting base. Black people (shockingly) don’t like people who dismiss slavery, Jim Crow, racism as “some stuff that happened a long time ago and wasn’t that bad anyway” when racist things still happen now and what happened in the past was an unspeakable horror.

But Rand Paul admitted he didn’t know that there were all these GOPers at the founding of the NAACP because he lives in a world where you don’t have to bother to ever learn jack shit about black people if you don’t want to. Must be nice. But for black people, this is the life. To speak to Rand in a metaphor he might actually get, being black in America is like The Eagles “Hotel California” — you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

Not knowing these things is not an option. And even if you don’t know, you need to listen to someone who does know these things come voting time. Which is why my mother watches Al Sharpton’s show on MSNBC. Which is why, say, more black people would care about who Sharpton would political endorse over, say, black Republican Michael Steele. Because Steele, no matter how hard he tries, isn’t enough to make black people feel comfortable with all the racist apologista in the GOP. One chocolate chip doesn’t make the cookie. But since the GOP kinda, sorta announced they were going to do this, they were going to try to “talk” to us unruly masses and save us from ourselves (and the Democrats), this is what we have to endure.

History lessons from the blissfully ignorant.

But the search for a black friend continues. (A real black friend, though. No offense to Herman Cain, Michael Steele and Condi Rice, but the GOP has tried you and black people are still no more interested than they were before, so it’s time to recruit new black friends, ones that black people actually are proud of, like or at least respect.)

Which lead us to poor, celebrated Dr. Ben Carson. I, like most black people, knew of Dr. Carson as a brilliant surgeon who came up from nothing and made quite the something of himself. He is an aspirational figure. Most black people who’d heard of him and read his book (or saw the film based on his life) liked him or at least marveled at his accomplishments. He is respected. He is also a conservative. But everyone has that one conservative uncle screaming about Ronald Reagan, so it’s cool, man. But then the GOP tried to make Carson their new “black friend.”

That ended about as well as expected.

“Given all the national media surrounding my statements as to my belief in traditional marriage, I believe it would be in the best interest of the students for me to voluntarily withdraw as your commencement speaker this year,” he wrote in an email to Dean Paul Rothman shared with the school.

Carson compared gay marriage to bestiality and pedophilia in a recent Fox News appearance. “My thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said. “It’s a well-established, fundamental pillar of society, and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality — it doesn’t matter what they are — they don’t get to change the definition.”

After Carson made his comments, a majority of graduating students signed a petition stating that he was an inappropriate choice for speaker.

Carson apologized last week for the fallout from his comments in an email sent to the Hopkins community. “As you know, I have been in the national news quite a bit recently and my 36-year association with Johns Hopkins has unfortunately dragged our institution into the spotlight as well,” he wrote. “I am sorry for any embarrassment this has caused.”

Carson was not ready for prime time.

So the search continues! Of course, if the GOP was serious about getting black voters they would focus on policy that would improve the lives of black Americans surrounding education, economics (JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!), health, gun control, the criminal justice system and social justice issues. But, GOD LORD, DO ACTUAL WORK? Can’t we just lip service this who she-bang? The GOP can’t afford to lose their shrinking angry, frightened base who wouldn’t take to kindly to all this “black friend” stuff.

But when you believe black people are a mindless hoard you’re going to gaffe, insult and look ridiculous accordingly. And this going to keep happening if GOPers continue to get all their black people research from inside the conservative echo chamber of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Pander at your own peril.

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  • Dave

    Well, blacks did forget about the original Democratic Party…perhaps the most overtly racist major American political party ever. Hell, blacks voted for Woodrow Wilson (a particularly brash racist) who segregated the federal government. Even the New York Times criticized his racist policies. His response? “If the colored people made a mistake in voting for me, they ought to correct it.” Blacks voted for him again. True story.

  • Common Sense

    I so agree with you Red Pill. I keep trying to tell blacks that they need to get off of their knees begging for jobs, when they can create their own. If we can spend some 800 billion, or whatever that figure was, we can fund our own communities and make our own jobs!!!!!! Buy black, goods and services. Utilize your own doctors and attorneys and computer tech people and you will have jobs!!!!!!!!! Stop acting like children, we are grown, get off your knees already!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bri

    Reading this, you sound just as racist. No one should put everyone of ONE color in the group of slavery. In case people have forgotten, there were also sharecroppers which were like slaves and they were white… And also Hispanics and native Americans have been used as slaves, truth be told, native Americans should be the ones showing their asses the most! Blacks don’t want to forget their past so they stay mad at the white men who used them, well to me it would make sense to be mad at yourselves as well, because Africans sold their people to white men to be slaves… It kills me how blacks can say whatever, even go to the point of labeling with colors but they can’t be racist… Also, they need all this help for jobs and everything else…. Well I call bull shit, it’s difficult on a lot people from a lot of different backgrounds. And in my personal situation, since Obama has been in office my life has been drastically affected… For the worse. That “man” cares nothing about the black community, the whites, the immigrants… Nothing but himself… It’s really sad. Instead of everyone pointing fingers and whatnot we all as Americans should be making our government work for us, instead of it being the other way around. You would be just as guilty if you were to make businesses that were black only. Remember, two wrongs don’t make a right. And if you stay stuck in yesterday you can’t enjoy today, or live tomorrow.

  • Bri

    To “red pill” was that last post in response to my post? If so, you need to chill. I was not even responding to whatever you may have said… I was responding to the article of the page. I mean damn, you seem pretty guilty yelling so loud! And I’m not really sure how you can call me racist (if in fact that was towards me, which im feeling pretty certain it was) considering I clearly stated that different races have had unfortunate issues… In fact I even mentioned the top few races that the Europeans affected. But guess what, again… We can’t change the damn past! And people from all colors are going to keep this racism going if they don’t rise above the shit!! And my point of my post was “color” means nothing, it will sell you out no matter the difference or the like. It’s the fact that people aren’t pushing to have civility and peace. So maybe i shouldve worded things differently or something, because i do think it was a travesty.. never did i say i condoned it. But you really shouldn’t start trying to go off the handle on someone you don’t know, because you really look like a dumbass, I can assure you I was not apologizing for anything… Because Ive never been a slave owner, no one in my family was either, because my family was hand-in-hand with the black communities that you just assume no whites will go in…. My grandfathers best friend was a black man that he grew up with and both their families grew up together as well helping the same wealthy family. In fact my grandfather and this man joined the army together and went into the navy together as well and fought together in combat. And I can assure you neither of them gave a shit about the colors of skin. And by the way, I’m not pro-Rand either! I know it’s far-fetched but peace and happiness would be nice. Sadly, I’m sure nothing I’ve said will matter, and you will just want to get the last word in which will probably be something involving ranting and bashing… But in either case, I hope the best for you. :)

  • Couldn’t agree with Dave more. Votes are symbolic. Representation is invisible. Elections are just tradition. The last four Congresses have addressed little in terms of improving policy. Heck, no actual new policies have been made/changed. The President has signed a few reauthorization bills, closed some loopholes, and expanded health care by increasing the current Medicare pool.

    I am all for change but this new behind the curtains plan on behalf of Dems and Reps is ridiculous.