What Republicans Refuse to Say About Charleston

06/22/2015 05:23 pm ET | Updated Jun 19, 2016

I find it interesting that in the wake of the ‪Charleston massacre‬, Republican presidential candidates, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, etc. are hedging their analyses, invoking "nuance," and asking for more details to emerge.

These are people who swore up and down that George Zimmerman was a pillar of his community and a testament to good character... before his string of incidents with police involving domestic violence and assault.

These are people who have never missed an opportunity to draw the most overreaching, logic-defying, gobsmacking connections between the President and Islamic fundamentalists.

These are people who predicted the U.S. military would collapse overnight if gay service members were permitted to serve openly.

These are people who--several times--have praised officers involved in the murder of black Americans before evidence emerges they used excessive force, lied about it, and were subsequently charged for murder/manslaughter.

These are people who need no excuse to slander black victims and trot out every excuse to defend white killers.

These are people--and this remains my favorite--who have spent the last two decades calling human-made climate change or global warming a "conspiracy" or "sham" in the face of the most overwhelming scientific evidence ever assembled on any issue.

Within hours of the Charleston shooting, no less than the Chief of Police asserted that it was a hate crime, motivated by racist sentiment.

We have statements from people, including the shooter's roommate, that attest to his lengthy history of making violent, racist remarks.

We have statements from survivors inside the church that this man literally announced he was there to kill black people and start a civil war.

We have photographs of him wearing the flags of apartheid-era states in Africa.

And I'm sure before the weekend is out, we'll have even more evidence.

But just about all our Republican candidates and Fox News and Gov. Nikki Haley are having to be dragged kicking and screaming to the clear, irrefutable conclusion that this was a racist act of terrorism.

They will cry. They will ask for prayer. They will give lukewarm statements on coming together. They will offer the suggestion that this was an attack on Christians, not blacks.

They'll fly a Confederate flag at half-mast.

But almost all of them can't firmly and unequivocally call this racism. Because that would mean losing votes among older white Americans. It would mean losing funding for their campaigns. It would mean admitting--for once--that we have a national culture that refuses to address the long-dead, rotting elephant in the room: racism still exists, and it is supported by the steadfast denial of white privilege and racial oppression.

It would take any of these public figures three seconds to attribute a terrorist attack to Islam, and yet, three days have gone by without a declarative statement from nearly all of them on the inherent racism of this attack.

They don't care about racism. They think that not saying the n-word and watching "The Blind Side" excuses them from thinking about these issues and owning up to the fact that they benefit from a system that universally favors white, heterosexual men.

And worse than that (in their mind): they would have to admit that this lovely outrage industry they've built since President Obama took office has long been fueled by the resentment and bigotry of white Americans who cannot stand seeing a black man in the Oval Office. Who cannot stand seeing black teenagers in the White House. Who cannot stand seeing a black woman occupy the mantle of Jackie Kennedy and Nancy Reagan.

If you're not pissed off, you haven't been paying attention.