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John Ridley Headshot

The Conservatives' Dangerous Game of Hate and Consequences

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Empty of better ideas -- of any ideas -- of how to remain relevant, the reactionary wing of the conservative movement has chosen to quit faking respectability and get back to doing what they do best: cranking up the hate to eleven.

This is the week we have lived:

A week when Texas Governor Rick Perry -- a man with presidential aspirations -- gets comfortable being flippant about the idea secession, raising the specter of both the anti-civil rights movement and the Civil War.

A week when Texas Republican State Rep. Betty Brown (what is it with Texas?) told a hearing on voter registration that if Asians wanted to avoid problems at the polls they needed to change their names to something that's "easier for us to deal with."

A week when Illinois Republican Congressman Mark Kirk said he thought the people of Illinois "are ready to shoot" anyone who's going to raise taxes.

A week when the Caucasian Stepin Fetchit Glenn Beck -- which is more of a slam against Lincoln Perry than it is Glenn -- thought it was humorous to take on the guise of our president and pantomime him pouring gas on the average citizen before setting a match to him.

This is the week when even his cover as GOP Chairman couldn't outweigh his blackness and Michael Steele was unwelcome at the not-even-slightly-white-fright based tea parties where signs stoking the fears of WHITE SLAVERY were as prevalent as any saying: I LOVE AMERICA.

And this was the week where Minority Leader John Boehner's only take away from the Bush-authorized DHS report on the threat of extremist violence was that it was offensive to American soldiers.

Really? Offensive to soldiers? From the same John Boehner who, when presenting the Congressional Medal of Honor to the famed WW II era Tuskegee airmen repeatedly -- repeatedly -- referred to these great Americans as the "Tush-Chee-geee airmen." All those aides of his, and he couldn't have one of them run and get him a pronouncer?

Boehner could not disrespect or minimize more. Unless he were disrespecting and minimizing a warning on hate attacks directed primarily at people of color in this country.

And that's what really cuts: the conservatives, aided and abetted by their own Axis Sally Michelle Malkin who does the "that's not racist" dance of the seven white hoods at the slightest yank of her chain -- hate and deny and get indignant and deny some more when the reasoned try to connect the dots between their reactionary rhetoric and the violent consequences to which they lead. We're all just blowing some liberal kookiness and lefty conspiracies.

Tell that to the three Pittsburgh police officers killed by the young man who frequented neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic websites.

Tell that to the families of Marcelo Lucero, Jose Sucuzhanay. Both killed in the wake of President Obama's election in attacks prompted by their perceived place of origin and sexual orientation.

Tell that to the Southern Poverty Law Center which has been tracking an increase in hate crimes and hate group activities long before the "offensive" "conservative-baiting" DHS report.

Have something to say besides peppering every sentence with buzz words like "revolution," "fascism," and "secession."

And in that week what do reasonable people do? Wait to find out if CNN or Ashton Kutcher can arrive more quickly to a million Tweeters. Instead of meeting outrage head on, we let the haters slide.

These may be the last, desperate days of reactionary, anti-American Conservatism. But in the manner of a rabid animal backed against a wall, these are its most dangerous as well.

For more perspective, please visit That Minority Thing.com