Well the GOP has done it again. Presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, recently signed a controversial marriage "pledge." Part of the document alleges that the family situation of African-American children living under slavery was superior or preferential to today. Meaning, Black slave children allegedly had stronger families than free ones today.
Of course I was personally offended, that's not the point. To allege slavery was either a step up or an improvement of the present-day plight of African-Americans is ridiculous and whoever utters it is worthy of ridicule.
Such is the obvious response to stupidity.
What is receiving less attention is the ongoing and overt disregard of African-Americans by the Republican Party. It's the 21st century (believe it or not.) It's not just the birther movement and their barbs against the President. It's the present presidential candidates knowingly playing to the ignorance of the Republican base. Why the GOP is so reluctant in joining the rest us here in documented history is beyond explanation. You can be sure, no suggestion that the Holocaust was a relative positive would ever be used in conjunction with public policy. How African-Americans manage to continue to be defecated on by the GOP I'm not quite sure.
In other recent news, "former" Klansmen and present GOP member David Duke announced his presidential candidacy. And wow, lookie here...he has Tea Party support. Imagine that.
It's almost a coincidence...uh...no not really.
It's indicative of a recurring theme and a mood in this country. The GOP is content to rewrite American history to suit its interests, in the hopes of telling a narrative which fits a political agenda. From Paul Revere to John Adams and now slavery; the GOP wants to be perceived as the party of American ideals, just without all the fuss of either being historically accurate or something less than detestable.
These two pieces of information (Bachmann and Duke) may be ostensibly unrelated, but surely connected in a political sense. They speak to the larger disregard and disrespect of the African-American electorate.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich recently told a mostly-white audience that African-Americans are so angry at President Obama we're prime to vote for a Republican; but failed to check with any of us as to the reality of the former or the fantasy of the latter.
The GOP has disrespected the president and voters along the lines of race and then has the unmitigated gall to look surprised when Herman Cain garners little traction in our community. Next thing you know, the GOP will argue that a monument to Dr. King is unnecessary and redundant in Washington, since we already had the "Faithful Groomsman" lawn jockey sculpture at Mount Vernon.
When you're allowed to rewrite history at your whim, everything is on the table.
Such is the inherent danger of trying to co-opt the legacy of the founding ideals of this country. Slavery too was a founding ideal. It's a bit disingenuous to talk about the founding principles of the United States of America and conveniently leave out the institution which helped the country descend into civil war. One cannot tell the story of the formation of the United States of America and not also include slavery.
If America is a great country (and she is), its rise to prominence will forever be linked to the centuries of free labor which built it...White House included.
African-Americans by and large will grant present-day politicians a free pass in celebration of the founding ideals in a general sense. Just don't try to put a new spin on slavery. Families were separated, mothers and daughters were raped. There is no way to go gift wrap it and re-present with a cute bow on top.
To not know better is ignorance of the highest order. You would have no business as my president. To use it as a talking point on family values and marriage to score with voters is nothing short of unforgivable. Either way, such a candidate would have no business as my president.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann believed or endorsed an erroneous and romanticized view of slavery; but I am to trust her judgment on issues of greatest importance of African-Americans in 2012 and beyond?
How many times is the GOP going to be allowed to do this? How many times are they going to be allowed to openly disrespect African-Americans, while simultaneously winking to White Republicans?
Nobody in the GOP leadership seems to understand that you can't consistently and continuously disrespect Black voters and use that as your main selling point in gaining Black votes. The arrogance and ignorance are both astounding and compounding as we reach the primary season.
The next time a conservative alleges African-Americans have played the race card, politely remind them of the revisionist American history the GOP is selling; complete with slavery and misguided entitlement references.
Morris W. O'Kelly (Mo'Kelly) is author of the syndicated entertainment and socio-political column The Mo'Kelly Report. For more Mo'Kelly, go to his site. Mo'Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and he welcomes all commentary.
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