The GOP’s Racial Politics

Our guest blogger is former Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA), president of Center for American Progress Action Fund.

From the subtle to the sickening, this Republican primary season has seen a normalizing of racist and racially-coded language. It was not so long ago that the chairman of the Republican National Committee apologized for his party’s history of “trying to benefit politically from racial polarization,” and told the NAACP, “I am here today as the Republican Chairman to tell you we were wrong.” Such leadership cannot be found now.

Newt Gingrich may be the new master of race politics with his efforts to label Barack Obama the “food-stamp president” and his generous offer to lecture African-Americans at the NAACP on why they should demand paychecks instead of food stamps. We know that Mr. Gingrich’s claims of being a “historian” for Freddie and Fannie are a strain, but would it be that hard for him to check the history of NAACP’s leadership on developing and demanding groundbreaking job creation policies? (Or to note that more food stamp recipients are white than any other race or ethnicity?) But why would a historian let facts get in the way of historical racial prejudice?

ThinkProgress’ Jeff Spross has compiled a recent history of the GOP’s dehumanizing and divisive language that threatens to plague the primary process for weeks to come. Watch it:

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Advocacy Team