Republicans and Racism in Tennessee
by Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence
The Republican Congressional candidate in Tennessee 's 8th Congressional District, James L. Hart is likely the most blatantly racist Republican political figure since David Duke. Tennessee Republicans are even inclined to denounce his "favored races " view of civilization. His views are very close to those of Adolf Hitler in the opinion of most Americans.
His candidacy is showing publicly what Southern Democrats have always known about racial politics in the South. The rise of Bush Republicanism in the South is largely based on white racism. Racism is the key to getting poor, working class and middle class white voters to vote for a Republican Party that advances a political agenda that directly goes against their own economic interests. The Republicans gained power in the South by white racists leaving the Democratic Party in droves to join the Republicans. They are still there!
The brilliant Chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party Randy Button has called on the Republican Party leaders at all levels to condemn and renounce the candidacy of James L. Hart (see http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_53820.asp , "State Democrats Call On GOP To Denounce Racist Candidate "). The Republican grassroots organization Team GOP General Chairman Jeff Ward used Button 's statement as a excuse to attack Chairman Button instead of following his good advice. The attack shows just how dangerous the Hart candidacy is for the Republicans in the key swing state of Tennessee this year.
Republicans need the racist vote to carry Tennessee . His views are not that uncommon among the local Republican leadership in many counties in the state. They have to at least mildly condemn Hart to keep their moderate voters. They cannot condemn Hart with the vigor his view require without losing their white racist base. The voters of Tennessee will not let the Republicans have it both ways.
These writers think every member of every Republican County Executive Committee should be required to sign a letter to be printed in their county newspaper denouncing Hart, his views and his candidacy. The Tennessee Republican Party should do the same. Any Republican Party leader at any level who refuses to sign these letters should be expelled from their Party office. If the Republican Party is unwilling to take these actions, the voters of Tennessee should vote out of office every Republican officeholder in the state.
Written by Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence (hosts of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com). Mail: 7A Planville Drive , Fayetteville , Tennessee 37334 . Phone: 931-438-1500 or 443-421-0287. Feel free to publish as Letter To The Editor, Op Ed, Guest Editorial or Democratic Voices column. Feel free to post on your website or blog.