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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/8/10

When a black Republican plays the race card against a black president

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Message Brent Budowsky
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With my brother Ron Christie feeling the need to respond to his own post, perhaps there is hope. My objection, Ron, is not that you imitate the tactics of Karl Rove, which will work for you as well as they worked for him. My objection is your use of the Black Panthers, who have no relevance to the last campaign, the current campaign or any modern campaign, in a way that would inflame white racism, aimed to demean a president and attorney general who happen to be black.

Have you no shame, sir?

I do not deem the Black Panther issue as requiring any substantive rebuttal. If it had credence in the political market, I would it McCarthyism, but since it does not, I will call it short-pants McCarthyism, only relevant for the larger issues it raises.

Ron, will you join me in denouncing any racism against President Obama, from any source, including some who are Republicans?

Will you join me in denouncing the bigotry of the Birther movement, and will you join me in denouncing those Republicans, including some in the Congress, who give the Birther bigotry credence within your party?

Will you denounce those who come to public meetings with a picture of the president as Adolf Hitler, and will you criticize Republican leaders who bring those audiences to their feet, without criticizing the Hitler posters?

Why do I read you invoking the Black Panthers, but not denouncing racial profiling, against blacks and Hispanics and any other group, which sadly exists in our day, not in the majority of cases, but far more often that it should?

Why do I read you invoking the Black Panthers, but I do not read you proposing ways to create jobs, for blacks, for whites, for all workers?

I understand your tactic. Invoke the Panthers, try to tie them to the president and attorney general. Since certain white voters feel hatred or fear toward the Panthers, try to direct that toward the president, the attorney general or anyone opposing your candidates on the ballot. Shame, shame, shame.

This is called playing the race card. It is wrong when it is done by whites. Wrong when it is done by blacks. Wrong when it is done by anyone. Yet you do this. For whatever reason, you feel this is your great contribution to the partisan politics of the Republican Party, which on one level I believe is an outrage, and on a deeper level I believe is just plain sad.

Do you really want to be a designated hitter for this brand politics? Far be it from me to offer advice, but wouldn't it be far better for you to condemn racism against a black president, which sadly, and outrageously, does exist? Wouldn't it be far better for you to do what former Rep. J.C. Watts always did, offer conservative and creative ideas to help the black community and all communities in the mosaic we call America, which has no place for the kind of politics that divides race against race?

If you want to keep playing the race card, you can write endlessly about the Panthers, trite as the line of attack is, and keep trying. You can write about Willie Horton, too. I can think of many others whose demonization you can write about, and try to tar the president and the attorney general and Democrats in general with whatever dirty brush promotes this bad-smelling politics. Is this the best you can do?

I think you are capable of better. But I have no doubt that if Abraham Lincoln were with us today, he would deplore the kind of politics you practice with your Panther posts. And since Lincoln would be a Democrat today, you would probably try to tie him to the Black Panthers too, which is similar to what others did, when Lincoln lived.

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Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on He served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served (more...)

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