If Republican operatives truly are brilliant enough to use secret code to convince white bigots to pull the elephant lever in November, they should have been smart enough to control the podium at their convention in Tampa, Fla.
As a black man, the Republicans’ racial code never penetrated my ears. However, my eyes worked just fine. And what I repeatedly saw were minority faces on my TV.
The racist dog whistles must have gone silent even for Labradors when a black woman and former secretary of state named Condoleezza Rice addressed the convention for nearly half an hour in prime time Wednesday night, just before vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan gave his acceptance speech, arguably Tampa’s finest.
Similarly, and also in prime time, a Hispanic senator named Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced the Republican party’s presidential standard bearer, Mitt Romney, while 30 million people tuned in.
If the Republican Party really is angling for the David Duke vote, closely associating its running mates with a prominent black American and a high-profile Hispanic seems like a rather convoluted sales pitch.
And Rice and Rubio were far from alone. Black Republicans such as Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina; Saratoga Springs, Utah, mayor and congressional nominee Mia Love, and former Alabama Rep. Artur Davis (an ex-Democrat) all addressed the convention and were televised, at least on C-SPAN.
Leading Hispanic Republican speakers included Texas Senate nominee Ted Cruz, Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley also wowed the crowd. She is an American of Indian descent, another ascendant minority group.
These amplified, televised, and loudly applauded individuals of color holistically demolish the left’s paranoid, feverish, and disgusting fantasy that white Republicans speak with white bigots through some tribal Caucasian dialect.
According to the left’s warped illogic, the same racists who hear references to America’s growing food-stamp population as a white-power battle cry somehow maintain their anti-minority animus after witnessing speech after speech after speech by the same minorities whom they supposedly resent. This theory is remotely plausible only if these white bigots followed the convention on radio.
The best the left can do is accuse the right of “racial coding.” But, for its part, the left’s racism is about as covert as a neon sign in Times Square.
For starters, the left trivializes ethnic-minority officials and nominees in the GOP, never mind that they earned their speaking slots because they were elected or appointed to their high positions.
- “It would be easy to dismiss this as tokenism and window dressing — which, of course, it is,” wrote Los Angeles Times columnist David Horsey. So, if powerful and influential members of minority groups speak at the Republican National Convention, they are mere tokens. And if they don’t speak, then the convention is a lily-white affair. No matter what, the left will not let the GOP win.
- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, “You can’t just trot out a brown face or a Spanish surname and expect people are going to vote for your party or your candidate.” So, to Villaraigosa, these are just brown faces — masks, perhaps? — that are rolled out to fool people. They are not living, breathing men and women who labored for their positions, earned their voters’ trust, and try hard every day to represent them and enforce the law on their behalf.
- Sounding amazingly like a skirt-chasing 1960s advertising executive, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz tossed this sexist barb at Tampa’s top female Republicans: “We believe that women can see through that nice shiny packaging that the Republicans have been putting out there,” she said. So, former secretary Rice, governors Haley and Martinez, and Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin are “nice shiny packaging?” Really? It’s a wonder that the Democratic Party chief did not call these public servants “little ladies.”
- The Huffington Post’s Geoffrey Dunn nicknamed the entire convention “the Gathering of Pasty White People.” He also observed that Tampa speaker Clint Eastwood once was mayor of Carmel, Calif., a “frighteningly white community.”
- Yahoo News Washington bureau chief David Chalian accused Republicans of continuing their convention festivities as Hurricane Isaac hit greater New Orleans last week. “They aren’t concerned at all,” Chalian said on August 27. “They are happy to have a party with black people drowning.” So, laughing as black people die is part of the GOP agenda? Even Yahoo found these remarks reprehensible. Chalian now is Yahoo’s former D.C. bureau chief.
- While this incident goes back to 2008, Ryan Lizza reported in The New Yorker Monday that Bill Clinton tried to persuade the late Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy, D-Mass., to forsake Obama and, instead, endorse Hillary Clinton’s White House bid. According to Lizza, former president Clinton said of Obama: “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.”
- The so-called racial code words that agitate the left say much more about those who hear them than those who supposedly utter them. For instance, most Americans think of Chicago — President Obama’s home town, political base, and campaign headquarters — as an exciting, surprisingly clean city. However to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, when Republicans say “Chicago,” that word stealthily “. . . sends that message, ‘This guy is helping the poor people in the bad neighborhoods, screwing us in the ’burbs.’” To hear that dog whistle, one’s ears must be more sensitive than those giant parabolic dishes that scour the heavens for signs of intelligent life.
- To trigger instant leftist accusations of anti-minority bias, merely mention that the food-stamp population has grown 45.9 percent under President Obama (from 31,983,716 in January 2009 to 46,670,373 last June, according to USDA data). But liberals are the ones who equate food stamps with minorities. As Cato Institute researcher Charlie Hughes notes, the 2010 Census indicates that households receiving food stamps that year were 49 percent white, 26 percent black, and 20 percent Hispanic. So, righties say “food stamps,” and lefties think “black.” Who’s racist now? (Similarly, if Representative Smith declared, “I favor banking reform,” and Vice President Jones replied, “Stop picking on the Jews,” Jones, not Smith, would deserve scrutiny for signs of anti-Semitism.)
Besides, as Cato senior fellow Michael Tanner notes: “It hardly seems racist to want minorities to have more economic opportunity. If anything, it seems a bit racist to insist that minorities are incapable of taking care of themselves without government assistance.”
When it comes to racial ugliness, sometimes leftists carpet bomb any remaining sliver of civility and simply mimic Klansmen.
After congressional candidate Mia Love of Utah delivered a spirited and well-received speech in Tampa, a left-wing Internet vandal turned her Wikipedia page into a mini-museum of anti-black hatred. This person called Mayor Love a “token” and an “Aunt Tom.”
Next, the vandal slammed the daughter of Haitian immigrants as a “dirty, worthless whore who sold out her soul in the name of big business.” Then, for good measure, the attacker added: “She is a total sell-out to the Right Wing Hate Machine and the greedy bigots who control the GOP and love to see people like Mia Love be exploited . . .”
Remember these vomit-inducing words the next time the Democrat left repeats its exhausted and despicable lies about so-called racism among the Republican right.
Deroy Murdock is a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at deroy.Murdock@gmail.com. Read more reports from Deroy Murdock — Click Here Now.