Thursday, June 19, 2008

White House? Black House? Gray House?

It should really come as no surprise that the Texas GOP, which gave us W. could come up with such a racially insulting campaign button, but I still find myself obsessing over the sheer ignorance that allows a person to actually make such an object. Still there it was, proudly displayed at the Texas Republican State Convention. Has the person not read a newspaper since 1964? Or do they still believe we can go back to a segregated society?

Conservative groups continue to put up a fight over GLBT issues and the marriage wars are going to continue for a number of years, but they lost the Civil Rights War decades ago.

I cannot imagine what button they would have created had Hillary won. I’m really still a little befuddled as to whom they fear more – a strong woman or a black man.

Republicans who would come up with such a button remind me of the Japanese soldier, discovered on a desert island in the Pacific years after World War II ended. He was prepared to fight anyone who stumbled upon the island, unaware that the battles were over and Japan was back in the mainstream of the world. Nothing about the real world around him had changed his fervor and oath to die for his homeland.

He had an excuse. Japanese language newspapers are not regularly dropped on desert islands in the Pacific. He simply, loyally, maintained his commitment to the oath he had sworn to his emperor.

No Republican at a state level convention can claim such ignorance.

The only explanation that remains is pure hatred, unmitigated intolerance of anything that is not “me,” a darkened soul. As much as I am angered by this behavior, deeper down, I pity the people who act such a way. Can you imagine living every day in a world that is so different from what you demand it be, knowing that society has bypassed your antiquated beliefs?

While fads and trends come and go, when society makes a shift in one direction, it rarely returns to a state prior to that shift. Civil rights and women’s rights are two shifts that have been made in the last 50 years that cannot be reversed. Certainly full measures of social justice for women and people of color have not been met in the United States, but the trend has reached a point of no return. With the realization of a global economy, “white” is no longer synonymous with “majority.” It was only ever that way because it was synonymous with “power.”

Now that the Texas GOP has embarrassed itself once again on a global stage, they need to reflect what it is they truly believe. Social justice for all people reflects Republican fundamentals more than it does Democratic fundamentals, but in the last twenty years, while lauding the fundamentals, the Republicans have moved far from them. If they truly valued lesser government and greater individual responsibility, they would embrace social justice and true equality for all people. Without the barriers that protect so many of their own interests, those who are “entitled” would no longer have an excuse for the state in which they find themselves. Instead, the Right, in their grasp for power, keep policies in place that promote stratification of society, that promote an “us-vs-them” atmosphere, and that eternally leaves many behind.

And so they proudly wear a button that does not attempt to hide its racist bent and boldly proclaims their personal intolerance. This liberal is gonna be praying hard for your soul because that is not what Jesus would do.

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