Republicans Need To Stop Making Excuses For Racism And Steve Scalise

Steve ScaliseAs soon as Lamar White Jr’s shocking story on Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) and his association with the KKK broke, the usual flood of people came out to defend Rep. Scalise with the same tired old counter-accusations.

Over at the boundless “klavern” of racism, bigotry and proud ignorance that is also known as my local TV station’s comments section, the deluge of comments excusing white racism was horrific.

Within seconds of KATC posting the link to their story on their Facebook page, all of Acadiana’s resident race apologists pounced on the opportunity to once again let the world know that racism was over and they weren’t racists, by using racist language and even veiled threats of violence towards people who didn’t agree with them. Don’t believe me? Here are the remarks from someone who didn’t like my retorts to his assertions that Democrats created the KKK and that the Black Panthers are just as horrible as white racists – so that all somehow absolves everyone else of racism.


To be fair, I did say something like “if the hood fits, wear it” in response to one of his racist comments, but I think this is a pretty good example of what people who claim that the hatred and prejudice of the past are gone with the wind. If you listen to these shining examples of Louisiana’s failed education system coupled with prejudice speak, you would then understand how Bill Cassidy beat Senator Mary Landrieu on his platform that was little more than, “Obama sucks. Mary and Barry sitting in a tree, k.i.s.s.i.n.g. Vote for me if you hate Obama.”

Am I saying that there isn’t a single Democrat or liberal with a prejudiced bone in their body? Of course not, but the apologists for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise are repeating ad nauseam the old “Democrats started the KKK” and “Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are racists” lines that you will see or hear in almost any conversation regarding the current scandal that is rocking the Republican Party. There’s certainly crazy, racist people of all ethnicities out there, but unlike the GOP, you’re not likely to see Democratic politicians addressing the New Black Panthers.

Sure, many Southern Democrats (also known “Dixiecrats”) were involved with the KKK back in the 1960s in response to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and desegregation, but most of those people are dead or vote for Republicans now. They broke away from the Democratic Party because the party was moving to the left and refused to cater to them or their hatred any longer. Under the Southern Strategy, the Republican Party has turned much of the south by embracing the old Dixiecrat guard and their descendants. So yes, members of the KKK were Democrats 50 years ago, but they either vote Republican or third party now.

As for the claims by the Steve Scalise and David Duke apologists about folks like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson being racists, that’s a ridiculous and utterly absurd statement to make. Are they people who perhaps pounce on any opportunity to get their name in the media spotlight and maybe make some money? Possibly, but that doesn’t make them promoters of racism, nor does it in any way excuse centuries of slavery, lynchings and segregation at the hands of the ancestors of the people who now try to claim that racism is dead, we should get over it, and then toss a few slurs your way if you disagree with them.

Just because some members of a political party did something wrong 50 years ago, that doesn’t excuse politicians of the other party for wrongdoings in the here and now. It wouldn’t make sense for me to blame Republicans today for the views their Dixiecrat parents and grandparents held back in the 1950s and 1960s – but that’s exact argument conservative apologists for racism are trying to make when bringing up the political affiliation of Klan members half a century ago. If the Republican Party wants to shed the image of condoning racism and paling around with White Nationalists, then they should force Rep. Steve Scalise to step down instead of making excuses for him. Congressman Scalise didn’t make a mistake of not vetting who he was speaking to, he knew damn well what the ideology was of the crowd that he was addressing – he was invited by associates of David Duke, after all.

The GOP has to make a choice. It has to decide whether it wants to continue simply being the party of angry, old, white people or if it wants to represent the changing demographics of the melting pot that is our United States – but it can’t do both. The decision by Reince Priebus and the GOP regarding Congressman Steve Scalise will publicly show us which in which direction they want to go.


Facebook comments

  • DMJ

    Yet right now people are chanting that Black Lives Matter and people are dismissing them because it’s racist to be so exclusionary but here we have a group dedicated to exclusion and people are acting like it is okay

  • klem

    Exactly, Republicans must stop making excuses for racism. Of course it’s not as bad as Obama attending Reverend Wright’s anti-white racist sermons for 22 straight years, but it’s close.

    Still, Republicans should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Pipercat

      Ashamed of what? This memo has been circulated in great haste and amazing efficiency!

  • GenerallyConfused

    The biggest problem I see is a fear of change. This country is so fearful of change it isn’t even laughable anymore, it’s just sad.

  • Bara Seducer

    And Liberals need to stop race-baiting. I’m sick of politician’s lies

  • strayaway

    “The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation.” -Robert Byrd who went on to be an esteemed Democratic US Senator from 1959-2010

    Republicans vs. Democrats: What a difference one letter can make.

    • NewEnglander58

      As he said – in 1943, lol! You just keep proving the point, and of course you leave out Byrd’s multiple apologies and repudiation of the stands of his younger years. He was at least willing to admit he was wrong. How touchy you are! I don’t even have to wonder why.

      • strayaway

        You leave out Scalise’s excuses. So will I. Let’s say that Scalise’s excuses for talking to a gathering of an organization led by a former Klansman David cancels Senator Byrd’s excuses for being a Klansman. That leaves us with which is worse, being a former Klansman or speaking to a group affiliated with a Klansman? The point is debatable but would it be ok if a Democratic Senator was a former Nazi too? Prescott Bush’s name is brought up from time to time in connection with his Nazi ties and being W’s grandfather. It is ok for Democrats to be wearing sheets in the 40’s but wrong to be a Republican two generations removed from someone who similarly crossed a line in the 40’s. Obviously, Republicans get called for things they didn’t even do in the 1940’s. Don’t you think it fair to apply the same standard? Seems like you are the apologist being touchy. As recently as 2005, in his memoir, Byrd describes the KKK as a fraternal assembly of, quote, “upstanding people.” He should know. “In the early 1940s, (former Democratic Senator) Byrd recruited 150 of his friends and associates to create a new chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in Sophia, West Virginia.” -wikipedia

        Republicans vs. Democrats: What a difference one letter can make.

      • NewEnglander58

        There is a fundamental difference between excuses and making a sincere apology. From those same memoirs: “My only explanation for the entire episode is that I was sorely afflicted with tunnel vision — a jejune and immature outlook — seeing only what I wanted to see because I thought the Klan could provide an outlet for my talents and ambitions,” Byrd wrote. Further: Still, says Ken Hechler, 90, a liberal Democratic former U.S. House member from West Virginia who served with Byrd in Congress, “It’s impossible for anyone to try to whitewash the KKK and its overall symbolism.”

        “But at the same time,” he added, “we honor those people who publicly admit the error of their ways.”

        Last week, Byrd said: “I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times . . . and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened.”

        And I don’t give a damn what party someone belongs to. Even Fox, Breitbart and Red State agree with me. What Robert Byrd did as a young man was wrong, but he tried to make amends.

      • strayaway

        $1 and an apology is good enough to buy a cup of coffee. He can do all the apologizing he wants. Hillary voted to give Bush her power to declare war on Iraq and voted for the Wall Street bailout. Are you going to forgive here too? Next time a Republican does something repulsive, are you going to give him a pass if he comes up with some bs apology. Byrd voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and against Supreme Court nominees Marshall and Thomas. Rand Paul cannot live down questioning one provision of the Civil Rights Act passed when he was two years old but Byrd gets a pass for actually voting against it.

        Republicans vs. Democrats: What a difference one letter can make.

        Getting back to Scalise. He got into trouble for addressing a white supremacy group but Obama regularly shows up at La Raza conventions. I realize that La Raza is above the law and does not promote Atzlan but like the above board political wing of the IRA, some of La Raza’s members have ties to an organization that does. That’s what the group who hosted Scalise is accused of – not for violence but for associating with some people who belong to the KKK which has a violent history. Yet Obama doesn’t get much criticism for showing up at La Raza meetings.

        Republicans vs. Democrats: What a difference one letter can make.

  • NewEnglander58

    The comments I’ve read so far prove Manny’s point. You’re a bunch of reactionary, defensive rednecks. Nothing more and nothing less. Thou dost protest too much…