Senators on Capitol Hill passed this week with both speed and unanimous voice a resolution that condemns white supremacist groups and that suggests President Donald Trump ought to do the same.
This strikes as a frightened, “Hail, Mary” move to save their own political seats. And don’t forget: Republicans are in the majority.
Rather than signing their names to meaningless political documents that give leftists more fuel to toss on their anti-Trump fire, Republicans could instead talk about the evils of racism by mentioning their own party’s support for the Civil Rights Act — and their Democratic colleagues’ unfortunate stand on the opposite side. Or, they could name-drop — can you say Sen. Robert Byrd? — and petition for the clearing of this ex-KKKer’s name from roads and structures at key spots around West Virginia.
Instead, Republicans, like their Democratic counterparts, chose to go the politically expedient route and pass a piece of paper. Wow, what bravery.
Clearly, white supremacy is bad. Neo-Nazis are evil. And KKKers are wicked.
But if memory serves, Republicans on Capitol Hill didn’t attempt to take the same legislative action when the violent and racist “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” movement was sweeping through Ferguson, Missouri, on the wings of a lie that said white police officers routinely target black men to kill.
They didn’t pass with unanimous vote any resolution to condemn the oft-vicious, always thuggish, blatantly racist Black Lives Matter protests that have dotted America’s landscape for months, protesting everything from conservative speakers on college campuses to Trump.
No, for Black Lives Matter, the Republicans’ response was this, as personified by a Boston Globe story from August: “GOP Senate candidates divided over proposal to label Black Lives Matter a hate group.”
Candidates — not even seated senators.
But what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If racism from white people is bad, so too should be racism from black people — and from people of all skin colors. Yes?
Sadly, S.J. Res. 49 is not a document that expresses that view.
“Prompted by the violence and domestic terrorist attack in Charlottesville … the U.S. Senate today unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution introduced by U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Richard Blumenthal (C-CT), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) condemning white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups,” the Augusta Free Press reported. “The joint resolution also calls upon the Trump administration to use all available resources to improve data collection on hate crimes and to work in a coordinated way to address the growing prevalence of hate groups.”
This is such political cowardice. And Republicans ought not be involved in this obvious political hatchet job to point self-righteous fingers while scoring partisan points against Trump.
If members of Congress want to make the point racism is wrong — well and good. Make it. But don’t try and sell to the American people the idea that racism only comes from certain corners of the population or, even worse, that yes, yes, racism is reprehensible — but it’s more reprehensible when it comes from some groups than others.
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