Republicans are not 'increasingly tolerant of racially divisive politics.' They're embracing racism.
Just say it, Washington Post. Just say it. The first three paragraphs of an article headlined “Trump-led GOP grows increasingly tolerant of racially divisive politics” detail Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s electoral win after a lynching-positive comment and the vote by Senate Republicans for Donald Trump judicial nominee Thomas Farr, who defended a North Carolina voter suppression law that a court found was intended to “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.” The analysis:
The back-to-back developments this week offer a stark illustration of the state of the Republican Party and racial politics.
The state of the Republican Party and racial politics is poor, the article makes clear, with ample quotes from the party’s couple of high-profile black officials. Perhaps most powerfully, there’s how the lack of Republican pushback on Hyde-Smith’s comment that she’d be happy to sit in the front row at a public hanging contrasts with some fairly recent history:
It was a striking contrast to 2002, when Sen. Trent Lott was forced out of his leadership position for praising Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), who ran for president in 1948 on a segregationist platform. Lott apologized days later for his comment, saying he never meant to suggest that he “embraced the discarded policies of the past.”
But there’s a word that is largely absent from the article. Racism. Ra-cism. R-A-C-I-S-M. Not “racially divisive” or “racially desensitized” or a “challenge” or “race-based attacks.” It’s racism. But this 1,300-word article only using the word “racism” once, and that’s in the context of “Mississippi’s dark history of racism and public lynchings.” As in, when Cindy Hyde-Smith said she’d sit in the front row at a public hanging, it “evoked Mississippi’s dark history of racism and public lynchings.” Hyde-Smith’s comments, there and at other times, made crystal clear that racism is not left in the dust of history, yet that’s not something the Washington Post is willing to say straight out.
So let’s say it: The Trump-led Republican Party is not tolerant of racially divisive politics. It’s increasingly embracing racist politics. There’s a difference, and it matters.