GOP leaders are very upset that their racist politicians are being called racists

Two years after Donald Trump won the presidency using openly-racist rhetoric, much of the Republican Party’s 2018 midterm strategy centered around appeals to voters’ bigotry.

One Republican incumbent smeared his Christian opponent, a Latino-Arab American, accusing him of secretly being a “radical Muslim” and a “security risk.” The New Jersey state Republican party sent a racist mailer to voters in the district using images of a fish market juxtaposed next to Democratic Rep.-elect Andy Kim’s name, written in a font similar to Chinese take-out restaurants. The Florida Republican gubernatorial nominee slurred his Democratic opponent, who is black, comparing him to a monkey. And a sitting U.S. Senator urged voter suppression and joked about public hangings as she prepared for her race against a Democratic opponent who is black.

Rather than call out racists and racism in their party, however, the leadership of the Republican National Committee has instead trained their ire on anyone who does.

The RNC national chair has done this on at least three occasions in the past two weeks. Ronna McDaniel took to Twitter to attack NBC news, former President Barack Obama, and the newly elected House Democratic Caucus Chair, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, for having had the nerve to call out racism by Trump and other Republicans.

As the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel noted, Jeffries’s comments were said in reaction to Donald Trump’s response to white nationalist attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. The president had opined that there were “very fine people on both sides.”

One of her top lieutenants, RNC spokesman and Rapid Response Director Michael Ahrens, has made similar attacks this month.

The Republican Party’s current official platform claims, “We denounce bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic prejudice, and religious intolerance.”

But even its own few members of color aren’t so sure. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, the only African American to have ever held that position, lamented earlier this month that Republicans “feel they can peddle, or at least stay silent on, inherent racism, misogynistic language and bad behavior.” And after losing re-election in her heavily Republican Congressional district in Utah, Rep. Mia Love — the only Black Republican woman ever elected to Congress — made it clear that her party’s racism was a big part of the problem. “This election experience and these comments shines a spotlight on the problems Washington politicians have with minorities and black Americans — it’s transactional, it’s not personal,” she said in her concession speech this week. “You see, we feel like politicians claim they know what’s best for us from a safe distance, yet they’re never willing to take us home. Because Republicans never take minority communities into their home and citizens into their homes and into their hearts, they stay with Democrats and bureaucrats in Washington because they do take them home — or at least make them feel like they have a home.”

Source: thinkprogress