Articles on people of colour and voting patterns in the recent US election don’t touch on the racist rhetoric that the right has used for years. People of colour are frequent recipients of racist actions against them and the right’s use of racist language is completely internalized into their discourse and worldview. Just look at what Bill O’Reilly said post election:
“Obama wins because it’s not a traditional America anymore. The white establishment is the minority. People want things.”
The republican party thinks hispanics are not part of a traditional America. People of colour tend to notice these things. Obama has deported way more hispanic people than Bush ever did, and has not used his executive discretion to slow down enforcement till the DREAM act deferrals. But the democratic party has not been captured by the ugly racism that pervades anti-immigrant rhetoric in the US.
So, change positions all you want, and help pass real immigration legislation that helps the millions of Americans living a difficult undocumented life get documented. But, the right needs more than that. It needs to convince its supporters that racism is unacceptable and to punish, not reward people for saying racist things and acting in racist ways.
The attorney general of Utah, Mark Shurtleff, a conservative Republican, said he was part of an “education campaign” to persuade Republican officials that “they need to reject the run-’em-out, deport-’em, enforcement-only approach that people think is the only voice of the Republican Party.”
Update: Mitt Romney’s post election statements where he labels everyone other than White people “special interest groups” are yet more evidence.
Photo courtesy Lorenzolambertino photostream used under a creative commons licence.