We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.-
It’s generally true that if you scratch long enough at the scab of nationalism, you’ll eventually expose the pus seeping wound of racism beneath the surface. In American right wing politics, racism usually takes the form of nativism. They will ramble on and on about “legal immigration“, while they conveniently control who is and isn’t “legal“.
These racists (let’s please call them what they are) love to paint all illegal immigrants with the same broad brush, and every time some white American citizen is murdered by a some immigrant, it immediately provokes them to unanimously demand something be done about the millions of individuals who had nothing to do with the murder.
Point this out, and the racists resort to claiming illegal immigrant are criminals, because they are breaking immigration laws. By this argument, every slave who ran away from a southern slave owner was a criminal. Every East German who climbed over the Berlin Wall was a criminal. Every Jew who escaped Nazi execution was a criminal.
They aren’t always criminals, are they? It’s strangely convenient that nativists are perfectly fine with Cuban immigrants who rarely have any documentation but also tend to vote Republican (at least the first generation). The racists have no qualms with this immigration, but with Mexicans, who tend to vote Democratic, not so much.
Why the difference? Cuban voters have historically helped prop up the white political hegemony that the Buchanan nationalist right of the Republican Party have always openly sought to maintain. Cubans, however, are only the latest minority mules to prop up the Grand Old Party politically. Before them were American blacks.
It’s not an accident, after all, that of the 44 new Republicans going to the House, 43 of them are white men. In 2019, there will be 198 Republicans Representatives and 53 Republican Senators. Of those 251 Republicans, 2 will be black. 2. What other conclusion are Americans supposed to draw when they look at the Republican Party?
Are we to believe that the Republicans looked far and wide for minority candidates in their ranks and simply couldn’t find more than 2? Or is it that Republicans only have political influence in predominately white constituencies? Do either of these possible explanations indicate a political party where race isn’t a dominate factor?
So is it really a surprise at all that the anti-immigrant nativism central to Trumpism took root in a political party with only 2 black members of Congress? If we were to assume the Republican Party was the last political bastion of American racism, then would it look much different than it does today? 2 isn’t much more than none at all.
In post-Charlottesville America, we no longer have the luxury of trying to pretend that racism in politics is strictly an invention of leftist rhetorical dogma. The same guys marching around with tiki torches weren’t wearing Obama caps, so it’s time to admit that both “Trumpism” and “nativism” are racism. The right has a racism problem.
Liberty is For The Win!