Time and again, we’ve heard prominent members of the GOP make racially charged comments when discussing crime, gun violence, immigration, and social policies. We roll our eyes, we laugh, we look the other way, or most typically, we subvert a combination of all three.
It’s the GOP’s awkward elephant (pun intended) in the room, that a substantial part of their (primarily white) voter base harbors racist and prejudicial ideologies. Collin Powell recognized its veritable presence, as did Condoleeza Rice, and frankly, one would think that the resounding victories by Obama in 2008 and 2012 would prove to the GOP that they must reform their messages, missions, and policies to be more inclusive if they hope to thrive in a changing America.
One would think.
So why is the racist, xenophobic, and prejudicial rhetoric from the GOP getting intensified in this critical election year?
Spend time with “young thugs,” not CNN.
That was one of the recommendations Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) had for President Barack Obama in a memo Wednesday on gun violence that he posted to Facebook.
Wrote Mica: “Conduct town hall meetings, not on CNN, but rather with young thugs in homicide-prone cities like Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit and New Orleans … ”
These are the words many members of the modern GOP use to impress “their base.” That the words aren’t even surprising or big news is telling. This talk from some Republican politicians is becoming standard. And it’s hard to believe that this is any sort of an attempt to have a useful conversation on race or anything else.
Who was Mica talking to? He was talking to his constituents in Florida. Next year, Mica’s district will be more Hispanic, yet this is his GOP messaging as Hispanics gain political power and influence. But Mica, 72, is old. He’s been in Congress for 23 years. Perhaps he can’t (or won’t) adjust to changing demographics.