Monday, January 16, 2006

We can't let the Dream die out

The Dream is not dead yet, but it's not complete either. The Republicans would like you to believe that racism is not a problem anymore. Racism is only a feature of the fringe (of course they don't say the fringe RIGHT) and since there are fewer racists going around in white hoods and burning crosses, racism must be dying out by now. That's why affirmative action is not needed, that's why you could still have all-white juries sentencing black defendants to death, that's why you can have poll taxes disguised as benign attempts to prevent voter fraud which only minorities seem to do these days.

The Republicans always accuse minorities of playing the race card when they cry out for social justice. It appeals well to the angry white male who can now claim that he is being victimized by reverse discrimination, especially in the case of affirmative action. Republicans use Dr. King's rhetoric about living in an America where you aren't judged by the color of your skin to further their agenda of removing affirmative action and in the case of some extremists like Alito, giving employers the right to discriminate based on the color of the skin by claiming dubious rationales of "merit." With Alito's confirmation, 40 years of progress in civil rights will be turned back, and America will go back to the so-called "Golden Age" before the Civil Rights movement, where the federal government did not bother to protect minorities, where Southerners were free to institute segregation in the name of states' rights (another code word).

They always accuse us of playing the race card when you have a black conservative, more likely a black extremist like Janice Rogers Brown who is hostile to affirmative action and thinks corporations have the absolute right to rape the environment, discriminate against anyone they please, and believes regulation is unconstitutional. We're not concerned that she's black, that's fine, but the fact that the GOP loved her record and nominated her so that if the Democrats filibustered, they could claim the Dems were racist is nothing more than playing the race card. The fact that she's an extremist is what concerns us.

If the Republicans were truly concerned about minorities and if they wanted to gather more of the minority vote, especially the African-American vote, perhaps they should stop nominating judges who would turn back the clock on civil rights. Perhaps they should stop using the Southern Strategy by appealing to racist, hick redneck morons in the South. Perhaps they should come to realize that being in the racist, homophobic, sexist CAP is allowing your bigoted side to come out.

Alito's confirmation, unless the Dems can muster up the courage to filibuster, will harken the day when corporations have more rights than people. People will have their rights trampled by corporations who will be allowed to discriminate as much as they please, lower wages, and violate safety regulations, which could be struck down. Regulation will be replaced by no regulation at all because this would violate the constitutional rights of corporations deemed people.

Alito would uphold laws designed to undermine voting rights such as the Georgia Photo ID law. He would also uphold convictions given to black defendants by an all-white jury where blacks have been purged from the jury pool. Alito does not deserve to be on the Supreme Court, especially considering that it's basically a life appointment. Bush may be gone by 2008 but the damage he'll have done to the country will last generations.

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