By Clarence McKee
One thing that the Charlottesville tragedy laid bare for all to see was the hypocrisy of Republicans and Democrats on race and violence.
First the Republicans.
It seems that every major national and state-wide Republican of note rushed to condemn the white supremacy represented by those in Charlottesville protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.
The question for them: now that you have joined the anti-racism chorus and criticized President Trump for his responses on the matter, what have you done in your own spheres of influence to fight racism and foster racial dialogue?
For Congressional Republicans, Senators, Governors and candidates for statewide office who have been so quick to condemn racism:
How many Blacks are on your senior staffs, especially those of you who have significant Black populations in your Districts or states?
How many of you have Black political consultants who share in the lucrative contracts of your campaign committees and have town meetings in your Black communities?
As to Senator John McCain, R-Nev., and Mitt Romney who have commented on Charlottesville, if you are so concerned about race relations, why did your presidential campaigns all but ignore Blacks?
The list of Black Republicans for local, state, and national office who have advised me of how their candidacies and constituencies have received the back of the hand from local, state, and national Republican campaign organizations is too extensive to list.
Listen to George Farrell, Chairman of BLAKPAC which works for the election of conservative black and white officeholders such as successful Georgia GOP Congressional candidate Karen Handle who said: “I am greatly dismayed at how many GOP candidates for local, state, and federal offices have no desire to appeal to Black voters!”
Former Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll summed it up nicely:
“In the 21st century, it is unfortunate that the most significant accomplishments regarding Blacks that Republicans can point to — other than the historic and key appointments of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice under George W. Bush — was the crucial role Republicans played in the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 respectively — in the last century — and that Lincoln freed the slaves!”
And then we have the hypocrisy of Democrats.
While national Democrat leaders almost in masse condemned the violence and hateful rhetoric of white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, they have been mostly silent and turned a blind eye to expressions of hatred and violence from the left. They did not rush to condemn and disavow:
Missouri Democrat State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal who wrote “I hope Trump is assassinated.”
Black Lives Matter movement anti-cop protesters chanting “Pigs in a blanket fry ’em like bacon.”
New York demonstrators shouting they wanted “dead cops…now.”
Masked anti-Trump protesters who burned cars and smashed windows at the inauguration.
Mobs with clubs and shields who set fires, threw Molotov cocktails and smashed windows at Berkeley.
This past weekend we saw two more examples of Democrats’ hypocrisy: the failure to condemn the killing of two police officers in Kissimmee, Florida, and the shooting of four others — two in Jacksonville, Florida, and two in Pennsylvania; and, the refusal to disavow the anti-police rhetoric of protestors in Texas who chanted: “oink, oink, bang, bang” and “cops and Klan go hand in hand.”
The same media that rushed to get Republicans to comment on Trump’s Charlottesville statements rarely if ever finds the time to ask Democrats to comment on or disavow the hateful comments and actions cited above!
Progressives and Democrats seem to think that they are the only ones entitled to use inciteful and inflammatory language without consequence. We have seen Democrats feed the political vitriol by turning a blind eye to Kathy Griffin’s beheaded image of the president and the portrayal of the assassination of the president in a New York play.
If white supremacists see Democrats and left-wing protesters getting away with violent conduct and hateful language with little if any condemnation or accountability from the media or Democrat leaders, why shouldn’t they say “it’s our turn to reciprocate” as they did in Charlottesville?
Racial identity politics is dangerous no matter who plays the game — white supremacists like those in Charlottesville, or black and white Democrats who have made it an art form — especially over the past eight years!
Democratic politicians pretend they want racial harmony and non-violence, but, insist on fostering racial division with inflammatory rhetoric that exploits emotions and heightens tensions. Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Howard Dean implies that the GOP is the party of racism; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca., and Senator Corey Booker, D-N.J., want to remove confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol; and, Reverend Al Sharpton wants to end all public funding for the Jefferson memorial!
How many Black jobs and diplomas will that produce?
I have written in this space that the unchallenged, vitriolic and venomous language and violence of the left was going to “get someone hurt…or worse” and would not stop until it led to a “political execution.” Unfortunately, those predictions came to pass in Virginia and Charlottesville.
Democrats and their allies on the left are playing a dangerous game exploiting racial identity politics. It is only a matter of time before it results in more violence, injury, and death!
Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as in the Reagan presidential campaigns. He is a former co-owner of WTVT-TV in Tampa and former president of the Florida Association of Broadcasters.