William Bennett’s final solution to abort black babies to cut crime goes to the heart of the Republican Party’s race problem. And to add fuel to the fire, this educated fool had the audacity to say his wife, who couldn’t stop him from gambling away millions of dollars (and here) “has done more for inner city black girls than the entire [congressional] black caucus."
Few black voters are willing to give the GOP a chance (and here) because they don’t want to cast their lot with a party that was conceived in race and has shown that it’s not worthy of their trust. This weekend on Inside Washington, Colby King said:
He is one of their icons, and Bill Bennett is the poster child for racism. There's no way you can parse his words and get away from what he said. What he said was morally reprehensible. He has said, in effect, that blacks have a predisposition for being criminals. There's no way to get around that. Now the question is: How will his party handle him? Will they come to his defense? Or will they take the right position?
But Bennett's gaffe came on the heels of the shocking, and heart breaking scenes of thousands of poor blacks in New Orleans fleeing for their lives from Katrina's floodwaters. Blacks blamed Bush's catatonic response to the disaster on racism. Bush and the GOP have worked overtime since then to dispel any notion that the bungled response was racist, and Bush has even made a few bold declarations about attacking poverty, and the racism that fuels much of that poverty.
But Bush's slight nod to race and poverty can't easily dispel the deep suspicion that racism is still profoundly colors the GOP's racial thinking and policies. During the past decade, a parade of Republican state and local officials, conservative talk show jocks, and even some Republican bigwigs have made foot-in-the-mouth racist cracks that have got them in racial hot water. Their response when called on the carpet has always been the same. They make a duck and dodge denial, claim that they were misquoted, or issue a weak, half-hearted apology. And each time, the response from top Republicans is either silence, or if the firestorm is great enough, do a give the offender a much-delayed mild verbal hand slap.