On Saturday, former Florida Governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush tweeted support for the growing calls for racial equality, asking “are other Republican elected officials stepping up?” Apparently he hasn’t noticed, but they aren’t. They haven’t for a long time now.
Proud of my son. Are other Republican elected officials stepping up? https://t.co/8FqnKTUrLe
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) June 6, 2020
Republicans bought southern votes with racist dog whistles, as the story of the Southern Strategy shows. While there are those who deny that a Republican Southern Strategy – meant to refer to the plan for the GOP to win back the south in the 1970s after it had been a Democratic stronghold for years – ever existed, Ronald Reagan’s campaign manager, Lee Atwater, contradicted that claim several years ago.
As reported in The Nation, Atwater’s description of the Southern Strategy as it changed over time in the Republican Party was:
‘You start out in 1954 by saying, “N*gger, n*gger, n*gger.” By 1968 you can’t say “n*gger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N*gger, n*gger.”’
Maybe Jeb didn’t notice the Confederate flags flown by the Tea Party Republicans in 2010. Perhaps he missed the white supremacists who scream their support for the current Republican candidate on Twitter. Is it possible that he missed Reagan’s “welfare queen” propaganda, or his father’s Willie Horton ads, or his brother’s failure to help black Americans in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
The GOP stopped supporting the fight for racial equality many years ago and only serve today to maintain silence around those issues or to directly make them worse. That’s how Donald Trump became the Republican president.
Twitter was both supportive and critical of Bush’s tweet. Read some of their comments below:
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