Why the Democratic Party Clings to Racism

The continued nostalgia for racism on the part of the Democratic Party never ceases to amaze me. Last week, when Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) allowed as how the Tea Party Movement was similar to the KKK, my eyes rolled so far back in my head I almost had to clone a new cranium. Jewish boy to Jewish boy, Steve, that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard one of our co-religionists say in public. If anything, the Tea Partyers are the antithesis of racist - a collection of wild, freedom-loving quasi-libertarians who could care less about anyone’s color or background, far less than a former Ivy League snob like me. (PERSONAL NOTE: I was a civil rights worker in the South during the Sixties and would stay miles, I hope, from any movement that smacked of racism.)

Nevertheless, self-described liberals, progressives and what-not persist in telling us the Tea Party Movement is racist, despite the fact they have yet to produce an iota of concrete evidence to prove this absurd point. Well, okay, the Tea Party currently polls at 48 percent of the populace to Obama’s 44, so there’s bound to be a racist or two in there somewhere, just as there would be in any group that large, but I haven’t met them.

So what’s the deal? Why is the Democratic Party clinging to racism like a wall full of barnacles on the hull of a rusted ship? The most popular explanation is that that is their lever on political power. With 99 percent of African-Americans and 77 percent of Jewish-Americans (excuse the reactionary hyphens), not to mention a huge percentage of Hispanic-Americans, voting their way, what’s not to like? Keep America divided according to race and keep getting elected.