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Does Tim Scott’s Election in South Carolina Prove There’s No Racism in Politics?

Liberals have been screaming for years that President Obama’s unpopularity among whites was due to racism, but does the election of Republican African-American Senator Tim Scott in South Carolina prove that there’s no racism in politics?

It’s an intriguing question in the wake of an election that also saw the election of two Black Republicans, Mia Love of Utah and Will Hurd of Texas, to the House of Representatives. All of these candidates were voted in by an overwhelming majority of white conservatives who appeared to have no problem pulling the lever (or punching the button) for an African-American candidate who shared their ideology.

This led writer W. James Antle III to conclude in TheWeek.com that “the real force behind America’s racial polarization isn’t racism. It’s politics.”

“Does that mean there is no racism on the right? Of course not,” Antle writes. “But it does mean that the color of a candidate’s party (red or blue) matters much more to voters than the color of a candidate’s skin.”

Antle also cited the rise of Black conservative Herman Cain as a presidential candidate in 2012 and the current clamor over conservative darling Dr. Ben Carson, who is considering a run for president in 2016, as further evidence that many white conservatives care more about your politics than your race.

It has been an eternal debate during the entire Obama administration whether the vehemence and extremism of his opposition was due to race or politics. Liberals accepted it as conventional wisdom that the presence of a Black man in the most powerful position on the planet had sent conservative whites into an enraged panic, perhaps signaling that the reign of the white man was over. But white conservatives have been firing back all along that their vehemence was prompted by the president’s policies, not his hue.

Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s of Louisiana said, in trying to explain away Obama’s unpopularity in her part of the world, “The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans.”

While African-Americans and liberals shrugged at what appeared to be one of the most obvious, uncontroversial statements ever uttered in politics, Republicans went after Landrieu with full-throated fury, claiming it was about Obama’s policies and that she was short-changing her fellow Southerners.

Antle appears to agree with those critics of Landrieu, citing the election in the South of nonwhite governors like South Carolina’s Nikki Haley and Louisiana’s own Bobby Jindal, in addition to the popularity of figures like Colin Powell, who the writer claims would have beaten President Clinton in 1996..

Antle claims that the seeming permanence of so many African-Americans in the Democratic Party has caused political polarization and racial polarization to sort of bleed over into each other.

“Political disagreements are becoming racial disagreements,” he writes. “In Mississippi in 2012, Mitt Romney won 89 percent of the white vote. Obama carried 96 percent of black voters. Thus you can know with something approaching 90 percent confidence that your white neighbor voted Republican and your black neighbor voted Democratic. And if you feel deep hostility toward people on the other side of the political divide, it can easily bleed into racial hostility, too.”

In such a climate, many African-Americans have begun to question the community’s blind allegiance to the Democratic Party, wondering if the community would have its needs better attended to and would have more policymakers addressing the community’s concerns, if there was more of a battle over the Black vote—by the two existing parties or even by an independent third party.

 

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5 thoughts on “Does Tim Scott’s Election in South Carolina Prove There’s No Racism in Politics?

  1. Anyone that believe there is no racism in politics or any other segment of America is either living in complete denial of the truth or is about as dumb as a box of rocks. The only thing that electing black officials proves, or that being able to live in any ZIP Code that my money can afford proves is laws have changed. These laws force white America to hold her tongue when I move next door or work in fortune 500 companies alongside them.

  2. Mitch Reed says:

    I'm sorry Mr. Hardwell, but I must disagree. I'm a white conservative. While I despise the President's policies, I don't despise the man himself. In fact; I am among the nearly one-half million people clamoring for Dr. Ben Carson for President in 2016 should he decide to run. While I was hoping for a Powell/Rice ticket (as in Condi) in 1996, clearly over Bob Dole (and you don't get any whiter than him). Dr. King said it best I believe; "Judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character." (I may be paraphrasing that, but you get my point).

    Is there racism by some in politics? You're absolutely right to think so…I think so too. However it is not limited to one party sir, and if you think that to be so, I honestly and respectfully would say you're mistaken IMO.

    It was the Democratic party that filibustered the Civil Rights Act…democrats like Al Gore's father along with former Klansman Robert Byrd, attempted to kill the bill creating the act. It was a republican President (Eisenhower) that originally sought a Civil Rights Act bill, and spearheaded two successful lesser ones, while Senate Majority Leader; Lyndon Johnson, killed the larger act in the Senate in 1957.

    Johnson rationalized that it must be the Democratic party that passes the Act, so Black Americans had to wait seven more years to gain their equality, so that Johnson's racially-charged political decision could pan out. It was Eisenhower BTW, that led the desegregated school movement in the south, while he also did so in the United States Armed Forces.

    So clearly Mr. Hardwell, while racism is sadly still a factor in politics, it is a factor of both parties sir…the facts speak for themselves. Two of Black America's greatest men; Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. considered themselves Republican, I am honored to be in their company. I wish you a pleasant day.

  3. Mitch Reed says:

    I'm sorry, but I went back and re-read your article Mr. Hardwell, and realized that I may have misconstrued your point. I initially took it to mean that you were calling out primarily Republicans given that was the point of the piece itself in this article was a R. vs. D. comparison.

    On deeper reflection, I do not believe you were singling out Republicans per se, but just the issue of race in politics in general. If so, let me simply address your closing point. I would refer you to my point above regarding Dr. King. I don't need to hold my tongue in any environment because I don't judge people for what they are, but merely…who they are along with what they stand for. That's why I want to see Ben Carson as our next President.

  4. Jack Meyer says:

    There is racism out there. However, huge progress has been made over the past 50 years. Unfortunately the Dems have spent the past 6 or more years seeking to divide the country, feeding minorities a line that they are hated by whites, etc. The author makes a pretty good point that another area of American life, politics is finally moving beyond race. Too bad the Dems can't accept that. Instead they say conservative blacks are tokens and Uncle Toms. The biggest race problem is on the Left.

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