On August 15, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) (likely his staff) put out a tweet from his verified account condemning white supremacy and Nazism. It read in part, “…This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for…” Unfortunately for Rep. Ryan and the Republican Party, their actions on white supremacy and racism are far more audible than their words.
By now it is common knowledge that President Donald J. Trump courted the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, white supremacists and nationalists in his campaign. After all his chief policy adviser (before his exit earlier last week) was Steve Bannon, a founding member of the extreme right wing media site Breitbart which quite literally has a section labeled “Black crime.” Shortly after the appointment of Bannon within the White House, Democrats and Liberals across the country demanded he be removed for his outright racist slant on policy. But the GOP stood silent. Just like they did the entire 2016 election cycle.
But it doesn’t stop there for the Republican Party. For decades, they have been pushing through Congress laws designed to target minorities with “surgical precision” such as voter ID laws. The lie the party has spread about voter fraud has enabled them to disenfranchise millions of blacks and Latinos who generally vote Democratic. Stripping the right to vote from minorities is no less white supremacy than KKK rallies. And the GOP must be called out on it.
The Republican Party is not all that concerned with white supremacy. And the evidence is obvious. GOP Rep Steve King (R-Iowa) a few months back made remarks about building society with someone else’s babies. King, an ultra-right-wing congressmen, was referring to preserving “white culture and values” in America. And shockingly enough, GOP leadership said nothing.
Trump Remains Just As Complicit
And of course we cannot forget the awful statements by President Trump. His first lukewarm condemnation included blaming “both sides.” His second more boldly blamed white supremacist organizers as should have been done first. But his words on it may have been the worst.
Trump defended the Nazi groups in Charlottesville because they simply had permits to assemble. He then compared union traitor Robert E. Lee to the likes of presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Make no mistake. The president does not only support white supremacy; he’s a member of it himself.
Let’s be extremely clear. The Republican Party may have good PR condemning white nationalism and extremism. But it is exactly what the party is now. Although some factions are more extreme, the party is that of white nationalism. Either actively or passively. The Republican Party is responsible for Donald Trump and the resurrection of KKK values. And refusing to own it, outs them as the cowards they are.