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Why Are Republicans Scared Of Selma?

March 6, 2015

There is no doubt, given the rancid and vile emails that were written and laughed about among members of the Ferguson Police Department, and the wretched jokes and slurs aimed at President Obama over the past 6 years that racism in America is very much alive.  When one looks at police misconduct in some places around the nation, and the still all-too-often ‘crime’ of driving-while-black impacting places both North and South there is no reason anyone should feel the racial divide is healed.  Racism still seeps deep into our culture and though we like to pretend we are so removed from it, or above it, or beyond it the truth of the matter is we are not.

But when there are ways to mend fences, or reduce tensions, or mend rips and they are not taken one has to ask why.  The most recent example of this falls upon the shoulders of the Republican leadership in congress.

None of the top leaders — House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy or Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was once thought likely to attend to atone for reports that he once spoke before a white supremacist group — will be in Selma for the three-day event that commemorates the 1965 march and the violence that protesters faced at the hands of white police officers. A number of rank-and-file Republicans have been aggressively lobbying their colleagues to attend, and several black lawmakers concurred.

“It is very disappointing that not a single Republican leader sees the value in participating in this 50th commemoration of the signing of the Voting Rights Act. I had hoped that some of the leadership would attend, but apparently none of them will,” said Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina. “The Republicans always talk about trying to change their brand and be more appealing to minority folks and be in touch with the interests of African-Americans. This is very disappointing.”

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