We’re all supposed to be outraged at DNC Chair Howard Dean’s comment this week that Republicans are “a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It’s pretty much a white Christian party.” The part that upsets some Republicans, of course, is being called a “white Christian party.” It upsets them because it’s true.
If this all sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve done this before. In February, Dean addressed the Democratic Black Caucus, saying: “You think the Republicans could get this many people of color in a single room? Only if they had the hotel staff in here.” Some Republicans were angry, then, too. Why? Because it hit so close to home.
Republican gatherings are like flipping through an L.L. Bean catalog. Are these folks Christian? I don’t know. But I can’t see how an atheist, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist or Hindu would feel comfortable in a party that continuously reminds Americans that Christianity is the one true religion, and of any nation that isn’t Christian, “we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”
If the Republican Party places such an emphasis on racial diversity and fairness of opportunity, I want to know why Jerry Kilgore replaced a 3/5 black staff with an all-white staff when he took over as Secretary of Public Safety. Does Mr. Kilgore think that blacks are less competent? Or does he believe that only whites can properly uphold his positions?
Republicans who are uncomfortable with the topic of race should cause them to criticize within, not without.