GOP’s Racist, Privileged Image May Prove Problematic For Cleveland Ahead Of Convention

GOP Cops

By  , Addicting Info

Cleveland is playing host to the 2016 Republican National convention, and their strategy for it is, “Don’t be Baltimore.” Or Ferguson. Cleveland has its own racial problems, and its own dark stain. Cleveland was home to Tamir Rice, a black 12-year-old whom police shot and killed last fall. Like the killings of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, some sought to blame Rice for his own death. The GOP’s history of whitesplaining those things is not going to help racial tensions in Cleveland.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson says the city’s been reaching out to community leaders and faith leaders to help keep things calm ahead of the convention. Why? Because riots in Cleveland would mar the RNC convention, and leave a bitter taste in the mouths of everyone there regarding the GOP.

While most of the city and community leaders in Cleveland believe everything will be fine, some told Politico that the GOP is going to have to acknowledge that there is a problem with police racism and brutality, and that inner-city neighborhoods face problems that other neighborhoods do not.

Media Matters for America compiled a list of conservative media responses to Baltimore, and many of them are just flat-out ridiculous. Breitbart’s John Nolte said that there’s no rioting in North Carolina because they shoot rioters there. He also blamed union-run public schools for the problem.

Fox News contributor Bo Dietl recommended that police use deadly force against rioters throwing rocks. Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter said that Baltimore should “shoot some scumbag looters.”

Media Matters also said that Kevin Williamson, of the National Review Online, wondered if the riots in Baltimore were making any of his “lefty friends” in nearby D.C. rethink their 2nd Amendment rights. Laura Ingraham blamed a lack of fathers, discipline, and values for Baltimore.

These are the people who speak for the right, and often for Republicans. And then you have people like Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who said that Obama needed to make amends for months of “smear and slander” regarding Ferguson by inviting Officer Darren Wilson, who shot an unarmed Michael Brown, to the White House.

The New Yorker published an in-depth look at how the GOP’s primary contestants are responding to Baltimore, and it’s unsettling. Rand Paul (R-KY) has called for the end of militarized police forces; however, he also said on Fox News that he came through Baltimore on a train, and was glad the train didn’t stop. He’s also blamed bad family structure and the lack of a moral code in our society for what’s happened there.

Ted Cruz (R-TX) used Baltimore as a chance to take shots at President Obama for making racial tensions worse. Of course, you couldn’t expect Cruz to understand that the fact that things haven’t gotten better for black communities, even with Obama in the White House, could fuel simmering anger over decades of institutional racism.

Jeb Bush tried to be sensitive in his remarks about Baltimore, but he, too, repeated a bunch of Republican talking points. He blamed Rudy Giuliani’s “broken windows” policing system, and the idea that support systems actually create dependency, for what’s happening. He also said that now isn’t the time to talk about the systemic, underlying problems that led to Ferguson and Baltimore. If not now, then when?

In other words, the community leaders who think that the GOP is going to have to acknowledge that there is still a real race problem in this country at the national convention in Cleveland are probably right. Police shot and killed Tamir Rice for no reason; he didn’t threaten them, he didn’t try to engage them. The officer that shot him saw the gun, and shot first without question.

If the GOP convention is going to be held in a city that has a problem similar to that of Baltimore and Ferguson, then to avoid serious problems, they cannot gloss over these events. They cannot blame the black community, and the victims. They cannot say that the problem is a lack of male role models and a lack of values. They have to look at the problem for what it is, acknowledge it, and actually put forth some real ideas for solutions.

Can we expect that of the GOP, though? Time will tell, but probably not.

Reprinted with permission from Addicting Info


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