Landrieu's stupid statement and playing the race card
Written by  // Tuesday, 04 November 2014 14:35 //

guilloryDid Senator Mary Landrieu call Louisiana voters racist?

Are the Louisiana GOP voters really so offended by her comments or are they playing the race-card themselves, but, in a totally different manner?


Did Mary Landrieu use the “race card” as she is accused of doing with her statement to NBC Chuck Todd last week?

Landrieu did not use the word “racist” nor did she even name Louisiana in her comments.  Also, despite what is being claimed by Governor Jindal, the Louisiana Republican Party, not ever voter is so offended as the anti-Landrieu’s say we are.

The worse thing she did was to overstate, stupidly.  I’ve now read reams of opinion pieces by the normal conservative cheerleaders who feign outrage as if their very heart was deliberately shattered in pieces with a sharp blade.

Why is Obama so unpopular?

I believe she should have said, “for a variety of reasons. Louisiana is a very conservative state, perhaps the most conservative in the US.  Many Louisiana voters believe that Obama’s solutions to problems are at odds with theirs.

The stimulus, Obamacare, the bailouts, the BP oil spill have not been popular decisions in Louisiana.

Also, Louisiana and the deep south have a long-history of not being sensitive to black causes and since Obama is black and continues to promote those causes, his popularity which was already very low among Louisiana voters has continued to drop.

Had she said this or something close to it, would Jindal, the GOP and others have gone into such hyperventilation?

Probably not, but this is an election year and Governor Jindal must make himself relevant to Louisiana voters as he prances to help a Florida Governor and other GOP candidates nationally except for here in Louisiana.

And, surely, the GOP must flex its muscles, having been made relatively impotent given the incredible infusion of PAC monies now evading them.

Actually, when you think about it, what could be a better way to make Mary Landrieu look bad than to take umbrage with her statement, claim she called us all “racists”, act like a victim, and with the same stroke, point to the handful of blacks they can claim they now support and who now back them?

It was a PR victory made in Hollywood, except Hollywood is the land of the liberals, so, let’s use Hollywood South, instead.

So, did Landrieu play the race card?

No.  She played the stupid card.

Landrieu had to know that the GOP and gang are marvelous at claiming to be victims of false claims of racism.

The Louisiana GOP used the same tactic when Karen Carter Peterson also made her own stupid political comment claiming that the main reason Louisiana was against Obamacare was race.

Immediately, Roger Dodger Villere and gang shouted out that Peterson is calling us a racist, when, in actuality, she did not even use the term, either.

Instead, the GOP and Jindal made tremendous hay over those unwise statements, even turning it into a weapon—“Peterson’s the racist, not us”.

So, far a moment, let us look at the term “race card” and see when it fits.

For the past few years, the GOP has been parading Senator Elbert Guillory’s conversion to the GOP as a way to serve many purposes.

Guillory, the only black republican legislator and one of the very few republican public officials in the state, has gone on record, creating online videos, claiming to be “free at last” from Democratic-control oppression.

Recently, he made a video that blamed Mary Landrieu for the black plight in Louisiana.  He claimed in the video that blacks are not her cause, just another vote.  After doing so, the republicans pushed it out as further evidence that a black GOP leader knows better than Landrieu and all of the tens of thousands of other black leaders who support Landrieu and the Democratic approach to fixing the black problems.

Is pushing a video by a single black republican blasting Landrieu for hurting blacks, using the race card?

In my books, it’s a lot closer than anything Landrieu did last week.

I don’t blame Guillory for feeling betrayed by the Democratic Party.  Nor do I think the Democratic Party has the only answers to the horrors of black poverty, lack of education and poverty and a life of hopelessness.

But, blaming Landrieu in the way he did for hurting blacks and castigating her as a villain, is absurd political made-for-elections drama. 

Guillory’s presence in the Louisiana political dialogue raises another issue.  The GOP, after falsely being accused of being racists then asks the question—“how can I be a racist if we back Guillory or this black candidate for President or that black candidate for whatever?”

Nobody has called them racists.  Not me.                                                                                                

In my view, some are racially insensitive.  Others are biased against blacks.  Others honestly believe they have better solutions than can help blacks than those offered by Democrats.

But, whites claiming the lack of prejudice against blacks because they have a black or two in their corner is nothing new.

KKK’er David Duke paraded former civil rights activist James Meredith’s endorsements as often as possible.

You mean, David Duke is not a racist because he and former civil rights hero James Meredith now speak the same language?

Surely, Meredith was a gift for Duke.  He could use Meredith to justify his claim that he was not a bigot anymore.

It was a relationship made in Hollywood South.

So, simply because republicans can wave a few black conservatives in their fold, does not mean that some of these republicans do not lack sympathy for black causes.

It does not make them racist either.  It also does not mean that only they and their African American adherents have the solutions to help blacks help themselves, either.

It is not easy to call someone a racist today but it is not hard to have the gut feeling of bias and prejudice when you see and hear it.

For example, today when I was a guest on talk radio, a caller referring to Obama said blacks can’t govern, “look at Africa”.  I hear those kind of statements quite often--almost daily, from some of the best of people, not just those who would wear white sheets and bear crosses. 

A statement of prejudice?  In my books, absolutely.

True, whites are not the only ones with strong racial feelings of blame.  There are black leaders who fully capitalize on the African American plight for their own personal benefits.  Al Sharpton is one, Jesse Jackson is another.  I can name many more.

But, until I see more blacks at Tea Party rallies than just a single black speaker running for President on the “I’m not black ticket”, until more blacks are hired for private employment other than being forced to do so, until more Whites stop privately ridiculing blacks for being lazy or stupid, until whites stop being scared when an African American moves into the neighborhood, until Republicans stop calling Democrats the party of blacks, then and only then will I believe that racial insensitivity, bias and prejudice is no longer prevalent in our everyday white and black lives.

Mary Landrieu indeed made a stupid political statement and she will pay the price today and into the future.  Unquestionably, she should have and could have articulated her reasons in a way that would be more acceptable to most people other than the truly partisan and haters.  It is also reasonable for White republicans and democrats to look at her statement and feel insulted.

But, did she play the race card?

No more than the republicans using Guillory for their own purposes to blame their political opponent in the vilest of terms and showing glee that they possess the black power weapon of their own that justifies their world view on race and government.

Let us face it.  The charges of “race card” usage has been and will be with us forever.

So will bias and prejudice against one another, black against white and white against black.

Unfortunately, that’s in our cards.  It is up to us all to do better.


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