“Simple Minded Darkies”…

The excuses as to why black folks won’t vote for Republicans should be a American Horror Story franchise, all on their own. Projection isn’t just something done in theaters…

Incoming Nevada Speaker Said Democrats Have ‘Master-Slave’ Relationship With ‘Simple Minded Darkies’

Nevada Assemblyman Ira Hansen (R), who the assembly’s Republican caucus selected as their choice to be its next speaker earlier this month, has a long history of racist, sexist and homophobic statements chronicled in a long list published by the Reno News Review. Among other things, as part of a broader statement of support for school vouchers, Hansen claimed that “[t]he relationship of Negroes and Democrats is truly a master-slave relationship, with the benevolent master knowing what’s best for his simple minded darkies.” Indeed, according to the News Review, Hansen keeps a Confederate battle flag on his wall, which he says that he flies “proudly in honor and in memory of a great cause and my brave ancestors who fought for that cause.” He also “tends to use the term ‘Negro’ and often does not capitalize it.”

 Hansen has also published several columns attacking Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., including one where he claims that “King’s private life was trashy at best. … King Jr. is as low as it gets, a hypocrite, a liar, a phony, and a fraud.” In another piece, he wrote that “[t]he lack of gratitude and the deliberate ignoring of white history in relation to eliminating slavery is a disgrace that Negro leaders should own up to.”

Nor does Hansen reserve his condemnations for African Americans. He’s argued that “women do not belong in the Army or Navy or Marine Corps, except in certain limited fields.” He’s criticized the “sexual revolution” and the “women’s liberation movement” for encouraging women “to act as foolishly as men.” And he also claims to have a strange obsession with gay child molesters. He once wrote that he’s “been keeping a rough tally on homosexual/heterosexual molesters as reported locally” and that this inquiry revealed that “and roughly half of all molestations involve homosexual men preying on boys.” As the News Review notes, “Hansen gave no details, nor did he publish his list, nor did he explain how he knew the sexuality of the alleged molesters.”

When incoming assembly members are sworn in, Republicans will enjoy a 25-17 majority over Democrats, all but ensuring that their choice for the speaker’s chair will preside over the chamber.

Welcome to the “Confederate States of America”…

More Dirt in Ferguson

If you peruse some of the boards and blogs on the Internet, the conservascum racists are out in full glory about Michael Brown’s murder. One of the issues is why exactly did the town blow up over the shooting?

My theory has been there have been a lot of incidents which have led up to the rioting – and more than just the scam the police and judges were running to skim money from the residents.

What sort of person is Officer Wilson?

Well, you might get an idea from this video released by the Guardian…

Officer who shot and killed Michael Brown is seen telling Mike Arman ‘I’m gonna lock your ass up’ if he does not stop

Video footage has emerged showing Darren Wilson – the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri – threatening and arresting a resident who refused to stop filming him with a cellphone.

Wilson is seen standing near his Ferguson police SUV and warning Mike Arman: “If you wanna take a picture of me one more time, I’m gonna lock your ass up.” Arman, who had requested Wilson’s name, replies: “Sir, I’m not taking a picture, I’m recording this incident sir.”

The officer then walks to the porch of Arman’s home and apprehends him, after telling him that he does not have the right to film. The 15-second clip was uploaded to YouTube on Friday but recorded in 2013, according to police documents.

Arman, 30, was charged with failing to comply with Wilson’s orders. He claimed in an interview on Saturday that the charge was dropped after he told his lawyer he had video footage of the incident. Arman, who runs a small housing non-profit, has a criminal record and has previously been charged with resisting arrest.

“I was working on my porch with my toolbelt on and was being cordial,” Arman said of the incident. “But I wanted to safeguard myself by recording what happened.” Filming police officers carrying out their duties is widely considered to be legal and protected by the first amendment of the US constitution.

Court and police officials in Ferguson could not be reached for comment. When asked on Friday whether the officer in the video clip was Wilson, a spokesman for the Ferguson police department told the Guardian in an email: “I don’t think that is him.” The spokesman did not respond to further questions.

But a police incident report confirms that Wilson arrested Arman at his home on Redmond Avenue on 28 October 2013. The report states Wilson had arrived to issue a court summons regarding derelict vehicles that were being left on the property in violation of city rules. Redacted images of the report were first published by the Free Thought Project….more…

And that is by no means the worst of the police criminal behavior that has been going on in Ferguson…

 

From the Daily Beast

Rape, Lies & Videotape in Ferguson

A pregnant woman’s account of being assaulted by a city police officer and a video of an aggressive Darren Wilson are only heightening the foreboding over the Michael Brown grand jury.

…And a video was posted on YouTube of a citizen’s October 2013 encounter with a uniformed cop who a police department spokesman suggests was not Wilson but almost certainly was.

The department spokesman’s doubts notwithstanding, the ensuing arrest report was fielded by none other than Wilson, badge 609. The report states that Wilson had been preparing to issue 30-year-old Mike Arman a summons for having broken-down cars in his yard, in violation of one of the ordinances that allow the city to raise millions of dollars from poor and working people and issue an annual average of three warrants per household. Wilson attests that he arrested Arman for “failure to comply” after he supposedly ignored instructions to “remove the camera from my face in order for us to complete the process of the derelict vehicles.”

Never mind that Arman’s camera was those eight strides from being in Wilson’s face. Wilson also cited Arman for “violation of pit bull regulations,” saying there were three in the yard. Arman would insist that he has only a bulldog.

Wilson’s narrative is enough at odds with the videotape that the possibility arises that his written account is in possible violation of state law 575.080 against making false reports to a law-enforcement officer. That would seem to apply even if you are one yourself.

The report ends with Wilson transporting Arman to the Ferguson jail….

In any event, Arman seems to have fared much better than a woman who was consigned to the correctional staff at the Ferguson jail after being pulled over for an expired license plate and giving a false name on Oct. 9, 2013.

The woman is identified only by the initials J.W. in court papers from a subsequent federal civil-rights lawsuit. She is described as having been “in her work clothes, that is, nursing scrubs,” as Hayden commenced to fingerprint her and take her mug shot.

“J.W. heard Hayden say softly, ‘You smell good,’” the papers report. “Hayden softly said words to the effect, ‘This will teach you a lesson.’”

The papers note that J.W. had never met Hayden before. She was placed in a cell and Hayden told her that she also had outstanding traffic warrants in other jurisdictions. He repeatedly walked past her cell.

“J.W. was distraught and said words to the effort of, ‘Let me go… I haven’t done anything wrong… I just don’t have money to get my plates,’” the papers report. “Hayden said words to the effect of, ‘Be quiet… Others will hear.’”

The report goes on, “J.W. sensed that Hayden was acting in a sexually provocative manner toward her. J.W. did not respond… J.W. told Hayden that she was several months pregnant. J.W.’s pregnancy was showing.”

J.W. then informed Hayden that she was suffering “pain and discharges.” Hayden checked with a superior and summoned an ambulance. The EMTs checked J.W. and said it was up to Hayden whether she was released into their custody.

“Hayden did not indicate a decision in J.W.’s presence,” the papers say. “Hayden and the EMTs left the room. J.W. never saw the EMTs again.”

Salvation must have seemed at hand when J.W.’s boyfriend arrived and posted the necessary bond to free her on the new Ferguson charges. Hayden removed J.W. from her cell and had her sign some official forms.

“Hayden began to make remarks with words to the effect of, ‘You’re the type of girl that can get me in trouble,’” the papers report.

The papers go on to note: “J.W. was crying. J.W. kept asking to go home. J.W. said, ‘I will do anything to go home.’”

The papers emphasize, “By that remark J.W. did not intend to deliver the message that she would have sex with Hayden in exchange for release. The remark was in the nature of a rhetorical statement while in an emotional state of extreme distress.”

Hayden continued to say that J.W. had outstanding warrants. J.W. had no way of knowing that he had not notified any of those other jurisdictions that she was in custody.

“J.W. was in great fear,” the papers report. “Hayden said, ‘Follow me.’”

The papers allege that Hayden escorted J.W. down a number of hallways.

“Hayden took J.W. into a boiler room in the City of Ferguson jail,” the papers charge. “Hayden then unbuttoned his pants, removed his penis.”

The papers report that J.W. was too afraid to resist his command for her to perform oral sex on him. She nonetheless seems to have proved herself the wrong woman to assault.

“J.W. captured some of Hayden’s pubic hairs in her hand,” the papers report.

She held on to the hair as Hayden led her further back into the boiler room.

“Hayden then had J.W. bend over and he indicated that he was going to have intercourse with her,” the papers say. “Because she was afraid, J.W. did not resist.”

The papers suggest that Hayden was careful not to leave any DNA-laden material.

“Hayden ejaculated in his hand,” the papers allege. “Hayden then released J.W. from jail custody via a side door to the building… Hayden told J.W. words to the effect of, ‘Run and stay close to the building.’”

The papers suggest that this was to avoid security cameras. Hayden might well have imagined he had no further worries, that he was at the very worst in the realm of “he said, she said.” He does not seem to have anticipated that she could have maintained such remarkable presence of mind.

“Immediately after the rape, J.W. went to a Subway restaurant across the street and retained a bag to hold the captured pubic hair,” the papers go on to recount.

J.W’s sister came and took her to a hospital emergency room. Investigators from the St. Louis County Police responded. J.W. presented them with her evidence.

“DNA analysis has confirmed that the public hair is from Hayden,” the papers say.

One remaining question, a question the authorities have not yet answered, is why they took more than a year to arrest Hayden when such seemingly damning evidence was available almost immediately. And then he was charged not with forcible rape, but with having sex with a prisoner and then aiding her escape. His attorney says he will be pleading not guilty at his arraignment in December.

Another lawyer closely associated with the case has indicated that the FBI had become involved in the investigation. That suggests the feds may have come across the stalled case after the shooting of Michael Brown, when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a larger investigation into the way law enforcement is conducted in Ferguson.

Even though J.W. and Hayden are both black, she felt only right in filing a federal civil-rights suit on Friday against him and the City of Ferguson. The suit charges that she was denied due process by being raped by a correction officer while in custody.

“The conduct of City of Ferguson law enforcement in engaging in repeated acts of violence and constitutional violations against the citizenry constitutes a pattern,” the suit charges. “The city has taken inadequate steps or no steps at all to control the violent acts of its law-enforcement personnel.”

Another federal lawsuit, one in which a man was arrested in a case of mistaken identity and then charged with destroying property by bleeding on the uniforms of the Ferguson cops who allegedly beat him, was tossed out by a lower court judge who ruled the complainant’s injuries were not sufficiently serious. That case is due to be heard by an appeals court next month.

 

 

 

Conservative Down – Yet Another Con faces Criminal Charges

So far this week we have seen one Republican Governor indicted in Va for taking bribes…

A Republican Governor in New Jersey under Federal investigation, in what started as a case of political payback, and has now expanded to corruption charges, and even meetings with a purported Mafia Capo…

And now, one of the formerly shining voices of the right, Dines D’Souza being indicted for election fraud.

I mean…It’s only January, and you have two guys formerly touted as potential Presidential material, and a highly influential voice on the Christian Right potentially looking at jail time.

How bad is it? You even have Glen Beck apologizing!

This should be a TV reality show.

The latest conservative icon to face charges is Dinesh D’Souza. Author of “Illiberal Education“, the controversial “The End of Racism“, and the Anti-Obama hate Movie

2016: Obama’s America” which was a major hit with the racist conservative sector.

Dinesh D’Souza’s Series of Unfortunate Events

Author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza was indicted for encouraging fraudulent campaign donations—just the latest in a spiral that has all but sunk his career in the conservative movement.

Conservative author, filmmaker and provocateur Dinesh D’Souza was indicted Thursday on charges of using straw donors to make illegal contributions to a college classmate’s 2012 campaign.

The indictment, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, accuses D’Souza of “willfully and knowingly” surpassing the $5,000 limit for individual campaign donations by directing others to donate to the campaign of Wendy Long, who unsuccessfully challenged New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012. According to the document, D’Souza and his then-wife, Dixie, each contributed $5,000 to Long’s campaign, and he reimbursed others for $20,000 he had encouraged them to donate.

D’Souza worked with Long on the infamousDartmouth Review, an edgy conservative newspaper at Dartmouth College known for launching smart young right-wingers to prominence. In 1990, the pairapologized for printing an anti-Semitic quote from Hitler’s Mein Kampf in an edition of the publication distributed on Yom Kippur—an antic typical of theReview’s ethos of deliberate provocation. Long went on to become an attorney at several conservative institutions, including the Claremont Institute. She made her first run for office in 2012, and lost in a landslide to Gillibrand, New York’s incumbent Democratic senator.

According to the New York Times], Long raised about $785,000 in the race, with D’Souza hosting one of her fundraisers. D’Souza’s lawyer denied any criminal intent in the apparent plot to reimburse donors to Long’s campaign, saying it was “at most … an act of misguided friendship.”

The indictment is just the latest in a tangle of personal and professional difficulties that swarmed around D’Souza at what was arguably the height of his success: the popularity of his 2012 anti-Obama documentary 2016: Obama’s America. The film, which was released in the summer of 2012 and became a slow-burn hit with conservatives in the run-up to the presidential election, earned over $33 million at the box office and was the highest-grossing documentary since 1982. But just a couple of months into the film’s promotion, D’Souza was out of a job: he resigned his lucrative position as president of the King’s College, a small evangelical Christian school in Manhattan, over reportsthat he was engaged to a 29-year-old woman while still being married to his wife of 20 years.

D’Souza’s departure from the King’s College was the symbolic end of his career in the institutional conservative movement, which had grown increasingly exasperated with his string of conspiratorial books that failed to live up to his reputation as a star of conservative scholarship. (One advanced the notion that America’s moral decadence led to 9/11; another launched the meme, which has long since become a political punch line, that Obama was a “Kenyan anti-colonialist.”) D’Souza’s tenure at the King’s College was fraught with conflict, as some faculty members viewed him as a name-brand hire who lacked appropriate academic credentials and who was more interested in his own money-making projects than in fundraising for the college.

The conflict came to a head in October, when the evangelical magazine Worldalleged that D’Souza had shared a hotel room with Denise Odie Joseph, a young woman who had written a fawning blog about about him, and introduced her as his fiancée despite still being married. The college had apparently been aware of D’Souza’s marital problems, but decided to end its relationship with him once news of the scandal engulfed the school.

Despite that flameout, D’Souza’s prospects seemed as bright as ever: his wildly successful documentary was one of the most profitable projects of his career, at least since his hagiographic biography of Ronald Reagan was published in 1999. D’Souza had discovered the lucrative business of hitting the sweet spots of the conservative movement with a mixture of Christian apologetics, celebration of conservative heroes, and paranoid attacks on liberals. Even if it was unlikely he would continue to be given quasi-scholarly positions in conservative institutions, the financial prospects of political propagandizing had never looked better.

But even the glow of his documentary’s success was interrupted by legal headaches. While the King’s College scandal was erupting, D’Souza was sued by Douglas Sain, the producer of 2016: Obama’s America. Sain alleged that D’Souza had mismanaged funds from the movie and kept his partners out of crucial decisions about the film’s marketing and distribution. A judge eventually threw out the suit, concluding that the charges “lacked specificity.”

D’Souza was last seen in an informercial for a friend’s artificial Christmas tree

Exorcism in Maryland Results in Death of Two Children

Proving that the Tea Party didn’t quite get every nutcase in America elected last term…

And the possible impact of watching one too many Twilight reruns.

This is another datapoint in why we, as a country – need to get a hell of a lot better on access to, and treatment of mental illness in our midst. Up to and including re-establishing long term facilities supporting the poor and middle class. Conservative “saint” Raygun kicked the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street as homeless, and the country has been paying a high toll for that bit of conservative “logic” ever since.

Police: Md. mother kills 2 kids while performing exorcism

 

GERMANTOWN, Md. (WUSA9) — A mother killed two of her own children while performing an exorcism in Germantown, Md., police said.

Montgomery County police have charged two women for murder in the Friday deaths of a 1-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl.

Zakieya Latrice Avery, the mother of the children is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the killings, and two counts of attempted first-degree murder, as two other children remain hospitalized after Friday’s attack. Avery, 28, of the 19000 block of Cherry Bend Drive in Germantown, is being held without bond.

Monifa Denise Sanford, 21, who was also at the scene, has been released from the hospital and has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of the two kids and two counts of attempted murder for two children who are still in the hospital. She is also being held without bond.

Police identified the deceased children as Norell N. Harris, a 1-year-old male, and Zyana Z. Harris, a 2-year-old female.

The hospitalized children are identified as Taniya Harris, a 5-year-old female, and Martello Harris, a 8-year-old male.

People have laid down flowers, candles, and teddy bears in front of the home where the two children were killed and the two others were injured. A vigil was held Saturday night to remember the small children who were stabbed to death.

“It’s kind of horrifying for any father, any grandfather,” State’s Attorney John McCarthy said Friday. “These are hard cases,” he said, his voice breaking.

There has been no update on the condition of Taniya or Martello.

Charter Failure and Corruption

Another conservative failure – privatization of schools.

The Charter “Movement” never was about better education for kids – it is all about lining folks pockets and destroying politically influential teacher’s unions.

So…when is someone going to step in and stop this criminal farce?

The truth about charter schools: Padded cells, corruption, lousy instruction and worse results

Imagine your 5-year-old boy went to a school where he was occasionally thrown in a padded cell and detained alone for stretches as long as 20 minutes.

Or you sent your kid to an elementary school where the children are made to sit on a bare floorin the classroom for days before they can “earn” their desks.

Or your kid went to a school where she spent hours parked in a cubicle in front of a computerwith a poorly trained teacher who has to monitor more than 100 other students.

Maybe you don’t have children or send them to private school? So how do you feel when you find out the local school that you pay for with your taxes is operating a scam that diverted millions of dollars through fake Medicaid billing?

Or the school used your tax dollars as “grants” to start up other profit-making enterprises … orpay lavish salaries – $300,000, $400,000 or more – to its administrators … or support a movement linked to a reclusive Turkish cleric being investigated for bribery and corruption.

Welcome to the world of charter schools.

Are there wonderful charter schools doing great things for kids? Probably. Are all these cumulative anecdotes an unfair representation of the value that charter schools can bring to some communities? Maybe.

But neither of those questions matters because of what the charter school movement has come to represent in the landscape of American education.

 

Charter schools have been relentlessly marketed to the American populace as a silver bullet for “failed” public schools, especially in poor urban communities of African-American and Latino/a students.

Politicians in both parties speak glowingly of these schools – which, by the way, their children seem never to attend.

Opening charter schools has become the latest fad for celebrities including athletes and rap stars.

Huge nationwide chains – called education management organizations (EMOs) – now run many of these charters. A recent study by the National Education Policy Center found, “Students across 35 states and the District of Columbia now attend schools managed by these non-government entities.” These for-profit and nonprofit EMOs – such as K12 Inc., National Heritage Academies, Charter Schools USA and KIPP – now account for nearly half of the students educated by charter schools.

Substantial, well-funded nationwide organizations have rapidly developed to lobby for these schools. One such organization, the Alliance for School Choice, recently received a $6 million gift from the Walton Foundation, of Wal-Mart fame.

Slick marketing campaigns have been rolled out in communities across the country to tout the coming of new charters.

The actual academic results of these schools seems to hardly anyone, despite report after reportshowing that these schools tend to do poorly on state and national tests and fail at providing equitable education to underserved students.

Yet lobbying for more of these schools continues unabated with more money funneled into the campaigns of politicians who support charters and more efforts to press state lawmakers to lift any provisions currently in place to regulate how these schools operate and are held accountable to the public. Continue reading

Reprobate Flim-Flam on Judcial Appointments

Each Senator has the privilege to submit to the President candidates to fill the Federal Bench in his or her State that they feel are qualified…

So why is it, Republicans are blocking the very same folks they nominated and President Obama placed in consideration for Senate approval?

Looks to me the now that the ridiculous abuse of the filibuster by the Rethugs has been curtailed – the next thing is the infamous “Blue Slip” allowing Senators to block appointments.

Of course it may be complete “mere coincidence” that both nominees are black… But then again…Not.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) one of two reprobate scumbags who is blocking their own judicial nominee, in this case, Jennifer May-Parker, even after recommending her to President Obama.

Richard Burr Blocks Judicial Nominee After Recommending Her To Obama

On Tuesday, the Obama administration confirmed it was pulling back a judicial nominee in Florida after it became apparent that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would not allow a vote, even though the nominee was originally his own recommendation. But Rubio isn’t the only Republican senator holding up a judicial nominee he previously supported.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is also refusing to advance Jennifer May-Parker, a nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, though Burr previously put May-Parker forward for the post.

In a July 2009 letter to the White House, a copy of which was obtained by The Huffington Post, Burr recommended May-Parker for the slot and described her as having “the requisite qualifications to serve with distinction.”

Obama formally submitted her nomination to the Senate in June 2013. But May-Parker hasn’t moved since because Burr is withholding his “blue slip” to the Senate Judiciary Committee — a de-facto rule in the committee that allows a senator to advance or block a nominee for his or her home state. Fellow North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D) has submitted her blue slip.

Burr hasn’t said why he’s holding up May-Parker, and there is urgency to the delay: The North Carolina judicial seat, empty since 2005, is the longest-standing court vacancy in the country. May-Parker would also make history, if confirmed, as the first African-American district judge in the 44-county Eastern District.

A request for comment from Burr’s office was not returned.

Rubio had also been using his blue slip privilege to block the nomination of William Thomas. The irony was that Rubio had recommended Thomas to President Barack Obama in late 2012, for the long-vacant slot on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Rubio’s office insisted the senator’s change of heart on Thomas was based on questions about his “judicial temperament and his willingness to impose appropriate criminal sentences.” If he had been confirmed, Thomas would have made history as the first openly gay black man to serve as a federal judge.

The Rotten Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree – Ron/Rand Paul

Rand Paul is the brand new Republican Party outreach to the black community farce…

Ron Paul addresses the neo-confederate faithful Libertarians

 

The Michigan GOP is seeking to increase the party’s visibility in the Democratic stronghold of Detroit, 97.5 percent of which voted to reelect Barack Obama in 2012.

The solution? Open a new outreach center for Detroit voters, named the “African American Engagement Office.”

The GOP has tapped Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to headline the official opening of the office on Dec. 6, which will highlight “the Michigan Republican Party’s outreach efforts and our commitment to revitalizing Michigan’s urban centers,” according to the Eventbrite listing.

Paul will already be in Detroit to speak on the city’s bankruptcy crisis at the Detroit Economic Club, where he will “unveil his new legislative proposal to remove bankrupt Detroit and other economically blighted areas from poverty and the shackles of big government,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

Both the name of the office and the outreach strategy are already attracting their share of detractors. One Republican strategist told The Huffington Post that it sounds like Michigan Republicans are opening a “‘separate, but equal’ office in Detroit.”

Now – to most black folks who know of Rand’s daddy’s romance with white supremacists, and Rand’s opposition to the 1965 Civil Rights Act…

This is a bit like appointing your local KKK Leader as the Director of Diversity.

Perhaps why in his first speech in Detroit in the shiny new Minority Outreach Center… Only white folks showed up.

Not the least reason of which would be Rand’s ties to neo-confederates…

Rand Paul’s former staffer…”The confederate Avenger”.Sen. Paul says the white supremacist tendencies of Jack “The Southern Avenger” Hunter was just youthful indiscretion. In 2007 the former League of the South member wrote that if immigration levels remain unchecked, “A non-white majority America would simply cease to be America for reasons that are as numerous as they are obvious – whether we are supposed to mention them or not.” He was 33, and three years later he was co-writing Rand Paul’s book.

Ties to Secessionist Sympathizers? Don’t Worry, Rand Paul Will Still Endorse You

If there’s any Republican who needs to tread carefully when it comes to race, it’s Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Between his erstwhile opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, his ties to Confederate sympathizers, and the baggage of his father’s past, pundits and observers are primed to pounce on any missteps, like his ill-received speech at Howard University this summer.

But Paul doesn’t seem to know that he’s on shaky ground with racial issues. To wit, earlier this fall, he endorsed Greg Brannon, a Republican primary candidate for Senate in North Carolina. As Molly Redden reports for Mother Jones, Brannon is far outside the mainstream of American politics. He opposes public education, rejects the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over national law, and has lent his support to a pro-nullification rally held by the League of the South, a self-described “Southern nationalist” organization that is an obvious vehicle for neo-Confederate and white supremacist ideas.

Like Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Brannon sees the late Senator Jesse Helms, who represented North Carolina from 1973 to 2003, as a model for legislative behavior. “He was the one I most identified with,” said Brannon during a gathering this summer, “Senator No.” Helms, it should be said, was an unrepentant segregationist who used his power to institutionalize homophobia with attacks on gays and assaults on AIDS funding. To Helms, LGBT Americans were “weak, morally sick wretches,” and AIDS education was “obscene” and “revolting.”

Brannon stands with ugly forces in American life, and is the kind of far-right candidate who ought to be attacked and marginalized by Republican leaders. Like extremist candidates in Indiana, Missouri, and Nevada, his presence in the “tent” of the GOP is certain to alienate the voters who want to shift political gears without giving the car to a maniac. But, with endorsements from Rand Paul—“I support Greg Brannon, and expect him to be North Carolina’s next Senator”—and conservative activists like Red State’s Erick Erickson, there’s a fair chance he’ll make it through the primary and into the general election. And with a high profile comes a greater chance for disaster; given his history, I would be surprised if Brannon didn’t say something on race or gender that embarrassed him and his party.

Conservatives don’t just hate accusations of racism or racial insensitivity (that’s reasonable), they almost always deny that they have any substance, regardless of circumstance. It doesn’t matter that the right-wing indulged “birtherism” and called Obama a “food stamp president” and “Kenyan anti-colonialist”—it’s simply unreasonable to stamp those as racial. Likewise, when asked about his relationships with neo-Confederates and others on the far-right of American politics, Rand Paul has dismissed the questions as nonsense. “I don’t accept all of that and I don’t really need to or spend the time talking about all of that,” he said this summer in an interview with John Harwood of NPR, “If you want to talk about issues and what I stand for, I’m happy to, but I’m not going to really go through an interview reciting or respond to every yahoo in the world who wants to throw up a canard.”

Well, here’s the thing: If Rand Paul wants to avoid these questions, then he should avoid people who sympathize with white supremacists. And the same is true of the GOP writ large; if Republicans want to avoid accusations of prejudice or insensitivity, then the first step is to end the party’s association with lawmakersofficials, and activists who can’t help but indulge their worst instincts. After all, the Republican Party isn’t racist, and it shouldn’t be too hard to filter these people from the pool.

 

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