Race

Guardians of the Confederacy

David Drucker: “The current debate over Confederate symbols cuts to the central, existential question hanging over the G.O.P. The Republican Party today is an amalgam of upscale white suburbanites who are moderate on social issues but conservative on fiscal and national-security issues, and exurban and rural populist working-class whites, who are quasi-liberal on economic matters and foreign policy, but conservative on politically charged social issues.”

“But the key demographic in this coalition is ‘white.'”

“The Republicans becoming the guardians of the Confederacy is a function of the G.O.P. becoming so predominantly white, and yes, the predominant party in the South. The Republican project to take over the South was completed in 2010, when the red wave that swept Republicans into power in Congress and state capitals across the country ejected the last remnants of white Democratic authority. So by the time Trump responded to Charlottesville with vows to protect ‘our culture’ and ‘our history,’ and protect Confederate monuments from being relegated to some museum’s dusty storeroom, there were few sympathetic voters left in the Democratic Party to cheer him on. But there were plenty of Republicans.”

Vast Majority of Trump Appointees Are White Men

Reuters: “Recently available government data on the ethnic and gender make-up of the broader Trump administration shows that with over 1,000 mid-level political jobs filled by mid-year the appointees look much like the top leadership: mostly white and male. OPM numbers analyzed by Reuters show that 88% of such appointees were non-Hispanic white and 62% were men.”

“By comparison, in the final year of Barack Obama’s Democratic administration, non-Hispanic whites made up 67% of that group and men accounted for 47% – closer to what the U.S. population looks like.”

Trump Mocks Puerto Rican Accent

President Trump used an exaggerated Spanish accent during a speech marking Hispanic Heritage Month at the White House, the HuffPost reports.

“We are also praying for the people of Puerto Rico,” he said, emphasizing the first two syllables of the word “Puerto.”

“We love Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico,” he added, before reverting to his normal accent to say, “We also love Puerto Rico.”

Gosar Says Charlottesville Was a Soros-Funded Conspiracy

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) told Vice that the participants in the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in August may have been organized by an “Obama sympathizer” and funded by George Soros.

Said Gosar: “You know, you know George Soros is one of those people that actually helps back these individuals. Who is he? I think he’s from Hungary. I think he was Jewish. And I think he turned in his own people to the Nazis. Better be careful where we go with those.”

Head of Air Force Academy Tells Racists to ‘Get Out’

“The head of the Air Force Academy stood all his 4,000 cadets at attention Thursday to deliver a message on racial slurs found written on message boards at the academy’s preparatory school,” the Colorado Gazette reports.

“Chins in and chests out, the cadets were flanked by 1,500 officers, sergeants, athletic coaches and civilian professors inside cavernous Mitchell Hall. Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria told them to take out their smartphones and record his words.”

Said Silveria: “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.”

Russian Facebook Ads Sought to Exploit Racial Divisions

“The batch of more than 3,000 Russian-bought ads that Facebook is preparing to turn over to Congress shows a deep understanding of social divides in American society, with some ads promoting African-American rights groups including Black Lives Matter and others suggesting that these same groups pose a rising political threat, say people familiar with the covert influence campaign,” the Washington Post reports.

“The Russian campaign — taking advantage of Facebook’s ability to simultaneously send contrary messages to different groups of users based on their political and demographic characteristics — also sought to sow discord among religious groups.”

More Racial Demagoguery from Trump

David Remnick: “In these performances, Trump is making clear his moral priorities. He is infinitely more offended by the sight of a black ballplayer quietly, peacefully protesting racism in the United States than he is by racism itself. Which, at this point, should come as no surprise to any but the willfully obtuse…”

“What Trump is up to with this assault on athletes, particularly prominent black ones, is obvious; it is part of his larger culture war. Divide. Inflame. Confuse. Divert. And rule. He doesn’t care to grapple with complexity of any kind, whether it’s about the environment, or foreign affairs, or race, or the fact that a great American sport may, by its very nature, be irredeemable. Rather than embody any degree of dignity, knowledge, or unifying embrace, Trump is a man of ugliness, and the damage he does, speech after speech, tweet after tweet, deepens like a coastal shelf. Every day, his Presidency takes a toll on our national fabric. How is it possible to argue with the sentiment behind LeBron James’s concise tweet at Trump: “U Bum”? It isn’t.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It’s going to be God.”

— Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore (R), quoted by The Hill.

Trump Says He Was Right About ‘Both Sides’

“President Trump thrust himself back into the racial storms of Charlottesville, repeating his charge that those resisting the neo-Nazis and white supremacists were as much to blame as the alt-right crowds who marched on the Virginia college town last month,” the New York Times reports.

Said Trump: “You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also, and essentially that’s what I said. Now because of what’s happened since then with Antifa, when you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying, and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.’ I said there’s some very bad people on the other side also.”

The Washington Post reports that Trump also “alluded to the Obama administration allegedly spying on his campaign, and — after repeatedly pointing to the unprecedented nature of the latest hurricanes in recent weeks — downplayed their size when asked whether climate change was to blame.”

Many Americans Express Troubling Racial Attitudes

A new Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics poll finds 31% of Americans strongly or somewhat agreed that the country needs to “protect and preserve its White European heritage.” Another 34% strongly or somewhat disagreed with the statement, and 29% neither agreed nor disagreed.

Notably, 14% of all respondents both agreed that white people are under attack and disagreed with the statement that nonwhites are under attack.

Also interesting is that 16% agreed with the statement that “marriage should only be allowed between two people of the same race” and an additional 14% neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement, while 4% said they didn’t know. In total, about a third failed to express tolerance of interracial marriage.

Black Republican Gives Trump a Lecture on Racism

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), “the lone black Republican in the Senate, delivered a pointed lecture on America’s 300-year legacy of racism to President Trump on Wednesday in response to what he called Mr. Trump’s ‘sterile’ response to the riots in Charlottesville last month,” the New York Times reports.

“When a reporter asked the senator if the president had expressed regret, a pained look flashed on Mr. Scott’s face.”

He paused for a few seconds and replied: “He certainly tried to explain what he was trying to convey.”