Conservative Columnist Co-opts Black History Month to Honor Republicans
As Black History Month draws to a close, world-renowned conservative columnist Cal Thomas wants to remind liberals everywhere who are too stoned to remember basic American history that the Republican Party really really really loves black people.
Or at least they did at one time.
Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, Thomas informed us this week in his syndicated column, “Black (Liberal) History Month.” A Republican-led Congress supported the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. Republicans in the 38th Congress passed legislation creating the “Negro Calvary,” also known as Buffalo Soldiers, in the 1860s. And Ulysses “Snowflake” Grant, a Republican, signed the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which allowed blacks access to public accommodations—until it was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
There’s a not-so-subtly-buried trend within this unflatteringly short list of historical “moments” when Republicans fought for African Americans: they all happened a long, long time ago—before even Thomas was born.
Thomas, who at one time said there was no such thing as a “non-angry black woman,” other than Oprah, because they’ve all “had a son who’s been shot in a drive-by shooting,” believes the Republican Party ought to be heralded as a paragon of racial tolerance rather than vilified as a bunch of racist hicks bent on returning the black man to the cotton fields.
And yet, other than George W. Bush’s school voucher program in Washington, D.C., Thomas was unable to cite any modern examples that could back up this proposition.
Instead, he accuses President Obama of being a welfare king, and the Democratic Party of “perpetuating the myth of Republican racism and addicting too many of them”—black people—“to a government check instead of liberating them through education and strong families.”
According to a study by The Heritage Foundation, published in Investor’s Business Daily, “The American public’s dependence on the federal government shot up 23 percent in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program.” That involves money for housing, health, welfare, education and other programs that were “traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families.”
His point: more people are on welfare now than they were before Obama took office.
Thomas is not incorrect. But his weak attempt at making a logical argument leads to only one conclusion: that President Obama accomplished his goal of creating dependent, government-teat-suckling socialists by…
…causing the recession.
Obama put millions of Americans out of work—even before he was inaugurated—as part of some evil plan to puff up the poverty rates, which then allowed him to hand out $284-dollar checks every month to the millions of Americans who can’t find a job in this recessed economy.
That’s kind of like accusing today’s Democratic Party of being racist because “Southern Democrats” participated in the KKK…a century ago!
“The question for African Americans, however, particularly during Black History Month, is not about history at all,” Thomas writes.
The question is: “Are better you off (sic) than you were 40 years ago?” By any objective measure, the answer for too many is “no.”
Interestingly, that’s the exact same question—and answer—that Thomas asked African-Americans five months ago, in a different column:
The question ought to be this: are African-Americans, indeed, are all Americans, better off than they were when Barack Obama took office? By any objective standard, the answer must be “no.”
Here’s a question: What would the average American have said if a Republican walked up to him or her three years into the Great Depression and asked, “Are you better off today than you were before the stock market crash of 1929?”
“By any objective standard/measure, the answer must be ‘no’ ”—but not because some socialistic Muslim anti-Christ plotted the mass devastation of minorities.
Not only is this completely illogical, it’s irrelevant to the intended purpose of his column. Poverty may have increased under Obama during the worst recession since the Great Depression, but that does not therefore mean Republicans are heroes of the black community. Nor are they heroes of the white community, which has also relied more heavily on government assistance since the recession.
Cal, it’s unfortunate that you have no race-related achievements in the last most recent century to boast about as a Republican. But look at it this way: there’s room for improvement.
For instance, you could write a column denouncing as humiliating and offensive the idea, pushed by a white conservative lawmaker in Arizona, that the United States should begin celebrating “White America Day” as a national holiday.
In the mean time, if you want to take credit for the GOP’s racial tolerance 15 decades ago, the least you could do is follow the advice your beloved Lincoln so eloquently provided Americans during his Gettysburg Address:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, except for Cal Thomas, who should shut the fuck up and retire already.
* Read the partial transcript of Obama explaining his views on government assistance at “Obama on Welfare”