The GOP’s Not Racist, No, Uh-Uh

Yet another conservative judicial candidate is stooping to racist tactics in an effort to get elected to the Georgia State Supreme Court so he can spread the love. The AJC’s Cynthia Tucker is on him.

Until last Friday, the campaign for the Georgia Supreme Court had been a rather one-sided affair. While the incumbent, Justice Leah Sears, has run a staid and dignified campaign — of the sort you might expect from a jurist — her challenger, attorney Grant Brantley, has hurled a list of clichéd charges at her: She’s too liberal; she’s anti-family values; she hates little old church ladies and small children. (OK, he hasn’t said she hates little old church ladies and small children, but you get the picture.) Last Friday’s debate, however, brought a bit of balance to the picture. Sears remained staid and dignified. But Brantley was outed for playing the race card.

Richard Gard, editor and publisher of the Fulton County Daily Report, started the evening by asking Brantley about one of his more peculiar campaign tactics:

“What possible justification can you give for putting [Sears’] photograph on your campaign fliers if not to telegraph to voters that she is the black woman in this race and you’re the white man?”

Brantley answered truthfully — whether he intended to or not.

“If she puts it on her brochure, then I see nothing wrong with putting it on my brochure . . . so there is no question about who my opponent is,” he said.


Candidates often excoriate their opponents’ voting records, minimize their experience and demean their contributions to public life, but they almost never broadcast photos of their opponents. The last time a local politician went to similar lengths was in 1994, when Mitch Skandalakis, then the chairman of the Fulton County Commission, tried to help a fellow Republican unseat a black Democratic commissioner, Gordon Joyner. Skandalakis helped to finance a brochure that featured a doctored image of Joyner — eyes askew, with an Afro and a distended lower lip. The brochure was mailed to 100,000 households in the county.

The race-baiting was ugly then, and it’s ugly now.

This is the sort of thing right-wing Pubs do routinely all over the South. This sort of racist pandering is why Bush needed to address the NAACP if only to distance himself from it and condemn it. And this sort of racist pandering is the reason he refused to give that address–he has no intention of distancing himself from it, and far from condemning it, the RNC is using tactics like this wherever they think they will work.

Bush’s people, attempting to explain why he was the first President in 50 years to refuse to address the NAACP, said first that it was ‘irrelevant’ and then asked why Bush should address a ‘hostile’ group? ‘Because that’s what Presidents are supposed to do’ probably wouldn’t cut much ice with them as an answer. It’s typical–and becoming more obviously so–that this president thinks he’s the president only of the people who support with him; if you don’t? In the immortal words of Little Dick–‘Go fuck yourself.’ Junior feels no need to convince all the people, or even most of them, that he’s their president too because he doesn’t consider that he is.

And then he wonders why black folk don’t support him.

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