Gerard Alexander has an op-ed in The Washington Post which primarily inspires readers to echo SNL’s Seth and Amy with “really?” and quickly dismiss his weak arguments. The primary flaw of the first paragraph is that it leaves out many examples in hopes of only having to deal with a straw-man argument as opposed to the entire history of right wing racism:
From an immigration law in Arizona to a planned mosque near Ground Zero to Glenn Beck emoting at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the controversies roiling American politics in recent weeks and months have featured an ugly undertone, suggesting meanness, prejudice and, in the eyes of some, outright racism. And it is conservatives — whether Republican politicians, Fox News commentators or members of the “tea party” movement — who are invariably painted with that brush.
From there Alexander tries to white wash the history of the conservative movement and Republican Party since the days of the southern strategy. Racism has always been a common tool of authoritarian movements such as the modern American conservative movement. Sure, not all conservatives are racists–but far too many are. Republican leaders have also long known that pandering to racism will increase their support, regardless of whether they themselves are racists. Not being a racist but using racism to pursue political ends does not let them off the hook.
Alexander clearly does not like the fact that conservatives are widely considered racists. If conservatives dislike it so much, they might stop using racism as a means to keep their supporters fired up. If non-racists dislike being considered racists, they only have themselves to blame by associating with the authoritarian right.