The Republican Party has a history of being a party of white supremacists.
But they have also had a history for being the most successful in suppressing the voices of minorities.
The GOP’s “movement to dismantle social justice” has become a political football.
Now, it’s time to end it.
And that’s the premise of a new book from journalist Paul Kane, “The Republican Party’s Resistance to Minority Voices.”
Kane is an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of Public Affairs.
His forthcoming book, titled “Rethinking the GOP: White Supremacy, Race and the Future of the Party,” will be released by Princeton University Press on May 18.
Read moreThe book, which has been criticized by some conservatives for being overly partisan, focuses on a group of former Republican National Committee members, including former chair and GOP presidential nominee Richard Nixon.
They describe the party as an establishment that has been hijacked by a few white supremacists who see themselves as “the political heirs of the Klan.”
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Nixon called the GOP a “political party of lynch mobs.”
The party’s “trend toward overt white supremacy,” they argue, is a reflection of a lack of minority engagement in the party.
In fact, the book argues, the GOP has been “failing to engage with white supremacists for decades.”
In their view, it is “one of the largest and most successful white supremacist organizations in history.”
The Republicans, the authors say, have “failed to build a movement of grassroots political engagement.”
The party’s failure to do this is largely due to their “deeply flawed strategy” for confronting the issue, Kane writes.
They have largely focused on “a single issue: the economy.”
And the GOP hasn’t made any serious moves toward addressing the “toxic effects” of economic inequality on minorities, he writes.
This “has led to an almost unprecedented degree of silence from Republicans and their donors, a lack or outright hostility toward those in minority communities, and a refusal to engage in policy discussions that might change the fundamental dynamics of the nation.”
The GOP, Kane argues, has a long history of “dismantling” minority voices in the Republican Party.
In 1924, then-president Theodore Roosevelt said, “There is no party in this country that does not, in the interest of its membership, reject the voice of the Negro, and all those voices of discontent that are rising and will soon grow louder.”
In the 1980s, Republicans helped pass the Voting Rights Act, which allowed minorities to register and vote.
In 1996, the party finally passed a “Fairness in Elections Act,” which required presidential candidates to take affirmative action on issues affecting minority voters.
Kane argues that this bill “set a precedent that was difficult to reverse.”
In other words, a GOP that wanted to help minorities “was going to be able to get away with it, and in the process of doing so it would also do so at a significant cost.”
But as he points out, the Party has not been as effective at getting minorities to participate in the Party.
And this is where Kane’s book comes in.
The authors contend that Republicans have been too focused on economic inequality, instead of the root of the problem.
The author notes that the GOP “did not build a viable grassroots movement to oppose the legacy of racism, but rather an economic one.”
In particular, they point to the GOP strategy of building coalitions with business interests that were opposed to unions, civil rights, and voting rights.
“This strategy has produced the GOP as a party that is in retreat, and one that is increasingly unable to connect with the broad base of American voters who overwhelmingly support the Party’s progressive policies,” Kane writes in the introduction to the book.
“The Party is in a crisis of legitimacy,” he adds.
“Its leadership is a disorganized rabble of former white supremacists, many of whom have made a living off the Republican agenda.”
But this is just one of the problems with the Republican party’s approach to race.
Kane writes that “while the Party often tries to defend itself from accusations of racism by pointing to ‘the great majority of white Americans’ support for the party, the truth is that the vast majority of Republicans are racist themselves.”
He cites Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, who recently suggested that African Americans were born with “a natural inclination toward violence.”
And Republican Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, a staunch supporter of the Ku Klux Klan, has called for “a national day of mourning” for former Confederate soldiers.
Kane also argues that “white supremacists are not a fringe element of the Republican base.”
He also points out that Republicans “failed in their efforts to distance themselves from white supremacists,” because they were unable to get their message across to minority voters who were “more interested in seeing the Republican brand be more inclusive and more supportive of civil rights.”
Kane concludes his book by saying that “the