Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Aw Shucks, Another Racist

Virginia Republicans should be ashamed of themselves. We live in an incredible state, but if George Allen, Virgil Goode and Delegate Frank Hargrove (R-55) don't stop telling the nation we're a bunch of racist, homophobic, xenophobic religious bigots, they don't deserve to be Virginians.

Commenting on a bill to apologize for Virginia's role in slavery, Del. Hargrove didn't stop at telling us there was no need for an apology or that such apologies are a detraction from other issues. On the issue of slavery, Hargrove said "I personally think that our black citizens should get over it." Apparently unsatisfied after offending one entire group of people, he went on to wonder if Jews should apologize for killing Jesus.

Del. Hargrove must think there is a statute of limitations for crimes against humanity, as he went on to say, "By golly, we're living in 2007"

He's at least partially right. It is 2007 and there are no African slaves in Virginia. He is also right to say that there is nobody alive today that was a slave in Virginia. But that is a slap in the face to anyone whose parents or grandparents were slaves, and also to the many who who are still very much alive that suffered through massive resistance and the decades of oppressive racism that preceded it. None of those people can just get over it. For them, its very much personal.

But that doesn't scratch the surface. People generally tolerate each other nowadays. Colored only signs are gone (or at least not in active use) and lynchings are rare. We even have a black man who is a legitimate contender for President of the United States. Sure, advances have been made, but racism today may be even more insidious. Racism is institutionalized. It's our economic and criminal justice system that make it blatantly obvious to anyone willing to look that black people in this country have to deal with more obstacles and generally have less of a chance to succeed than white people. This institutionalization is also obvious when you look at who the prominent racists are lately... all members of government. Is it any surprise that racism exists in our system of government when Goode and Hargrove are there making the laws? And what is racism other than the direct descendant of Jim Crow and slavery?

Hargrove is the defintion of entrenched. He had two independent opponents in 1999, and managed to take 80% of the vote. Since 1995, as far back as the SBE website goes, he has never had a credible opponent. The 55th House district is extremely Republican. Almost as Republican as Charlottesville is Democratic. Hanover County is situated in Bill Bolling's old Senate district and Hargrove represents a little over 80% of the County. It looks unlikely a Democrat could win here. Hargrove is 79, and it is controversies like these that could make one consider retirement, and we could hope whomever receives the GOP nomination is reasonable.


Blogger Kempis said...

...we're a bunch of racist, homophobic, xenophobic religious bigots,...

Apparently we are, (at least) homophobic and religous bigots. Over 50 percent of the state voted for that abomination the marriage amendment. In my book that qualifies a majority of the state as "homophobic religous bigots."

1/16/2007 10:19 PM  
Blogger Dan Kachur said...

I like to think that in large part we (the electorate) were a bunch of decent people who were subjected to a disinformation campaign from the right that could not be overcome by the lesser-funded amendment proponents. We didn't necessarily know what we were voting for. I think the only group of Virginians that actively hate gays is the Virginia GOP.

1/21/2007 11:38 PM  

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