Sunday, March 06, 2011

Will Republicans Allow Themselves to Be the Party of Racism?

I just sent this letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,

I am writing you in reference to the protest of a dinner held to provide money to women’s shelters and to relieve homelessness. The dinner was held in Yorba Linda, California, by the ICNA, an American Muslim relief organization. The protest was one of the ugliest, most hateful things I’ve ever seen. The video footage of the event is posted here:

The rally was organized by Pamella Geller, the co-founder of Stop Islamization of America, a hate group. Speaking at the rally and depicted in the video were three members of your party, two Congressmen (Ed Royce and Gary Miller) and a local councilwoman (Deborah Pauly).

Rep. Boehner and Sen. McConnell, my conservative friends often remind me that the Republican Party is not the party of racists. They tell me that fringe elements who appear at Tea Party rallies or ask repugnant questions of their congressional representatives in public meetings are not speaking for the party as a whole, and that the party should not be judge based on these voices. I think that sounds fair. Then I see something like this, and watch Republicans, not just Republican voters but Republican elected officials, speak in favor of a protest where such pure, despicable hatred is spewed, and I can’t help but judge the whole party which allows any of its representatives to support this kind of thing. I know you want to have a “Big Tent,” but if you allow this kind of filth inside, the whole thing smells. And no amount of spin can Fabreeze this away.

Please let me, and all Americans who worry that one of our two major political parties harbors this kind of bile, know that your party is not the party of racism, not just by paying lip service to bromides or declaring your tolerance for difference of opinion, but by taking decisive action to expel those who promote this kind of hatred from your Big Tent. I am very proud of America’s broad defense of the right to free speech, and I recognize these protesters' right to spew whatever hatred they feel, but those elected officials at the rally are not granted a constitutional right to serve in your political party, and our constitutional right to assembly does not obligate you to include supporters of hate groups. I am asking you to convince me that this rally does not represent the Republican Party. Because if you just shrug or shake your heads, then, gentlemen, they are a part of you.

I’m a registered Democrat, so you might not care what I think. But I can assure you that if an elected Democrat spoke in favor of this kind of hatred of anyone, let alone Americans, and no action was taken by party leadership when it was brought to their attention, I would change my registration that very day. In that circumstance, would your party be an alternative, or a party that tolerates this kind of rhetoric?

Please let me know how you will address this disturbing event. Thank you for your time.


Benjamin Gorman
Independence, Oregon

I will post their responses when I receive them.

1 comment:

'abdul muHib said...

Nice letter.