The GOP, Race and Hypocrisy

A racial double standard for Democrats and Republicans? Only if you disregard history and context.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

So again, let’s be honest.

Mitt Romney making a statement and Joe Biden making a statement are two very different situations. This is not to defend everything Biden has ever said, because he’s put his foot in it numerous times. Remember when he described Obama as clean and articulate? Yeah, please refer back to my earlier reference to the black community and the left.

But yes, things being said by different people who have different philosophies, allegiances and experiences will be judged differently. This isn’t a double standard per se. This is what humans do. We listen to words and look at where those words are coming from. If my best friend told me to “screw off,” I’d take that very differently than from a stranger. I’m not applying a double standard. I’m using context.

The Nieman Journalism Lab recently wrote about a mockup of the New York Times home page. But instead of the regular Times articles, it was populated with all Fox News headlines. They discussed the fact that people react differently to news depending on the source.

I’d argue that anyone paying attention to politics at all knows all this to be a fact. Take a look at the Obama presidency. Obama has at times made statements and put forth ideas that Republicans have said before, and yet now that Obama said it, somehow these ideas are socialism and left-wing nut-baggery.

The Republican Party gets critiqued more because of what it has allowed to become its narrative. The GOP sat by and let the president get birth-checked by Donald Trump and other radical-turned-mainstream members of the party. The GOP is the party known for the Southern strategy. The GOP is the party that sent Michael Steele to get black folks on its side. The GOP is the party that actively attacks affirmative action, using black and brown faces while never acknowledging how much white women benefit from the policy.

The GOP praises race-baiters like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the late Andrew Breitbart. The GOP allowed Newt “Poor Black Kids Should Work as Janitors” Gingrich to reach the final four during its presidential primaries. The GOP’s presidential candidate spoke to the NAACP, using it as a political pawn — creating a “backbone” moment as opposed to connecting with this part of the electorate.

Time and time again the GOP refuses to acknowledge the party’s own issues when it comes to race but instead throws a middle finger in the face of the aggrieved and lets out a throaty “Get over it.” This is what the party has become known for. 

I’m sorry — you were asking about some sort of “double standard”?

Elon James White is a writer and satirist and host of the award-winning video and radio series This Week in Blackness. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr.