While co-hosting the national radio show, Keeping It Real with Rev. Al Sharpton, I listen carefully to the occasional caller who will ask us to ignore racists, take the high road, and move on.
No, I won’t. I can’t ignore racists – who incidentally are on the rise in America, according to The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hates crimes across the country.
Black Americans should be reminded of the elected leaders who side with bigots (or who don’t denounce them) as we approach the mid-term elections in November where all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 33 of 100 seats in the U.S. Senate will be contested along with 38 governorships and 46 state legislatures.
Take Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the ultra-conservative Republican and potential presidential candidate who refused to denounce Cliven Bundy, the radical Nevada rancher who questioned whether the “Negro” was better off in slavery.
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” Bundy said recently. “Because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom. Are they slaves to charities and government subsidized homes?” Bundy asked.
“And are they slaves when their daughters are having abortions and their sons are in the prisons? This thought goes back a long time.”
Bundy, who seems to get more ignorant by the minute, even implied that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would agree with him.
“I thought about what Reverend Martin Luther King said,” Bundy said. “I thought about Rosa Parks taking her seat at the front of the bus. Reverend Martin Luther King did not want her to take her seat in the front of the bus. That wasn’t what he was talking about. He didn’t want this prejudice thing like the media tried to put on me,” he added.
“I’m not going to put up with that because that’s not what he wanted.”
So now Bundy is an authority on civil rights history?
CBS This Morning‘s Norah O’Donnell gave Perry the opportunity to respond to Bundy’s remarks but Perry sidestepped the question.
“I don’t know what he said, but the fact is Bundy is a side issue here compared to what we’re looking at in the state of Texas,” Perry said. “He is an individual. Deal with his issues as you may. ”
What does that mean? Does Perry condone Bundy’s racist remarks or does he expect us to believe that he really doesn’t know what Bundy said? Either way it’s problematic because Bundy represents the worst kind of thinking in a nation where people of color are gradually outnumbering whites.
And as the multi-cultural landscape changes, more racists emerge. According to The Southern Poverty Law Center, there are currently 939 known hate groups operating across the country.
“Since 2000, the number of hate groups has increased by 56 percent. This surge has been fueled by anger and fear over the nation’s ailing economy, an influx of non-white immigrants, and the diminishing white majority, as symbolized by the election of the nation’s first African-American president,” The Southern Poverty Law Center reported.
I’m not suggesting that Bundy is part of a hate group, but I am saying that his comments about African Americans are hateful, offensive and bigoted. Even though some Republicans have denounced Bundy’s remarks, others remain silent because they have stood by him during his highly-publicized refusal to pay the federal government more than $1 million in grazing fees, which resulted in a recent armed standoff between the federal Bureau of Land Management, Bundy, and his supporters.
Meanwhile, Bundy insists that he’s not a racist. That’s not surprising. What wrong-thinking bigot ever admits to being prejudiced?
What do you think?
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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