Nearly half of Mississippi Republicans appear to hold the same racial attitudes that were prevalent during the 1950s. According to a study conducted by the Public Policy Polling, Republican voters in Mississippi were asked if interracial marriage should be legal or illegal. Forty-six percent believed that interracial marriage should be illegal, 40 percent thought that it should be legal and 14 percent were unsure.
Although overtly racist attitudes will always exist, it’s appalling that those attitudes are attached to a major American political party. It’s becoming a cultural norm for individuals who identify themselves as Republican or members of the tea party to embrace racists views. The tea party and Sarah Palin-led rallies of 2010 resembled KKK meetings instead of organized gatherings to initiate advancements in the political system. Gun-toting men waving Confederate flags were assisted by family members who held signs that depicted President Obama as Hitler or as an African tribal man.
Instead of using President Obama’s election as a moment to reach out to minorities, the Republican Party and tea party members responded by seeking to distance themselves from all groups that were not white Christians.
With the 2012 election approaching, the most powerful members of the Republican Party must disavow racism. If not, the Republican Party and the tea party will become irrelevant political parties that are known for harboring members who seek a return to the Jim Crow era. –amir shaw