San Francisco Chronicle, Emil Guillermo, “Lott’s Racial Honesty”
[…] When Ward Connerly started rallying to get rid of affirmative action, his tack was Proposition 209 — the so-called Civil Rights Initiative. That bit of rhetorical dishonesty characterizes the contemporary onslaught against race equity. And it’s been a winning strategy: Proposition 209 passed, and affirmative action no longer exists in education or public contracting in California.
The tactic has spread to other states, and as long as conservatives whistle the same tune, all has been well.
But now Lott has exposed the true subtext, and the conservative tactic seems like an ugly charade.
So Lott has embarked on his “apology tour,” saying things like, “We need strict enforcement of civil rights laws on the books and all laws on the books to guarantee equality and punish racism.”
The man’s seen the light.
No wonder conservatives are leading the charge to get rid of him. He even bothers professional minority conservatives such as Hispanic American Linda Chavez and African American Armstrong Williams. They’ve chimed in with others from the right to drum up a “Lott Out” campaign. Of course they have. With Lott being so honest, they have no credibility on race issues now. Instead of looking like opportunistic mouthpieces for the right, they start coming off as true hypocrites, guilty by association.
That’s what Lott’s honesty did. He’s brought all the memories of racism forward, and he’s letting America see the ugliness for what it’s become. Hard to fight, hard to define — until, in some unguarded moment, the truth blurts out. When that happens, suddenly we realize the fight for racial equity is far from over. […]
Quod vide: New York Times, Lynette Clemetson, “Black Republicans Speak of Their Outrage at Lott”