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The end of racism, part II

Part one, of course, was White House Spokesbot Tony Snow’s assertion that racism’s “rapidly becoming an ugly memory.”

Today’s lesson comes from an equally observant teacher, (need I say he’s a Republican) Rep. John Carter of Round Rock, Texas, who thinks that the GOP holdup of the renewal of the Voting Rights Act isn’t a big deal. He was asked to comment on the matter and opened his Lone Star State pie hole to educate us:

“I don’t think we have racial bias in Texas anymore.”

Breathtaking. The hat tip goes to Chris Kromm at Facing South who nailed it:

Is Carter referring to bias in general, like the kind in Tulia, Texas where 15% of the town’s black population was framed by an informant one judge found to be “a racist, a liar and a thief, resulting in sentences up to 99 years? (A judge later overturned the convictions, but a similar case came up in 2002 in Jackson County, Texas)

Or the lynching of James Byrd — a 49-year-old black man beaten by three whites and dragged behind a truck for three miles, dying when his arm and head were severed when the truck hit a bump? Pick your own story.

Or is Carter referring specifically to race bias in voting, such as the way Texas Republicans led an unplanned redistricting in 2002 that dilluted African-American and Latino voting strength so that more Republicans could get into office?

A note from a reader, Mika, on this:

A GLSEN 2005 school climate survey sez:

“Overall, the frequency of bullying reported by Texas students was similar to the national sample with two exceptions. Youth in Texas reported a higher frequency at which students are harassed because of their race/ethnicity (48% vs. 39% reporting at least some of the time) and because of their ability at school (61% vs. 48%).”

To compare a Miss Wild Thing also passed along the story of someone who recognized discrimination in goverment and did make a difference, Hiram Bingham, IV. He was recently honored with a postal stamp for defying the Roosevelt administration’s official policy of refusing to grant visas to Jews during WWII. He saved 2,000 lives by issuing visas. Miss Wild Thing: “In light of the rocket scientist in Texas, I thought this was an interesting comparison to someone who really recognized danger in discrimination.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding