I don’t believe Romney or Ryan are racist. But some of their supporters certainly are—the only truly unusual thing about this photo is the gentleman’s openness about his racism.
And while Romney and Ryan are not racist, racism is at its root about prejudice. And their policies are certainly classist, and homophobic.
Prejudice in any guise should be left behind like a snake’s old skin. It’s 2012. Our leaders must continually remind us, and their own supporters:
Equality is an American value; Equality is Patriotism.
Prejudice persists. It’s up to our leaders to do everything in their power to discourage the notion that anyone is less than anyone else, fundamentally.
Mitt is 65 years old.
That means that he was thirty or so in 1978.
1978 is when God finally decided to inform the Mormons’ then current Prophet/President that black men could hold the Mormon priesthood.
That means that for ten years after Martin Luther King’s assassination, for fourteen years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, an adult Mitt Romney never spoke up publicly against his religion’s discrimination against blacks.
Mitt was an adult, a graduate of Brigham Young University, with an MBA and a law degree from Harvard University.
And yet he never spoke up about his church’s policy of discrimination.
As the great Conservative Edmund Burke said (more or less):
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Sadly, this flavor of ignorance isn’t limited to rednecks. I’m from the northeast and have heard plenty of middle-class bankers, teachers, police officers, etc. express similar (and often worse) sentiments behind closed doors.
Midwest here. I work at a senior center that’s located in a pretty upper-class neighborhood, and racism is definitely still present.
I heard one old guy trying to explain to another guy that Obama wasn’t fit to be president because “blacks are naturally poor leaders. They are better at physical labor and menial tasks. That’s why you see so many blacks working at McDonalds and Supermarkets. They are just better at those things. Once they get into a leadership position they just don’t know what to do.”
Another time I went to one of the members houses (he was in his 90’s and could barely walk) to mow his grass. I was making small talk with him and I mentioned how the neighborhood seemed really nice. He goes, “Sure it is. Lived here for 55 years and have never regretted moving here for a second. Of course, now the blacks are starting to move in, but hopefully I’ll die before the neighborhood goes to shit.”
I have never struggled harder to keep a straight face.