Saturday, September 6, 2008

I Don't Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

"A black person voting Republican," said the father of African-American congressman J.C. Watts (R), "is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders."

It's a hard truth that takes away a lot of options for African-American voters. What it means is that the Democratic party can take our support for granted because they know and we know that the alternative is so much worse. It's the difference between a bad sunburn and skin cancer.

However, it doesn't stop some misguided "house negroes" from trying.

Take the example of "Cowboy Troy" Coleman, an African-American "Hick-Hop" singer who performed the national anthem at the GOP convention in Minneapolis. Strangely enough, Coleman was one of the few chocolate chips to be found in the Republican's big white bowl of cookie dough. I wonder why. Anyway, Coleman was enthused about the opportunity. "This is the biggest thing that has ever happened to me," he said. "With my social beliefs, namely being pro-choice, this party is the one for me. My skin is secondary to the fact that I want my politicians to make laws that positively affect my life and the lives of my friends."

When I read that, I thought about the scene in The Princess Bride where Andre The Giant says to Wallace Shawn, "You keep using that word but I don't think it means what you think it means." If you ask me, "pro-life" is a word that doesn't belong in the mouth of a Republican because it's a lie that's no different than the other overworked phrase they like to use: "compassionate consevatism". They don't know what it means.

In spite of their noisy propaganda, the Republicans aren't "pro-life". What the Republicans do really, really well is kill people.

Republicans launched the war in Iraq. Republicans want abortion to be illegal and dangerous. Republicans ignore global warming. Republicans oppose stem-cell research. Republicans don't want national health care. Republicans torture. Republicans watched New Orleans drown. Laws don't kill people, Republicans make the laws that kill people. Think of their ideology as "kinder and gentler" genocide.

And Republicans believe that "pro-life" translates as "Imaginary babies are cute, but once you get a birth certificate, you're on your own".

Now, maybe "Cowboy Troy" Coleman is simply naive or a cynical opportunist, but other African-Americans know better. For us, voting Democrat isn't a philosophical abstract; it's self-defense. Damned if I know why poor and middle-class white Americans who religiously vote Republican haven't figured it out. It's one of those perplexing "What's The Matter With Kansas?" questions, I guess. But, for their sake, I hope they figure it out soon because they're not safe either. None of us are.