By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
America’s civil rights groups have branded the Republican Party, and more specifically its conservative wing, as racist.
They’ll never come out and say as much; the middle-class moderates would crucify the liberal Democrats who kowtow to these groups. But now that President Bush has renominated the rejected Charles Pickering to federal court, the race rhetoric is flying from both civil rights groups and their ideological allies:
* “[Conservative judge nominees] have records of deep hostility to core civil rights principles,” said the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
* “For years, the federal courts served as the shield protecting basic civil rights in this country,” railed Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.J. “The administration wants the courts to become the sword that destroys those rights.”
* “[Deposed GOP leader Trent Lott’s] stance on civil rights is indistinguishable from that of other conservative Republicans-and just as disturbing,” said Alex Gourevitch, an online writer with the liberal American Prospect.
These people base their so-called concerns on Republican opposition to affirmative action and hate crimes legislation, which Pickering and fellow renominated judge Priscilla Owens also oppose.
Based upon these recent statements, the civil rights groups and their supporters have taken the “my way or the highway” approach-either the GOP is for racial quotas and hate crime legislation or it is anti-civil rights.
That thinking is illogical at its very core. The Republican Party should not be expected to throw out its conservative agenda, nor should it be expected to begin supporting programs and ideals with which its members disagree.
Especially when the party’s opposition to such programs is logical, smart and colorblind.
A stand against racial quotas isn’t a stand against civil rights. It’s a stand in favor of common sense and fairness.
The dogmatic nature with which liberal civil rights groups have attacked conservative positions on the subject is curious, especially considering “affirmative action” is a program that plays favorites with race.
Likewise, opposing hate crimes legislation when murder is almost exclusively a crime of hatred is simply common sense to an ideology that opposes excessive government regulations.
Instead of trying to find ways to bring the nation together, the far left ideologues that compose such groups as the NAACP or Congressional Black Caucus seem to want to press forward with decades-old policies that play favorites and cause division.
Republicans and conservatives have advanced far beyond their 1960’s positions-think of Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice or Clarence Thomas. But civil rights groups are still stuck in a leftist time warp. Which is shameful for groups that portray themselves as progressive.