The latest newsletter by an Inland Republican women's group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles.When caught, the only defense is stupid ignorance. That's always the game. But it never holds for very long, does it?
The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps -- instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of "Obama Bucks" -- a phony $10 bill featuring Obama's face on a donkey's body, labeled "United States Food Stamps."
The GOP newsletter, which was sent to about 200 members and associates of the group by e-mail and regular mail last week, is drawing harsh criticism from members of the political group, elected leaders, party officials and others as racist.
She said she doesn't think in racist terms, pointing out she once supported
Republican Alan Keyes, an African-American who previously ran for president.
"I didn't see it the way that it's being taken. I never connected," she said. "It was just food to me. It didn't mean anything else."
She said she also wasn't trying to make a statement linking Obama and food stamps, although her introductory text to the illustration connects the two: "Obama talks about all those presidents that got their names on bills. If elected, what bill would he be on????? Food Stamps, what else!"
For Republicans, this is also a terrible campaign strategy as they head into the permanent minority. Bigotry and racism will only drive away current and future voters. This woman will be seriously reconsidering her November vote, I promise you:
Sheila Raines, an African-American member of the club, was the first person to complain to Fedele about the newsletter. Raines, of San Bernardino, said she has worked hard to try to convince other minorities to join the Republican Party and now she feels betrayed.
"This is what keeps African-Americans from joining the Republican Party," she said. "I'm really hurt. I cried for 45 minutes."
As long as the Republican Party and movement conservatives continue to appear to the darkest, most shameful sides of American life, they deserve to be banished to the shadows. Let them earn their pennance in their permanent exile. It's time to put all racism and prejudice into the ground where it belongs. It's time to let this useless stupidity die.