Maxine Waters, class act, on GOP racism: “Let them define themselves, let them reveal who they are.

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    Last night on Countdown, Keith Olbermann and Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA35) discussed overt Republican racism {specifically her colleauge Rep Lynn Jenkins (Racist-KS2) call for a Republican Great White Hope to thwart the obviosly not white President Obama.}

    As Keith Olbermann so eloquently put it regarding Rep. Jenkins half assed, half apology.

KO:     “The old conditional apology. It’s your fault if you’re offended that an active politician in 2009 should use the most demeaning of racist phrases, vintage 1909.”

    Following that nail on the head statement, Keith defers to Congresswoman Maxine Waters, whom I deeply respect, and can only imagine what it must feel like to be in her shoes, or any other member of the African American caucus in the Democratic party. I would say the same of African American republicans in congress if there actually were any African American republicans in congress, but I digress.

    More, and a transcript of Representative Waters’s response below the fold.

Rep Waters:     “One of the things we can’t do is, we can’t let them distract from what we’re all about, and what we’re trying to accomplish. We’re trying to keep the focus on comprehensive, universal health care reform, and they’re going all over the place. They are desperate, uh, they don’t have leadership, uh, they really don’t know what to do, and so, I think we’re going to continue to see a lot of crazy things happening, like all of the, uh, outrage that has been demonstrated at these town hall meetings, like the kind of statement that Congresswoman Jenkins made, and let them define themselves, let them reveal who they are. The American public needs to see that.”

    This is a sentiment that I entirely agree with.

    A hat tip to dkos user scarce for the video clip.

    I can only imagine how much class and restraint it must take our African American members of Congress to even look their Republican colleauges in the face after the last 7+ months of racist, vitriolic nonsense about birth certificates, monkey comparisons and other open acts of hatred. And to think some still speak of bi-partisanship.

    But Representative Waters embodies that class and restraint, as well as the cool, calm and collected strategy embodied by both our President, as well as generations of African Americans before him who had to endure such hatred and malice. In fact, there is a genius to that patience.

The conversation continues on . . .

KO:      “But, the context of the town halls is, is, is really critical to this, I think, because, obviously, there is the provenence of this phrase, um, and it’s not juts that, and it’s not just that we are seven months into the term of the first African American President, but also, these town halls have been these witches’ kitchens of, you know, racist sentiment, but this attempt to thinly veil them in excuses that permit racist thoughts to be expressed and acted upon, as if there were not going to be any consequences.

    Shouldn’t there be some consequence to this Congresswoman, other than being, uh, being exposed as someone who either doesn’t care that she sounds racist, or doesn’t know what this very famous phrase actually means?”

Rep Waters:     “Well, let me just say this, as you know, the President and the Whitehouse are very, very careful not to let arguements and disagreements disintegrate into racist confrontation, and so, what we are going to do is, we are going to attempt to allow her to defend herself and her remarks in any way she wants to, but the truth will come out. They will define themselves, they can’t help it. And I think what we should do, is sit back and watch them, uh, so the American people can see what we are really up against. And I think the President would like it that way, he would not like to engage them in the discussion about their racist remarks. That is not his style.”

KO:      “Do you think, politically, we’re going backwards on this issue, because there’s so many things in the last seven months that have made me, as a white gu, ashamed, absolutly ashamed of what I have seen. Are we going backwards or forwards now?”

Rep Waters:     “Well, I’m concerned, I’m concerned about some of what I see, and some of what I hear, and I hope that they don’t trigger a response from people who want to, you know, get at them and show them that they can’t get away with that kind of discussion, that kind of talk, so I am concerned with it, I am very much concerned about it.”

    I had not considered this. I guess that is the difference between being who I am (a caucasian male) and what another person in different circumstances must face.

    Imagine the race baiting rage that would appear should an African American respond in anger, or the Gods forbid violence, at the racist invective and coded language being brought forth daily and even hourly by the Republican party and Right Wing pundits. Imagine the fine line that must be walked by the African American representatives of our Congress, who clearly embody the political spirit of Jackie Robinson today. I am certain that, should an African American respond in anger with violence towards a white American (teabagger, dittohead, whathaveyou), it would be the right wings dream come true, something on a par of what the GOP/FOX/Right Wing Noise Machine only hoped and dreamed that the Ashley Todd farce would turn into, had it not failed pathetically and miserably before it got off the ground.

    They would label it as who knows what, and I fear to even postulate where that would lead us as a nation.

    I give all the credit and respect possible to Representative Waters, President Obama, and every member of the African American community. I can not lie and say that I have never let a word of racism pass my lips, but I have regretted it every time, and sworn never to let it happen again. I am not perfect.

    The GOP is not perfect either. Far from it. They wilfully engage in this coded language of racism and race baiting, they are still playing the angry southern/white man strategy, and they have gone so far to the fringe that they can not back down now, not even if they wished to, for fear of being perceived as weak and traitorous by their base. Sadly, they have no desire to do so. The modern GOP if 2009 IS the racism of 1909 come back to life again. They define themselves as who they are daily, and are without shame. I have zero remorse for them, and little hope that the modern Republiican party can be rehabilitated.

    Some have asked if I truly wish the GOP destroyed politically. My answer is yes. Any electoral gains that the GOP might make under this agenda of racism and race baiting would only be encouraged should they win on a large scale in 2010. They will go with what they think works. This can not be allowed.

    Further, I can only hope that in his cool, level headed calculations, any empathy President Obama may have had months ago for the GOP has disappeared, and he will allow the David Axelrod’s and Rahm Emanuels of his team to eviscerate the GOP in the next election. Certainly, over the last 7+ months they have built up a collective highlight (lowlight?) reel of shame that they will not be able to escape it, and the political ads that will come of it will hopefully ruin many otherwise rising stars of the GOP universe.

    As Representative Waters stated above; “They will define themselves, they can’t help it. Let them reveal who they are. The truth will come out. The American public needs to see that”

    Indeed, they do. I can not imagine that the majority of the crucial independant voter bloc will have the stomach for such abject racism when it is revealed to them, nor will they have any empathy for the Republiican party and it’s candidates who endorse, ignore and tolerate such hatred.


    “Well, it’s nice to hear you counselling calm, and let them talk their way out of this if they can. Um, a lot of us, I don’t think are as calm as you are. Representative Maxine Waters of California, it’s always a pleasure. Thanks for your time. Thanks for coming in.”

Rep. Waters:      “You’re so welcome, thank you.”

     No, thank you, Congresswoman Waters. You’re a class act, all the way.

    Maxine Waters is one of our Health Care Heroes, and is supported by the Firedoglake campaign to reward those progressive members of Congress who support a Public Option. If you can, show her some love with a donation at

    She sure deserves it. A class act, all the way.

Thank you,


Also crossposted at

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  1. Maxine Waters truly represents the best that America stands for.

  2. She’s a politician. She pulls down a nice salary to do it. She well and truly EARNS that salary, but she also GETS one.

    Nobody’s firing me from my nonexistent job if I yell FANGOOL at an anti-Italian racist, and the sheer catharsis factor keeps me out of jail.

    So until I have a better reason not to, anyone who puts down MY ancestors is going to get the big Brooklyn flip off.

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