Bigots can be found in all political parties and all religions as well as among those with no religion. Yet, in recent years, a disproportionate number of politicians who brazenly spew their racial, ethnic and religious bigotry at every open microphone are Republicans. While this may good politics in the short term and entertaining for the bigots, Republican Party leaders will rue the day they sat silently by while their politicians engaged in this disgusting exercise.
Bigotry has existed in this nation since the first illegal aliens hit the shores at Plymouth Rock. Those immigrants used bigotry, racial and religious, to justify their systematic campaign to murder the American citizens (Native Americans) and steal their land. They used bigotry later to justify slavery and Jim Crow, and convinced themselves that God was, and is, on their side.
Now we are faced with a humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of refugees, mostly unaccompanied children, are fleeing hunger, death and oppression in their native countries and seeking refuge in the United States. They are lured by the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, wrongly believing that America actually welcomes the tired, the poor and the huddled masses yearning to be free. That welcome, apparently, only applies to white folks with lawyers and big bank accounts.
Politicians, mostly Republican, soothe their consciences by characterizing these refugees as illegal aliens. They compare their flight from oppression as an invasion. One Republican, Congressman Gohmert, went to the floor of the House to compare these unarmed children, who turned themselves in to border guards, to the invasion at Normandy. He said the all immigrants [except rich whites] bring in diseases.
Bigots always find a way to justify their behavior. They felt good about killing Native Americans and enslaving Africans by convincing themselves that, like animals, Native Americans and Africans did not have souls. Today, that justification has been silently extended to Latinos and Muslims.
Many Republican politicians are demanding that National Guard Troops be sent to the border. What would they do — mow the children down with assault rifles? These refugees are already in custody. What is needed is humanitarian assistance, not military troops. This is not North Korea. These are children, not enemy combatants or brazen criminals.
The vitriol is not coming from most Republican politicians; it is limited to a small group long suffering from foot-in-the-mouth disease. The hate-spewing bigots at Murrieta, California, did not represent the majority of people in that community. Yet, they got 24-7 news coverage.
The political problem for Republicans is that their party leaders and reasonable politicians do not denounce this vile. All Republicans who do not condemn this talk are complicit by their silence.
Hate spewing politicians and other hard-hearted Christians make a mockery of the words Jesus himself spoke about loving thy neighbor. “When I was hungry, you gave me food; when I was thirsty, you gave me to drink...,” He said.
How can they reconcile Jesus’ words when he said in Luke 18: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for of such is the kingdom of God?”
When Castro opened the jails and prisons and sent tens of thousands of criminals to the U.S., Republicans welcomed them with open arms and gave them citizenship Why? They were welcomed because Cubans tended to vote Republican. It was not compassion but naked partisan politics. For very good reasons, most Latinos today do not vote Republican.
This behavior will hurt Republicans because these stinging words are lodged in the hearts of every immigrant, and descendents of recent immigrants—Latino, Asian, Indian, Muslim. The Republican Party will reap what they sowed, not just for their words, but more importantly, for their silence. Time is not on the Republicans side.