No, seriously, tell us what you really think. A Texas Tea Party leader admitted recently what most of us already knew, the Republican party doesn’t want African-Americans to vote.
When asked at a meeting of Texas Republicans “what can Republicans do to get black people to vote,” a Texas Tea Party leader, Ken Emanuelson, gave the following answer:
“I’m going to be real honest with you, the Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they’re going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”
The Tea Party, for all of its short years, already has a long history of racism. Remember when Tea Party protesters spat on civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis and called him the n-word? Or Tea Party darling Rand Paul’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act? Or just the other day when a Tea Party leader, and former GOP party chair in Texas, accused Republican anti-tax activist Grover Norquist of being a stealth Muslim because he has a beard?
Not that the GOP is any better (and honestly, let’s stop the facade of pretending that the Tea Party is anything more than a group of conservative Republicans). The Republican party has its own checkered past of trying to impede the black vote, especially in the south. And in recent years, the GOP has doubled up its effort to disenfranchise voters from all walks of life:
As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots. “What has happened this year is the most significant setback to voting rights in this country in a century,” says Judith Browne-Dianis, who monitors barriers to voting as co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C.Republicans have long tried to drive Democratic voters away from the polls. “I don’t want everybody to vote,” the influential conservative activist Paul Weyrich told a gathering of evangelical leaders in 1980. “As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.” But since the 2010 election, thanks to a conservative advocacy group founded by Weyrich, the GOP’s effort to disrupt voting rights has been more widespread and effective than ever. In a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process.
We’ve seen GOP voter suppression in countless states. Ohio was one, just this past November. Arizona is another, where the GOP is challenging the Voting Rights Act itself. As our own Gaius Publius has explained, that’s the Republicans’ ultimate goal in all of this, taking down the Voting Rights Act, which was put in place specifically because racists didn’t want blacks to vote.
But it’s not just African-Americans they’re targeting, Republicans are also trying to stop college kids from voting, since college kids tend to vote Democratic. And even on the issue of voting rights for felons, when we see movement on the GOP side, it’s done in a way that’s only half sincere.
The Republican party has a long history of voter suppression, so it’s no surprise that they still want to suppress the black vote in 2013. It is surprising, however, that they’d actually admit it.