Republicans spend a lot of energy explaining that they are not racists, and if you dare call them a racist based on their racist policies/comments, then they will gleefully accuse you “playing the race card” as if that exempts them from what they are doing. Here to exemplify this right wing cognitive dissonance in action is Georgia’s Republican Governor Nathan Deal, who yesterday made headlines by refusing to condemn “whites only” proms.
Here’s a compilation of Nathan Deal quotes:
Ghetto grandmothers: Speaking before the Cherokee County GOP, then congressman and candidate for governor Nathan Deal was fear-mongering about the need for a birth certificate before getting benefits, ”We got all the complaints of the ghetto grandmothers who didn’t have birth certificates and all that. We wrote some very liberal language as to how you can verify it. My mother was born in 1906 and she didn’t have a birth certificate. They didn’t give birth certificates back then. But we got her one, because you can do it under the proper procedures of your state.”
His wife can tell by looking at her students which ones are going to prison and which ones are going to college, “My wife tells me she could look at her sixth grade class and tell ya‘ which ones are going to prison and which ones are going to college.” (Maybe you need to have spent some time in the South to get that one, but I have and I do. It’s white person code for the slaves are acting up again.)
Deal’s obsession with President Barack Obama’s birth certificate heightened as he ran for office (translation, he used it to get the southern white vote, aka the birthers, aka in 2009, the Tea Party). AJC reported on this embarrassing switcheroo:
Do you believe that Barack Obama is a native-born American citizen who is eligible to serve as president? I am asking because your comments on this issue have been a little ambiguous. I would appreciate your clearing this up.
At 9:17 a.m., Deal tapped out this:
I am joining several of my colleagues in the House in writing a letter to the President asking that he release a copy of his birth certificate so we can have an answer to this question.
This is a new position for Deal. Back in August, my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin asked much the same question. This was the response he received from Deal campaign spokesman Harris Blackwood:
“He began receiving letters and e-mails about this long before the president took office. He has maintained in response to each one that he believes the president was born in the state of Hawaii two years after it became a state, is an American citizen and therefore is fully qualified to be president of the United States.”
“Awkward” will not describe the next meeting to discuss water negotiations between Deal and U.S. Rep. John Lewis.
The Tea Party likes to deny this now, but you can see for yourself how they pushed the birther baloney. In 2010, Deal was still questioning where he could direct his constituents to determine/verify where the President was born.
On July 28, 2009, Deal was questioned by Mike Stark outside the Capitol, as to whether he believed that birthers are a little coo-coo. Watch the full clip below:
Deal, “I wouldn’t say that, I have no idea where he was born. I have to take his word for it. He’s the President and he’s sworn to tell the truth and I assume he has.”
Stark confronts him as to why he hasn’t looked into it more, so Deal reaches for the fiction brush, “I understand he sealed it. There’s no public record so far as I know.”
Stark suggested that Chris Matthews had held up the birth certificate on TV. Deal took refuge in saying release the birth certificate, “I don’t think that’s been done yet.”
In case you’re wondering just who Deal is playing to, on March 21 2013, a video was uploaded to YouTube from “tmotofga” who writes, “Racist Gubna, Nathan Deal Fires School Board Nigras: The Negoes in Dekalb County are Pissed. They ought to give the Gubna a medal. Good riddance to those sorry arsed board members.”
Um, yeah. That video is referring to Nathan Deal being accused of racism for firing five black members of the Dekalb county school board (five of six fired board members were black, two of the three remaining who were not fired were white). After the NAACP questioned Deal on this, on March 12, Deal challenged them to go ”find some good Black people to run”, seemingly implying that finding qualified black people would not be easy.
Has he checked his binders full of blacks yet?
No worries, like Governor Synder in Michigan, Governor Deal claimed he was”uneasy with intervening in an predominately Democratic county, but that he took action because he feared metro Atlanta’s economy would suffer if he did not.” So much for the conservative argument to keep power localized, eh?
Has anyone alerted President Obama that he can take sweeping executive power if only he claims it’s for the economy?
Then, there was his immigration bill, that caused former Republican Governor Sonny Purdue to worry that Georgia is earning a reputation as a state where it’s not a good thing to be “of a different color.” You don’t say. Deal assures us that this is not necessarily about skin color (meaning, it very well could be exactly about skin color), “And I don’t think it has anything to do necessarily with the color of one’s skin.”
No offense, brown skinned woman, but can I see your birth certificate and your papers, ghetto grandma? Oh, and welcome to Georgia, home of Vidalia sweet onions, delicious peaches, peanuts (boiled!) and now – Deal stirring the racial pot for political reasons.
Nathan Deal is not necessarily a racist. He just appeases/stirs up/divides racists in order to get votes and impose his whims upon Democratic counties. Don’t you feel better now?
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.