It's been an awfully racist week among leftists as they attack black Republicans for not toeing the line when it comes to political values they're expected to hold. We've covered how the ladies of "The View," including old, angry white woman Joy Behar, went after Justice Clarence Thomas and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), the latter who just recently made it official he is running for president. But there's been another target, Kentucky's Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who last week handily won the Republican gubernatorial nomination to face Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear.
NewsBusters' Curtis Houck addressed what he aptly called a "smear" put forth in the subscribers-only column from Joe Gerth, "Does choice of Daniel Cameron for governor mean Kentucky Republicans aren't racist?" From his headline alone, Gerth manages to attack not just Cameron, but the commonwealth as well as a major political party.
Does the Republican nomination of a Black candidate for governor of Kentucky mean the GOP isn't racist? I try to answer the question here. https://t.co/LwA7O3Kx9l— Joe Gerth (@Joe_Gerth) May 25, 2023
Gerth begins by referencing one letter to the editor for the basis of his column. "If Republicans are so racist, how can we vote for a black man?" Gregory Winborn of Paducah wrote in a letter to the editor last Thursday. Gerth acknowledges that Cameron is the first black person nominated for the position, but that ends up being the basis for his smear, after he claims Cameron "essentially said the same thing [as Winborn] in his acceptance speech on Tuesday."
The column then quotes the part of Cameron's acceptance speech in which he said "here in Kentucky, the American dream is alive and well because here in Kentucky, you aren't judged by the color of your skin but by the content of your character," referring to that part of the speech as one that "us[es] the MLK quote that Republicans love," as if we have to subscribe Martin Luther King Jr. and his admirable views to one political party. It's not the only time that Gerth mentions MLK either.
It's also worth suggesting that Gerth's view of Cameron and his speech would almost certainly be different if he were a Democratic candidate.
While Gerth provides citations to some of his points, he doesn't do so in every case. When referring to problems affecting the black community, Gerth claims that "Republican positions on all these things do little to correct these problems."
But, Gerth seemingly supports positions that enable black Americans to remain dependent on government and public assistance, because the private sector is so terrible. "They believe the way to lift Black people out of poverty isn’t to strengthen public schools or raise the minimum wage, it’s to let the private sector create and provide high-paying jobs for people – no matter their race. Unfortunately, this does little to help those who the educational system has failed," he claims about Republicans.
When has the opportunity to make a thoughtful point that isn't completely divisive, specifically on education, he squanders it. Here's what he has to say about not just Republicans, but school choice, which isn't so much of a partisan issue, or at least doesn't need to be:
[Republicans] want to divert money away from public schools to charter schools, which have a mixed record of success and failure, which all but ensures the public schools where most Black children attend will suffer.
That gets us back to their love of the MLK quote about the content of character and not the color of skin.
Republicans cite this quote because it allows them to oppose policies like affirmative action that give African Americans − who have been and still are at a disadvantage because of racist systems we created to keep them down − an advantage that can help them thrive.
The problem is, if we don’t work to improve the schools − and that often means putting more money and resources into Black neighborhoods and schools – far too few Black people will qualify for those high-paying jobs if they ever come to fruition.
There's that mention of MLK again, which Gerth goes after for the sake of criticizing Republicans and their opposition to affirmative action. Somewhat astonishingly, Gerth does not bring up Justice Thomas in his column. It is worth mentioning that Thomas has actually come out against affirmative action as having diminished his accomplishments, though he too has been smeared for such a position, as well as having had separate remarks of his on the subject misquoted.
The particular issue that Gerth attacks Cameron on is when it comes to his view on police, how he "will always back the blue," as the gubernatorial nominee phrases it. Gerth mentions on the death of Breonna Taylor as well as discrimination from Louisville Metro Police.
Referencing the speech where MLK made the remarks mentioned above, as well as where he talks about his concerns with police, Gerth claims that it's "Hard to imagine King ever saying he would 'always back the blue.'" There he goes again, politicizing MLK for the sake of attacking a Republican, in this case, Cameron specifically.
Gerth then makes the point that was almost certainly expected, which is to highlight and condemn how Cameron dares to go against the viewpoint of many other black Americans:
The fact is, even though he is Black, Cameron takes stands against what the vast majority of Black people believe. In 2016, the Pew Research Center found that 87% of African Americans identified as Democrats while only 7% said they were Republicans.
In a column in The Courier Journal last year, Ricky Jones predicted that Republicans would nominate Cameron, who he likened to Booker T. Washington, the Black educator who rose to prominence in part because he didn’t want to challenge the white establishment and Jim Crow head on.
In many ways, Cameron has made himself into the Black man who doesn’t scare white people and doesn’t challenge them on issues of race. He doesn't see police brutality because it would harm him politically if he did. He opposes whatever he thinks critical race theory is because it's the latest Republican anti-Black buzzword.
Gerth then goes for referencing another election where a black Republican candidate, O.J. Oleka, who ran for treasurer and finished third. Gerth takes issue with how a primary opponent "noted that he co-founded a group called AntiRacismKY, has spoken up against police brutality and believes that teachers should go through implicit bias training." Well, it's a primary and the idea is to win. Voters have a right to know candidates' position on these issues and more. Further, the idea of "implicit bias training" isn't exactly popular with Republicans.
"Hardly groundbreaking stuff," Gerth claims, as if he is able to speak for all Republican primary voters who chose not to elect Oleka in the free and fair election that they voted in.
In conclusion, Gerth writes exactly what was to be expected of him, which is that he does in fact believe Republican Kentuckians to be racist.
"So, no. The fact that Republicans were willing to nominate a Black man for governor doesn't mean they aren't racists. It simply means they are willing to nominate a Black man who acts as if racism doesn't exist, because they think it's in their best interest to do so," he closes his piece with while adding a gross generalization about Cameron.
In Kentucky, 87.1 percent of the population is white, according to the Census Bureau's estimates for July 2022. Almost 9 percent--8.6 percent to be exact--are described as "Black or African American alone." By nominating a black Republican, voters there were able to see past race and vote for someone who was of a different race than most of them. That ought to be worth commending, not denigrating.