To the editor
My daughter brought a shocking online racist cartoon from the Chisago County Republican Party Facebook page to my attention. It depicts a slave auction titled ‘Pro-Choice’ and a caption ‘Against Slavery? Don’t buy one.’ The hate and vitriol being spewed by some who align with the Republican Party would be laughable in its outrageousness if it didn’t impact society. But unfortunately it does. The ignorance and personal frustrations of parents and grandparents who do this affect young and impressionable minds. No child sees ‘race,’ a primarily cultural device used to categorize humanity. It continues to affect society by calculated efforts to deny voting via ‘voter ID,’ by making access to healthcare difficult, in unnecessary incarceration that forever sets a person on a path of crime, and in direct violence. The denigration of our very president is the most obvious example of how racism continues. Moderate policies, if introduced by past Republican or Democratic leaders, would never suffer the indignities given to President Obama. A telling example is the Affordable Care Act, a Republican concept and one successfully carried out in the state of Massachusetts by Governor Romney. More obvious examples are effigies seen in Duluth and elsewhere of the president with a noose around his neck. The question becomes, “Can the racist elements of the Republican Party be subdued?” Is this one more influence of the reckless and naïve Tea Party Republicans or is it even larger? This local incident is only one in what has become a long string of so-called gaffes that are quickly ‘apologized’ with or without reprimands. Party leaders can choose to strongly address the racists within or risk complete irrelevance.