Artur Davis Blames the Left for Perpetuating Racial Divisions

During an interview with Brett Decker of the right-wing Washington Times, former Democratic congressman Artur Davis blamed the left for racial animosity in the U.S. Davis left the Democratic party after he lost the 2010 Alabama Democratic gubernatorial primary by a wide margin, and has reinvented himself as an anti-Obama Republican, possibly with the hope of running for Congress again. Davis told the Washington Times that the “racial divide will fester as long as the left pursues an identity politics of grievance.” He even said that calling out overt and implicit racism is another way the “left adds to the racial divide,” and praised the GOP’s “roll call of Americans of color who have won the privilege to speak for more than their own kind,” like Allen West and Nikki Haley. “In the Democratic Party, with precious few exceptions, minorities are consigned to represent and to speak for their own,” Davis maintained. Apparently Davis didn’t watch the Republican speakers he named as many of them cited their experience as racial and ethnic minorities in their speeches, and it is beyond dispute that the Democratic Party includes a far higher number of voters and elected officials of color.

Decker: Barack Obama’s promise to guide America to a more unified post-racial future has not been fulfilled. In fact, this president has divided the nation to a frightening degree. What do you think needs to be done to heal the racial divide? Is it unfair for me to say the Democratic Party takes the black vote for granted and pursues policies — such as opposition to school choice — that keep many African Americans down?

Davis: The racial divide will fester as long as the left pursues an identity politics of grievance. The left adds to the racial divide every time its politicians or acolytes equate ordinary conservatism with racial intolerance, and link opposition to the Obama administration to racial backlash. The Democratic Party has unwisely distanced itself from policies like parental choice, vouchers and the overhaul of tenure that would have a transformative effect in the lives of black children, and there is an opening for Republicans to appeal to minorities by claiming priorities like education reform in the course of the next decade.

It should be noted that Republicans far more than Democrats are providing a pathway for African-Americas, Latinos and Indian Americans who dare to move beyond being spokespersons for their own communities. Condi Rice, Susanna Martinez, Nikki Haley, Brian Sandoval, Tim Scott, Allen West, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio: They are a roll call of Americans of color who have won the privilege to speak for more than their own kind, and Mia Love and Ted Cruz will join them this November. In the Democratic Party, with precious few exceptions, minorities are consigned to represent and to speak for their own.

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