A Candid Republican Tells The Truth About Racism In His Party

Friday night on MSNBC, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, a Republican who served as chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell during the George W. Bush administration, was asked to comment on Republican bully and Romney bullshitter John Sununu’s race-based assertion that Powell endorsed President Obama because, well, “take a look at Colin Powell,” he said.

Wilkerson, forcefully and without qualification, said this:

My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people, not all of them but most of them, who are still basing their decisions on race. Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants president Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as Commander-in-Chief, as President, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that’s despicable.

All of you lurking conservatives out there who have followed this blog for the past three and a half years, who have indicted me, a Democrat, for what you claim are false accusations of racially-tinged resentment and false accusations of racism on the part of Republicans, can take it up with Colonel Wilkerson, one of your own.


  1. N. Michael Barrows

     /  October 26, 2012

    “As you grow older, you’ll see white men
    cheat black men every day of your life,
    but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it – whenever a white man
    does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, he is trash.”
    ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird


  2. Reblogged this on Professor Olsen @ Large and commented:
    A man who is willing to tell the truth: Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson. Refreshingly, he is a Republican.


  3. Yellow Dog

     /  October 27, 2012

    Living and working in SW Missouri one cannot help but to know (and love) a few Republicans. We liberals would be silly to think that here, in the heart of the Bible belt we could avoid neighbors, coworkers, church friends, and family members who identify themselves as Republicans.

    Walk into any feed store, hardware store, any where the locals congregate—your dinner table perhaps and….even church, and you will hear the sounds of racism. They talk it. They live it. They believe in it. And then they deny it. They hate this President BECAUSE he is half black. Any black is bad so even being half white gains Obama no reprieve from their hatred.

    We know the truth, like I said, we live, work, and even love them. Who the hell do they think they are kidding?

    Satan wins this one.


  4. ansonburlingame

     /  October 27, 2012

    Of course I have yet to become a “lurking” conservative for this blog.

    I engage in a spriited exchange with former college classmates, many of whom are retired military. The issue of Powell’s endorsement and Sunnu’s comment have been part of that exchange. I paste below my input to that particular group in my own attempt to understand Powell’s position, which has NOTHING to do with his race or racial support for President Obama. His (Powell’s) position is based on policy considerations alone, in my view.

    Here is my email to my classmates: (Dee is the wife of a classmate and she holds strong progressive views and is not afraid to state them to former military guys)


    In my view Powell made his call this time (2012) for the same reasons he did in 2008. There are two of them, again in my view and probably align with your thinking.

    One, Powell HATES neo-cons, particularly in the foreign policy area. Cheney is the epitome of such in Powell’s mind I would suppose. Powell probably thinks the “Cairo approach”, call it “let’s be friends” will work.

    Second Powell, because of his background (maybe race as well) believes in sustaining America’s “social contract” at a minimum and even continuing to expand it (universal health care maybe).

    In believing such matters for whatever reasons he obviously comes down on the side of Obama. In doing so he becomes at best a “moderate, moderate, moderate” Republican without a conservative bone in his body.

    Of course I believe the General is wrong but admire his willingness to stand and speak for what he believes in. But based on history, both economic and in international affairs, I see two outcomes of such views.

    The first will be a “new” Cold War with Islam and Sharia Law prevailing throughout much of “Arabia” or actually Muslim dominated countries.

    Second an economically weakened set of democracies in Europe and America to the point that only our nuclear weapons will be the deterrent against a conventional force of terrorists. Obama was right as well. “Horses and bayonets” will do nothing to defend America in such a new Cold War (with HOT terrorists running free). And we won’t be able to afford the kind of Navy to establish such defenses where they belong as well. Note if you will no CBG available to respond to Benghazi!!

    Finally, the world has never seen a terrorist/conventional force “running free” around the world, opposed by nuclear deterrence. But one thing you will hear in such a case is “nuke’em” from various segments of the political spectrum. Then when a “suitcase” blows up in America, what are you going to suggest we do, or General Powell for that matter?”



  5. Anson,
    Ignoring Wilkerson’s statement “My party [the GOP] is full of racists” for a tangential dip into paranoid nuclear war fantasies with Islam does not address the subject at hand. Do you agree or disagree with Wilkerson?

    You suggest that maybe Powell’s “race” has something to do with his support for Obama, citing “race” as the common denominator in their shared interest in sustaining the “social contract”; but earlier you wrote that Powell’s endorsement “…has NOTHING to do with his race or racial support for the President.” So if you believe race has NOTHING do with it, why ponder the possibility two African-Americans are more likely to find consensus on the sustainment of the “social contract” than two Caucasians? Perhaps if you defined “social contract” with greater clarity it would clear up contradictory opinions.


  6. Barack Obama’s first term might have been seen as an historical aberration had it not been affirmed yesterday, but it was. His darker face joins the 43 white ones not as a place holder but one to be remembered along with the great ones who governed with strength and conviction in times of great strife and contention. He will be remembered not with Arthur, Harrison and Cleveland, but with Washington, Lincoln and Eisenhower.

    But, as Colonel Wilkerson notes, racism is still a factor. Let us hope that with this second term that factor will now diminish and the opposition in Congress, that opposition whose leadership famously made Obama’s defeat their number one priority, will put it aside to concentrate on larger issues. This good man has earned the right to govern on a level playing field.


    • Jim,

      You’re going to think this is crazy, but when you talked about “his darker face” joining the 43 white ones, I thought about our own Schifferdecker Golf Course. If you have ever been inside the clubhouse, you know there is a picture gallery of local golfers on the wall. All white.

      How ironic that it will take longer for a “darker face” to get put on the walls at Schifferdecker than it took for America, with its legacy of slavery, to put such a face among its gallery of presidents.

      Truly remarkable, when you think about it.



      • Not crazy at all, Duane. It’s probably not an accident that the House majority leader sports one of the all-time more-consistent golf tans. But, change is coming. They even admitted a woman to Augusta National. OMG.


  7. Duane, this Rachele thing is spam – recommend you delete it.


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