Michael Steele plays race card... on RNC? Plus, much, much more.
If you're a Republican or you want an effective, pro-American alternative to the current Democratic Party, the attached video of RNC chairman Michael Steele is a must-see. While it was edited by ThinkProgress and it may be missing key parts, the parts that are clearly in context do not make Steele look very good at all.
Most significantly, he seems to be playing the race card against the RNC, if not the whole GOP. After a discussion of racism still existing, he makes a big deal about how it took six ballots for him to be elected chairman. My first impression is that he's claiming that opposition to him was based on racism. And, I believe that's the correct interpretation, however I put a question mark in the title due to the possibility that ThinkProgress took his comments out of context or that Steele actually meant something else.
Another possibly out of context bit might be the section where he promotes Malcolm X, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton without, for instance, pointing out all the recent damage the latter two have done to the U.S. through constant attempts to racialize incidents and the like. And, bearing in mind that he's speaking to high school students almost all of whom are black, he said:
understand that sometimes when you work hard, there are still some folks who hang on to some old, dying, rather rotting ways that have less to do with your empowerment and more to do with your subjugation, more to do with your stereotype.
To a good extent, the latter portion is rather far-left, and indicates the degree to which many Republican leaders have internalized Gramscian concepts. At least he didn't use the word "oppressor", at least on the segment of video we have available. And, with the first part he's playing right into the Democratic Party's continuous attempts to smear not just Republicans but whites in general as racists. He's right that racism still exists, however, he's giving aid and comfort to the enemy (broadly construed) by not mentioning that some segment of all groups are racist, bigoted, and the like.
12/27/11 UPDATE: The ThinkProgress account with the video (ID D1IkC2MuBpw) that was here before was terminated due to several third-party infringement claims including from NumbersUSA. I replaced it with another video of I believe the same event described above.