The Universities' decision to invite Julian Bond, the leader of the NAACP, to deliver the Commencement Address has sparked much controversy among campus conservatives. On Thursday, leaders of the College Republicans wrote an Op-Ed in The Hatchet stating, "Bond, the chairman of the NAACP, is not just a critic of the Republican Party - he spews hatred toward our party in a perverse and stereotypical way. It is unfortunate that a University with such wide global reach would turn to a man whose intolerance reportedly led him to compare the Republican Party to both the Nazis and the Taliban, and whose narrow-mindedness led him to claim that we only appeal to the 'dark underside of American culture, to the minority of Americans who reject democracy and equality.'"
The College Republicans, silent when leaders of their party make mean-spirited and divisive attacks against other patriotic Americans, have chosen this moment to locate their righteous indignation and have chosen to use it to attack GW for inviting a true American leader to speak at Commencement.
For many years, the Republican Party has employed a strategy which seeks to exploit our nation's racial history. Note that I am not accusing Republicans of being racists; instead I am arguing that they use race as a wedge issue, similar to gay marriage or a woman's right to chose.
Does the phrase "Southern Strategy" ring any bells? In the late sixties President Nixon and his strategist Kevin Phillips developed a strategy for Republican victories based on using racial tensions to their advantage. So instead of attacking Mr. Bond, my friends in the CR's should check their history books on their parties' shameful use of race.
The CR's claim that theirs is the Party of Lincoln. I doubt that the man who emancipated the slaves would feel comfortable in their party today. Republicans continue to use race as means to divide. For example, with the prospect of the first African American nominee for President, the RNC recently commissioned a poll to determine how far it could go in attacking a black or a female candidate. This shameful strategy shows how little the "Reactionary Party" has progressed these past 40 years.
The hypocrisy of my Republican friends is a bit ridiculous. We should welcome Mr. Bond to campus and hear what message he has for us. I for one am excited to see what he has to say.
If you are as taken aback by the words of the CR's as I was, I would encourage you to say so in The Hatchet. Letters to the Editor can be submitted to email@example.com.