by John W.B. Huie
NOW I’VE SEEN it all. The Stupid Party — er, I mean the Republican party — is threatening to sue one of its own candidates. According to the Associated Press today, Republican officialdom in New York’s Westchester County, a suburb of New York City, is trying to remove Jim Russell from the ballot. They’re threatening to go to court if they have to. (ILLUSTRATION: Jim Russell, top, with co-workers.)
Westchester County Republican chairman Doug Colety says the party has “denounced” the Jim Russell campaign because of an allegedly “racist” (Colety’s word) essay Russell wrote in 2001.
Here’s the most incendiary passage Russell wrote:
“It has been demonstrated that finches raised by foster parents of a different species of finch will later exhibit a lifelong sexual attraction toward the alien species. One wonders how a child’s sexual imprinting mechanism is affected by forcible racial integration and near continual exposure to media stimuli promoting interracial contact. The most serious implication of human sexual imprinting for our genetic future is that it would establish the destructiveness of school integration, especially in the middle and high-school years. One can only wonder to what degree the advocates of school integration, such as former NAACP attorney Jack Greenberg, were conscious of this scientific concept. It also compounds the culpability of media moguls who deliberately popularize miscegenation in films directed toward adolescents and pre-adolescents. In the midst of this onslaught against our youth, parents need to be reminded that they have a natural obligation, as essential as providing food and shelter, to instill in their children an acceptance of appropriate ethnic boundaries for socialization and for marriage.”
Colety says if the party’s effort to remove its own man from the ballot aren’t successful, it might sponsor a write-in candidate. Meanwhile, Colety stated, they have “withdrawn all support” from Russell.
Salon.com’s “War Room” has also gone ballistic over Russell since yesterday.
Strange that the essay was out there for all to read in 2001, but it had no effect on Russell’s 2008 congressional campaign or his status then as a Republican. In fact, Russell did very well that year against an entrenched incumbent, Nita Lowey, who spent about $1.5 million on her campaign: In the year of the Obama juggernaut, Russell got a third of the vote even though he spent only $14,000. If that’s about the level of party support that is being “withdrawn” this year, maybe Russell really has nothing to worry about.
Russell said Tuesday that his essay has been “misinterpreted.” I think he’s right. There’s not the slightest bit of evidence that Russell hates anyone of any race or religion. None.
Now let me make one thing clear. I love and respect people of many different races. It’s stupid to hate anyone for his biology, which he or she isn’t responsible for anyway. I don’t like the fact that Russell said nothing in his essay about self-determination and freedom for people who aren’t white. And I believe in the spirit of simple human kindness and that there’s room on planet earth for all of God’s or Nature’s children. But I also believe that there’s room for different points of view — including Russell’s.
What Russell wrote in his essay isn’t any different in intent or morality from the many Black preachers who encourage their young folks to support — and marry within — the Black community. That doesn’t mean they hate anyone.
It’s no different from the rabbis who exhort their congregations to marry Jewish to preserve their traditions and peoplehood.
It’s no different from the folks who say Palestinians need their own state so they can have integrity as a people and their own government.
It’s no different from people who say Tibet needs its independence for the same reasons.
What Jim Russell did is way less radical than what Russell Means did when he declared independence for his American Indian Republic of Lakotah — and Means is usually praised.
The cowardice displayed by the Republican party in trashing their own candidate for expressing the kind of views on race and intermarriage that millions upon millions of whites and blacks and Asians and others express in their own living rooms is appalling. It is hypocritical in the extreme. And it diminishes our Republic and our tradition of self-government to enforce such “speech codes” and “thought codes” on candidates.
The billionaire-owned media are also to blame. It is their smear machines that have made certain opinions taboo — and political suicide to express.
Jim Russell deserves the respect and fair hearing that he’s apparently not going to get from the Stupid Party. Agree or disagree, he’s a courageous man for taking on the taboos of American political and social life. In politics, he’s one in a million. I salute him.