Politics Magazine

Is Abbott A Racist, Or Just Pandering To GOP Racists ?

Posted on the 21 October 2014 by Jobsanger
Is Abbott A Racist, Or Just Pandering To GOP Racists ?
Texas is a backward enough state without having a governor who is wishy-washy on racial matters, but that may be exactly what we are fixing to get. When Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott was being questioned by the editorial board of the San Antonio Express-News, he was questioned about his continuing to defend the state ban on same-sex marriages (even though the U.S. Supreme Court has shown it is unwilling to overturn decisions saying that kind of ban is unconstitutional).
His answer was that it is still Texas law, and he is required to defend Texas law. He was then asked if he had been attorney general 50 years ago, would he have tried to defend the ban on interracial marriages (declared unconstitutional by a 1967 Supreme Court decision). Abbott refused to answer that question.
That is very troubling for a couple of reasons. First, any decent person in this country knows that Loving vs. Virginia (the case overturning the interracial marriage ban) was decided correctly, and I can't believe any decent person, attorney general or not, would have any problem supporting that decision. Second, no state attorney general is obligated to defend any state law that has been declared to be unconstitutional in a federal court. Abbott would not have been obligated to defend a ban on interracial marriage, and he is not obligated to defend the Texas ban on same-sex marriage. He does so because he either opposes equal rights for all, or he is pandering to those who do.
Abbott's refusal to answer that very valid question brings up a couple of other questions. Is he a racist who is still upset over civil rights? Or is he just pandering to the large element of racists in his party's base (afraid they will stay home on election day if he defends civil rights)? I hope it is just the latter. That would be bad enough (to have a governor afraid to stand up for civil rights), but it would be an unmitigated disaster to have a racist inhabit the governor's mansion.
Abbott should be ashamed of himself for refusing to boldly stand up for equal rights, but then the current Republican Party doesn't seem to think equal rights is a value worth fighting for.

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