Talking Points Memo reports that Rick Santorum’s reaction to the horrific act of racial terror in Charleston, which claimed nine innocent victims, was to call it an “assault on religious liberty.”
If TPM’s reporting is accurate, Santorum just defined himself as a racist. He knows what the shootings were about. We all know. For Santorum to ignore the reality here and try to characterize it as something it’s not goes beyond the day-to-day intellectual dishonesty we hear from politicians and the media.
This is just a guess, but I have to think that African-Americans hearing Santorum’s remarks would react in a manner similar to how Jews react to holocaust denial. As well they should. The difference between Santorum’s remarks and holocaust denial is only a matter of degree and blatancy.
And Santorum is not alone. Whether it’s an act of police brutality, an act of white on black terror, or stunningly offensive remarks by a public official, too many in the media and too many politicians are unwilling to confront the subject of racism in America head on.
And that unwillingness is itself racist.