The day after the 2014 election, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel whether he wanted to walk back his comments that the GOP “doesn’t believe slavery is over.”
To Blitzer’s shock, Rangel doubled down, accusing Southern Republicans of supporting slavery and believing in racial superiority. (RELATED: HuffPo Editor: McConnell Using ‘George Wallace’s Old Language’)
I meant that they used to call themselves Dixiecrat. These were slave-holding states. They’ve been frustrated with the Emancipation Proclamation. They turned over, became Republicans, then they became tea party people. These are the people that are trying to frustrate people from voting, changing the voting rights that we fought so hard for. And all I’m saying is, if you want to challenge the statistics, find out where the slave-holding states are, find out whether they were Dixiecrats, went Republicans, find out where the tea party is.
And I’m just saying that it’s unfortunate America doesn’t deal with the problem of racism. Until we acknowledge that it exists and fight hard to eradicate it, then we still have to be frustrated by people. They all come from the South and they all have these feelings about superiority and that’s true whether you’re picking cotton or whether you’re president of the United States.
We’re not talking about America. We’re not talking about the advancements that we’ve made, a black president, the explosive number of African-American and others that are now in the Congress. We’re talking about a cancer that we have in the United States of America. America knows who they are. They know how they feel. And we’re talking about dealing with them.
So maybe slavery was the wrong word. But racial superiority, unfortunately, is a disease that a handful of people have, and they were holding back the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Maybe now that Republican leadership doesn’t need them, they can go along with people who want to improve the quality of life for all Americans and not those who just look like them.