In the closing stages of the election, Walter Dalton recruited several African Americans to produce one the most powerful videos in memory. Pat McCrory went berserk. We’d all benefit if he admitted they were right.

The ad sent a harsh message, and appropriately so. Furthermore, every element has proven true. The McCrory administration chronically violates civil rights. But still the governor refuses to even consider their (our) complaints. Just last week, for instance, he categorically denied the voting law’s inequitable impact. That he said so to a white, conservative audience renders him that much more pig-headed.

This is unfortunate. Despite how he worked hand-in-glove with bigots, I’m willing to believe McCrory is tolerant. Thus, if he thought seriously about race, he might well adjust his priorities. In that case, he’d spare us all from yet more damage. Of course, the question is whether he can think seriously, or at all.

More broadly, Republicans need to accept their “race problem” before being a party for the whole nation. At this point, they remain in steadfast denial. They denigrate minorities and play the victim when criticized. They make pathetic, maddening arguments about their party’s historical heritage. Our political climate will cool when they accept these practices must stop.

It must be acknowledged that Republicans are a party of Southern conservatism, and racism is the essence of that tradition. So some of them will never learn. That said, even the worst evolve in some ways. Is Pat McCrory among them?

 

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