There are days in Florida when you feel like you are living in the 19th Century. Here is part of the text of an e-mail sent by the Chairman of the Hillsborough Republican Party (this is county that contains Tampa).
HERE IN TEMPLE TERRACE, FL OUR REPUBLICAN HQ IS ONE BLOCK AWAY FROM OUR LIBRARY, WHICH IS AN EARLY VOTING SITE.
I SEE CARLOADS OF BLACK OBAMA SUPPORTERS COMING FROM THE INNER CITY TO CAST THEIR VOTES FOR OBAMA. THIS IS THEIR CHANCE TO GET A BLACK PRESIDENT AND THEY SEEM TO CARE LITTLE THAT HE IS AT MINIMUM, SOCIALIST, AND PROBABLY MARXIST IN HIS CORE BELIEFS. AFTER ALL, HE IS BLACK--NO EXPERIENCE OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS--BUT HE IS BLACK.
I ALSO SEE YOUNG COLLEGE STUDENTS AND THEIR PROFESSORS FROM USF PARKING THEIR CARS WITH THE PROMINENT 'OBAMA' BUMPER STICKERS. THE STUDENTS ARE ENTHUSIASTIC TO BE VOTING IN A HISTORIC ELECTION WHERE THERE MAY BE THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT.
It so happens that I voted at the precinct in question. The Republicans are right to be scared: there were a lot of African Americans voting at my precinct. What a scary thought: African Americans are excersing their right to vote!!!
This was big news here last night. The story lead the news on both the CBS and NBC local stations.
As Republicans always do, the first reaction for the Head of the Republican Party in what many regard as the key county in Florida, David Storck, was to suggest that its release was attempt to "sabotage the Republican Party."I love his initial reaction – attack. He sent the e-mail, but his first reaction after forwarding the e-mail is to actually try and play the victim. Later he issued this absurd non-apology:
I can certainly understand how the e-mail could be misunderstood. I should never have forwarded that message and sincerely apologize for sending it and to anyone that my action has offended
Actually, I think the problem for Storch is the e-mail was perfectly understood. If you read the whole text of the e-mail is hard not to see in it 200 years of White fear of African Americans. The subconscious mind of the White Rascism is in full display in that e-mail. Hillsborough County is, after all, home to a huge Confederate Flag. As the St Pete Times noted:
Joe Robinson, a black Republican, said such views are the reason he resigned from the local party, but are not surprising in a county that recently made national news because of a giant Confederate flag erected on private property.
"Hillsborough County's got some racist attitudes," he said
Here is what I find most interesting of all: no one will suggest that Storck is anti-American.
In a great diary this morning,davidkc notes that Gov. Charlie Crist extended the hours for early voting. He is now catching hell for this from Repiublicans, though of course no one in the GOP has the guts to go public with their concerns that this will enable the poor and African Americans greater opportunity to vote.
This e-mail reflects much of the attitude within the Florida Republican Party and it shows in how they conduct themselves here.