Mia Love speaking at the 2013 CPAC in Washington D.C. on March 16, 2013.
It is clear that Tea Party Republican Ludmya Bourdeau "Mia" Love, newly elected to Congress from Utah's 4th District, won't care what a vast majority of black folks think about her, since her job is to be trotted out and displayed as part of the faces of color brigade to prove that Teapublicans aren't bigots. Her first assignment from her handlers was "Clean up in Aisle
Scalise," (even before being seated in the House) with a flurry of media appearances, on ABC news
and in stories like "Mia Love: The new racial conscience of the GOP
She is Exhibit No. 1 for Republicans' claim to be a diverse party at the federal level, a role that makes her the new racial conscience of her party — along with Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) and perhaps Rep.-elect Will Hurd (Tex.), another newly elected black Republican. (Neither of them have commented on Scalise so far).
But there are also limits to how helpful she might be. So far, she has been unwilling to directly address the perception problem that many of her fellow Republicans are raising in discussions about Scalise.
Follow below the fold for more.
The Teapublican Party now has another brown face to shove in front of the cameras to somehow convince white people that the party isn't racist (it certainly isn't going to make black outreach successful). And she's a two-fer since she is female and the first black woman elected to congress as a Republican. Love though has demurred from taking "black" positions and insist her recent victory had nothing at all to do with her race/ethnicity. In spite of her protestations she is now the prime 'splainer for Scalise's David Duke fiasco, stating:
“My first thought is, you know, this was 12 years ago. It’s interesting that it’s coming up now. I found that really interesting,” she said. “These groups are awful and the last thing I want to do is give them any sort of publicity or credibility and I can say, as far as I’m concerned with Rep. Scalise, he has been absolutely wonderful to work with. He has had the support of his colleagues.”
So why has she been selected to defend Scalise? Must be their long-term working relationship in politics and close friendship...oops...no...that can't be it. Hmmm.
She certainly isn't going to convince any black folks who aren't Teapublican patsies already. Right-wing funders, including the Koch brothers, can buy mouthpieces of any color or background—take your pick. The latest top pick seems to be Ms. Love. Let's see how that works out for them. She's been assigned to the House Committee on Financial Services, where she'll have to deal with some of those Congressional Black Caucus members she's vociferously disparaged, like Congresswoman Maxine Waters, as explained in this article, Love would 'take apart' Congressional Black Caucus if elected in Utah's 4th District:
She said she would join the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C., should she win. "Yes, yes. I would join the Congressional Black Caucus and try to take that thing apart from the inside out," she said.
Though officially nonpartisan, the caucus has been more closely identified with the Democratic Party.
"It’s demagoguery. They sit there and ignite emotions and ignite racism when there isn’t," Love said. "They use their positions to instill fear. Hope and change is turned into fear and blame. Fear that everybody is going lose everything and blaming Congress for everything instead of taking responsibility."She said she would join the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C., should she win.
She's every bigot's Dreamgirl.
Um—sorry, lady—the black caucus isn't there to instill fear. Nor is it the cause of racism. Funny that you who tout your parents' escape to the U.S. from fear of death under the vile Duvalier dictatorship (sustained by the U.S.) should have no understanding of the trials and tribulations we black Americans have faced in a society that has terrorized us from the days of the arrival of the first slave ship. Though slavers dropped your ancestors off on the island of Haiti and mine were dragged here, there are common historical ties.
Love's "immigrant" background won't cover the rabid anti-immigration stance of her party, and frankly, I feel sorry for her. Sort of. Her parents fled here to escape Papa Doc's Ton Ton Macoute, and didn't suffer the same fate as the "Haitian boat people." I can still see the images all those dead Haitians whose bodies washed up on the shores of Florida and remember with anger that most of those who made it alive were turned back (unlike the warm embrace we gave to anti-Fidelistas). She can count herself lucky, but instead she has embraced the gift to grift for the right wing on the bones of those who never made it.
She joins the ranks of Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley, Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, and Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz.
Mia and Nikki and Bobby and Ted.
I guess ethnic names are a Republican albatross of sorts. Best to be un-yoked from them.The only one using his own name is Marco Antonio Rubio, but he tried damn hard to portray his family as exiles from Fidel—except that was a lie.
It will be interesting to see if she walks any of her inflammatory rhetoric back, now that she has joined the Congressional Black Caucus.
Let me state here that I don't question her ethnicity. Or her gender. Black Americans have the right to be Republicans, join the Tea Party, and freely express the "why" of it. Women have a right to be actively anti-feminist. I have the right to critique the positions they take.
Mia Love, I dub thee hypocrite. And so do others. Here's the perspective from another Haitian-American woman, Nathalie Baptiste:
Mia Love grew up to be a staunch conservative. The congresswoman-elect is not shy about telling people the story of how her immigrant parents pulled themselves up by their bootstraps (a popular talking point among her party) but she fails to mention the part that angers Republicans to their core—the undocumented part.
Although Love claims that her parents came here legally, there are several discrepancies that arise in her story. Her parents entered on tourist visas, which are typically granted for up to six months at the discretion of the immigration officer. This implies that Love’s parents overstayed their visas, became undocumented, and when Love was born, they were able to apply for legal status. If that were the case, then Mia Love is what Republicans pejoratively refer to as an “anchor baby.”
What Love’s parents did to escape Haiti was common in the 1970s and 1980s, and her success can be contributed to her parents immigrating to the United States. One would think that with a story like that, Mia Love would be aggressively campaigning for better immigration laws so that other children of immigrants could be as successful as she.
Baptiste shares that her own story is very much like Love's:
I’m Haitian-American, too. My father and mother left Haiti in 1981 and 1982, respectively, and overstayed their tourist visas. They met in Brooklyn and had my brother and me there, making us automatic U.S. citizens. Being an American citizen has bestowed upon me privileges I would have only dreamed about if I were born in Haiti.
An easier, more sensible path to legal status for undocumented immigrants in the United States would allow families like mine to succeed. But Mia Love doesn’t see it that way. Her lack of empathy for immigrants signals that she may be in the right party. After all, “I’ve got mine, screw you!” is the rallying cry of the ultra conservative.
Michael Arceneaux wrote for NewsOne, Black Republican Wins May Be Historic, But It’s Not Progress
, talking about Love and Tim Scott (R-SC):
When asked why it took so long for Republicans to elect a Black woman by CNN’s John Berman, Love said:
“This has nothing do with race. Understand that Utahans have made a statement that they’re not interested in dividing Americans based on race or gender, that they want to make sure that they are electing people who are honest and who have integrity. That’s really what made history here. It’s that race, gender, had nothing to do with it, principles had everything to do with it.”
Love’s response is a cake full of lies topped with way too much disingenuous icing; it’s nasty, stale, and worth immediate trashing. Love and Scott managing to be Black Republicans who can win elections in 2014 despite a clear opposition to Black voters, Black political interests, and our first Black president has everything to do with race, only not in a way either would imagine. Love and Scott can succeed as Black Republicans in Republican territory because they are Black faces to political views typically associated with White men.
Love of all people should know the role race plays in politics because she fell victim to it only two years ago when she was running in office. Both she and Scott choose to ignore race, though, because it is benefits them professionally. That doesn’t negate the role race plays, however, and their choice only confirms that they are two people who are willing to uphold a standard molded by White supremacy for the sake of self-interests.
Congratulations to them on their victory, but forgive some of us for not being impressed with the soulless.
Dianne Jeanty shared some of twitter responses to Love's win in Mia Love's Victory Met With Little Enthusiasm In Her Own Haitian Community
Then, of course, there is the response from the ultra-right. She was the darling of Freepers. Take my word for it, not asking you to dive into Free Republic to check. I did it for you. It's understandable when these were some the positions she took during her campaign:
Love has proposed eliminating the federally subsidized school lunch program and the funding that supports special education in public schools. She wants to halve the Earned Income Tax Credit that keeps millions of working people out of poverty, and she would radically slash housing subsidies that keep millions of poor people off the streets.
Then she "sold them out" by going with the program and voting for Boehner. She's being called a sellout, there are vows to primary her, and she's been called a word used to disparage women that starts with H and rhymes with Go.
Charles Johnson (Little Green Footballs) remarked:
Love is caught in a trap of her own making. Perhaps she does believe her race has nothing to do with anything. But then why did she become a part of the Reince Priebus' fantasy plans for Republican minority outreach?
The Republican National Committee has launched three National Advisory Councils to strengthen ties with minority communities and expand engagement efforts across the country: the African American Advisory Council, the Asian Pacific American Advisory Council, and the Hispanic Advisory Council...Members of the African American Advisory Council are Renee Amoore, Pennsylvania; the Rev. A.R. Bernard, New York; Hon. John Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio; Robert Brown, North Carolina; State Rep. Stefani Carter, Texas; Bishop Ira Combs, Michigan; State Sen. Elbert Guillory, Louisiana; State Rep. Mike Hill, Florida; Hon. Alphonso Jackson, New York; Mayor Mia Love, Utah; County Auditor Clarence Mingo, Ohio; Camilla Moore, Georgia; Roxanne Petteway, California; U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina; State Rep. Eric “Scott” Turner, Texas; George Williams, Alabama; Commissioner Michael Williams, Texas; and Bob Woodson, Washington, D.C.
Well, these folks can reach all they want, and line a few more pockets, but it won't do the Teapublicans much good except as window dressing.
For a party who counts only a minuscule amount of Black people in its fold, to have two Black faces serve in two powerful positions sounds like progress for both the GOP and the rest of the country. However, as common as these remarks from Zora Neale Hurston may read, they are no less powerful or truthful: “All my skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.”
Let me repeat those words from my beloved Zora Neale
, whose birthday anniversary just passed on Jan. 7:
All my skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.
No love in my heart for Love, who has turned her back on those who should be kin.