Saturday, December 31, 2016

Is Dallas Woodhouse Crazy?

Prop-toting vote suppressor Dallas Woodhouse
Well the year of 2016 is coming to a close, and while time usually seems to move quicker as one gets older, the presidential election season made this year seem longer than it was.

As far is this blog is concerned, it's been a while since I've given out a Rockwell Award so given that the film awards season is underway,
it seems fitting to close out the year by giving one out.

A certain orange-haired egomaniac might seem the obvious choice.

But I'm going with Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party whose actions, words and beliefs best emobdy the spirit of the Rockwell Award.

As some of you may recall, the Rockwell Award is named for George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party.

Rockwell was a man whom the BBC called "the American Hitler" who inspired many in the modern American white supremacist movement, including former KKK grand wizard David Duke.

If any one person best embodies the Republican Party's willingness to actively seek to suppress the ability of people of color, students and the elderly to vote, it's Dallas Woodhouse.

As the Raleigh News Observer reported, (mute your computer if you click that link, there's a really annoying poker ad that plays when you open the link) back in August Woodhouse made headlines when he emailed GOP members of North Carolina's county election boards and encouraged them to "make party line changes to early voting" by using their authority to limit hours when African-Americans, college students and the elderly tend to vote.

Woodhouse shows off his Christmas present 
Now Woodhouse isn't soley responsible for all the reprehensible voter suppression tactics being used by Republicans in NC.

The GOP state legislature passed a law back in 2013 that took aim at early voting hours and Sunday voting hours when many blacks in NC tend to vote.
But his overt efforts to specifically use measures to target black folks in order to deny them access to the poles is straight out of the Reconstruction era, and reflective of unbalanced borderline zeal with which he does it.

If you've ever heard him in interviews he tries to justify his illegal voter suppression tactics by using the common GOP tactic of fanning the flames of hysteria over voter fraud that's statistically proven to almost never take place.

As the News Observer reported even his own brother took to Twitter (mute your computer!) to call Dallas Woodhouse's voter suppression tactics "blatantly racist and completely disgusting."

Now I've never met Dallas Woodhouse personally, so I don't really know what motivates him to make it his life's mission to make it harder for black people in North Carolina to vote.

If I had to guess I'd say he's probably just one of these "alt-right" conservatives whose irrational white supremacist ideology permeates everything they do; to the exclusion of reason, sanity, decency and morality.

Maybe he's just crazy.

Recently on NPR I heard an interesting interview with Sander L. Gilman and James M. Thomas, co-authors of "Are Racists Crazy?", a book published in 2016 that traces the roots of the scientific theory that racism is in fact, a form of insanity - a mental illness.

Their book is based, in part, on the results of a 2012 study conducted by scientists at Oxford University who conducted a clinical trial that showed that the use of the drug Propranoldol (a beta-blocker commonly prescribed for blood pressure) had the effect of curbing racial bias in those who took it.

If that's the case then maybe Woodhouse (and many others in the U.S.) need to start taking it.

Anyway that's it for now, I've got to get ready and change to head out for New Year's Eve; I'm heading over to my friend Geoff the Economist's house to ring in the new year with good friends, good food and of course, a beverage or two.

Thanks again for checking out the blog, have a safe and happy new years and I hope to see you back here in 2017.


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