The tide may be turning

I feel that my life thus far has not been sufficiently devoted to paying attention to Mark Meadows. I hope to do better.

Kashana Cauley wrote about his dramatic tantrum at the Cohen hearing in the Times:

“You and I,” he said to Representative Elijah Cummings, the Oversight Committee chairman, who is black, “have a personal relationship that isn’t based on color.” He insisted that he couldn’t be racist because he had nieces and nephews of color.

It was a performance that he’s clearly hoping will win him one of next year’s Oscars. He defended his record on race, so we should cast aside that time in 2012 when he embraced the racist birtherism theory to his supporters by saying that “2012 is the time we’re going to send Mr. Obama back home to Kenya or wherever it is.”

Is that something people commonly say about white presidents or senators or representatives? Do people talk about sending the senator back to Ireland or Germany or Cornwall? Not a lot. No, the whole “Kenya hurrhurr” thing was always intensely racist, and Mark Meadows is a revolting hypocrite for putting on that display.

Mr. Meadows threw a fit during a hearing where Mr. Cohen claimed the president had said black people were too stupid to vote for him and had called African nations “shithole” countries. There was actual proof of Mr. Trump’s racism on offer, and Mr. Meadows chose to flip out about an accusation instead. It appears that to him, accusations of racism are more dangerous than racist acts themselves.

Priorities. He’s showing us what his are.

Mr. Meadows’s hissy fit and Ms. Tlaib’s words feel like a microcosm of where we are right now in America on race. The tide may be turning. The increased visibility of people of color in all sectors, including Congress, and the fearlessness of people of color to speak out about racism are moving us forward.

It’s all too easy, given the past demographic and ideological makeup of Congress, to picture a version of yesterday’s hearing where there was no Rashida Tlaib there to remind us that racist acts outweigh accusations of racism.

Where no woman of color stood up against a white man’s insistence on trying to distract us from evidence of racist acts by focusing on his hurt feelings.

Mr. Cummings, in his closing remarks, said that he thought America was “better than this,” a statement that referred to Mr. Trump’s alleged crimes. But it could have also been applied to Mr. Meadows’s belief that accusations of racism are worse than the real thing.

As a country, are we better than this? Yes — Rashida Tlaib showed us that we can be.

Yep. Rock on.

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