August 6, 2013 1:57 pm
It is widely accepted among many African-Americans that the Republican Party is the party most insensitive to race issues and the Democratic Party is the “big tent”, but is this an accurate characterization? Although it is certainly true that Democrats have espoused less racism than the Tea Party, does that mean that Democratic politicians are less biased? Or that they’re just much better at hiding bias than their Republican counterparts?
Rep Alan Grayson (D-FL) is known as a liberal firebrand, but he’s also taking some heat for referring to Latinos as “brown people”, according to NBC Latino.
“I think that would be a shame, but what really pushes immigration to the side is the fact that many people in the Republican Party don’t want to do anything that would help brown people,” Grayson said in an interview last week with Channel 13 news in Orlando. “There’s an underlying insinuation of racism in the way that Washington, D.C. Republicans look at this issue.”
Grayson may very well be right, but do Latinos find it offensive to be characterized as “brown people”? Are other minorities, such as African-Americans, offended by the label?
Republican Jorge Bonilla took issue with what he claimed was a “divisive” characterization.
“By absurdly claiming that ‘Republicans don’t want to do anything that would help brown people,’ Mr. Grayson reduces an entire group of human beings to color-coded political pawns. Rather than stoking racial grievance and promoting class warfare, Mr. Grayson should find ways to enact policies that actually help job creation and small business development.”
Grayson’s spokesman says he uses the term “brown people” interchangeably with the term “people of color.”
But is the grouping of African-Americans and Latinos under the same label, referring to them both as “brown people,” offensive? Is it OK to reference people by their shading as opposed to another more specific or ethnic label?