Georgia GOP Candidate to Black Opponent: You Can “Dust Off” The Color Purple But You Won’t Win

Published On August 7, 2014 | By Bob Rowen |

Georgia Republican, Richard Woods – a candidate for state school superintendent – raised a few eyebrows in speaking about his opponent, Valerie Wilson, a black Democrat.

“They may dust off their copies of their VHS copies of ‘The Color Purple,’ but it isn’t going to happen, all right? We are going to remain Republican red in our state, and we’re going to move this state forward so that we can do the very best, and again, I look forward to being your next state school superintendent of schools,” He said.

Valerie Wilson

Candidate Valerie Wilson

Woods’ allusion to that movie about growing up black in the Georgia of a century ago had many wondering about the point he was trying to make. To anyone familiar with the movie, the title immediately conjures images of poverty in the rural south more reminiscent of the 18th century than the 20th, images of a segregated society, images of a time when racism need not be couched in code words and allusions to movies. At best, Woods’ comment reveals him to be not color blond, but color ignorant.

When Woods’ comments were called out, Susan Thayer, another Georgia Republican running for a county school board seat said,

“Because you know red and blue combined makes purple, so that’s what I thought, but that was the way I took it that we don’t need to become purple. We need to maintain our red Republican influence.”

OK, so she explained the color reference, now explain the VCR reference. You can back peddle and rationalize about the color mixture all you want, but there is no mistaking the images the movie reference brings to mind. Then she went on to say,

“You know, we don’t want to become purple, we want to maintain our Republican influence.” And we’re back to keeping things separate.”

In that same speech, Woods went on to say,

“We have to make sure that our kids know our history. They are going to know the true American history,” Woods said.“It will not be liberalism, it will not be progressivism, but it will be something that is based on our Founding Fathers. It will be the Constitution, it will be the Declaration of Independence, it will be the Federalist Papers. We will teach the truth, because last time I heard, the truth will set you free, OK?”

The truth? But not the truth of growing up poor in a segregated south. I almost want to know what kind of truth he has in mind.


H/T Naturally Moi

Bob Rowen
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Bob Rowen

A lifelong politics junkie with particular interests in privatization and other business and labor issues like minimum wage and immigration.Robert Rowen is also a writer of fiction.His first novel is called The Ballad of Llewellynn.

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