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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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George W. Bush Did Not Court Racist Vote
Jonathan Pait
September 14, 2004

Today while doing my morning searches for stories containing references to Bob Jones University, I came across the following statement in an article entitled, "Is George Bush Right for America?" The column appeared on one of the myriad of anti-Bush sites. I would have ignored it except it repeats an error that is used by even more mainstream columnists. It is almost like there is a style book out there that makes the following statement the rule:

"We saw his appeal to racists during the campaign, when he found it politically expedient to visit Bob Jones University, an openly racist institution."

The argument here is not whether BJU is/was racist or not. Regardless of whether that argument is true or not, this statement is still wrong. Why? This columnist states, "We saw his appeal to racists during the campaign." It is here that they bring out the example: His visit to Bob Jones University.

In order for this charge to be correct you would have to show that Bush's intention for visiting the school was to "appeal to racists." Now, stop and think about that. Would any conservative politician on the national scene knowingly and intentionally go to an organization that was racist? Liberals, of course, would say, "Yes, and his name is George W. Bush!" However, reasonable people have to question such a conclusion.

Look, I was there. I remember it well. The Bush campaign was coming to BJU because it had been a traditional stop for candidates for 20 years. It is patently false that Bush came to BJU to "appeal to racists." He came to BJU to appeal to conservative Christian voters in South Carolina - and no, my liberal friends, "conservative Christian" does not equal "racist."

Now, as for BJU, I realize it just drives people nuts, but the truth is that outside of the liberal media BJU was and is known for much more than the now defunct interracial dating policy. Based on media coverage, you would think that the school existed exclusively for that rule. The truth is that most people in the national political scene knew BJU more for the high-quality graduates that it has matriculated and who have made a positive impact in politics and government.

Of course, trying to make headway against the oft-repeated lie that Bush was courting the "racist vote" is like trying to sail against Hurricane Ivan.

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Jonathan, what you say in defense of BJU has passion and I have no doubt that you don't harbor a racist bone in your body. But your school denied any student the right to interracial dating. It only rid itself of that rule because of the onslaught of negative publicity. . . .

Read the rest.

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