Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison said Republicans today are “the party of racism” at a conference for progressives Friday afternoon.
Ellison, who serves as the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, accused the GOP of holding racism up as an ideal in the address at the Netroots Nation conference in Atlanta, Ga.
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“By the way, you hear Republicans and they say they are the ‘party of Lincoln,’” Ellison said. “He wouldn’t recognize these guys. The Republican Party today is the party of racism. I’m not saying every Republican is a racist, but I’m saying that their party does hold that up. That is sort of the deal.”
Ellison went on to claim the Democratic Party has protected civil rights for years by passing the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.
Netroots Nation, a progressive organization, hosts yearly conferences for young progressives to give them training on activism.
The conference usually draws bloggers, organizers and leaders to host panels, online training and networking.
Last year’s Netroot Nations conference featured a panel on blackness that sought to examine the “systematic oppression of African Americans in the United States.”
One of the speakers, Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, said Americans should question whether police need to exist at all.
“Ask: ‘Why do they exist?’ What is their role in the context of black community given that their primary role has been about protecting elite and protecting global capital in the context of resources and its obsession with looting and riots?” Sekou asked.