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Posted on July 31st, 2008 by Garlin II - Comments -

Cliff Schecter is the author of The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don't Trust Him, Why Independents Shouldn't, which was released this past May. The book is an insightful look into the political psyche of the Republican Presidential candidate.

I asked Cliff to talk with me about John McCain's record on issues of relevance to Black voters. With all of the talk in the news over the past couple of days about race in this election, his answers are interesting to say the least.

The Interview

Garlin Gilchrist II: In your view, what's been the most instructive example of John McCain's ideology to civil rights?

Cliff Schecter: First Garlin, thanks so much for providing these questions. And now onto business.

When it comes to Civil Rights, it's an easy one. While he has hired a white supremacist to work on his campaign, employed the man who created the racist ads against Harold Ford Jr. in 2006 and voted against MLK day, the one that sticks out is the Confederate Flag. And here is why: McCain has even admitted himself that he threw African Americans under the bus for political reasons in South Carolina in 2000. McCain blatantly changed his position on the Confederate Flag when he thought it would help get him votes-to appear more racist.

In January 2000, McCain said that "The Confederate flag is offensive in many, many ways, as we all know. It's a symbol of racism and slavery." Yet, three days later, after talking to consultants and deciding that winning was more important than civil rights, he changed his tune to "personally, I see the flag as a symbol of heritage." When the campaign was over, he admitted that if he had "answered honestly" he feared that he "could not win the South Carolina primary." So winning is what mattered. Not as important an issue in this country as the ongoing inequality and racism that African Americans are forced to endure.

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