Two years ago, former Texas Governor/current Energy Secretary Rick Perry stood in front of the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and gave what many have called the most powerful speech on race in a generation.
That wasn’t hyperbole.
Perry began his speech with a horrific story of the lynching of a mentally ill black teenager in Texas, and smoothly, deliberately navigated his way through the uncomfortable history of racism in America, poverty in the black community, and how the Republican party could – and should – offer more to a community that has struggled to find equal footing under Democrat leadership.
If you’ve been a reader of any of my work here in the last couple of years, you know I came to RedState as a Rick Perry Rah-Rah girl. There’s even a music video floating around out there, somewhere, called “Perry Woman,” where you just might see this writer’s image pop up, a time or two.
Given the events in Charlottesville over the past weekend, all the ugliest, most desperate concerns about who Donald Trump was, and the elements he inspired throughout the primary season seem to have come to fruition.
Is Donald Trump responsible for the actions of others? Not directly. You have to assume those bad players of the alt-right are capable of free thought and controlling their actions.
Were many of them inspired by him, or emboldened by not only his campaign trail rhetoric, but his refusal to call them out by name, immediately following last Saturday’s tragic events?
Without a doubt.
Watching this, learning more and more, and seeing how steeped in chaos our streets are now, I can’t help but think about what might have been.
I dare say, with nearly anybody else in the White House, we may not have had a Charlottesville.
To get the feel for what it means to have someone speak with sober, presidential clarity, nothing will clear your head better than what begins at about 5:15 into this video.
I can’t stress enough how worth it it is to take time and listen. Especially now. Had more taken him seriously, had the media only cared more for their nation than their ratings, this speech would have been blasted across the airwaves, 24/7, for weeks.
And yes, for those who are wondering, since Perry seems to have willingly laid down on the tracks in front of the Trump train, I am absolutely heartsick.
Right now, I hope someone is replaying his own words back to him and telling him: YOU WERE RIGHT. I don’t see how the Republican party or the cause of conservatism can claim the moral high ground, any longer.