It’s sometimes hard to know just exactly what the American Family Association, the rabidly anti-gay group based in Tupelo, Miss., believes. It’s obviously against the advancement of any rights for the LGBT community, and it clearly harbors substantial fears about a secular government. But when it comes to matters of race? That’s when things get murky.
This week, on the AFA’s radio network, American Family Radio, host Sandy Rios went wild with a twisted view of racism after a listener accused her of being a racist. Rios, who is also a Fox News Channel contributor, quickly offered a surprising and completely inaccurate assertion – that white people have moved beyond racism, except in response to black racism.
“The American Anglo-Saxon crew really has moved past racism. They did it quite a long time ago. I mean, they did elect Barack Obama – twice,” Rios said last week in comments reported yesterday by Right Wing Watch. “But racism seems to be raging in the black community.”
She added, “What’s causing it is people like Barack Obama and Eric Holder who can’t say enough and stir the pot enough to create anger and hatred and bitterness.”
This isn’t the first time the AFA, through its various mouthpieces, has demeaned black Americans or other minorities.
In early 2011, Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s chief spokesman, called for the U.S. military to ban Muslims and for an end to Muslim immigration to the U.S. He later claimed that Native Americans remain mired in poverty because they have refused to accept Christianity. The outcry was so great that the AFA removed Fischer’s comments from its blog. A week later, Fischer published a blog post stating that Native Americans should have followed Pocahontas' lead, because she had accepted "the superior culture" of the new arrivals to the New World.
AFA staffers’ assertions about race don’t stop there.
Two months after the AFA removed Fischer’s post about Native Americans, he lambasted welfare programs, singling out African Americans for criticism by stating, “Welfare has destroyed the African-American family by telling young black women that husbands and fathers are unnecessary and obsolete. Welfare has subsidized illegitimacy by offering financial rewards to women who have more children out of wedlock. We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of people who rut like rabbits.”
Surprisingly, the AFA claims that the views of its radio host are not necessarily its own. But as Fischer continues to serve as the group’s chief spokesperson, and as Rios seems to be taking a page from his playbook, it may be increasingly difficult for the group to walk so casually away from the bigotry it – even unwittingly – promotes.