South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Dick Harpootlian insinuated that Republican presidential candidates are campaigning on racist platforms, and indicted Mitt Romney with being too "meek" to take positions on racial issues, saying that he should also condemn the upcoming Republican debate, scheduled for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
"The Republicans are schedulling their debate [for] Monday, Martin Luther King Day, without any regard, whatsoever, [for] the civil rights issues that this state has faced," said Harpootlian during an appearance on Al Sharpton's Politics Nation. "Where's Mitt Romney on all this . . . where is he on these racial issues?" he asked later in the show.
Following that line of attack, he argued that Romney should condemn the debate. "[Romney should say] 'no, I don't want to have a debate on Martin Luther King's birthday, that's a day we need to celebrate a great American leader,'" Harpootlian said.
Harpootlian's suggests that scheduling the Republican debate for Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 16, 2012) is racially insensitive, but what about the other events of that day? For instance, there are 35 basketball games scheduled for this Monday: 11 NBA games -- Kevin Durant will lead the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Boston Celtics at the same time that Republicans begin to debate in Myrtle Beach -- and fully 24 NCAA basketball games.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day isn't the only federal holiday so disrespected -- if you accept Harpootlian's premises -- by sports schedulers. The NBA kicked-off this basketball season on Christmas Day, after the summer lockout postponed the season's start.
Nevertheless, Harpootlian maintains that Romney and the South Carolina Republican Party have crossed a racial line. "[Romney] is a meek, meek man about these issues, because all he's concerned about is winning," Harpootlian concluded about the Republican frontrunner. "Race is the elephant in the room in South Carolina right now, and it's a Republican elephant," the state Democratic Party chairman interjected before the end of the segment.