Tell us something we don’t know.

Perhaps this is a small-minded way to respond to a study of an important social issue by a respected nonpartisan think tank. But if you’ve been paying attention at all, that might be your gut reaction to last week’s report from the Washington-based Institute for the Study of Public Religion, which concluded that Republicans, as a corporate body, are the most racist people.

In other news, water is essential to life, and Aretha Franklin was a pretty good singer.

Indeed, it’s amusing — or maybe “terrifying” is a better word — to note that the report was released just days after a white man appointed by Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, as commissioner in the state’s only majority-black district , abruptly resigned when photos surfaced that appeared to show him wearing a white robe and a pointed Ku Klux Klan hood. It also comes just after Rolling Stone, citing “Confidence Man,” New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman’s new book about Donald Trump, reported an episode in which the 45th president, while hosting a reception for congressional leaders, ” addressed a number of racially diverse Democratic Party staffers” and asked them to bring snacks.

In other words, a normal week for the Republican Party.

The study used 11 questions to identify respondents’ racial attitudes and construct a scale called the Structural Racism Index. The mean score on this scale, which ranges from 0 to 1, was 0.45. It was 0.27 for Democrats, 0.45 for independents. But for Republicans, it jumped to 0.67. In fact, no matter how they divided respondents by party and race, no other group ranked as highly. “Republicans” and “white Republicans” are in the lead – terms that are functionally redundant. In second place at 0.58? “Republicans of other races.”

Again, this is hardly shocking. Republican bigotry has long been evident, from the party’s fight to keep black people out of the election, to its performative brutality toward South American refugees, to its acceptance of the most brazenly racist president since Woodrow Wilson.

It’s long past time for the rest of us to face it, but you can still hear people, even at this late hour, attributing his descent into current insanity to economic stress, despite numerous studies to the contrary. But that’s just not the case.

They have become what they are precisely because some of us panic at the thought of black people, brown people, LGBTQ people, Muslims, and other historically marginalized people coming to prominence and power, and the Republican Party has realized that the satisfaction of this offense was a way to win votes. And also because there is no principle from which they will not give up.

A muscular foreign policy? They make kisses from totalitarian regimes.

Law enforcement support? Not when the laws are enforced against Trump.

Street riots? They hate them – unless the street is Pennsylvania Avenue and the rioters are MAGA.

The only principle they won’t compromise on is the defense of straight white hegemony. That’s why, in the words of Randy Newman’s old satirical song, “keepin’ the (laughty) down” is pretty much the entire Republican platform. This is something the rest of us need to face immediately and openly if we are to have any hope of understanding—much less fixing—what is wrong with this country. What the PRRI report quantifies is damning and sad, yes. But here’s one thing it’s not like.

This is not at all surprising.

Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91 Avenue, Doral, Fla. 33172. Readers may email him at [email protected] His opinion does not necessarily reflect the views of The Lima News or its owner, AIM Media.