Think: When black people (otherwise knows as 40 million Americans) have come up in GOP presidential candidate discussion during the march towards the Iowa Caucus in what context has it been in?
One of the candidates, Ron Paul, has support from white supremacists? Is Paul rushing to the mic to voice concern in any way? Should NewsOne or any other new organization, be able to compile a “Top 1o Racist Ron Paul Friends List” with ease? Is this the same Republican party that claims to want to court minorities? Blacks are “brainwashed,” “not working” unless it’s “illegal.” We’ve become so accustomed to bigotry popping up from these candidates there is little reaction. Not even the NAACP has put out a routine press release on the general topic.
Yesterday it was former Sen. Rick Santorum’s turn to use blacks as a political device to motivate whites. Your tax dollar is going to support black-welfare-recipients was the general theme there (see video below). With that, it would appear that blacks come up in current GOP presidential candidate circles for two general reasons: 1. as an object of contempt, and 2. as a device to motivate white voters.
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Ask yourself: Would you be a member of a group whose members said what follows about a group to which you belonged?
“Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash,’ unless it’s illegal.” That’s what a Republican candidate for President said three weeks ago.
A second Republican candidate said: “I don’t want to make Black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to earn the money and provide for themselves and their families…”
A third Republican candidate for president published a newsletter in his 50s claiming that “racial violence will fill our cities” because “mostly black welfare recipients will feel justified in stealing from mostly white “haves.”
A fourth Republican candidate for the presidency signed a pledge claiming that African American children were more likely to grow up in stable families during slavery than in contemporary times.
A fifth Republican candidate said, two months ago that, “many African Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded not even considering a conservative point of view…” two months ago. A sixth candidate had to explain a rock outside the family ranch with the word “niggerhead” on it. Well go figure. Take note that none of these moments were not even close to being disqualifying.
There are 40 million Americans of African decent in the U.S. and the five GOP presidential candidates know every single one of them. They have “no habits of working” says one. Blacks are “brainwashed” says another. With few examples the left doesn’t strongly react and the right either agrees or doesn’t care. The result is a long cowardly silence. Perhaps Govs. Mitt Romney and John Huntsman have it right as they steadfastly avoid the subjects effecting 40 million Americans entirely. Hard to fathom when you realize it’s those two candidates who should perhaps understand bigotry more clearly than the others.
That former Sen. Santorum brings up Blacks within the context of poverty is old school. Though 10% of whites in the U.S were in poverty in 2010 you’d never know it listening to Republicans running for President. There are 223,553,265 non-Hispanic whites in the U.S., 10% of whom live in poverty. That’s 22,355,326 people. Yet when poverty comes up in GOP political discussion it’s within the context of blacks only. Blacks are the racial punchline in the GOP joke of poverty. Though the U.S. now has more poor people now than at any other time in history and 1 of 7 people living on the financial margins, no GOP candidate has offered a single word of policy on the subject.
What we have instead is another GOP candidate, this time Rick Santorum, mentioning black Americans as a device to motivate whites to believe their hard earned tax dollar is being wasted on lazy Negroes. Therein lies a familiar role for blacks in GOP “discussion.” Never mind that $1 trillion in tax money spent over 8+ years in Iraq and Afghanistan. Never mind the $800 billion handed to bankers or the $15 billion a year in farm subsidies — “America’s largest corporate welfare program” said the Heritage Foundation in 2002. But rather Santorum turns his attention to someone collecting $240 a month on food stamps. You see, your money is being wasted on “them.” Sadly the “welfare queen” role still remains the primary function of African Americans in GOP political policy discussion 35 years after Ronald Reagan coined the phrase.
GOPers often speak on the goals and virtues of a “colorblind” society. However when it comes to negative references regarding 50 million Americans in poverty suddenly the focus is on one color. “I don’t want to make Black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money…” says Rick Santorum. With 50 million in poverty you’d think race might take a back seat for once. But instead, over 22 million white people suddenly vanish when GOP candidates address poverty.
With Newt Gingrich’s assessment that poor kids have, “no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash,’ unless it’s illegal,” and Santorum’s underlying assumption that blacks are living on “somebody else’s money…”, the reason the contemporary “party of Lincoln” has failed to attract black participation is crystal clear. Does anyone even become surprised anymore by the occasional racist e-mail here and there by party “leaders” Need a reminder? Read this…. Did anyone within the party even bother to criticize Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter? Nope.