This is just common sense. If your party has a long history of using racist coded language to win elections, then you can’t blame minorities for distrusting you when you suddenly start courting their votes. If your party has a long history of using racist coded language to discredit and attack prominent black people, then you can’t blame minorities for detecting racism in your attacks of Susan Rice (emphasis added):
[Jonah] Goldberg and [Charles] Murray…are casting about for a way for the GOP to win over minorities without saying ‘sorry’. Indeed, they are looking for a way to win over minorities while saying ‘you’re welcome!’ in an aggrieved, long-suffering sort of way (this white man’s burden hasn’t been lifting itself, y’know!)
…If you have earned people’s distrust, by not saying what you mean, you have extra work to do, convincing people you mean only what you say. If white people have found tribalism an attractive value, for so long, why shouldn’t non-whites find white tribalism to be off-putting, to a comparable degree?
Let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that Rice’s handling of Benghazi was plausibly incompetent…Problem is: if you have a history of saying abstract things, signaling something else, you have painted yourself into a rhetorical corner when it comes to saying abstractly negative things about Susan Rice and not having black people suspect you are really saying something else. It’s also obvious why Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, etc. do not remove the suspicion that you are trying to paper over your race problem without addressing it.
It might seem unfair that you can’t just be taken at your word, that you get accused of tokenism when you hope appointments of prominent blacks will betoken your good intentions. But, if you don’t like it, build a time machine, go back in time and kill Lee Atwater as a child or something. It’s a bit like whites who complain about the unfairness of being unable to say the n-word – even though every black rapper can! It’s not exactly mysterious how and why this admittedly superficially unfair state of affairs arose, so it’s a bit hard to see who you could complain against, unless it is your own ancestors….
The GOP made its bed decades ago, and now Republicans are complaining because they have to lie in it. Too fucking bad.
What is most obnoxious about the Welfare Queen myth is that it is traced directly back to Ronald Reagan, who was indulging in gleeful hyperbole to outrage his Republican base. It has probably done more than any other conservative talking point in living memory to encourage Americans to be cruel to their neediest neighbors, even when some of those Americans are receiving some form of government assistance themselves. Stupid Uncle Bonzo.
What Reagan actually said, according to Wikipedia: “During his 1976 presidential campaign, Reagan would tell the story of a woman from Chicago’s South Side arrested for welfare fraud: ”She has eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards and is collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000.”
The real life inspiration, according to Wikipedia: ”In 1976, the New York Times reported that a woman from Chicago, Linda Taylor, was charged with using four aliases and of cheating the government out of $8,000. She appeared again in the newspaper while the Illinois Attorney General continued investigating her case. The woman was ultimately found guilty of “welfare fraud and perjury” in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.”
So one woman scammed the government out of a total of eight thousand dollars andgot caught and sentenced. From this one woman’s situation, Reagan creatively invented multiple imaginary dead fake veteran husbands (not true), a six-figure “annual salary” ($8,000 is four digits and not enough to live on for a year), a dozen fake Social Security cards (not correct), 80 aliases (no) and 30 fake home addresses (also no) and so on…in short, he created the Welfare Queen stereotype by wildly exaggerating information about a real person who got caught doing something wrong and who was punished for her criminal act.
Right from the beginning, when Reagan first told the infamous Welfare Queen story, there wasn’t anyone who actually got away with welfare fraud in real life! One middle-aged woman inspired Reagan’s anecdote, and she got caught! She was punished! That fairy tale The Gipper told us has led to a lot of misery, most of it directed at the weakest members of our society: those who are the least capable of defending themselves. Are we a country of unkind assholes who lack compassion for our neighbors, now?
The same people who believe in the Welfare Queen myth also believe that people on government assistance are out blowing all that “free money” on iPhones, fancy shoes and lobster. In truth, the government provides pre-paid phones to low-income people who take part in welfare-to-work programs. When is the last time you spotted a payphone in the wild? (Was it in working order?) The government provides phones to people so they can apply for jobs. It is a bit difficult to hang out around the last surviving payphone in your area (again, if there is one) all day hoping an employer will call you. (What is more likely to happen if you hover around a payphone all day long is that the local police will assume you are selling drugs.) The government also provides phones because it needs these people to check in often and make sure that they are actually applying for work, because if they are not actively participating in job training or trying to find work, they lose the few benefits they qualify for.
Are you feeling the urge to gnash your teeth and shake your fist about so-called “Obamaphones” now? It’s such a crazy liberal idea, loaning poor people a phone to use! It was particularly smart of Obama to travel back in time to the mid-1980s to start a program that helped low-income people afford telephone service. Wait…what?
Let’s get this one thing straight: there are no Welfare Queens out there driving Cadillacs, having five kids specifically to get extra financial benefits from the government, getting free iPhones, and somehow getting rich off “your” money. NONE. There never were.
Sadly it’s a recurring theme in our four centuries of being Africans in America. We African-Americans make any minor, major or groundbreaking progress and it’s ‘too much ’ for whites and whiteness to handle.
After it occurs, you have the inevitable panicked rush of white supremacists to roll back that progress or work to create barriers to prevent further advancement for my people while stirring up resentment in the huddled masses of low and middle income white people. When we overcome that latest created barrier or painfully get back to the previous point we were at evolutionary wise in terms of our development as African-Americans, the rush by whiteness to create a new way to roll our progress back begins anew.
The fact you have people of color routinely doing things ‘they’ don’t think we should be doing such as running Fortune 500 corporations, winning Nobel Prizes, walking fashion runways, winning major golf or tennis tournaments, being the governor of a state or living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue along with the news that whites will be a minority population in the United States by 2040 has made whiteness uneasy.
The election of Barack Obama to the presidency in 2008 has sent the bigots into a frothing at the mouth frenzy and doubled down on pimping the dog whistle message of GOP=white leadership. When the GOP gained control of several state legislatures in the wake of the 2010 midterm elections one of the first things those Republican legislatures did was pass voter suppression laws designed to depress the turnout of African-American voters in the runup to this 2012 presidential election..
And the irrationality of the Massive Resistance 2.0 strategy the Republican party has deployed in order to deny him a second term speaks volumes to the level of racism in the GOP. They are willing to bankrupt and destroy this country just to oust one Black man and his family out of the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave my people built with their unpaid labor.
“Hold the victims constant and give the perpetrator the last name Mohammed. Does anyone think for a moment that such an attack wouldn’t still be the most discussed story at Fox News and National Review? …
Attacks like his are disconcerting to some white Americans for a seldom acknowledged reason. Since 9/11, many Americans have conflated terrorism with Muslims; and having done so, they’ve tolerated or supported counterterrorism policies safe in the presumption that people unlike them would bear their brunt. (If Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD sent officers beyond the boundaries of New York City to secretly spy on evangelical Christian students or Israeli students or students who own handguns the national backlash would be swift, brutal, and decisive. The revelation of secret spying on Muslim American students was mostly defended or ignored.)
In the name of counterterrorism, many Americans have given their assent to indefinite detention, the criminalization of gifts to certain charities, the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens, and a sprawling, opaque homeland security bureaucracy; many have also advocated policies like torture or racial profiling that are not presently part of official anti-terror policy. What if white Americans were as likely as Muslims to be victimized by those policies? “
Also, Mitt Romney says the “worst” part of Obamacare is that “the federal government will get between you and your doctor.” Just like Republicans do with patients and doctors at Planned Parenthood, right Mitt?
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, compared immigrants to dogs at a town hall meeting yesterday, telling constituents that the U.S. should pick only the best immigrants the way one chooses the “pick of the litter.”
King told the crowd in Pocahontas, Iowa, that he’s owned lots of bird dogs over the years and advised, “You want a good bird dog? You want one that’s going to be aggressive? Pick the one that’s the friskiest … not the one that’s over there sleeping in the corner.”
King suggested lazy immigrants should be avoided as well. “You get the pick of the litter and you got yourself a pretty good bird dog. Well, we’ve got the pick of every donor civilization on the planet,” King said. “We’ve got the vigor from the planet to come to America.”
Steven King is absolutely despicable. How dare he compare a population that’s keeping this country’s economy alive to dogs. How dare he compare human beings to dogs. This man is beyond repair. Steven King is the poster boy example of the bigoted and blatant racism we allow into power in America. Fine job we’re doing here, land of the free. Post-racial America? Right. Look at who’s ruling us.
"Unfortunately, a lot of young folks haven’t had the opportunity to really understand how the economy works, and what it takes to put people to work in real jobs, and why we have banks, and what banks do. It’s a very understandable sentiment. If you don’t find a job, and you can’t see rising incomes. You’re going to be angry and looking at someone to blame."
Mitt Romney to WBTV in Charlotte, N.C., discussing the protests at Bank of America.
Oh, we young people don’t understand “real jobs” and “what banks do,” yeah?
I argue we do. There’s a lot of us working two and three minimum wage jobs, going to school, graduating, barely surviving, or some combination of the above.
We’re consistently screwed by people like you, Mitt, who gambled with our parents’ retirement, who ensured most of us can never retire, who foreclosed on our families, who laid us off in the name of savings, who pissed away bailouts in executive bonuses and back slaps, as you grin in your expensive suits and tell us repeatedly that we DON’T GET how it works, as you reach into our back pockets for yet another checking account usage fee because we can’t keep a minimum balance, let me tell you…
WE GET IT.
We are fully proletarianized, working ourselves to the bone, paying the same tax rate as you, and praying to whatever is sacred that we do not get sick or injured because we are one paycheck or missed unemployment check away from completed ruin, while you and your cronies line up for another spin at the roulette wheel, your wallets fat from the products of our intellectual and physical labor.
FUCK YOU and your patronizing condescension. Fuck you with the all the fucks my exhausted self has left to give.