Racism Is A Vital Piece Of The 2012 Republican Platform

During the healthcare reform debate, Republicans claimed American healthcare was the best in the world and they were correct on many levels. Researchers and medical professionals have made great strides in preventing and treating many diseases and maladies that, only 150 years ago, were incurable and in many cases went undiagnosed because analytic tools were not yet available. However, there is one disease infecting nearly as large a segment of Americans today as a century-and-a-half ago and despite the best efforts of scientists, sociologists, and behavioral anthropologists, there is no apparent cure or treatment available. There have been great strides combating racial bigotry against African Americans, but any progress in staunching the disease came from government intervention at the behest of Civil Rights activists and not the medical field because this particular disease is passed down through environmental pollution and not genetics or biological factors.

This country was nearly ripped apart during the Civil War, and inherent in the slavery issue that caused Americans to slaughter other Americans is the notion that it is acceptable for one human being to own another, allegedly lesser human. Slave owners and their supporters suffered from white supremacy and the vile disease is so rampant in 2012, that two major Republican presidential hopefuls feel comfortable expressing their bigotry in public to pander to the racist voting bloc. One would think that in 2012, three years after Americans elected an African American as president, racism, as a disease, would be on the decline but unfortunately it is as prevalent as ever.

Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul are the outward expression of racism in the Republican Party, but they typify the conservative mindset that real, white American’s assets are stolen and given to African Americans as welfare, housing assistance, and food stamps. It is not that Republicans necessarily assail Black Americans as lazy, unproductive members of society as a matter-of-course, but thematically, they fallaciously attribute redistribution of wealth that allegedly benefits African Americans to President Obama. Their solution is their legislative agenda throughout 2011 that targeted the poor in urban areas with Draconian spending cuts to housing, food, and healthcare assistance in the guise of deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility. Of course, Republicans assailing poor minorities is nothing new, but statements from Gingrich and Santorum reveal many Americans’ beliefs that African Americans are lazy and prefer government handouts to good, living-wage jobs.

Gingrich implied that African Americans would rather have food stamps than a paycheck and offered to tell Black Americans “why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” Santorum made a similar prejudicial comment, only his bigotry was more direct and inflammatory against African Americans, and especially President Obama. He said, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.” The code Santorum used was not wasted on racists and white supremacists because there is already a bigoted notion that the President was taking white American’s money and handing it over to his supporters in the Black community. Willard Mitt Romney’s religion taught that the “Black race” was cursed by god as a punishment until it was socially unacceptable.

There are few candidates’ comments that are not measured for efficacy prior to making a speech. Gingrich and Santorum know millions of white Americans harbor such hatred for President Obama and African Americans that it was worth all the bad publicity and criticism from the NAACP to make prejudicial comments slandering African Americans. The truth is that a majority of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants are white, and most are children and seniors. More SNAP recipients already have jobs that provide their primary source of income, but only 15% have incomes over the federal poverty level. Gingrich in particular has portrayed poor Americans as lazy, drug abusers who use welfare to take trips to Hawaii and although it is an unfair characterization and an outright lie, there are racists who believe it as if it was uttered from the mouth of god.

The racists that men like Gingrich and Santorum appeal to are best typified by vile people at a NASCAR event who booed First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden when they served as co-grand marshals to honor military troops, veterans and their families. Rush Limbaugh excused the characteristically racist booing by claiming the NASCAR audience was booing the First Lady not because they were racist, but because Mrs. Obama was “uppity.” It was a not-so-coded reference to an African American who was living above their rightfully appointed station as subservient and less-than legitimate.

Many Americans claim they are not racist and quickly point out that they “know” an African American or that their favorite singer or star athlete is Black. However, when the star rapper or athlete takes off their uniform, they are uppity, less-than-human, or “not one of us.” The portrayal of President Obama by birthers is that he is not like us or an interloper sitting in the Oval Office. It bears repeating that if racial bigotry and white supremacy was not rampant in the population, then Republicans running for office would never utter racist remarks or question the legitimacy of an African American President.

Racism is a vile disease perpetuated in certain cultures and is borne of generations of white Americans who inculcated bigotry in their children from birth. There are school programs that attempt to educate bigotry out of school children, but teaching tolerance propagates racism and white supremacy. The idea that a white student has to “tolerate” different races or lifestyles serves no other purpose than to fortify the false belief that African Americans are lesser human beings that must be tolerated like one puts up with unsavory neighbors. Behavioral and cultural anthropologists understand that it is normal for people to gravitate towards a group that is culturally similar, but racists take it much farther.

Many pundits claim that racism rose as a result of President Obama’s election, but they fail to recognize that his election gave the existing bigots legitimacy as if they were only reacting to Obama’s policies. However, the rise of the teabaggers and their “taxed enough already” and “Socialist tyranny” mantras was code for opposition to a Black man illegitimately sitting in the White House. The only reason President Obama entered office to outrage and instant hatred was simply white supremacy that informs racists that an African American is not qualified to be president because he is not white. If President Obama were white, he would be hailed as a tax-cutting, terrorist killing, business friendly, and right-leaning centrist that deserves re-election and a place of honor on Mount Rushmore.

It has been 149 years since the Emancipation Proclamation and reconstruction amendments that gave slaves rights all Americans deserve, but it took the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s to end discrimination against African Americans and if racists had their way, they would revert to pre-Civil War days where owning Black slaves was the order of the day. In fact, Michele Bachmann claims that African Americans were better off being slaves.

America has hardly progressed since the Civil War and the accompanying racism is a national shame. What is most horrendous is the people who are quickest to say America is exceptional and a land of unequaled opportunity and freedom are most likely Republican supporters who applaud GOP cuts to safety nets that aid minorities. Many of the same Republicans support disenfranchising minority voters because, in white supremacist’s minds, African Americans are not legitimate citizens worthy of voting rights that harken back to pre-Civil War.

It is tragic that 13.6% of the total U.S. population (as of July 1, 2009) is still treated as little more than slaves and it is despicable that major presidential candidates characterize them as lazy people who steal white Americans’ money in the form of welfare, food stamps, and housing assistance. Education and “tolerance” training in the schools is relatively useless when children go home to parents and community members who believe and teach that African Americans are illegitimate and inferior human beings that are only useful as athletes, entertainers, and were better off being slaves.

One can only hope that science develops a cure for racial bigotry and white supremacy, because it is a persistent disease that is metastasizing throughout America and continues being, after 149 years, the defining cause of shame and humiliation for what should be a great nation where every citizen is valued and given the same rights and opportunities regardless of color. America should and can be better than Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann, and their racist supporters, and until decent Americans stand up and say enough, this country will languish in white supremacy, racial bigotry, and hate that prevents it from being truly great.

Image: standupforamerica.com

58 Replies to “Racism Is A Vital Piece Of The 2012 Republican Platform”

  1. Racism is being deliberately propagated by the Right to get white Americans to consent to their own disenfranchisement and oppression by pretending that these draconian measures are meant to punish undeserving “others”. Their gullible marks never consider that they themselves are being pushed into the ranks of the “undeserving poor”. If I myself had a nickle for every white recipient of §8 housing, food stamps,Medicaid, and the rest of it who complained about the worthless “others” and then howled bloody murder when their own benefits were cut back or off – why, I myself would be wealthy beyond worry.

  2. THANK YOU for publishing this! This issue has upset me more than anything else that has happened this election cycle. Of course Gingrich would say that welfare is used for trips to Hawaii–where the President’s roots are, as well as his most frequent vacation spot. The ugliness of this campaign surpasses anything I’ve seen since the 60’s. Science isn’t going to cure this–people are! And it’s time for decent citizens to take it to the streets in the form of protest every time one of these racists makes another hatemongering appearance. THIS is where the Occupy movement needs to go next, IMHO. See “Republicans Bigotry Must Be Confronted” at http://thepoliticali.blogspot.com/2012/01/republicans-bigotry-must-be-confronted.html

  3. What about student loans and Pell grants? How about FHA loans and the old UDAG money given to cities for development of downtown? What about open subsidies to corporations for relocation????

  4. Most of the recipients of student loans and Pell grants I’ve known were a bit sharper. I don’t personally know any recipients of the other items.

  5. I remember when Oprah had her show she had a lot of white followers who adored her. But once Oprah endorsed Obama for president, many of those same white followers of her were very disappointed.

  6. Of course, I knew some recipients of FHA loans *then*; *then*, though, I was knee high to a Knee-Hi. The others… nope, out of my bracket.

  7. If you’re a minority, you can never favor anyone, no matter how qualified, from your own group, don’t you know- that’s “reverse racism”.

  8. I live in Memphis tn ,A city of predominantly hard working middle class and working class African Americans. In my view the GOP would have everyone believe all black people want free stuff and vote Democratic for this reason.. This a a giant racist lie. The vast majority of folks want the best for middle class working people just like themselves.. If you really want to hear someone talk bad about people especially black people that want to game the system just come here and ask the first person you see for their opinion.

  9. I think now that people in Memphis are more than likely to vote Democratic for the reason that the GOP simply do not represent them.In any event the GOP has truly been taken over by the asylum and it’s going to result in their ultimate destruction.

  10. They want their country back, I want my country forward! We really should not be taking this nation back to 1852, but if all those haters want to go there, let’s stuff them into a TARDIS and send them there! Then the rest of us sane people can run the country like it should be.

  11. Both Gingrich and Santorum, as well as Cain, have said ignorant and incendiary things about African-Americans that their audiences already think. There is no reasoning with anyone who prefaces remarks about us African-Americans that we want food stamps or other welfare benefits rather than to earn paychecks. Those statements express the thoughts of anti-black racists whose minds are not only closed but also nailed shut.
    At a time when so many people of different races have lost their homes and jobs due to draconian Republican policies, it is even more despicable than ever to attribute the distribution of welfare benefits to one race exclusively. And the saddest thing of all is that a significant number of recipients who are white willingly carry water for people who would just as soon drown them as they would black recipients. For a country that wants to be seen as “exceptional,” too many Americans are blind to the fact that racism of any kind works against that exceptionalism.

  12. I wish to invite the GOP nominees to come sit in my living room and watch the working parents in Harlem drop off their young children to the Headstart accross the street and rush to the subway to get to work on time. I want them to see the hardworking people in Harlem that are surving without Government aid, struggling to make a better life for themselvebetter themseves and to make a life for their children. Saying that Black children has no

  13. Nice post, but you’re really only scratching the surface of this crucial issue. For some incredibly eye opening statistics on the growing gap between black/hispanic vrs white household wealth, go to the Pew Center’s report (sorry, I don’t know how to embed links):


    You can make good case against racism on altruistic grounds, but to me, a far more persuasive case can be made on economic grounds. This country simply CANNOT AFFORD a permanent underclass of disadvantaged minorities.

    Predictably, conservatives prefer to frame efforts to close this gap as simple income redistribution, or, taking from whites who want to work and giving to minorities who don’t.

    These people can’t handle the concept and benefits of targeted programs intended to provide economically disadvantaged households with the means to experience the same level of opportunity which the economically privileged can. When all Americans, regardless of color, share equally in these opportunities, everyone wins.

  14. This is very well stated. The fact is that when any part of the population is disenfranchised or disadvantaged, that affects the rest of a society for the worse.

  15. I have a complaint that I hope you will think about.

    Racism covers more than just African Americans. Native Americans, Latinos, Asians… we’ve experienced it at severe levels too (the recently passed laws targeting Latinos in Arizona and Alabama are pure racism).

    In fact, it was against the law for my people to exist in Georgia until after 1980. In most areas, it was against the law to practice our religion (the law granting us freedom of religion and signed by Carter also helped to eliminate other laws against us around the country). We face de facto persecution all the time (even now)… when we stop trying to pass or accept our third-class citizen role.

    I’ve blown the minds of African Americans who started harassing me because I mentioned having experienced racism first hand. I asked them when was the last time they were thrown out of a church because of race (for us – my wife and I, in the late 90s, and racism was part of the reason we were driven out of a church in 2005). I ask them if they’d ever been denied service because of race (I’ve experienced it three times). When was the last time they’d faced the threat of death because of race (1990s for us). And yes, I’ve gotten the hateful comments and name calling and so on. After they learned that, they accepted me as an equal.

    Here’s some more things not generally known:
    (1) The selling of Native American slaves finally ended after 1900 (in California).
    (2) We weren’t allowed to be citizens until around the first world war, and had no rights until then.
    (3) The last train car of Native Americans to be put on the Trail of Tears (shipped to Oklahoma) happened around the same time. One of our leaders is the grandson from a boy who was able to escape the train and who walked back to Florida. Read about how the trains to the concentration camps were like… that is how the Trail of Tears train cars were described. Florida, Georgia, and Alabama had bounty hunters out trying to find members of my tribe so as to ship them to Oklahoma as late as WWII. (The Trail of Tears law was repealed in the late 70s and friends of mine were threatened in the 70s with a “one way bus ride to Oklahoma”.)
    (4) Several elders have related as trying to pass as either white or black (depending on the darkness of their skin) because it was far better to be considered black (or white) than Indian. In some areas, it was a death sentence to be found out. There is a saying in my tribe that I’ve heard: In Black yards they burned crosses, in Indian yards they burned families (it happened to the relatives of one elder that used to come to our Square Ground).
    (5) The US government sterilized a great many Native American women up into the 70s. The estimates of the number of women sterilized (against their will or without their knowledge) runs up as high as 50%; it is known that a significant number were sterilized because of eugenics (and the US government was trying to commit genocide).

    In Georgia, if you were found out, state law required that you be thrown in prison at hard labor (until you “paid your debt to society”), after which you were to be expelled from the state. I have a copy of that law in my files somewhere (along with the Trail of Tears law and another declaring us incompetent to testify in a hearing involving either white or black people). All of these laws were repealed around 1980, after we gained freedom of religion.

    Please, consider that while racism could be considered a disease, it covers a lot more than mainly one race (and as I’ve experienced, more than whites can be infected with it; racism is based on power and we’re pretty much at the bottom of the heap there – and I’ve experienced it from African Americans).

    It really bugs me when people talk about racism as happening to others, but always leave us out of the picture.

    Otherwise, a fine article, and quite accurate. Racism is a mental disease that needs treatment.

  16. You are absolutely right that racism is all too often framed as a black & white issue, when it’s much more than that. It is a tool that’s used to rule diverse groups by division, and part of that is that too often, we discount or deny issues of racism that are outside our immediate experiences.

  17. You’re absolutely right Walkaway. Racism, white supremacy is not limited to African Americans but the article was only dealing with the GOP candidates and their comments about Blacks. Where I live, white people assail everyone who isn’t white and we have one of the most varied, multi-cultural populations in California. I will address your concerns another time because they are mine as well. It is time to put a stop to any bigotry, racism, and inhumanity. Thanks, and secular Humanists everywhere thank you.

  18. I really don’t expect this to get by the PC police, but the gatekeepers have been pretty fair so far, so here goes:

    This article is off base in many ways.

    First, it uses the easiest, cheapest and most unethical hot button of “racism” to catch attention and incite anger. Just as the easiest way for a woman dropped by a lover or a male athlete bypassed by a coach to get revenges is to cry “sexual assault,” (Before anyone explodes, I acknowledge that these charges are as often true as not, but that doesn’t negate their false use.) the easiest way for people without a genuine gripe to attack opponents of a candidate who happens to be black (or Asian, Mexican, or Native American) is to cry “racism.” Neither the president nor his wife has been subjected to remarks–however unkind–that have not been leveled at white candidates since the fight between Burr and Hamilton, and the election of John Adams. Abe Lincoln was called everything from an ape to a necromancer. Truth is, the use of racism as a charge to counter any and all criticism is, in itself, racist and does a great disservice to those it allegedly speaks for. It suggests an endemic weakness, crying, “No, you can’t speak out against anything he/she does, we must protect them from all comers,” as if Obama, or Oprah, or whoever, can’t take a punch on their own–which, BTW, both Obama and Oprah have proven is not the case.

    Second, the article is a prime example of an age old game used by schemers and bullies from time immemorial. Transactional Analysis guru Eric Berne identified it in the 1960’s as “Let’s You and Him Fight.” It is a ploy by which a third person, from the sidelines, incites a fight between two other people, or groups; it’s been a human contrivance since King Saul sent shepherd boy David out to fight Goliath the giant. On the playground, it’s the nerd or bully who sees two kids arguing and sneaks up behind one of them and shoves him into the face of the other. Or, it’s the kid who whispers in another kid’s ear, “Bobby X called you a teacher’s pet. You aren’t going to let him get by with that are you?” Whether or not Bobby X really said it is immaterial. The “racism” battle cry is no more than one of the chief campaign strategies chosen by the Dems for this go round. And, judging from the responses to this article, it is working. (Further, it’s my opinion that the Obama’s should be as insulted by the strategy as by the fact if it were real.)

    Third—and this is may be the most egregiously unfair tack taken by the article—it uses real quotes, but stops short of giving the whole quote or the context. It’s like the old example of the Bible saying Christians should hang themselves because it is written: “Judas went and hanged himself; go thou and do likewise.” True words, accurate quote, but missing is the fact that one phrase was said in one place and the other in a different place. To use real quotes to convey a false meaning is as much a distortion of the truth as just purposely misquoting. It’s a bit like handing a hungry man a pit and suggesting that that’s all there was to a peach–while wiping juice off the chin.

    Cases in point: “Gingrich implied that African Americans would rather have food stamps than a paycheck and offered to tell Black Americans “why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” In the larger speech, Gringrich had said he believed people on food stamps and welfare would, indeed, prefer to have a job and gain the self esteem that comes from providing for their family by their own labor. Therefore, he would like to tell “why…(they) should demand paychecks….” It is a bit contradictory to castigate Gingrich for wanting to provide jobs and paychecks while, concurrently lauding the Protest movement for demanding more jobs for the disenfranchised.

    Another case in point: “Santorum made a similar prejudicial comment, only his bigotry was more direct and inflammatory against African Americans, and especially President Obama. He said, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.” This is so blatantly misconstrued as to be comical. What Santorum went on to say was that he wanted to give them jobs so they could earn their OWN money and have the privilege of making their own lives better.

    Off base in many ways, fourth: “The racists that men like Gingrich and Santorum appeal to are best typified by vile people at a NASCAR event who booed First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden when they served as co-grand marshals to honor military troops, veterans and their families. Rush Limbaugh excused the characteristically racist booing by claiming the NASCAR audience was booing the First Lady not because they were racist, but because Mrs. Obama was “uppity.” It was a not-so-coded reference to an African American who was living above their rightfully appointed station as subservient and less-than legitimate.”

    Here is a case of making mud pies out of apples and oranges and a pinch of dust. (Note that no mention is made of “the vile people” who booed Bush 2 off the stage at a couple of colleges, or those who booed, or attempted to do the same for one or two Rep. candidates in the current primary race.) Many pundits and the writer of the article were either ignorant of, or chose to omit the common practice of elements of NASCAR crowds to boo celebrities who do the start-offs at the races. As it was with Ms Obama and Dr. Biden, the booing is usually scattered and not representative of the larger crowd. It was a tempest in a teapot, of a sort that has been ignored by press and pundits at NASCAR events for years. (In fact, it could be seen as an act of inclusion, rather than exclusion: they were seen to be just like other they booed.) The astute reader will also take note of the skillful dollop of “honoring military troops” to suggest that the booing somehow was also an insult to our troops–kind of tugs at one’s patriotism, huh?

    The pinch of dust in the pie was Limbaugh, who has an ongoing problem of starting his mouth running before he engages his brain. While his remarks were aimed at both ladies, referred to actions rather than persons, and the word was “uppity-ism” not “uppity,” the remark was ill-chosen and unnecessary–and Ms Obama and blacks in general had cause to be offended—it is racially loaded and Limbaugh knows it. What it may have meant to Dr. Biden is hers to speak to.

    Nonetheless, this article is just as off base and its conclusions as ill-chosen when it lumps Gingrich and Santorum into the same batch of dough as Limbaugh. First of all, because, IMO and as I have suggested above, the charges of racism against the candidates are both untrue and unfair; and then, because what Limbaugh says on his radio program has absolutely nothing to do with either Gingrich or Santorum. (I seem to recall the Dems used the same rationale to distance the President from Jeremiah Wright.) It’s guilt by association, another well-worn propaganda ploy in use through the ages, ala Joseph McCarthy, et al.

    The saddest thing I see in this article, and others like it, is that stoops to manufactured issues, supported by misleading evidence and cantilevered examples, to attack candidates who have real, viable issues and points of view diametrically opposed to Democratic policies. Why not debate the issues with real counter proposals.

  19. Obiously you don’t really listen to these people. Both Santorum and Gingrich’s history is racist

    There is nothing off base here.

  20. I agree, Curmudge, that context is the key to understanding. I have seen and heard the footage of the issues and the candidates addressed in this article.

    Here’s what doesn’t pass the red face test: would the same candidate make the same statement in a different crowd? In this instance, a 100% black audience for Santorum and Gingrich.

    And when called upon to explain their statements, there’s the “I didn’t say that” factor to consider. Santorum clearly said “black people” and yet he can’t bring himself to own his words. Paint him red, barn red, bald-faced pants-on-fire red.

  21. Again, please give specifics where the ENTIRE context is given and no spin is applied.

    And, you are right, it’s not off base, i was being kind: it’s just fundamentally false, which you, or the writer, can disprove by posting the entire context of the speeches cited. No need to snarl at me, just produce the valid facts, in their entirety.

    Has either said he approved of apartheid? or, suggested separate water fountains; or championed separate but equal schools? or promoted sterilization of minorities? or banned minorities from an organization they belong to? or hired an incompetent anglo in preference to a qualified minority? It’s so easy to throw out labels, but much more difficult to come up with LEGITIMATE proof–and that’s really all I’m asking for.

    And I do listen to “these people,” having watched most of all the debates, having followed past debates–both primary and for the presidency. Fact is, I listened to FDR, Truman, Ike and all those since. I must confess, however, I’m finding it increasingly hard to listen to our current president–but I still give it the old collage try.

    In my meager three score and ten, plus a few years, I’ve voted in local and national elections in KY, TN, MS, PA and CA. In that time I’ve voted for both Democrats and Republicans. I’ve been a registered voter since 1953. I try to listen objectively to both sides, though I do admit to a tendency to lean a bit to the right in my waning days. I figure I’ve earned the right, as a tax payer since about 1950. So far as I know, that’s all the Constitution requires–not even that, in fact.

  22. @1voice1vote:

    Are you suggesting that the term “black people’ is the basis of the charge of racism? I thought that was the term of choice, along with African American, that the African American community themselves introduced. Am I mistaken?

    I understand the objection to “black folk,” even though during 5+ years as pastor of a rural church in Mississippi during the hot years of the civil rights movements of the ’60s, I heard countless African Americans refer to themselves as such. I worked at a country cross-roads store and mechanic shop in rural Yazoo County, MS and heard a lot of conversation among the field hands which was not intended for white ears, so they were not just being cautious.

    Not incidentally, I came to learn a lot about true racism during that time, at one point refusing to dismiss a church service so some of the deacons could go to a Ross Barnett political rally. I suggested that if Ross wanted to meet the members of our church, he could attend OUR services–as a congregant, not as a speaker.

  23. “Are you suggesting that the term “black people’ is the basis of the charge of racism?”

    No, Curmudge, it was Santorum’s dog whistle of a racist statement in its entirety: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.”

    Why does he backpedal and deny when faced with his own words? (“blah people”? Really?)

    Being a Pastor, you’re probably well-versed on the tenets of sinning and repentance. I was raised to stand and accept the consequences of my actions: call it personal responsibility. In my childhood home, when faced with a question of possible wrongdoing the penalty/punishment was doubled if I, or anyone else, resorted to lying.

    Any human can say or do something they didn’t necessarily set out to. It’s how we handle our mistakes that make us into beings of integrity or dishonesty. I prefer integrity.

  24. Your constant playing naive is getting old. When you speak to people and pick out blacks and talk about welfare, food stamps and other forms of subsistence when whites make up 84% of those on the aforementioned aids then you are showing your racism. Gingrich does it with muslims and blacks. Santorum does it with blacks. Ron Pauls son does it with blacks while Paul decrys them getting aid saying no one should have it.

    Get real, your false arguments are not working. If you are paid to be here, give it up

  25. “Has either said he approved of apartheid? or, suggested separate water fountains; or championed separate but equal schools? or promoted sterilization of minorities? or banned minorities from an organization they belong to? or hired an incompetent anglo in preference to a qualified minority? It’s so easy to throw out labels, but much more difficult to come up with LEGITIMATE proof–and that’s really all I’m asking for.”

    There is legitimate proof in his words, but it’s revealed in stereotyping and so on. For instance, the false stereotype of “Minority = lazy and want to live off welfare”. That is what their language was based on. You don’t even have to do a content or discourse analysis to detect racism (except possibly if you’re white and racist yourself – but most racists are unwilling to go to that effort, much less trying to learn what content and discourse analysis are). The two single-sentence examples for both Santorum and Gingrich are sufficient to condemn them. I’ve read things Gingrich has said or written before, and the racism is there in it’s full ugliness. Santorum I don’t know that well, but the quotes I’ve read scream “BIGOT!” to me.

    I suggest three books on racism: “White Privilege” by Rothenburg (the one I suggest the most to blind-to-their-own-racism whites), “Two Nations” by Hacker, or “RacistAmerica” by Feagin.

    I also recommend reading anything by Tim Wise. He’s pretty good.

    Finally, there is a video out (rather dated but still valid) in which a white racist bigot (who thinks he is just an ordinary American citizen) talks with several African-Americans. You sound just like him. Here’s the crux: what people were trying to tell him finally sunk in, and after a rather emotional breakthrough (with profound and sincere apologies to the others), he started calling himself a “recovering racist”. I just wish I could remember that video – I watched it for one of my classes. You see, unless you realize your own white privilege and your own racism, you’re blind to it in others. Most white people have to be trained to recognize it. Once you can recognize it, you become sensitized to it. Most minorities have experienced it enough that they’re already sensitized to it. A rare person may be “naturally” sensitive to racism, but American culture normalizes it so it’s hard for that consideration to grow.

    The facts remain: The Republican party is racist and has been so for generations. Gingrich and Santorum are racist bigots – their own words condemn them. The 1% are racists – they use race and other attributes to try to divide people and keep them from working together against them. People who defend those racists usually are racist themselves, but don’t want to admit it to themselves (or admit it in public).

  26. You don’t even need the “red face test” and in many cases context is unncessary. If you parse out the sentences quoted, and examine them for the ideology behind the statements, it boils down to racism.

    Sometimes all it takes is a single word, such as “Uppity” uttered by Limbaugh.

  27. OK, so you were a Pastor in Mississippi in the 60s. That really doesn’t mean much. I’ve met drunks and drug addicts who used to be Pastors. I’ve helped people who were harmed by Pastors. Shoot, for the fundamentalist churches, pastors are especially bad about pedophilia, and many are the stories I’ve heard from women who were raped as a young girl by their pastors (it also occasionally happens to men – from those who rant against homosexuality and “loose morals”).

    Being a pastor in Mississippi during the civil rights era doesn’t mean much either.

    You see, one of my friends was a freedom rider. Also an ordained minister. He’s talked about some of the attitudes he encountered from the “Ministers” in Mississippi. I rather suspect that if you WERE a Pastor (which for a lot of the fundamentalist churches doesn’t mean much), you were one of the problem ones instead of someone helping to fight for civil rights.

    Also, just because you knew African Americans and associated with them doesn’t mean that you’re not a racist. I worked for a guy for several months when I was a kid (20s), and he had a lot of black customers. I regularly heard a lot of racist crap come out of his mouth, and some rather strange things happened in his shop. Many years later, I learned from a friend of mine that he was one of the regional leaders for the KKK.

    Thank God he and the others never learned that I’m American Indian (I didn’t know it at the time either… only discovered it in my mid 30s). I probably would not be alive today.

  28. Dammit, Walkaway, now you’ve got me delving into discourse analysis. As someone who delved into nuances of language from various angles but never really put a name to what I was doing, I felt a flash of recognition. Any writer, any psychologist, any lawyer, or for that matter any person with “snap” in human interaction, must learn this sort of thing…but most don’t know what to call it, or even think of it as a specific skill set. Thanks for turning me on to it!

  29. “No, Curmudge, it was Santorum’s dog whistle of a racist statement in its entirety: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.”

    Why does he backpedal and deny when faced with his own words? (“blah people”? Really?)

    You missed the point, which was he was not faced with his own words,” not all of them. Had he been, he would have had no need to backpedal or otherwise, they spoke for themselves. You guys just cannot make a case from a half-truth.

  30. Shiva:

    “Your constant playing naive is getting old. When you speak to people and pick out blacks and talk about welfare, food stamps and other forms of subsistence when whites make up 84% of those on the aforementioned aids then you are showing your racism.”

    And, as long as you do it I will counter: Show concrete, unedited instances of where

    I defy you to show one instance where I have spoken “to people and pick(ed) out blacks and talk(ed) about welfare…”Gingrich does it with muslims and blacks. Santorum does it with blacks. Ron Pauls son does it with blacks while Paul decrys them getting aid.” Talk and accusations are neither valid arguments nor convincing evidence.

    I am flattered that you would think I’m somehow paid to do what I’m doing. Actually, I think some folks at a right wing site thought the same when I held their feet to the fire of proof and “truth in advertising.”

    Finally, if your only defense or reply to my well meant observations is to call me a racist, then you have just proved my point: When all arguments fall flat, attack with innuendo and animosity. I am beginning to think you guys just don’t know what to do to someone who wants to discuss issues instead of getting down in the mud with you.

  31. Watch the news, its been on a hundred times. If you cant get info on your own, or you havent been watching whats going on just say so.

    I did not call you a racist. You don’t discuss issues, you muddy them.

    This is anotherr opportunity for you to pretend to be naïve

    My quote;

    “When you speak to people and pick out blacks and talk about welfare, food stamps and other forms of subsistence when whites make up 84% of those on the aforementioned aids then you are showing your racism. Gingrich does it with muslims and blacks. Santorum does it with blacks. Ron Pauls son does it with blacks while Paul decrys them getting aid saying no one should have it.”

    The proverbial “you” is not “you” but a person as in an example.

  32. @ A Walker:

    With this attack, you have crossed the line. In all our discussions, I have been courteous and respectful of you as a person–a man, I assume, and a believer in your own path in terms of theism. I have disagreed with some of your points and countered with my ideas. With that, I think I have every right to expect the same respect in turn.

    My comments about my experiences in Mississippi were not some claim to fame or authority. I was only pointing out, with reference to the term “black people,” that I was not aware of its being pejorative, as opposed to “black folk” which, I understand, is, in part because of my experiences in Mississippi.

    I have a son-in-law who did a great service in preparing his 5 kids for the real world: whenever they whined about this or that not being fair, he would simply tell them: Deal with it. They did, and all of them now can hold their own in a world where fair is not the order of the day.

    I understand that you are an American Indian, you were raised, so it seems, under the hard hand of some hard-headed, heavy handed Pentecostals, your ethnicity was not revealed until later in life, you have valid issues and disagreements with the tenets and teachings of the religion to which you were subjected. I get it, but don’t blame me or others like me. Deal with it. Hatred is it’s own poison, and the sooner you move on past your “I’m a victim” pity party, the sooner you may find a bit of sunshine and happiness. For your sake, I hope you do. (I’m likely old enough to be your father, so I don’t hesitate to speak as I would [as I have] to my own son.)

    With reference to my actions or character as a minister, you have absolutely no basis whatsoever to assume I “was one of the bad ones.” Nor to judge my personal character vis a vis ministers you may have known who were evil to the core, and blatant users of other people. That in no way, shape or form gives you leave to assume that I am a racist. If anything, it subjects you to a similar charge: he’ white, he was a preacher, ergo, he’s a racist. NO! in the strongest terms; NO! it just won’t fly–and it may be time someone told you so, point blank. There’s a whole, big world out there, and its full of people of all sorts. We do better when we learn to judge each one on his/her own merits, and forego prejudicing our conclusions before we know the facts.

    For the record, I don’t give a hoot-in-the-holler about your, my or anyone else’s ethnicity. It is irrelevant as far as one’s personal value or dignity. I view every person on this earth as having worth and equal standing as any other, without regard to race, sex, age, politics or otherwise. We all came into the world naked and we all go out the same way. The dust I leave behind will be no more or less fertile that yours, or Ghandi’s, or Sitting Bull’s, or Jesus’.

    The fact that I choose to point out my take on current events, and they happen to differ with your point of view has nothing to do with either your character or mine. That I choose to defend some points of view that you and others do not accept does not make me your enemy. I’d do the same for you and anyone else whom I believed to have been misrepresented.

    Once, more, I suggest we get back to the issues. I’m not going away–unless I’m locked out, and I will continue to be a gad fly as it is called for by the rhetoric and topic. I also promise to continue to speak with respect to those I disagree with, and address their words rather than their character. A little reciprocation will not hurt anyone.

    I’m an old man, and I’ve lived long enough to move beyond the pettiness of animosity and name calling, so, if you must, take your best shots. I’ll be back.

  33. Pardon the garbled message, something got lost in transmission, and it’s too late for in the day for me to try to reconstruct it. Sorry.

  34. OK. but from a pesky old English major, “one” is better used in cases of personal dialogue.

    Your continued suggestion of my playing naive is a bit amusing. Not really, I suppose I’m just dense, though you don’t seem to know how to prove it by addressing the points I make.

    And yes, I’ve heard the accusation “a hundred times” but I’ve yet to hear the entire, that’s entire, story. Possibly your information is filtered before it gets to you, it’s possible, ya’ know.

  35. The information isn’t filtered as it comes directly from the candidates speeches. Had you been keeping up[ on the news you would know that. Acting naive again?

  36. The point is that Santorum clearly said “black people” and singled us out with a sweeping generalization as if we are all on welfare. There is no other way to interpret his words, and his trying to clean it up by substituting the word “blah” for “black” has only succeeded in his digging the hole for himself even deeper. At a time when so many people of all races have lost homes and jobs, and have to depend on welfare as a result if not unemployment benefits, his remarks were especially patronizing, ignorant, and completly inappropriate. They would be all those things under any circumstances, but the fact is that he was pandering to a receptive audience. He obviously believes this nonsense and is too divisive to ever be president. The same goes for Gingrich, with his remarks about “a paycheck, not food stamps” for black folks. It’s ironic that those of us who point out racist words or behavior get called racists ourselves, but these words are quite revealing about these two and only someone immersed in self-deception would say otherwise.

  37. You know, everything you write makes me think that you’re one of those “Bad” ex-pastors. You know, racist, bigoted, and sneaky and slimy enough to try any angle to defend racism.

    I’m getting a bit sick of you. I have to deal with enough racist bigots in “the meat world”, and even more when trolls invade the blogs I frequent. Your blind defense of Santorum speaks two things to me: You’re a dominionist (troll) and you know it but don’t want that to become obvious, and you’re a racist bigot who wants someone like yourself in the Presidency.

  38. N.B.: “You” is a generic pronoun in all but the most highfalutin academic American English, and you have acknowledged you are not a Brit. Most of the rest of your objections amount to special pleading. I ask you to refrain from further specious arguments (and in this case, I do mean YOU.)

  39. Why will you be back? To put the “pick” in picayune? Your being back serves no useful purpose, except to gratify your impulses towards mastery. These would be better satisfied in a kink house; we don’t play that.

  40. Thanks for the warning. I hope you’re wrong (about being back). By the way, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Your kind are a dime a dozen and you only serve the purpose of showing how shallow you really are.

    I also reiterate the statement about burning crosses on Saturday and preaching in front of them on Sunday. It’s especially known as a Southern Baptist sort of thing.

    (If you do come “back”, may I suggest a big dose of critical self-examination and introspection before posting again – especially looking at your attitudes about race and religion.)

  41. @ Ann: ” The same goes for Gingrich, with his remarks about “a paycheck, not food stamps” for black folks.” Another example of selective editing. Gringrich did say “a paycheck, not food stamps,” YOU said “black folk’s” which by your own standards would make you the racist–which, incidentally, I don’t believe you are.

    @ A Walkaway: 1.”By the way, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.” Wow, not there’s a mind-blowing retort. I’ll bet you’ve been working on that for week–it’s so original. :-) 2. ” Saturday and preaching in front of them on Sunday. It’s especially known as a Southern Baptist sort of thing.” Again, you display your lack of knowledge about the difference between “Southern Baptists” as a denomination, and Baptists from the south, which includes some who would, indeed, be found among the KKK, and many, many more would–and did–oppose them at every turn. One thing you don’t understand is that the Southern Baptist Convention is not a church, but an association of fully independent churches. To sweep all Baptists under the rug for the actions of individual members of some of the churches is a gross injustice, just as is “all Indians” or “all blacks” or “all Asians.”

    As for my attitude about race: All men (read, persons) are created equal, and are endowed…(I’ll omit the reference to deity) with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    My attitude about religion: Every man, woman a child has the right to find his/her own way as to the existence or non-existence of a higher power, and to identify any such higher power with whatever name s/he feel appropriate. My personal belief is that the question of who or what or if there is a higher power is beyond the capabilities of man to understand–in short, I just don’t know and don’t really think it matters much what we think, since that is as far as we can go: to think.

    My attitude about government and religion: The state has no business interfering with the free exercise of any religion, the church (generic) has no business seeking special privileges or accepting government funds for any matters of sectarian nature. The state is obligated to protect legitimate expressions of religion from persecution, and religious groups owe their individual and personal allegiance to the government which protects them–even when that is expressed as a loyal opposition.

    My attitude about free speech: Every person has a right to speak his or her mind in support or in opposition to established government and its activities without fear of intervention or persecution. This does not extend to advocating the violent overthrow of the government, or to inciting others to violence against their fellow citizens.

    I also believe free speech works better and is more effective when those who engage in it do so with respect for the person-hood and opinions of others.

    @ Reynardine: “Why will you be back? To put the “pick” in picayune? Your being back serves no useful purpose, except to gratify your impulses towards mastery. These would be better satisfied in a kink house; we don’t play that.”

    Why am I, will I be back? 1. See “free speech, above. 2. Because I believe that all ideas that are put out for public consumption should be able to stand the test of opposition and rebuttal. Only contagion grows in un-stirred waters. 3. Because I enjoy the free exchange of ideas, and like to see my own thoughts challenged, if for no other reason, to see I they, too, can stand the test. 4. Because I continue to try to understand the mind set of people who can respond only with anger and animosity to someone they know nothing about except that he or she disagrees with something they said. I keep looking for reasoned debate; I keep being met with temper tantrums. Most of the stuff you guys throw at me, I’ve been hearing since I was in the 6th grade. I keep hoping someone among you can offer some point by point, factual, evidence-supported rebuttal to what I say.

    I suppose, by the same token, I would ask, what mastery are you trying to achieve by being here? Same difference.

    It was suggested that I do some serious consideration about my positions, which is something I do, just about 24/7. I don’t suggest you guys need to do that much, but maybe just read back over the level of language, and lack of any really well-reasoned dialogue. Most of it reads like what you’d hear if you walked into a Jr. high school locker room. I just think you’re capable of rising above all that.

    Finally, I somewhat enjoy rattling cages of anyone or group who believes they have all the answers–whether they be a religion, or a right or left-leaning political advocacy.

  42. Gingrich was talking about going in front of the NAACP to spew this garbage. He knew exactly what he was doing. Sorry, there’s no way to clean this up for him. Again, you have proven my point that people often get called racists for pointing out the racism in others.

  43. Well, now we get down to it: you enjoy rattling cages. You don’t believe in a damn thing you say, but you sure get a power trip out of rattling cages.

  44. @ 1 voice: Hey, I like the tone of your discussion, even if I don’t necessarily agree with all of it. It’s reasoned, straight forward, free of animosity and absent of blatant disrespect. May your ilk increase.

    And, It’s been over 40 years since I was a pastor, though I take your point.

    As a digression: I personally don’t accept the idea of “sin” in the traditional Christian sense of something that makes God mad. There is evil and evil deeds, but these are measured, IMO, by the depth of the negative effect a deed has on one’s self, or others.

  45. @ A Walker: Bless your heart, you just can’t get away from the anger. When I read some of what you write I keep seeing a 5 year old lying on the floor kicking and screaming.

    I say “some of” because your post of “A Walkaway on January 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm” was well thought out and just said what you thought about the situation. I don’t agree with your conclusions, but at least I can appreciate the thought process.

  46. Oh, I do believe in what I say, but that doesn’t forego my enjoying trying to help people see beyond their own prejudices.

    Don’t you get enjoyment out of your participation here–at least insofar as you’re not challenged? Else, why do it.

    I suppose I could jump to Shiva’s conclusion and assume you must be paid, but, to be truthful, that’s a bit silly. The internet thrives on the human bent to see their thoughts splashed all over the world. I enjoy human interaction, more when it’s amicable, but I’m not threatened by it when it’s not. Fact is, too much togetherness gets a bit saccharine, after a while. But, power trip, nah, I don’t take myself that seriously–I’ve been married for 58 years, and that will take the illusion of grandeur out of anyone. Just to check, I stick my finger in a bucket of water about once a week, and guess what–when I pull it out, you can’t even tell I was ever there. 100 years from now, as to anything your or I say: same difference.

    I see some 70 tweets and about 500 or so likes for the site. Not likely that any of us will change the course of human events by what we say here.

    I take note of your lack of response to my suggestion that good ideas should be able to stand scrutiny.

  47. Sorry, A Walker, but I can’t let this pass: “For instance, the false stereotype of “Minority = lazy and want to live off welfare”.

    Since you wrote this in a comment following my post ,I assume the “his words” that preceded the quote above refers to me. No where, at no time,have I ever used the equation you suggest. You cannot put your meaning to my words and then postulate some scientific conclusion as to what or who I am from it. You may be fighting some boogy man, but it’ not me.

    By what logic do you assume my meaning to “minority” to be one thing and your use of the same word in the same post to mean something else? “Most minorities have experienced it enough…”

    I use the term to mean exactly the same as I assume your meaning to be: a part of any population whose numbers are fewer than a larger group. Fact is, in California, the white population is now or soon will be, in the minority. I don’t assume any fact about any group beyond how many of them there are.

    Try as you may, you can’t put your preconceived notions into my head or on my back.

  48. P.S. As for discourse analysis, I’d love to see ALL the posts in the 3 or 4 threads I’ve participated in subjected to an OBJECTIVE, DISINTERESTED third party who was expert in the subject. I think it would blow your mind.

  49. Mr. Santorum is guilty of opening with race-baiting and closing with condescension in his statement: “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 go out and earn the money.”

    Mr. Santorum lied not once, but thrice when confronted. (#1. Denial #2. “blah people” #3. “plives” – via spokesperson)

    Thankfully, Mr. Santorum and his particular brand of religious extremism will be out of the running soon, and then we can return to the debate about “Corporations are people, my friend.”

    Rattle on, Curmudge, my fellow little green monster for an avatar, rattle on.

  50. “Anger” is the hymn of the day

    I spent a lot of time last night and this morning “trolling,” to borrow A Walker’s word, many of the articles and posts on this and other sites, both right and left, Dem. and Rep., and now I am so depressed I can hardly type. I started out with the Burt Bacharach song, What’s it All About, Alphie? on my mind and ended up with Peggy Lee’s Is That All There Is?

    I’ve dabbled in online chat rooms, blog discussions and writer’s–critique sites almost since Al Gore invented the Internet. Now and again the experiences have been good, some have been so-so. In the past couple of years, it’s all gone downhill. These past couple of weeks have been the pits. I came looking for dialogue and found diatribe. I came looking for reasoned opinions and found propaganda. I came looking for people seeking common ground among differing viewpoints and found only turf defense, vitriol and hatred. I came looking for what once did and still could make America strong and united and discovered only “America for us, and to hell with the rest.”

    I though people of the educational and experience level outlined in the bios could, if they disagreed with my ideas, tell me, ” in this and that you are wrong, and here and there you missed the point.” What I found was the rebuttals of choice seems to be: you are evil, your are stupid, you are a racist, you are banned from heaven because you are different from what we want to hear. And, contrary to this being what I’m sure will be called a whine, it’s not me that I’m sad for—I’m sad and fearful for our nation when that is the level of discourse by which we try to elect our leaders. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t matter much. I’ll strut and fret my bit part and pass on, stage right, to borrow Shakespeare’s analogy. I don’t know what kind of America I’ll leave for my grandkids. Maybe they can go into the anger management counseling business and move on up toward that evil 1%.

    And, here is the saddest part: it’s like this wherever one goes–left or right, Rep. or Dem., Christian or non. Everyone is mad at everyone else. We do not seek to come together, instead, we wish to destroy. “This land is MY land,” has forgotten that also “This Land is YOUR land.” We’ve moved through and past flipping the bird at motorist who irritate us (as infantile as that is), now we just pull out a Gloch and blow them away. We no longer just take our own shopping bags to Walmart, we take pepper spray and trample over anyone who gets in our path to grab a cheap piece of technology that will be obsolete in six months.

    And, here is the danger—Lincoln knew it and we would do well to re-discover it: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” A society that devours its neighbors hearts, will soon drink its own blood. When there is no opponent, anger devours its own. Rome disintegrated into political cannibalism, and while feasting was brought to its knees by its enemies. At the moment, our Congress has a 91% disapproval rating. We castigate our Senators and Congressmen/women because they can’t agree on legislation. For the love of God, we citizens can’t even have a decent conversation! What do we expect? Our government mirrors our national character, and it’s a sad, sad reflection. Once again, a cliché has earned its keep: the people get the government they deserve.

    A few years back, after another sad chapter in our nation’s history, a man who had been grossly mistreated by those sworn to “protect and serve” looked at the carnage that followed and asked, simply, “Can’t we all just get along?” Well, Mr. King, I’m afraid the answer seems to be, “No.”

    And with that, my friends and fellow Americans, I leave you to your hate-fest. You can lock the doors behind me and enjoy the aroma of your own flatulence, revel in camaraderie while your country disintegrates. I’ll probably avoid the other side of the isle as well, the air being no better there. I have half a novel waiting for my attention—it’s frustrating as hell, but, at least, it doesn’t depress my soul.

  51. Yeah, I caught that, but couldn’t locate an edit function–it and the spell check are my word processing lifelines.

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