January 25, 2012

Republicans want to "Keep America America"

I covered most of these points in Racism in the Republican Primaries, but here are a few worth mentioning:

The 10 Most Racist Moments of the GOP Primary (So Far)

The Republican Party is digging deep into the old bucket of white racism, using the politics of fear, hostility and anxiety to win over white voters.

By Chauncey DeVega
5. In keeping with the class warfare narrative, and as a way of proving their conservative bona fides, Republican candidates have crafted a strategy in which they repeatedly refer to the unemployed as lazy, unproductive citizens who would “be rich if they just went out and got a job.” In fact, as suggested by Mitt Romney, any discussion of the wealth and income gap in the United States (and the destruction of the middle class), should be done in a “quiet room,” as such truth-telling stokes mean-spirited resentment against the rich. Conservatives have an almost Orwellian gift for manipulating language. The financier class is reframed as “job creators.” Programs that workers pay for such as Social Security are equated with “welfare.” Americans who are victims of robber baron capitalism and structural unemployment are painted as dregs who want nothing more than to “live off of the system.” Despite all evidence to the contrary, unions are painted as bastions for the weak, the greedy, and those who hate capitalism.

Race is central here: Conservatives seeded this ground with their assault on the black poor. The invention of the welfare queen by Ronald Reagan became code for lazy, fat, black women who game the system at the expense of hard-working whites. The Right uses the same framing in order to attack immigrants as people who want to destroy the country and steal the scarce resources of “productive” white Americans.

Efforts to shrink “big government” are closely related to the Right’s observation that the federal government employs “too many” blacks. The Republican Party refined its Ayn Rand-inspired shock doctrine and disaster capitalism through decades of practice on black and brown Americans. The racist tactics that were once used to justify the evisceration of programs aimed at helping the urban poor are now being applied to white folks on Main Street USA during the Great Recession.

6. Mitt Romney wants to "keep America America." The dropping of one letter from the Ku Klux Klan’s slogan, “Keep America American,” does not remove the intent behind Romney’s repeated use of such a virulently bigoted phrase. While Mitt Romney can claim ignorance of the slogan’s origins, he is intentionally channeling its energy. In the Age of Obama, the Republican Party is drunk on the tonic of nativism. From remarks about “the real America,” to supporting the mass deportation of Latinos and Hispanics, a hostility to any designated Other is central to the 21st-century know-nothing politics of the Tea Party-driven GOP. Romney’s slogan, “Keep America America” begs the obvious question: just who is American? Who gets to decide? And should there be moats and electric fences to keep the undesirables out of the country?
Comment:  The list is really 10 points DeVega wants to make about Republican racism, not 10 racist incidents. It amounts to the same thing, but the organization is a bit off.

The list also includes Bachmann's attempts to rewrite history. And conservative teabaggers are still at it, as shown in Tea Party Wants Teachers to Find Good in Slavery. As well as in the Arizona contretemps chronicled in Tucson Bans Native Books, Shakespeare Play.

It's all about maintaining white power--over the government and ultimately over people's minds and souls. That's why conservatives lie so often about economics, science, and history--because the facts prove them and their white-power ideology wrong.

For more on the subject, see:

Mean Republicans love mean Gingrich
Gingrich cheers killing of Indians
Open letter to Obama haters
Ayn Rand, racist
Republican Jesus™

1 comment:

dmarks said...

A total fail on #5 is an attack on the poor at worst, and has nothing to do with race. And most of the poor happen to be white.

The writer tries to connect this to race by drawing connections where none exist, including the "Welfare queen" thing. I understood when Reagan said that that most "Welfare queens" were white.

He completely fails to make a case on this one.