Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Inside Romney's Head: The Dead Zone

According to Mitt Romney, I'm a freeloader with a victim mentality. I'm not alone; forty-seven percent of Americans, Obama supporters every one, are as trifling as I am.

Addressing guests at a private fundraiser earlier this year, Romney declared:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax. (Secret Video--Mother Jones)
As an Obama supporter, I think that Romney may be talking about me. I need to stop paying income tax and demand that the government hand over my entitlement. You should too, if you're an Obama supporter.

According to Romney, Obama supporters in addition to being trifling, lazy folks with a victim mentality, have developed a notion that "...the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."

Now, where would any of us get such a notion? Well, I'll be darned! Maybe it's from those socialist Founding Fathers.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"--The Declaration of Independence (emphasis added)
Interesting concept that the purpose of government--the reason that "governments are instituted"-- is to ensure access to those unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that health care, food and housing are encompassed in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and that it is an appropriate goal for governments to implement laws and policies to further the goal of securing these basic rights for all of its citizens.

A good friend offered the following observation that further illuminates the purpose of government under those founding documents that Romney and the conservative right purport to follow:  Look also at the words that appear in the Preamble to the Constitution. We, United, union, common, general, ourselves, our. "Us" is our thesis. Not an "I me mine" to be found.--S. Gordon

Romney has refused to retreat from his disavowal of governmental responsibility to promote any efforts to mitigate financial inequity and economic injustice. Instead, as expected, Romney supporters have dragged out a 1998 video of President Obama in which Obama states:
The trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some [wealth] redistribution -- because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.--Barack Obama (Obama 1998 Loyola Speech)
Apparently, we are to be shocked by this statement and declare Obama a socialist. Oh the horror! President Obama thinks that it is important to ensure that every American has a shot at fulfilling the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness noted in that most American of documents, The Declaration of Independence.

Don't you? Or do you prefer the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few with little or no chance for the advancement of most? It's about redistribution of opportunities. No one, least of all President Obama ever said that the plan is to take money from some to give it to others; the oft expressed paranoia of those who buy into Romney's vision of freeloading, do-nothing, Americans sitting around waiting for government handouts.

Redistribution of wealth is about providing grants for students to attend college, or low interest loans for small businesses. It is about providing food stamps to mothers and children who have insufficient funds to buy food. A single parent of two who earns $10 per hour for 40 hours per week nets $1600 per month before taxes. Ten dollars per hour is more than minimum wage (federal minimum wage is $7.25) but it still isn't sufficient money for rent, childcare (if you are a working parent, you need childcare), food, health insurance, clothing, transportation, and food.

As a country are we really so heartless and stupid that we can't understand that trickle down economics is a grand pie in the sky lie perpetuated by the haves to insure that the have-nots waste their time worrying about nonexistent threats of impending socialism and don't notice class inequities?

Mitt Romney has made it clear as to what he thinks of nearly half of all Americans. In his own words: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." (Secret Video...)

In November, we have a chance to tell Mitt Romney what we think of him. What will that message be? Will we support his view that nearly half of Americans are shiftless, unwilling to work freeloaders, waiting on a government handout? Or will we take a look at ourselves, our family members, and our neighbors and recognize that demanding that all of us have fair and meaningful access to the opportunities that this nation provides is the rightful purpose of government? The answer is up to us, the governed.

Note: Romney stated that he wished that the entire video had been released to place his remarks in context. Mother Jones has obliged. Someone should have reminded Romney of the adage, "careful what you wish for." Link to the entire video.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Racism: Ignorance Seasoned with Paranoia

I wasn't looking for trouble.  I hadn't planned to write about race again any time soon. I just stopped by a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Tom Degan, of The Rant. The post, "Message to My Fellow White People," is about five weeks old but I had never read all of the comments on the piece.

There were lots of thoughtful and interesting responses to Tom's absorbing post, but there were also repeated comments by Anonymous, who under cover of his or her anonymity seemed more concerned with arguing "I am not a racist" rather than offering anything substantive to the discussion. Nonetheless, I did not plan to offer any commentary on Anon's meanderings until I got to the following comment from Anonymous:
I love how liberals are either stupid or just amazingly ignorant of racial realities in this country.
Between the numerous black gangs attacking white people in every city of America and the specific examples of the Wisconsin State Fair, Iowa State Fair and Peoria, Illinois, we have more than started the Jim Crow period against white people, and the media is fully complicit
The new trend appears to be to insist that black people and liberals are the new racists but I have never come across anyone who goes so far as to declare that we have started the Jim Crow period against white people. The sheer ignorance of this statement is highly offensive and trivializes the very real denial of civil rights and relegation to second class citizenship of African-Americans for nearly 100 years  post civil war. Following is my unpolished, from the gut response to Anonymous.

Anonymous, I can't decide if you are a racist or just the most ignorant person in America. Maybe you're both. Clearly there is something seriously wrong with you. WTF are you talking about? Jim Crow period against white people! LOL!

Perhaps you should read up a bit on the history of Jim Crow; it was both a system of laws and of social etiquette to restrict the interaction of blacks with whites and to ensure that white superiority was recognized in all aspects of life.  

I concede that there are some black folks who commit acts of violence against whites; mostly in the process of committing some other crime such as thievery but not because they hate white people but because they seek financial gain. Unacceptable behavior but not unique to black people. White people just steal on a grander scale. Ask Madoff and all those folks on Wall Street.

Here's how you'll know that Jim Crow has arrived for white people.

1. Black people will hold the political offices at the state, local, and federal area and white people will not be allowed to hold office.

2. White people will have to pay a poll tax and pass a literacy test in order to vote.

3. When white people are walking down the sidewalk and encounter black people, you will need to step out in the street, tip your hat, say good morning or good evening ma'am or sir, and wait for the black people to pass.

4. You won't be allowed to eat inside any restaurant but you can purchase food at the back door of some places.

5. There will be no white people in any upper level positions in business.

6. If a white male looks at a back woman or dares speak to her, then her family members will come and drag him out of his house in the middle of the night, even if he's just a 14 year old boy, and beat and torture him so badly that his own mama can't recognize his corpse. At the trial, an all black jury will acquit the killers and they will later brag about their deed in a national magazine.

7. Hospitals, clinics, and all businesses will have have an entrance for Blacks only and Whites will only be allowed to enter facilities that provide a separate Whites only entrance and a separate area for whites to conduct their business in the facility. If no such arrangement is provided  you can't come in at all.

8. Be careful to adhere to all rules, don't ever act uppity in front of black people or you may find yourself being dragged out of your house by folks wearing white sheets. If you're lucky they will just beat the crap out of you and if not, they will hang you from a tree. They may burn you a bit first or castrate you and then lynch you.

These are just a few highlights that will signal the implementation of Jim Crow against white people. There were far too many racists practices and laws to enumerate in a single list.

Besides, I recognize that I'm wasting my time because you are an ignorant, whiny, paranoid racist. Only an ignorant racist would propose that anything that black people have done is even partially equivalent to Jim Crow. Don't bother to respond because I will not engage in additional communication with you. I've already wasted far too much time on the inane braying of a total jackass. google6b73f2f8eb0ba261.html