Here are some things you could learn about black Americans from the recent statements and insinuations of Republican presidential candidates, Republican congressmen and Republican-friendly radio personalities:Juan Williams, political analyst for Fox News Channel, weighs in:
Black people have lost the desire to perform a day’s work. Black people rely on food stamps provided to them by white taxpayers. Black people, including Barack and Michelle Obama, believe that the U.S. owes them something because they are black. Black children should work as janitors in their high schools as a way to keep them from becoming pimps. And the pathologies afflicting black Americans are caused partly by the Democratic Party, which has created in them a dependency on government not dissimilar to the forced dependency of slaves on their owners.
Judging by these claims, all of which have actually been put forward recently, here is a modest prediction: This presidential election will be one of the most race- soaked in recent history. It is already more race-soaked than the 2008 election, which, of course, marked the first time that a black man became a major-party candidate.
The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message. The code words in this game are “entitlement society” — as used by Mitt Romney — and “poor work ethic” and “food stamp president” — as used by Newt Gingrich. References to a lack of respect for the “Founding Fathers” and the “Constitution” also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core “old-fashioned American values.”This comes just weeks after Rick Santorum allegedly backpedaled on on a statement made in a Fox News interview that he did not want "to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money." Santorum maintains that he actually said "blah" people: "I looked at that, and I didn't say that. If you look at it, what I started to say is a word and then sort of changed and it sort of — blah — came out. And people said I said ‘black.’ I didn't."
The code also extends to attacks on legal immigrants, always carefully lumped in with illegal immigrants, as people seeking “amnesty” and taking jobs from Americans.
But the code sometimes breaks down.
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