From Richard Nixon’s efforts to divide poor whites & blacks to Ronald Reagan’s open “Cadillac welfare queens” race-baiting to the Romney/Ryan 47% and makers/takers, using race to divide working-class whites from working-class blacks has been a key part of the Republican Party’s strategy for nearly half a century. While Barack Obama’s wins have marked the end of that strategy’s national success, it still has some effect on the local level.
The message is now indirect – Republican politicians rarely race-bait directly, but instead attack programs to help the low-income and unemployed while implying secret non-sucky benefits go to non-whites. Meanwhile, conservative media invents scandals, from ACORN stealing white people’s votes to the knockout game.
In struggling areas like SouthCoast, two letters from this week’s New Bedford Standard-Times show the campaign is still having some of its desired effect – turning whites against blacks and diverting attention from the robber barons who siphon money out of our communities:
Unprovoked physical attacks by young roving packs of black youths are being carried out against Jews, whites and Asian people. While rampant in St. Louis, these assaults have also occurred in Wisconsin and Massachusetts. I have to read about these crimes in a conservative paper — The Post — while it seems the “liberal” Massachusetts papers are “shielding” the rest of us from this racial violence. Why?
As Mr. Sowell reports, the term “White Girl Bleed Alot” is also the title of a book by Colin Flaherty, which documents both the obvious racial attacks across the U.S., and the lame media’s attempts to cover them up, as well as some local political and police officials who try to say that “race had nothing to do with these attacks.” Will Attorney General Holder, do something? Not.
Again, this “Polar Bear Hunting” game is hardly a “passing prank.” People have been beaten unconscious, permanently disabled and some have been murdered. How is this not a national “60 Minutes” story? And where are Obama, Sharpton and Jackson on this?
Providing cover to hoodlums is a gross disservice to every race. Perhaps “political correctness” trumps human lives.
Stephen W. Fernandes
Black people, get your black people in order! Clearly whites never commit any crime – if they did, Mitt Romney would straighten them right out!
I am tired of white people being called racist when they are not; after all America voted for a black leader twice. That black leader got 97 percent of the black vote and no one called them racists.
By this logic, if David Duke ran and got 0% of the black vote, it would be the blacks who were REALLY SUPER 100% racist. Also, note that Dartmouth is 1% black – if black people don’t live there, it must be because they hate white people, right?
You know what the real problem in New Bedford is? Crushingly high long-term unemployment, which hit nearly 15% during the Bush economic crash, has only dipped below 10% very briefly a couple of times, and currently sits at 11%. We could solve that if we wanted to: Raise taxes on the wealthy and use the money to hire people to build nice things, like SouthCoast Rail, new schools, and affordable apartment buildings.
Raising taxes on the wealthy is exactly what Republicans DON’T want. But “don’t raise taxes on us to build nice things” is terrible messaging. So they whisper that the nice things are really for those people and those Democrats like Elizabeth Warren (did I mention she identifies as part-brown person?) are trying to steal your money to do it. Because white people never go into those urban hellholes, right? (ed. note: Three most recent high-profile concerts in downtown New Bedford: Blondie; Katharine McPhee; William Shatner).
But it’s easier to yell at the black people and grit your teeth about how they get the good welfare and vote Republican.