Thursday, July 12, 2012

Romney: Blacks want "free stuff"

I'd like to go on record as agreeing with those folks who are saying that Romney's speech drawing boo's from the audience at the NAACP convention was planned. It felt that way to me from the beginning when I noticed his almost smug attitude while he waited a long time for the booing to completely stop and then didn't respond to it. Struck me as a photo-op for his racist base.

But then his remarks at a fundraiser with Dick Cheney last night sealed the deal.
Remind them of this: If they want more stuff from government, tell them to go vote for the other guy—more free stuff. But don't forget, nothing is really free.
For weeks now Romney and the Republicans have been shouting about how Obamacare is anything but "free" in that it imposes a tax penalty on those who are free riders on health care. By doing a complete about-face on his argument when it comes to this audience, its clear that in Romneyworld white people pay taxes penalties and black people just want free stuff.

But this call-out to racism should come as no surprise. Over a year ago I wrote about the 2012 election and race. At that time, I included this prescient quote from Adam Serwer.
The Republican Party had a choice after 2008. They could continue to rely on a dwindling but still decisive share of the white vote to prevail, or they could try to bring more minorities into the party. While I'm not entirely sure how much of the decision was made by party leaders and how much is merely the unprecedented influence of Fox News, but whether it's pseudo scandals of the past two years, from birtherism to the NBPP case, the GOP's nationwide rush to ban sharia and institute draconian immigration laws, or characterizing nearly every administration policy as reparations, the conservative fixations of Obama's first term indicate that the GOP will end up relying at least in part on inflaming white racial resentment to close the gap.
Romney and the Republicans clearly made their choice long ago...go with the racists. Yesterday was simply an example of how they're doing that.

1 comment:

  1. It definitely didn't have to be this way. That said, if the GOP really wanted to appeal to a broad ethnic base, they'd have to lose some of their current base. It might cost them in the immediate term. They should have seen 2006/08 as a sign that they needed an electoral cycle in the wilderness and re-tooled. Instead, they intensified.

    Despite so much effort in the press to pit non-white group against non-white group, and whatever complexities there are in inter-group interactions in this country, nearly any POC, when viewing a white person disrespecting any POC, will understand that the POC stands in for them. Latinos know that when Romney talks about "free stuff" and the NAACP, that the subtitles read, "La Raza is taking over our country." So too Asian people, East and South, so too Native people.