Archive for March, 2012

Racist Scarecrows

Friday, March 16th, 2012

In the continuing theme of conservative racism, I present you with the following image which recently made the rounds:

Don't Re-Nig

Indeed.

This week, Rick Santorum told a Puerto Rican newspaper that English should be the commonwealth’s primary language if it is to be considered for statehood (notably, this was not a requirement for any of the currently recognized states). This is coming from a man who — earlier in the primary season — said “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.” He later went on to issue a correction … that he had actually paused to say “blah people.” But as retarded as that sounds, it didn’t sink him. He made it out of the situation relatively unscathed, and is now battling Romney fiercely for the title of front runner. Why? Because the people he is courting for nomination know what he meant, and his later retraction is all but a formality. In my mind, Santorum (and other conservatives) are like scarecrows filled with racist straw. Every time they bend in the wrong direction, it pops out, and they scramble to push it back into place.

These aren’t just unfortunate coincidences. Racist Freudian slips are a recurring problem for these people because their rhetorical strategy requires that they constantly flirt with overt disdain for minorities. Reagan coined the term “welfare queen,” whose plausibly deniable reference to impoverished black women is poorly concealed. In his defense of deeming President Obama the “food stamp president,” Newt Gingrich describes youths in “poor neighborhoods” who have no work ethic. These phrases don’t need to be delivered with a wink or elbow nudge to for their implications to become clear.

Today, it’s safe to say that not all right-wingers are racist, but most racists are right-wingers. A recent study shows that people of low cognitive ability tend to gravitate to conservative ideologies. This may seem unfair, but in the way the researchers frame it, it makes perfect sense: people who are seldom exposed to different groups and viewpoints are poorly socialized. Because of this, they’re less intellectually developed, and are attracted to belief structures that reinforce their prejudices. The same observations about racism are also true of homophobia … which is (quite unremarkably) another problem for the right-wingers in the US.

This is why — even if I was convinced of the virtues of the unfettered free market — I could not conscionably vote for Republicans. There’s too much icky baggage that comes with.