Friday, March 30, 2012

Racial Electronic Voice Phenomenon: Did Rick Santorum Call President Obama a "Government Nigger?"

The interpretation all depends greatly on one's own point of view, does it not?

Last week, the public debated if George Zimmerman used the word "coon" to describe Trayvon Martin before he hunted the latter down and murdered him in cold blood.

This week, Rick Santorum is being accused of calling President Obama a "government nigger." Given his love of "blah" people, those social parasites who live off of the backs and sweat of good hardworking white folks, nothing would surprise me. Ultimately, amateur racism chasers may be compelled towards the accused racist mouth utterances of Rick Santorum, angered, taking the tantalizing bait dangled before them.

However, I would advise the professional anglers to focus elsewhere:

We should instead be focused on how the austerity, "small government" policies advocated by the Tea Party GOP are check and mate for the social safety net, and a means of balancing the federal budget on the backs of brown and black folks.

In another era, Harry Houdini (who debunked seances, spiritualists, and mediums) would have made an intervention and gotten right to the literal, as well as proverbial, heart of these vexing matters of race and speech.

As an alternative, perhaps we need to call in the Ghost Hunters to perform an expert analysis of these racial electronic voice phenomenon? You tell me. Did Rick Santorum call President Obama a "nigger?" Or is this claim just an example of the power of suggestion and formant noise?

I like to give folks the benefit of the doubt. Here are some words that Rick Santorum could have potentially been searching for in his tongue tied moment. These examples come from the Scrabble word finder--a resource that Santorum's aids are likely consulting at this very moment:

1. niggardly

2. negator

3. negotiator

4. niggling

5. niglisone

6. nightmare

7. nighed

Do you have any suggestions to offer?


Weird Beard said...

Government nipple sucker. yah, that's the ticket, yah.

Anonymous said...

As a fan of the old coast to coast show with Art Bell I'm sure you remember the shows he did about reverse speech analysis. I've always wondered what would happen if white nationalist politicians like Rick Santorum where subjected to it.

I can only imagine what kind of racial demons reside in his preconscious mind.

SL Meyer said...

We all know what he said. There's probably more, there's just not captured or released video of it. This latest isn't the first time Santorum let his mouth skip a few steps ahead of his brain and it won't be the last. A leopard doesn't change it's spots, it just blends into the scenery...for a while.

Improbable Joe said...

This is dumb. He said "government-nik" like "peacenik" or "beatnik". It was a hard K sound and no weird vocal stumble like he was biting back on finishing a word. Plus the whole string of words sounds kind of rehearsed.

Anonymous said...

You all will find racism wherever you can, and if it doesnt exist in a particular place you will invent it. It's intellectually dishonest. And once again it seems Your greatest fear is austerity and it coming down on the black man. Yet when I called you on this last time you insisted it was the white man abusing the system and 'suckIng on that tit'. Your biggest concern, as always, is losing the handouts. Pathetic.

fred c said...

You getting handouts, Professor? Can you hook me up?

Anonymous said...

Didn't say he was, though that's always the response - point to someone not receiving handouts as though he's suddenly representative of the entire demographic. But why is that always the focus? Out if all the myriad issues in our country today, he's obsessively worried about cutting the handouts?

Kunzelman said...

The Language Log, a blog that does analysis of speech and speech pattern, has some theories. Read in the comments, too.

sabrinabee said...

Because the question of handouts and who is robbing the country blind is placed on the laps of black people by these candidates and the answers that they propose is to increase the hardship on any govenrment programs that would likely have blacks as clientele.

The truth is there are billions of dollars handed out to corporations, farmers, and private military contractors. tMany are unecessary because some of these entitties are making profits and it is not necessary for its survival. These companies are double and triple billing the government for services that they may provide. Services that if the the competed on the public market ( and many of them do) would cost considerably less. They are standing in line for any govenrment hand out that it can get and then using those handouts to influence our politics and create those myriad issues that plague the whole of the country.

The idea that they want to ignore this and blame the ills of America on blacks and punish them accordingly, is inflicting unnecassary and unwarranted harm on a society of people, and it should be everyone's problem because it is a question of humanity. Any business entity knows that if cuts are neceassary then it should be done where it can do the least damge to the company. Getting rid of excesses as opposed to cutting off half of its clientele because it does not have enough to pay extra workers, seems to make sense to all except those that want to blame the customer.

sabrinabee said...

Oh and if you cut the word nigger of mid-word like Satorum has obviously practiced doing, the letter 'G' can in fact sound like a 'K' . So yes, it was the beginning of the word or some variation of it. You can bet that the audience he was talking to knew exactly what was intended to be said. Though, if asked out loud they would deny it , much the way it is above.

chaunceydevega said...

@Anon. They will never replace Art Bell. He was a great. I hope that one day his health allows him to return.

@SL. Does Santorum need to say it aloud?

@Santorum. Rehearse? Like those elitists such as Obama who use the evil teleprompter machine because they are dumb?

@Anon. I am capable of chewing gum and walking. Are you? This game is so much more complicated than you apparently are capable of understanding. You need to read more, get out in the world, challenge yourself.

@Fred. So kind with the honorary title I don't deserve, you make me blush. I wish I could get me some handouts.

@Anon. Again, do more work. Google the term submerged state and start from their. Then start reading about the shock doctrine and neoliberalism. Then check out the times essay on the white populist tea party crowd who suck deep on the gov't tit but want to cut everyone else off it...and support politicians who are going to hurt white folks like them in great numbers. Boggles the mind.

@Kunzel. Thanks for the link.

@Sabrina. Damn your facts! Or how the middle class is addicted to gov't spending, or how the red states get more gov't money than anyone else, or how on a per dollar basis the rich receive a higher return on their taxes than anyone else. Shut up with your facts!

Anonymous said...

Lol, apparently facts are only facts when they support the racist paradigm on this blog. All other facts are just white propaganda when it doesn't support your point of view. Oh, and apparently I'm ignorant if I don't agree with you, too, cause you're sooooo open minded and wise. What a hypocritical fool.

Dan Boyd said...

I love Art Bell! Way better than Snoory Noory! ZZZzzzZZZ z z z

Yes, Santorum said nigger! Now lets forget about him. I would rather have Obama's finger on the nukes than someone who believes God talks to him.

Look, I can fix entitlements! 5 year max on the government dime! Exceptions for the disabled.

After your cumulative 5 years its the Cheese sandwich and kool-aid line!

Being poor should suck! It should scare the hell out of you!

Anonymous said...

I love how liberals always tell you to 'do more work' or 'get out in the world more', the assumption being that if we're conservative we're just ignorant and haven't thought these things through. In reality, many of us have done that 'homework' and experienced life. We've learned and studied and quite simply come to the conclusion that you're wrong. I'm familiar with the submerged state principle. It operates under your original premise, that Americans oppose big government simply because they don't realize all the ways big government helps them out. For example because so much of our government benefits are in the form of tax breaks instead of direct distributions. I think that's asinine. Since when is a tax break a government benefit? That would use the assumption that the government I'd inherently entitled to some portion of my income, which it's not. I know there are other facets to submerged state, that's just one example I chose.

The simple fact is that if we don't control our spending and balance the budget our economy and government will collapse within the decade and then nothing will matter. We all saw what happened during hurricane Katrina with all those poor folks waitin for government to save them. It will be like that everywhere only with no relief in sight.

chaunceydevega said...

@Anon. Your comments on this and other matters reflect a lack of critical engagement and thought. Just calling it as I see it. Also, there is some very compelling research in cognitive psyche on "conservative" political personalities. You should check it out.

"Big government" is another phrase indicative of your indoctrination.

The dynamics of the economy, and your predictions, are more evidence of flat thinking and narratives from the Right-wing echo chamber. Think harder, read more, and see that the problem is much more complicated than your rhetoric suggests.

I suggest thinking systemically and also about how the sociological imagination works--or is rather truncated--for conservative authoritarians.

Anonymous said...

Again, you attack my 'thinking' as the problem. Certainly that must by the case since any critical thinker must inherently come to your world view. I think that's egocentric and demonstrates that instead of critically thinking about my arguments you simply categorize me with all the others you don't disagree with and assume I must get all my talking points from right wing talk radio. And yet you have no response, you have no answer to the problems i've brought up. Are you not paying attention to the eurozone crisis? Are you not seeing the inevitable outcome of our out of control spending? Do liberals think we can literally borrow forever without consequence?

You think I have flat thinking because I don't bother to go past the basics in my response. I don't bother, not because Im unaware of the subtle complexities of modern issues, but because it's pointless to do so with someone so obviously convinced of their own superiority. You, sir, are fundamentally incapable of seeing anything outside the paradigm of race relations and liberal mantras and that makes you guilty of the same charges you levied on me.

freebones said...

dan thinks being poor doesn't suck anyway.

my sides.

oh how they ache.

seriously, though, we all know santorum probably calls obama and many other individuals "nigger" in private on a regular basis, so why even worry about what word he was using this particular time?

it hardly changes his status as a spineless, bigoted, scumgutter hate-monger.

Dan Boyd said...

@freebones: I know dozens of welfare recipients that have flat screen TVs and Air Jordans sitting in there reduced rent section 8 home. Their fridge is overflowing with food so much that the sell me foodstamps for 50c on the dollar! That doesn't suck.

Americas poor gets
Gas Cards.
Free Child Care.
Section 8.
Earned Income Tax Credit.
Home Heating Assistance.
Free Phone.
Welfare Checks.

Add it all up and these people would have to take a pay cut by taking a job. Its a pretty good life in my opinion.

@Anon is right about out of control spending. Borrowing 40% of every dollar spent is going to work great until it doesn't. At that point when the welfare & social security checks fail to go out we will ALL witness the worst calamity this country has ever seen!
for the non believers.

chaunceydevega said...

@dan. you really have drunk the fox kool aid and hit the heritage foundation crack.

would you trade places with a poor person, those folks living on less than 26k (if not lower I need to look that one up) a year for a family of four, that so many folks are loathe to talk about? or one of the 20 percent of people on food stamps, or the 40 percent of kids who are nutrition deficient in some of America's largest cities?

What percentage of the budget are those programs? Do you have any plans to address structural unemployment? What about skills mismatch and jobless communities? what do we do the structurally and long term unemployed? Should we have some type of hunger games inspired combat or just an Ayn Randian dystopia? Soylent Green maybe?

Let's talk about the bloated defense budget, restructuring the tax code to make sure those who have gained the most at the top the last ten years (or even going back 20 or so) pay some back in, getting rid of capital gains loopholes, raising the inheritance tax, having a corporate tax code that generates more revenue, removing subsidies for companies that outsource, and making sure we get some growth for the middle and working classes income and wealth--the former being flat for the last 40 years.

We likely agree on a need to raise the retirement age. I also think that social security should be means tested. The submerged state needs to be exposed and some tough choices made on programs that subsidize farmers, oil companies, and yes, the "middle" and "upper classes" broadly defined.

Your wonky suggestions?

sabrinabee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sabrinabee said...

@CDV, they love to gloss over their culpability in anything. It is alwys the 'other' in their eyes. Brown, yellow, red or black, it is always someone ese's fault. Never acknowledging the fact that the 'other' has put more blood sweat in tears into building this country than they will ever have..

sabrinabee said...

@Anon and Dan. Why don't you seems to have a problem with millions of real, paper dollars of US funds being loaded onto a cargo ship to Iraq, and seemingly disappearing before everyone's very eyes. Still to be unaccounted for til this day?

@Anon, Katrina? How many tornados have hit Midwest states a year? Not any one of them has turned down FEMA assistance. Are you now suggesting that blacks have no right to redress the government in seeking assistance for natural disasters!? Because that would be quite silly of you. If you add up the amount of people seeking assistance from the government, not only in midwestern states but also here on the east coast, due to tornados, huricanes and the like, white America's numbers would be astronomical.

CNu said...

And yet you have no response, you have no answer to the problems i've brought up. Are you not paying attention to the eurozone crisis? Are you not seeing the inevitable outcome of our out of control spending? Do liberals think we can literally borrow forever without consequence?

2nd and 3rd line inheritors ALWAYS flatline outside the boundaries of racism and racism-chasing.

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu. Damn you are pragmatic. Willing to get in bed with a white supremacist to smear me? Reminds me of Booker T or Muhammad Ali. Damn.

Anonymous said...

Again there is a failure to think critically in this forum. When did I criticize FEMA? Or imply that minorities use it more than whites? Never, I merely alluded to the fact that during a financial collapse a society trained to dependence on the government will be helpless to provide for itself when those programs suddenly collapse. Of course we need disaster relief, and that is a legitimate function of government.

So is providing for a national defense, the first place all liberals go when they talk about the budget. News flash people, you could take defense down to zero and still not come close to balancing the budget. You could take 100% of capital gains and still come up short. You could institute a 100% tax on corporate profits and maybe come close, but the whole house of cards would collapse. Hell, you could confiscate the wealth of every man, woman, and child in America today and still fall short of the unfunded liabilities of social security over the next couple decades. Eventually, and I'm sorry, you're going to have to cut entitlements - for people of ALL colors. Money doesn't discriminate, it's either there or it's not. It's the people that discriminate.

I do have a problem with sending boatloads of money overseas, and I'm against nation building. I'm also against corporate welfare, like many conservatives, because it goes against the principles of capitalism. I agree raising the retirement age and means testing SSI will be necessary, though it wouldn't have been had government not wasted the SS trust fund and inflated away the value of the dollar.

Unfortunately entitlement spending accounts for for a greater portion of the budget than all other items combined, especially so if you include social security in that. Look at the projected 2012 budget from the CBO and the numbers are undeniable. Our dependence on the state is crushing this country with debt as politicians use handouts to buy votes, and it shows no sign of slowing down.

sabrinabee said...

"Are you not paying attention to the eurozone crisis? Are you not seeing the inevitable outcome of our out of control spending? Do liberals think we can literally borrow forever without consequence?"

Again, placing it at liberals feet. It was Georgie boy who borrowed us into war and kept it off the books to hide it. Obama didn't stop it but he did place it in the light of day. I am not saying that liberals have no respinsibilty for any of the mess that we are in because if you look at the legislation that it took to get us here, there were liberals who voted these things in right along with conservatives, but an overwhelming majority of the legislation was created in Republican think tanks. So it is completely disingenuous to suggest that liberals, who at least appear want to soften the blows of their actions, are solely responsible for overspending. Until conservatives can stand up and take responsibility for their "non conservative actions" then your credibility on the subject is but partisan hackery.

And it was you who mentioned Balcks standing on the roof during Katrina looking for the government to rescue them.

chaunceydevega said...

@Sabrina. You cannot really proceed in good faith with conservative authoritarians who are deep in the sickness of racism. They are so mired in their ideology they cannot see how it impacts their reasoning. I engage them occasionally to remind myself of how pathologically ill they are.

@Anon. Another far right talking point. The U.S. spends a pittance on foreign aid. There are not "boatloads" of money going overseas. Turn off Fox News and get out of the Right wing echo chamber. There are however boat loads of American jobs be destroyed.

I am not a "liberal" although that is not a bad thing. We owe much of the 20th century to those dastardly folks!

I am a pragmatist and a bit of a hawk on defense issues. The Pentagon and the National Intelligence complex are sucking this country dry. They are even having money thrown at them which many generals and senior staff do not want. Guns and butter. We need to totally re-prioritize how we think about "defense" and "national security" in this country. We have a rotten infrastructure and horrible schools. That needs to be fixed immediately. Even the Pentagon release a white paper a few months back detailing these worries.

We need to make economic security our primary national security issue. To do that will require some honest and difficult conversations about tax policy, wealth and income maldistribution, defense, and entitlement spending.

freebones said...

so dan, those people are not poor. they are abusing a system. there's a difference. being poor sucks.

why haven't you reported these people, since you know them? do you not stand by your principles? do you not care about america's tax dollars?

chaunceydevega said...

@Free. They have refrigerators! You didn't know that?

Anonymous said...

I'll be the first to admit that republicans did more than their share to get us in debt. That's why we voted so many of them out of office in the last ten years. Why do I throw it at your feet now? Because under the democratic white house, even with a democrat controlled congress for the first two years, we have borrowed more during obamas first term than in the entirety of American history up to this point. And it's accelerating. Because every time the republicans try and talk about the budget now all the liberals want to do is play numbers games with the CBO to make it look like they're cutting stuff. But to liberals if you had planned a 10% increase in a department and reduced that to a 5% increase they call that a deep spending cut! It's still an increase!

I didn't bring up the boatload of money overseas thing, someone else did. But would support ending our costly wars and saving a good deal of money that way. And you're right Mr. Chauncey about wasteful military spending, much of which is forced on them by politicians taking kickbacks from defense contractor lobbyists. There is room for a great deal of improvement there without even beginning to compromise our national security.

You and I agree that our economic security has to be our number one national security issue, we simply disagree on the causes, effects, and solutions. The numbers still say we have to tackle entitlements to balance the budget. And no matter how satisfying it would be redistributing wealth will still not solve the problem with poverty in this country. Democrats tried that with their war on poverty to no effect. Education is the answer, but ec

Anonymous said...

...but economic education, financial education, business education. The kind of stuff government run education leaves out to keep the majority of Americans poor and dependent, to make them feel trampled upon and helpless. As a business owner who actually employs people I can tell you it was hard enough opening a business after obtaining a quality education in college (which I paid for myself) what I came out of high school with didn't even lay the groundwork for making it in the real world. And I know all about what it means to be poor in this country. With two kids and one on the way we're finally just now squeaking across the poverty line for the first time.

chaunceydevega said...

@Anon. More talking points. Obama and the budget bubble? You forget causality. Pray tell what economic policies and economic conditions did he inherit that needed to be righted through spending? Causality matters. More reframing. The War on Poverty was one of this country's great successes. Sorry to break that to you. If anything enough was not spent and the policies not followed through enough.

Do you want to suggest that the Republicans have behaved responsibility, in the interest of the Common Good, and fairly in their budget negotiations, hostage taking on the debt ceiling, and balancing the budget on the backs of the poor while cutting taxes for the rich? Please say yes. That will reveal much.

Anonymous said...

No, the republicans and democrats have had a complete breakdown of decency and common sense and are fundamentally incapable of dialog, negotiation, and compromise. Both parties are taking the country hostage by not taking this problem seriously. Sorry to disappoint.

The war on poverty a success? You must have a different measure of success than I do. There are more impoverished people than ever before. What do you look to as evidence of the success of this program?

As for Obama's need to spend money... Of course the economy is complicated. I believe government had a lot to do with the current financial crisis, sharing the blame with many large corporations on the finance side of the economy. But again we have a difference of opinion, one you will characterize simply as 'talking points' to portray me as a lackey and relieve yourself of the burden of giving a well-though answer. Our difference is that I don't think government needed to pump stimulus into the economy like some drug. I don't think Obama had to ratchet up the debt, or try to increase entitlement spending through healthcare while the economy is so vulnerable. We subscribe to different schools of economic thought. I think we should have let the big corporations fail as they deserved to and allowed smaller more responsible companies move in to fill the vacuum. The recession would have sharply pronounced, but we would have come out of much faster and be stronger today. We could have used the stimulus money to support the additional unemployed for the time being, and it would have sent a strong message to the big corporations about acting responsibly. That's the funny thing about the left, you all act like you're so anti-corporate but you're just as much in bed with them as the right. What a farce.

chaunceydevega said...

@Anon. I call out talking point conservatism when I see it. Call me too critical. Who is this "left?" you speak of. They are not monolithic.

I am a Keynesian. If anything the stimulus should have been much larger and more sustained. I do agree that the financial sector should not have been bailed out in the way that it was, and with so few restrictions. There are no disincentives to their criminal behavior--none of them save for one is in prison, their bad behavior is subsidized, and there was no bailout for the American people.

If anything I would have made direct payments to citizens in lieu of the financier class. Some economists actually did the math and said it would come out to about 10k a taxpayer. That is stimulus I would have supported.

The great society did not go far enough, and many of the programs were killed off by the neoliberal turn in the late 1960s and 1970s. Just because something did not work as well as could be expected is not evidence of a failure rooted in principle or spending. Childhood poverty rates, rural electrification, civil rights, rates of poverty among the elderly, and the creation of programs such as Head Start/Upward Bound, and the expansion of Social Security/SSI/Medicare and Medicaid resulted in measurable net positives for society as a whole.

The Right, to their credit were great at reframing the Great Society as a failure. Part of this was through skillful use of the language of racial resentment, the failing was of Johnson and the Democrats to highlight the many successes of the program. The cult of Ronald Reagan is based on lies about the Great Society--among other fictions too.

We do have philosophical differences which are okay and good. I do not subscribe to a drown the government in the bathtub Ayn Randian view of society that many on the current Right are beholden to. We need a balance between positive and negative freedoms; effective governmentality can also be part of the solutions to many of the problems facing our society.

Anonymous said...

The keynsian thing could have worked possibly. The problem is we still dont know for sure because every time the government tries to pull it off they blow it. The stimulus goes to a bunch of stupid stuff that doesn't directly impact the economy. I like your point of view - if we spend a million dollars on a dumb program that ends up creating just ten jobs, wouldn't we be better off just taking that money and dividing it up among the people in the town? It would sure get into the market faster. The problem with stimulus is that to get it we have to 1) borrow it, either taking money out of the market or bleeding off funds to pay interest to outside creditors, or 2) print it - which is more problematic because it devalues the dollar. That's why if you take out big one-time purchases like houses and cars inflation is above 10% right now. It's an indirect tax on the poor because it hits them hard when they go to buy groceries and milk.

Small business sure as hell didn't get a stimulus, I lost my first business in the recession and didn't get a dollar of help. Thankfully my current one is much more resilient.

I don't think the great society programs were wrong in principle, just that we have an incompetent government that couldn't get it right if they tried. Having a safety net is good for society. But they should have saved the SSI fund all those years instead of spending it. Basically they bought T bills with it as a form of investment and in effect loaned it back to themselves. It's like stealing from your own piggy bank and writing yourself an IOU that you'll pay with interest later. If they invested it at all it should have been in the market so the interest coming in would have been generated from the outside, I.e. The corporations.

Same thing goes for stimulus. A wise government would have lived within it's means and built up a bulwark of savings over time. Amass a half a trillion dollars or so during the good times, and then when a crisis hits we could dump it back into the markets without borrowing it or inflating the dollar by printing it. That would be true stimulus. Unfortunately the government we have is neither intelligent nor wise.

And yes, I don't subscribe to Ayn Rand either. The direction some on the right are heading these days is truly dangerous, almost as much so as some on the left. ;-)

chaunceydevega said...

@Anon. Lower infant mortality rates than before the Great Society, an improvement in housing standards, more poor have access to medical care, a significant decline in childhood and elderly poverty rates, and we can include the successes of the civil rights program as part of the same bundle too.

Is there much work to be done? Absolutely. Was it an abject failure? No. Many of those programs were hobbled and not fully implemented. Thus, it becomes a big "what if?" of sorts. Much of that is a misunderstanding forced on the public by Reagan and others. Those are empirical measures which we can evaluate.

But, and I take heat from this from many quarters online and in person, I think Moynihan was largely correct and am glad his legacy is being reevaluated in the present by a new generation of scholars and researchers.

back to Wrestlemania. Hell in the Cell is about to start. Go Undertaker!

Anonymous said...

All right, I'll re-evaluate Great Society, as things are rarely black and white (no reference to race intended) and usually shades of gray in politics. At least we can agree on one thing: the awesomeness of wrestlemania. :-)

Adam said...

Not to crowd the conversation with anything less serious, but I loved the Ronin clip. Nicely placed.

Dan Boyd said...

Ouch Chauncey, Faux News Kool-Aid Tastes terrible. That one hurt.

The rich DO NOT pay their fair share in taxes! You cant lump me in with that group of non thinking individuals.