Thursday, September 6, 2012
Channeling Chauncey DeVega: Rachel Maddow and Company Call Out Mitt Romney's Welfare King Anti-Obama Race-Baiting Using a Familiar Script
Please indulge me for a second.
Hmmmm.....where have we heard these talking points before. We are doing good stuff here on WARN, I smiled when I watched MSNBC today and the esteemed panel of Maddow, Sharpton, Perry, and company directly channeled some of what I have been discussing on We Are Respectable Negroes, Ring of Fire Radio, the Ed Show, Alternet, and elsewhere for months. I make no claims to preternatural genius or insight; but I do acknowledge my (pseudonymous) successes.
Maybe Crom, trickster that he is, will bless me with some honors--after the fact for how we have been so far ahead of the curve here on WARN--but for now I can hope that the email comes or the phone rings in the near future. It is all the more frustrating because I have both direct and indirect access to some of the players involved. Alas, we all make choices and must live with them.
Beyond my self-indulgent credit claiming, there was one moment in this conversation about Romney's naked racism where I did wish that I was present on the panel.
Steve Schmidt, the token Republican representative on Maddow's panel, played the false equivalence game when the infamous Jesse Helms' "Black Hands White Hands" ad from1990 was compared to Romney-Ryan's anti-Obama screeds of 2012. He argued that "both sides do it," i.e. using racism to mobilize voters. Ahistorical. Inaccurate. And a claim that can be empirically demolished with ease.
If I were part of the conversation, I would have channeled Norman Schwarzkopf and his famous "bovine scatology" quip.
Melissa was gonna shut him down, but the other panelists played nice. I would have brought the pain and simply asked how the Democrats can use anti-black racism to mobilize their base, when black and brown folks are integral to said party. Alternatively, I could have simply asked him about birthers, Tea Party bigotry, or who the Republicans want to "take their country back" from?
Hell, what about the fact that the Tea Party GOP admitted that they created the Southern Strategy, and were/are professional race-baiters and political meth addicts who cook up white racial anxiety to win over insecure white voters?