OK

I don't post much around here anymore.  Well, not at all really.  But this was too good not to share.

I'm a member of a non-political website that has a "Political Discussions" forum for its members.  Most of my posts on that forum consist of me correcting the most egregious bullshit posted by the hardcore right wingers.  The rest of my posts usually consist of stupid one-line jokes.

This morning, one of the louder and more ignorant right-wing schmucks made the following post in a thread on how the GOP might expand their appeal to minority voters:

I think Hispanics will be more open to a message of self responsibility / less entitlements then will blacks. I think you can win Hispanics over with immigration reform / legal path to citizenship for non criminals who are hard working and raising their families here.

Blacks have shown they vote Democrat at higher percentage then any other ethnic group. Just as you stated........the most popular belief is b/c the Democrats offer the largest entitlement package...........even though these entitlements have done nothing to improve the unemployment issues of blacks over the last several years. Christian blacks obviously do not vote on abortion as an issue. You hear black preachers come out and say "we should not vote on 1 issue alone"...........meaning abortion......and the statistics show that is not a priniciple that trumphs their want of more entitlements.

I was kind of floored when I read that post.  I've seen posts before that I thought evinced a racist or classist outlook.  But that was the first post I could remember that was overtly racist.

I fired off a quick response:

Gee, ya think maybe the conservatives' struggles to court the black community stems not from blacks actually having an insatiable thirst for more entitlements, but rather this sort of racist stereotyping of them by many conservatives (obviously including you) as having that mentality?

The sad thing is that you probably don't even see your statements as racist.

Naturally, being the schmuck he is, he responded.  First, he said that he was simply responding to an earlier post where someone said "The Republicans can't really appeal to Blacks or Hispanics without really doing an overhaul of their party platform, and thus losing many republicans in the process. While they might have Blacks/Hispanics with some religious issues (abortion and gay marriage come to mind), they will lose them every time when it comes to entitlement programs."  He then proceeded to whine about why I singled him out for criticism when I didn't say anything about the previous post.

He continued:

I see it as truth. You are correct. I do not see it as racist.  I simply quoted a person I was responding to who said the #1 thing Hispanics and Blacks vote on are entitlements.
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You statement sounds like you believe some Blacks vote Democrat b/c they believe conservatives are racist. I would hate to think that is truth but perhaps that is the perception of some blacks if you say it is. You would know better then me. I'm only 33 so I can't relate to the people who saw the 1960's. It was a different world then of segrated schools, bathrooms, restaurants, bus seats, etc. We still have about 20 -30 years before the generation of people who attended segrated schools, and wittnessed all this 1st hand, pass on.
That was about when I blew my lid.  This was my response:
1) I didn't see [the other guy's earlier] post.  Now that I do, I disagree with his assertion that the black vote turns heavily on entitlements.  But do you seriously not see the difference between saying "entitlements are a major factor in the black vote" and "blacks want entitlements?"  Lots of men support abortion rights even though they obviously will never need an abortion.  I support gay rights even though I'm not gay.  Just because someone supports a policy doesn't mean they want it for themselves.

And can you not see the difference between "entitlements are a major factor in the black vote" and "blacks are not going to be as open to a message of self responsibility / less entitlements"?  The former was your addition.  No one else remotely suggested that blacks are "less open" than any others to issues regarding personal responsibility.

Regardless, I think that black voters are moved by a variety of different issues, many of them interrelated.

2) Even if [the other guy] HAD said it first, do you actually think it makes it ok for you to repeat it and say it more vociferously?  The point is that you said two things that are disgusting racial stereotypes: "I think Hispanics will be more open to a message of self responsibility / less entitlements then will blacks" and "You hear black preachers come out and say "we should not vote on 1 issue alone"...........meaning abortion......and the statistics show that is not a priniciple that trumphs their want of more entitlements."

You can't blame anyone else for your own words.  You said that blacks want entitlements and are less open to messages of personal responsibility and entitlement cuts than Hispanics (or anyone else).  Not [the other guy].  You.  If you agree with your own words, defend them.  Explain them.  Back them up with evidence.  Don't try to distract attention to someone else.

3) Yes, many conservatives are racist.  Not most, but many.  They stereotype blacks as lazy people that live off welfare and government hand-outs (and some express even more disgusting stereotypes than that).  They often use code language to make this charge, which you didn't even bother to do in your earlier post. You just came right out and said it.  It's racist stereotyping and only a fool would fail to see why such statements would turn off black voters.

Like I said before, I think blacks are moved by a variety of issues, but tend to vote on the opposite side of social conservatives, in large part at least, because social conservatives have clashed with black voters (and before that, disenfranchised black Americans) since the dawn of the republic.  Blacks were second-class citizens in this land for 400 years, and that every effort they've made to improve their socioeconomic position has been met with fierce opposition by social conservatives - be it ending slavery, ending segregation, Civil Rights legislation, busing, or affirmative action.

To focus exclusively on the end of the Civil Rights era as if all racial discrimination and inequality ended in the 1960's - well I think that's exactly the mentality that turns so many black voters off.  It's not as if someone waved a magic wand at the end of the civil rights era and ABRACADABRA - blacks were suddenly equal to whites in all the things that matter.  On the contrary, blacks achieved legal equality in the 1960's, but that legal equality did not magically make them better off.  There were still basically no blacks in positions of political or economic power.  Blacks were still by and large confined to poor rural areas and inner cities and met resentment when they "encroached" into traditionally white communities.  They still had to contend with crappy schools, racist cops, and considerable resentment from whites who viewed their efforts to move up the socioeconomic ladder as "uppity" (an adjective they often followed with the n-word).

So many suggested the idea of affirmative action - and social conservatives immediately cried foul, claiming that amounted to giving blacks "special rights."  Never mind that whites had enjoyed "special rights" relative to blacks for 400 years by that point.  And social conservatives have continued to oppose affirmative action at every turn since then.  I wasn't around back then, but the impression I get from reading the speeches of conservative politicians back then was "hey, you got your legal equality.  You're on your own now.  We used the law to keep you down for 400 years, but I'll be damned if I allow the law to be used to raise you up."  That opposition to affirmative action has continued unabated since then.

The impression that I get from many of my conversations with social conservatives is that the story of racial inequality in America should have ended with the Civil Rights movement.  That after blacks achieved de jure equality, they should have counted their blessings and just learned to live with the de facto inequality that remained.

Personally, I'm ambivalent about affirmative action.  I've gone from opposing it to supporting it to having a nuanced position on it.  But I sure as hell understand why many people of ALL races still support it, and I understand why they see from social conservative opposition to it as being part of a long, unbroken pattern of racism by social conservatives over the past 400 years.

I'm sure it won't change his mind.  But at least it made me feel better.
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