As I sat here watching and rewatching the Mitt Romney insulting video, it became clear to me that he was talking about me and my beloved grandparents, Granma and Paw-paw. How I loved those two moochers, and not for the reasons that Mittens gave, but because they taught me real life lessons, i.e., how to treat people, what was expected of me, how to take responsibility for myself, my family, and my home. They taught me that hard work wasn't enough. I also, as a woman, and especially as a Black woman, had to be educated, smart, and independent. I also had to know myself. I had to know how to do things that others might not want to do, or be able to do, so I had to know how myself.
Let's take a brief trip back into the past, so I can tell you about my grandparents, the moochers.
My Paw-paw, a real moocher, was born and raised in Louisiana at a time when to be a Black man meant bowing and scraping, or death by lynching. He was one of those brave souls who left home at an early age, without an education, but with a heart to do better and be better. He never went beyond the third grade in school, but went to work as a construction worker in Missouri, a mechanic in Illinois, and finally, a Pullman Porter on the train. He retired from that job with 45 years in after suffering a debillitating stroke that left him unable to manage his job well anymore. He would have nosebleeds that lasted for hours, and would be so sick that we had to hold his head and body to keep him from falling out of bed after being violently ill. Fortunately, he did have Social Security and his retirement, but he was never the same after literally being told that he "couldn't cut it anymore." He passed away several years later knowing that those he loved, and who loved him, were so very grateful for the sacrifices he made for us. But he was one of Mitt's Moochers!
My Granma, another real moocher, was born and raised in Kentucky from simple folk who remembered slavery in the not-to distant past, and continued to raise their children, five boys and one girl, with the idea that being better did not make you better. It was all about your attitude and how you treated people! My Granma finished fourth grade in school and then had to quit because her mother passed away, and she was needed at home to take care of "the boys." She was the youngest, and only, girl, and laundry, cleaning and cooking had to be done. "The boys" couldn't quite get the hang of flatirons, scrubboards, emptying the slopjars, mops, brooms and mop buckets, picking and cleaning vegetables, and chicken neck-breaking so that dinner could be prepared and served. My great-uncles all went on to graduate from college, except for one who was lynched when he was 21 for the crime of not stepping off the sidewalk when white women passed by! Once the boys left home, my grandmother began working in the homes of white people. She cleaned, cooked, did laundry, raised the children, cut the grass, shopped, and did pretty much anything and everything that was required of her. She moved to St. Louis when the family she worked for moved there for business purposes, then met my Paw-Paw and married him. She continued to work until they moved to Chicago. There she found another family to work for prior to WW2 and worked for them until the late sixties. They, fortunately, paid into Social Security for her so that when she retired, she had a little money to live on. I remember my Granma getting up at 0400hrs every morning, winter, summer, spring and fall, to catch the bus to get to work. She got to the bus stop across the street from our apartment at 0555hrs every morning even when snow would gather on her face and feet. She made breakfast for my Paw-paw and me before she left. I had to get up early so that I could help my Paw-paw eat before I went to school. Another moocher for Mitt's Army!
I said all this to say that I am furious, insulted, hurt, and blinded with anger at this man who, for the life of me, I cannot understand. I have tried to get it, as far as he is concerned, and I cannot. He was raised with a silver platter in his mouth, and he speaks of the working people of this country as though we are completely unimportant, and as though we do not matter. How dare he! He also does not understand that without these "little people" his kingdom and the kingdoms of his friends, would not function....at all! He is an insult to the human race of the first order, and he insulted the two people who cared for me when there was no one else to do so, and raised me on their meager earnings, and later, their retirement and Social Security. How dare Mittens assume that these two wonderful, giving people would want to, or did, mooch off a society that was not of their creation, but that they worked within for as long as I knew, and longer. How dare he assume that they did not need to eat, have medical care, dental care, a home in which to raise an impressional, if not always understanding, child and teenager, and that they were not grateful for, and deserving of, those benefits. My grandmother wanted to work even longer than necessary but could not because of arthritis, and my Paw-paw, until the day he died, always regretted not being able to work longer. And he, good man that he was, always apologized for that.
I will end this diatribe with the thought that if my grandparents were here now, I am sure they would forgive Mittens his ignorance, and just say, "God bless him" or "God knows his heart." But I, on the other hand, am not so forgiving or understanding, and I say, "Mittens, you can take a long walk on a very, very short pier." "You insulted people you didn't even know, nor did you care to know them, and for that, you are NOT forgiven!"