Saturday, May 14, 2011

Food Stamp Prez? Politically Incorrect or "in-your-face" Racism?

Former House speaker and Republican Newt Gingrich began his presidential campaign this week. He says "the right policies lead to the right results" and argues that Obama is basically giving us the opposite of that. So far, it all sounds the same to me. This country has seen some of it's highest unemployment levels with Obama as its leader, while our deficit continues to weigh us down. Some would try to reason that Obama inherited the country in a bad state, battered and broken after 8 years of a Bush administration.  Others may say Obama made many campaign promises to repair and restore America and 2 years into his presidency, he has yet to make good on them. Gingrich promises to change the path that he claims Obama is taking us down, he's going to cut taxes and create new jobs. He states, "President Obama is the most successful food stamp president in American history, I would like to be the most successful paycheck president in American history.” Now come on, I get. Comparing paychecks to food stamps. It's catchy. It's a gimmick. Hey you middle class, which would you rather choose? But food stamp president didn't sit right with me and then I remembered why. I pictured that Republican newsletter that published a mock food stamp with Obama's face represented, surrounded by chicken, watermelon, Kool-Aid...  Need I say more? If you haven't seen this offensive display, I will post it for you and you can come to your own conclusion. In this age of over-used political correctness, it can be very easy to innocently displease a person or a group of folks, and now that we have a black president, the word racist has been used almost any and every time a white person or Republican speaks negatively of him. I see this, and I think I do pretty well at knowing the difference, but sometimes we have to call it what it is. There have been one time too many instances when respected leaders and voices people listen to have toed that line. Was it a guiltless remark or blatant racism? When Donald Trump said that President Obama should stop playing basketball and start lowering gas prices, did he say that because of the stereotype surrounding tall black men or because the president does in fact play basketball? Was that racist? Subliminal racism, maybe? You can slide that one by because look -- there he is -- playing basketball! Trump wins. I'm not even going to touch the birther movement. Demanding to see short forms and long forms of the president's birth certificate, questioning his social security number, just drooling for a chance to be able to prove that Obama was born in raised in some African jungle, making him ineligible to lead the most powerful country in the world. No luck there. No luck, but just a tinge of racism. And we remember way back when our Vice President Joe Biden said Obama himself was "articulate and clean" for a black guy. Ouch. That hurt back then, it still stings now because of the so many others that still think that exact same way. Mainstream, articulate and bright, yup -- and he's clean. And now Newt Gingrich calls Barack Obama the food stamp president. Is it because of the country's economic distress? Could be. But when it doesn't sound right and doesn't feel right, deep down where it's supposed to resonate and feel ... right, does that not make it a duck? ( Or in this case, a chicken?)

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