Racism isn’t going away, it’s getting stealthier

Everybody’s favorite race-card dealer:

With the national debt and its effect on the economy being the top issue of the 2012 campaign, the panel today on Up with Chris Hayes debated the various merits of the Republicans’ tax plans, and one bit of rhetoric from Rep. Michele Bachmann struck panelist Melissa Harris Perry as transcending policy grounds and just flat out racist: the proposition that there is a sector of the population, as host Chris Hayes put it, that are “producers” and another that are “leeches.”

The comment in question from Rep. Bachmann was an argument on her part that taxes should be raised on those who don’t pay any– “we need to get more in line,” she told a crowd, “because everyone… should pay something.” She also cited a statistic that only 53% of Americans pay taxes. “I think that’s just racism,” Harris Perry argued, likening it to the “2011 version of the welfare queen.” “What that is meant to imply is that there is a whole group that is dependent,” she explained, and the subtext to that being that the group is comprised of “unworking, unmarried poor black women who are welfare queens.” The “53%” talk, she concluded, was “just a way of evoking all of these scary, racialized, and poor others.”

At this point, panelist Kevin Williamson of the National Review jumped in– not to correct Harris Perry, but to note that the stereotype is “probably true”– those who are dependent, he argued, “tend to be poor, unmarried young women.” After the inevitable crosstalk that elicited from the panel, they returned to the racialized subtext in Republican language, which Hayes found to be an increasingly less pervasive issue. “The amount of racial coding… has declined,” he suggested, since he began covering politics. That others on the panel found to be a sign not that racism had eroded, but evolved. Harris Perry in particular noted that rhetoric had been “so effectively racialized” that “you don’t have to do Willie Horton anymore, you can just say ‘crime.’” Whether the word “crime” standing by itself is inherently racist is certainly debatable, thought the panel seemed to agree that anti-”leech” rhetoric could easily take a turn against ethnic minorities as opposed to class groups.

“If you’re opposed to crime, you’re a racist.”


Does Harris-Perry really believe that if this was an all-white country that Republicans would be pro-welfare, pro-taxes and pro-crime?

Every time I read this kind of crap I get a headache.

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13 Responses to Racism isn’t going away, it’s getting stealthier

  1. HELENK says:

    this reminds me of years ago Septa in Philadelphia saying that we could no longer call the day after Thanksgiving , Black Friday. They were afraid it would called racist.
    The day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year. When stores would make a lot of money. In bookkeeping terms going from red ink to black ink.
    If you want it to, every word in the English language could be taken as racist. It works when you do not have a good argument for your position.

  2. votermom says:


    Btw, has anyone noticed that Mitt’s surrogates are trying it create a religion card? Not sure if anyone is buying it though.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Nobody is buying it because Mormons haven’t been focused on identity politics.

      • swanspirit says:

        That dweeb preacher that introduced Perry , Dr. Robert Jeffress , that called Mormonism a cult ; gave me the absolute creeps , and I thought of the obsequious preacher in Pride and Prejudice , Mr Collins …ewwww

        • votermom says:

          For despicable hypocritical religious men in English lit, my favorite villain has to be Mr. Brocklehurst in Jane Eyre.

        • WMCB says:

          He’s a piece of work. Heck, even the religious/social conservatives on the blogs were telling him to STFU and go crawl under a rock, he wasn’t helping.

          Creepy dude, bigtime.

        • myiq2xu says:

          Mine would have to be Reverend Dimmesdale, if only because I never read the other stuff.

  3. HELENK says:

    really important news

    The Oakland @Raiders have acquired quarterback Carson Palmer from the Cincinnati Bengals. http://awe.sm/5XTdg

  4. WMCB says:

    No one outside of her bubble who already agrees with her gives a shit anymore.

    Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson (who I once campaigned for) and Cornell West and this lady could all camp out on my front lawn with a big protest, telling me some insignificant thing I’d said was racist, and I’d walk out and tell them all to go get a life and a profession that doesn’t consist of seeing racism under every bush.

    And if I was asked, “Even if you don’t think it was racist, don’t you at least feel like you ought to be sensitive and apologetic that you might have hurt some non-specified person’s feelings.?” my answer would be “Fuck no, leave me alone and go live your own damn life and deal with your own damn feelings. Not my problem.”

    If my neighbor or my friend or someone else I trust tells me I said something hurtful? I might listen. But I am so DONE handing moral authority over the state of my soul and the goodness/badness of my speech to perfect strangers, many of whom are manipulating assholes. Sorry. DONE.

    • myiq2xu says:

      The real issue is whether those feelings are reasonable.

      “You hurt my feelings when you keep your yard neatly mowed and raked. It makes me look bad by comparison.”

      • WMCB says:

        Yep. And no, I don’t trust spokespersons with a political agenda that is tied hand and foot to the Democratic Party to be the judge of reasonable. My neighbor? Okay, we’ll talk. But not this lady.

  5. HELENK says:

    leading democrat calling for investigation in to obama voting fraud in 2008. Here comes another investigation


  6. HELENK says:

    I guess this is consider racist also

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