A young Republican knocks on a house door.
“Hello, I’m a volunteer with Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign, and I’d like to talk to you about his vision for the country, if you have a few minutes…”
The black lady who answers replies, “Didn’t he say he didn’t want to help black people? Why would I vote for him?”
“Well, ma’am, he didn’t actually…”
“And why are you working for him? And not getting paid? You know how many of our people died because of this racist nonsense?”
“Ma’am, if I could…”
“Hell no, you can’t. Don’t come back around here. All Republicans do is use confused young people like you to spread their filth.”
This, my friends, is usually the end result of discussions about statements like these:
After suggesting that an expansion of Medicare is really just a plot to make voters more “dependent” on Washington, Santorum added: ”I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.”
Now, before I continue…I don’t want to make anyone’s lives better by giving them other people’s money. Black, white, whatever. That’s what jobs are for; go out and earn money. I know exactly what Santorum was trying to say..hell, he said it himself (!):
“I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn their money and provide for themselves and their families,” he added.
…and that was all he should’ve said. Period.
I know all too well how the “defense” of statements like this end; that’s why I’ve gotten out of the business of offering them. A lot of my non-minority conservative/Republican friends will look at this and say, “But Coby, you know better…this isn’t about black and white!!”
True. But they’re not the ones who get questioned by their friends and relatives when things like this are said. They have the luxury of knowing what I know, and-largely-doing what I do, where I do it. See, the people I reach out to, the ones I want to understand conservatism the way I do…they hear stuff like this and think all us on the right are racists. And then they question me.
This is the kind of stuff that makes people question “how any self-respecting black person can be a Republican.” Don’t believe me? Go to my FB page (if you’re a friend!) and see how I found out about this article.
I’m reminded of a line from one of my favorite books, which I’ll apply to this:
Rick, when you go to tell African Americans in another state why they should vote for you-or for any Republican, really-try explaining to them the context of your statement. Say that what you meant was that you want to help all people, regardless of race, and that singling out black people was a “mistake.”
But you won’t, of course. You’re just trolling for votes in a majority white state until tomorrow, trying to hold onto a campaign that’s been on life support. You got caught saying something ignorant (and factually dubious).
And I, for one, will be glad to see you withdraw.