Monday, January 30, 2012

Juan Williams Gets Racial Political Climate Right

'12 Racial Code Words Obscure Real Issues'

By Juan Williams
The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message. The code words in this game are “entitlement society” — as used by Mitt Romney — and “poor work ethic” and “food stamp president” — as used by Newt Gingrich. References to a lack of respect for the “Founding Fathers” and the “Constitution” also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core “old-fashioned American values.”
Just last week, the Labor Department reported that while the national unemployment rate fell slightly, black unemployment rose again from 15.5 percent to 15.8 percent and from 39.6 percent to 42.1 percent among young black people. The same report showed 11 percent of Hispanics are unemployed.

The problem is not a lack of work ethic on the part of the poor, who are disproportionately minorities. The problem is there are few good jobs for blue-collar people with the best work ethic.

Poverty, unemployment and the hopelessness that pervade minority communities are real issues that the GOP nominee, and President Obama for that matter, should address in this campaign.
(The Hill, 1/30/2012)

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