Friday, October 16, 2015

Chris Ladd — Understanding Democratic Racism


Jeb Bush was recently pilloried for his characterization of the relationship between African-Americans and the Democratic Party. As insulting as his statement was, what’s worse is the lost opportunity it represents.
“Our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting — that says you can achieve earned success.”
His explanation of black politics echoes the age-old racist trope that black voters are looking for “handouts.” Democrats, by that reasoning, are buying votes with welfare while Republicans are appealing to good, honest people who want to stand on their own two feet.
This is yet another example of an opportunity lost by ignorance and racism. Bush lurched past a prime opportunity to set fire to the Democratic coalition. Democrats do in fact use welfare and other critical social safety net programs as leverage to manipulate black voters. It just doesn’t work the way white racists imagine.

A history of systemic looting, 
which hasn’t entirely ended, has left many black communities with almost none of the financial or political capital required to begin a climb. For many of the worst affected communities, access to social welfare services are the starting point for survival, the first critical step before anyone can begin to consider advancement. Democrats did not create that circumstance with social welfare programs, but they exploit it for political advantage. That reality is critical to understanding what is really happening in America’s Democratic-controlled cities.

People want to get welfare like they want to get chemotherapy or an abortion or a good lawyer. Republicans’ ignorance and occasional racism leaves us completely blind to the way Democrats exploit this situation. We are unable to connect to the very real frustrations of black voters trapped in the gears of the Democratic urban machine. That frustration is on full display in Chicago, but few if any Republicans have noticed.

Read the full article HERE.