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Walsh spreading ‘old and tired’ stereotype

Updated: July 6, 2012 11:01AM



U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh’s put-down of black people is insulting.

Last week, Walsh told crowds of supporters that the Democratic Party’s “game” is to make Latinos dependent on government just like “they got African Americans dependent upon government.”

I understand Walsh is desperate to get re-elected and Tammy Duckworth is a formidable candidate, but what the heck?

In spreading this racist stereotype, Walsh is sucking up to bigots. Besides being beneath the dignity of his office, his remarks expose a campaign strategy that is old and tired.

During Rick Santorum’s failed bid to become the GOP’s presidential candidate, he grabbed media attention by telling a mostly white crowd in Iowa that he “doesn’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.”

He also accused politicians in the state where President Barack Obama got his critical boost during the 2008 campaign, of “pushing harder” to get more [people] dependent on government assistance programs like Medicaid so they [pols] could get their vote.

Like Santorum, Walsh is dubbed a Tea Party favorite. So I get why he is denouncing the expansion of government programs.

But Newt “the Bombastic” Gingrich used the same playbook. While campaigning in New Hampshire, he told the crowd that he would go to the “NAACP convention and explain to the African-American community why they should demand paychecks instead of food stamps.”

None of these men had to trash black people to make their case against big government. In fact, they could have substituted whites for African Americans because it’s been shown time and time again that the so-called “Welfare Queen” is a fallacy.

According to the latest research, more whites than blacks are beneficiaries of government assistance programs. Santorum’s misguided rant resulted in a flurry of commentary on this subject.

For instance, The Washington Post’s often quoted online publication, “The Root,” reported that poor and middle-class white Americans receive the vast majority of tax-funded government assistance programs, including monthly assistance, Social Security and food stamps.

“Nearly 70 percent of all benefits of these programs go to white people. In fact, since African Americans have lower life expectancy, many work and pay into the Social Security and Medicare programs through their tax dollars, only to have white Americans, who have a longer lie expectancy, benefit from the income they’ve left behind,” The Root reported.

I’m offended by Walsh’s remarks because he is pandering to voters who believe black people, as a whole, want handouts.

Nothing can be further from the truth.

Of course there are trifling’ black people just like there are trifling’ white people, and trifling Hispanics, and trifling Asians.

But nearly a generation of young black males is buried in graves and rotting in prisons because they couldn’t navigate the roadblocks that still exist for blacks in this country.

Many of these men were raised in impoverished communities with limited opportunities. In many instances, these young men chose working in the drug trade over signing up for food stamps.

Contrary to what Walsh says, the majority of black people want to work just like any other racial group. Yet in too many cases, they still have to knock down barriers just to earn an honest buck.

That’s why U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Chicago) is threatening to shut down a planned $133 million Metra project in the Englewood area if black contractors don’t get a fair share of this construction project.

And that’s why Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), the chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, warned Metra’s executive director that “people” are going to “get hurt” if there is inadequate minority participation on the project.

If blacks are dependent on anything, they are dependent on government protecting them from people like Walsh.



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