The Relative Comment

soothing waves of relativity

SNAP helps people. Maybe a food-stamp president isn’t so bad.

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I’ve been struggling personally with the demonization of the food-stamp program (SNAP) in the US.  People I know and love have survived because of the SNAP program. That the US government has such a program is a good, not an evil. It’s frustrating. But even more so is the racism that has surrounded these condemnations.

That Newt Gingrich can call President Obama  a “food-stamp president” and pretend that it is not a racially charged statement highlights his capacity for self-delusion. There are 10,000 names that Newt Gingrich could have used to criticize Barack Obama’s presidency, and that he choose the phrase he did is not accidental. It is dangerous language. Ta-Nehisi Coates highlights its danger, in a reminder that real racists do real things.

When a professor of history calls Barack Obama a “Food Stamp President,” it isn’t a mistake to be remedied through clarification; it is a statement of aggresion. And when a crowd of his admirers cheer him on, they are neither deluded, nor in need of forgiveness, nor absolution, nor acting against their interest. Racism is their interest. They are not your misguided friends. They are your fully intelligent adversaries, sporting the broad range of virtue and vice we see in humankind. If you are a praying person, you should pray for their electoral destruction in November.

I would like to ask Newt Gingrich why this campaign ad is titled The Moment. What moment is he hoping to pinpoint in this clip? I would like to hear him complete this sentence: This is the moment I _____________.


Written by Christopher ZF

January 20, 2012 at 14:59

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