Saturday, September 24, 2016

This Racist is Right (Wing)

You have perhaps heard the remarks made by North Carolina Congressman Robert Pittenger. While being interviewed for BBC Newsnight, the U.S. Representative for the people of Charlotte explained the city's recent riots like this:
The grievance in their minds — the animus, the anger — they hate white people, because white people are successful and they’re not. I mean, yes, it is, it is a welfare state. We have spent trillions of dollars on welfare, and we’ve put people in bondage, so they can’t be all that they’re capable of being. And, you know, America was - is - a country of opportunity and freedom and liberty. It didn't become that way because of a great government who provided everything for everyone; no, the destiny of America, the freedom to come to this country where they're still coming to our shores is because they can take their work ethic, and their hard effort, and put up their capital and their risk and build out their lives.
Congressman Pittinger makes a habit of saying asinine things

It would be hard to find a paragraph that so clearly illustrates the values of the free market conservative mind, which George Lakoff describes in Don't Think of an Elephant!
[There is a] connection between the strict father worldview and free market capitalism. The link is the morality of self-interest, which is the conservative version of Adam Smith's view of capitalism....[my emphasis]
... [I]f everyone pursues her own self-interest, then by the invisible hand, by nature, the self-interest of all will be maximized.
... A good person [this viewpoint holds] – a moral person – is someone who is disciplined enough to be obedient to legitimate authority, to learn what is right, to do what is right and not do what is wrong, and to pursue her self-interest to prosper and become self-reliant.
... When the good children are mature, they either have learned discipline and can prosper, or have failed to learn it. From this point on the strict father is not to meddle in their lives.
This translates politically into no government meddling.
From Congressman Pittinger's pespective, the inequality of "success" among the races is attributable to government meddling in the form of welfare. It is implicit in his statement that he believes black people are on welfare, and white people are not. Welfare has put black people "in bondage" because it has destroyed their work ethic. As a result, white people are successful, and black people are not.

So their anger is not about another black person being shot by a policeman. It is about hating white people for being (financially) successful. Great analysis, Congressman.

Okay, I promise this is the last post about Don't Think of an Elephant!

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