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An Old Strategy Playing Out in Health Care Reform

August 12, 2009

The manufactured anger and outrageous behavior being exhibited during town hall meetings by mostly poor white citizens should serve as a cold dose of reality medicine for all of us. There is still a concerted effort to stoke the embers of hatred between the poor-white working class and minorities. Before there was a pronounced understanding of a “Southern Strategy”, Martin Luther King denounced what he called the actions of a “Southern White Aristocracy”, he described there action by saying

“The Southern aristocracy took the world and gave the poor white man Jim Crow. And when his wrinkled stomach cried out for the food that his empty pockets could not provide, he ate Jim Crow, a psychological bird that told him that no matter how bad off he was, at least he was a white man, better than a black man.”

Today, the profiteering Right-Wing media has stoked these old embers by exploiting the fears of a diminishing white working-class. Unscrupulous media personalities like Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh have exploited these fears to their narrow and great financial benefit, but we should understand that the Right-Wing/Republican party knows the benefits of this exploitation, though they are entirely aware of the intentional consequence of these fanned flames. Arguments like the Berthers and whether Pres. Obama pulled the race card during the Prof. Gates arrest are meant to be a means to an end. That end being an activated, uninformed right-wing operative base. A base of poor white and disenfranchised Americans, who have trained their discontent on Democrats and Pres. Obama in the role of the “Brother trying to get ahead of you.”

The Right-Wing would like us to believe that racism/classism has nothing to do with the protesters we have seen shouting, and pushing – carrying fire arms to town hall meetings.

But we need to know better.

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