Why the Health Care Debate Is Also a Race Debate

This is like a Part 2 to Fear of Blacks used by Conservatives to Play Working Class Whites in Health Care Debates.

The post “Race Hostility a Factor in Health Care Debate” on this black sista’s page is right on. Go read it.

Her post enlightened me to this video of Tim Wise on CNN:

…and this brilliant post on Daily Kos also by Tim Wise:

This … writer sought to explain herself further however, just so as not to be misunderstood. When people like her claim they want to return to “what our forefathers started,” she continued, they simply mean the part about being dependent on God, rather than government.

Okay, I suppose. Of course, last time I checked God wasn’t offering to pick up the tab for chemo treatments, organ transplants, or any other medical procedure for that matter. Oh, and not to put too fine a point on it, but the founders actually did foster quite a lot of government dependence: enshrining slavery was about government protecting white people from the competition of free black labor, and white folks becoming quite dependent on that protection. Stealing native land and then redistributing it to white people was about dependence on government-imposed violence. And later, yet still in the supposedly “good old days,” government dependence was at the heart of segregation–which artificially subsidized white people in the job, school and housing markets–and was at the heart of the FHA and VA loans that white families used (and from which black families were all but completely blocked) in the 40s and 50s, which literally built the white middle class.

But I’m guessing that when she uses a phrase like “dependence on government” she isn’t thinking about the white folks who were given 270 million acres of essentially free land under the Homestead Act. Or the 15 million or so white families who got those racially preferential home loans, with government underwriting and guarantees, thanks to programs implemented by liberals and thanks to pressure from the left. I’m thinking she isn’t talking about the white soldiers (but typically not the black ones) who were able to return from World War II and make use of the GI Bill to go to college, or get job training. And the fact that she likely doesn’t think of those kinds of things and those kinds of people as being dependent on government is, of course, precisely the problem, and the point I was trying to make.

And more….

[One guy] mentioned–in response to an incident I had discussed on the show–that he too had cheered when the white man attacked the black woman holding a Rosa Parks poster in the Missouri town hall meeting. To him, the woman deserved to be assaulted and thrown out of the hall because she was (and here he was simply stealing the latest line from the woefully under-medicated Michael Savage) “nothing but a race baiter.” This, unlike, say, the whites in the crowd with signs calling the President a nigger, or the talk show hosts who have been claiming for months that Obama hates white people, hates white culture, and really only wants health care reform as a form of reparations for black people. To him, the black victim of white thuggery is a race-baiter, but the white kid with the sign calling Obama a monkey is probably just an all-American boy, and the whites with the signs comparing the President to Adolf Hitler, are just under-appreciated amateur historians, making obvious analytical points that real historians are just too obtuse, or, ya know, educated, to understand.

There’s so much more. Read the whole thing here!

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2 thoughts on “Why the Health Care Debate Is Also a Race Debate

  1. Yes!

    Tim Wise is the guy who wrote ‘White Like Me’ – a book that did almost as much as ‘Racism Without Racists’ to open my eyes to the myriad assumptions that whites use to steamroll anything inconvenient to their self-conception as free individuals and ‘self-made’ people.

    As he would surely point out, it’s ironic that it took another white male to explain that to me in a way I could hear it, but I call it progress either way.

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