Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum (R) should enjoy his showing tonight in the Iowa caucuses and the bounce he might get out of placing among the top-tier finishers. He might even get a kick out of the stories that hail him as some come-from-behind genius, the type that comes along once in a lifetime. Yuck, yuck.
But there’s a non-Eurocentric world beyond Iowa waiting for someone like Santorum, and if he gets the Republican nomination, he’ll soon find out that the prize may be not worth having.
His campaign stop in Sioux City on Sunday laid the groundwork for the response he will get, in the unlikely event that he emerges as the GOP nominee. He used the forum to take a below-the-belt blow at black people, telling his mostly white audience that, when it comes to entitlements, he doesn’t want to “make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.”
Of course, Santorum was pandering to a group that he thought would like that racial slur, which was based upon a false stereotype. Would he have said that to a gathering of the NAACP?
That does it for me.
Santorum knows better. He knows, if he pays any attention to national statistics, and likely data in Pennsylvania, too, that most people on food stamps are white. Indeed, most people benefiting from all government entitlements (such as Social Security) are white, too.
Many blacks, including many in my extended family, make a lot of people’s lives better through the taxes we pay. What’s more, our taxes are handed out by the government without regards to race, creed, color, national origin or sexual orientation to a host of our fellow Americans, many of whom don’t look a bit like us.
No, Santorum was firmly placing himself in the camp of the Republican right wing who, down through the years, have made it their business to denigrate African Americans as shiftless takers from God-fearing, hard-working white folks.
Guess what, Rick? Some of us can read. And we and our friends will remember. We are waiting our turn.