Obama is Enslaving the White Middle Class? The GOP Ramps Up Its Racial Rhetoric
by David J. Leonard | NewBlackMan
Having already literally and proverbially stuck their finger in the face of the President of the United States, having already deployed the food stamp rhetoric, the GOP launched its newest attack: Barack Obama as twenty-first century slave owner.
Mark Oxner, a Republican congressional candidate from Florida, recently released a campaign advertisement that shows a group of entitled and wealthy people sipping from their gold cups. Celebrating “bank bailouts,” “health care for life” and “corporate subsidies” aboard the U.S.S. Obamaship. Amid the celebration, and captain Obama stifling any questions, the advertisement works to expose the underbelly and consequences of the entitlement society: enslaved children rowing the ship. With the ship venturing toward a cliff, Mr. Oxner announces, “let’s not enslave our children. It’s time to turn this ship around.”
Of course, this racial line of attack, one that plays on a fallacious view of history, one that denies the connection between white supremacy and the history of slavery, and that otherwise plays on “racial anxiety,” is nothing new. A 2011 advertisement from American Future Fund warned of a future of “economic slavery,” lamenting Obama’s efforts to hand over America’s future to China. Signs representing President Obama as slave master and “tax payers” or “citizens” (whites) as slaves have been visible at various Tea party rallies (example #1, #2, #3, #4). Reiterating the thirty-year platform of the GOP – waning power of whites, the end of American prosperity, exceptionalism and civilization because racial change – the advertisement and this sort of demagoguery is emblematic of the GOP’s ideological foundation.
Michelle Bachman, in 2011, connected the national debt to the history of slavery: “It didn’t matter the color of their skin, it didn’t matter their language, it didn’t matter their economic status, it didn’t matter whether they descended from known royalty or whether they were of a higher class or a lower class, it made no difference. Once you got here [to the United States] you were all the same.” In her eyes, slavery has changed, with the process of enslavement merely changing alongside who is master and who is slave. “From the time when George Washington took the presidency on his first day to the day George W. Bush left as president of the United States, all 43 presidents, if you take all of the debt combined of all of those 43 presidents, do you know that all of that debt is less than the debt that was accumulated by Barack Obama in one year? That is the level of debt and spending that we have engaged in. So this isn’t hyperbole. This is facts.”
She is not alone with these types of “facts.” Allan West, who described himself as Harriet Tubman, denounced “Barack Obama as the ‘overseer’ of a plantation on which modern blacks are captive.” In 2009, RedState.com published a blog post entitled, “Barack Obama, a Black Man, is Now the Most Grotesque Slave Owner in History,” where the author argues that the policies and power of the Obama administration reflects the enslavement of the (white) populace