RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Scheer writes: "Why anyone who claims to be pro-life would want to deny health care to single mothers is an enduring mystery in the morally mischievous ethos of the Republican Party. But the exclusion of a working poor population that skews disproportionately black in the South is simply a continuation of the divide-and-conquer politics that have informed Republican strategy since Nixon."

Racism is fueling opposition to Obamacare. (photo: Jae C. Hong/AP)
Racism is fueling opposition to Obamacare. (photo: Jae C. Hong/AP)

Racism and Cruelty Drive GOP Health Care Agenda

By Robert Scheer, Truthdig

08 October 13


efore he was disgraced into resigning his presidency over the Watergate burglary scandal, Richard Nixon had successfully engineered an even more odious plot known as his Southern Strategy. The trick was devilishly simple: Appeal to the persistent racist inclination of Southern whites by abandoning the Republican Party's historic association with civil rights and demonizing the black victims of the South’s history of segregation.

That same divisive strategy is at work in the Republican rejection of the Affordable Care Act. GOP governors are largely in control of the 26 states, including all but Arkansas in the South, that have refused to implement the act's provision for an expansion of Medicaid to cover the millions of American working poor who earn too much to qualify for the program now. A New York Times analysis of census data concludes that as a result of the Republican governors' resistance, "A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help. ..."

Why anyone who claims to be pro-life would want to deny health care to single mothers is an enduring mystery in the morally mischievous ethos of the Republican Party. But the exclusion of a working poor population that skews disproportionately black in the South is simply a continuation of the divide-and-conquer politics that have informed Republican strategy since Nixon.

Continue Reading: US Is the World Leader in Spreading Destruction and Misery your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

-81 # Martintfre 2013-10-08 16:11
Shameless false hate mongering.

Why wont Obama grant the common man the same exemptions he granted to big government?
+42 # ericlipps 2013-10-08 17:21
Quoting Martintfre:
Shameless false hate mongering.

Why wont Obama grant the common man the same exemptions he granted to big government?

If you're referring to Obamacare, he has; GOP claims to the contrary are the real "shameless false hate mongering." Anyone who already has health insurance isn't required to do anything at all, and anyone who doesn't would be better off getting it under the Affordable Care Act than doing without.
+17 # mebemo 2013-10-08 22:31
Quoting Martintfre:
Shameless false hate mongering.

Why wont Obama grant the common man the same exemptions he granted to big government?

Look who's back! Is this just a brief visit, or do you wish for dialogue? If so, what are the shameless or false statements and where's the hate mongering?

If only you didn't hate liberals so much, Martinfre. If only you didn't hate anybody so much. You wouldn't need to demonize people who are observing facts you don't wish to consider. Do you really think you have a totally comprehensive understanding of life? Does anybody? Try paying more attention to people without being judgmental. Try it for an hour. Try it for a day.You might like it.

+14 # Scott Galindez 2013-10-09 01:03
Quoting Martintfre:
Shameless false hate mongering.

Why wont Obama grant the common man the same exemptions he granted to big government?

First of all "Big Government" didn't get an exemption from covering their employees. The Government is being allowed to continue to provide their current coverage.

The employee mandate has been delayed one year to allow a solution for the problem of employers lowering employee hours to avoid covering them.

So when you hear someone complain that they lost hours because of Obamacare, someone is lying...
+3 # Mrcead 2013-10-11 04:06
Copy and paste the hate mongering phrase or phrases and be judged.
+47 # engelbach 2013-10-08 16:58
Thank you Bob, for characterizing it so well.

It seems that helping the poor is verboten unless the GOP can boast about individual charity and write it off their taxes.

Those who are not poor and begrudge them the right to healthcare by continuing to elect these elitist Republicans show us just how far much of America has fallen morally.

"Love thy neighbor" only applies when one's neighbor needs nothing and is as selfish as oneself.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-10-12 13:46
Or is a Mormon in the case of the Romneys who ONLY tithe and give charity to other Mormons.....
+31 # wwway 2013-10-08 18:14
I wonder when Americans will finally see how the GOP sees them and believes them to be. The GOP spent millions in the 1980's to find out what Americans feared the most and they've crafted the perfect message to talk Americans out of supporting everything that benefits them.
I'm appauled by the racism in this country. It's sad that Americans will deny their own being and benefit to deny everyone but the angry white rich male.
That's what Americans have chosen to do the last 40 years.
Americans, you are being asked to give up SS, Medicare, Healthcare, everything for tax breaks for the rich, deregulations in banking, job safety.... Really? You really want that?
+16 # zornorff 2013-10-08 19:26
As long as the republicans put out messages that resonate with the fears of working class whites, the voters that will benefit the least from their policies will continue to support them. Basically their message is that they are protecting the working class whites from the "others".
+19 # MidwesTom 2013-10-08 18:25
Most responders on this site assume that "poor" and "black" are one and the same. I certainly do not know the numbers, but having traveled and worked in rural Oklahoma, much of Appalachia, and most rural areas in general, I have seen many very poor whites. They don't march for their rights, they do not have a spokesman, but they are among the poorest in this country. Many of them live in an uninsulated shack a=with a pot bell stove for heat, and plastic on the windows. Poverty is everywhere, just look around.
+18 # bingers 2013-10-08 20:22
And yet because of racism, primarily they continue to vote against their own best interests.
+6 # reiverpacific 2013-10-08 18:53
Tells it better than I can!
+20 # Doggone 2013-10-08 20:03
I sure miss George Carlin, he wasn't afraid to say it how he saw it. Also, Molly Ivins' satirical sense of humor, we could use a little of her take on these days we're in, she'd surely have a great nick name for Cruz and Boehner, even her memory makes me smile !
+25 # zornorff 2013-10-08 19:06
It is all about racism and the republicans' fear that a black president will come up with universal health care that works. As disappointed as I am with Obama's policies, in general, and the fact that I feel sold out by him, he is still head and shoulders above the majority of evil, self-interested stupid white men in congress.
+3 # politicaleconomist 2013-10-08 19:27
Interestingly darrel issa's health care plan is an expanded and more generous version of Obamacare (see the latest issue of the Atlantic) which is not surprising given that Oabamacare is just a slightly expanded version of what came before.
+5 # Jimmy 2013-10-08 19:55
Absolutely true. See Glenn Feldman's new book, THE IRONY OF THE SOLID SOUTH.

Excellent on this whole topic
+6 # rockieball 2013-10-09 07:53
What it is is the White bigots and racists form of slow genocide on minorities and anyone who is not like them. Many want to once again dissolve the union, I say Okay. Pull out and stop all Federal Government funding to these states the same way Reagan threatened states with removal of Federal Funding if they did not mandate Auto insurance. See how fast they change their tune then.
+1 # suzyskier 2013-10-11 10:24

Great idea let's let them go. If they can't get over loosing the civil war then it's time to cut them off. By the way Slavokia wanted to sepearate from Czechloslavakia and they got their wish. Guess which country is doing better by far?
-11 # UpperMidWest 2013-10-09 08:09
Do the math, Bobby. In a recent poll, a majority wanted ACA terminated, while barely over a third wanted it retained. Are the other two thirds racist? That would make a hell of a lot of people who voted for Obama racists. The Mercury News ran a story of an Obama voter who is mad because ACA has upped his health insurance bill by $10,000/yr. Is he a racist, too? To accuse people who disagree with you over policy of being racist is cheap, lazy, intellectual sewage!
+4 # suzyskier 2013-10-11 10:27
Sorry but you need actual facts to make your point. Since ACA has started only last week and is having difficulties with their website, how is it that he has to pay 10,000.00? Does he own a business?
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-10-12 13:48
WHOSE poll, dear?
0 # MidwesTom 2013-10-09 10:41
There was a book out in 1969 called The Population Bomb, in it the author builds the case that one US born baby will consume in his life time what 16 other non-US babies born the same day will in their life time.

As we move to The New World Order I wonder if that ratio will close at least some, and how fast.
+3 # Glen 2013-10-11 12:21
I am reminded by your comments (and I did read that book) of a fellow student years ago who stated that the meek shall inherit the earth, not in biblical terms. He meant that the meek will continue as always, whether starving or not, while the privileged will eat themselves.

Even Khrushchev stated it vividly, all those years ago. "We do not have to attack the United States. They will rot from the inside."

Yes, the ratio will close.
+7 # wwway 2013-10-09 10:41
The Southern Strategy messsage = "Americans are lazy, no good for nothing, godless, babykillers, who deserve to work their fingers to the bone to provide tax breaks for the rich white male and never see the light of propserity. EVER!" It worked so it was expanded throughout the country in the 1980's with Ronald Reagan. Americans who work hard didn't see themselves the way the GOP did so they projected that onto their neighbors, friends, family. By embracing that message they denied themselves. That chicken has come home to roost in this final battle in Washington. The middle class has destroyed itself.
Jack London wrote the first dystopian novel in 1907. The Iron Heel. Using the 1900 census to support his story he ultimately argues that the rich and the church control the message and if democracy and our democratic capitalist system is to survive the working masses must be critical of and vigilant against the messages designed to cause conflict among themselves. Here are 2 examples of the messaged lies besides those contained in the Southern Strategy. The rich are the job creators. Regulation kills jobs.
From these messages Americans have been suckered into believing that helping people is hurting them and hurting them is helping them. They done it to themselves.
By the way. For that novel, Jack London was denounced by William Randolf Hearst and others who controled the message as a "commie" "socialist." Hum.
+9 # fredboy 2013-10-09 10:45
What has amazed me after moving from Nashville to Florida is how many racists northerners are down here. People from NY, NJ and CT, real arrogant, who despise Obama and blatantly use the "n" word with vicious conviction and intended malice. I've lived in VA, SC, and TN, and never heard it or witnessed such overt racism until I moved to Florida. Vicious, dangerous--and many wealthy--absolu te racists.
+5 # Madmedic 2013-10-10 13:48
Welcome to Florida! You've found it to be exactly what my wife and I have found it to be. A racist cesspool, filled with angry hateful white trash (more than a few of them wealthy) from all over the North and Northeast.

Sure, there are many good people here, but they are totally cowed (intimidated) from speaking up because of the loud, potentially violent neo-fascist racists who reside in this state. As you point out, a great many of them came here from the supposedly enlightened North. In many counties, particularly in the I-4 corridor (Tampa, The Villages, Orlando, Sanford, Daytona Beach ... Hillsborough, Manatee, Highlands, Polk, Hardee, Osceola, Seminole, Volusia and Orange counties) the northern transplants far outnumber the native Floridians. However, the overt racism seems to be only marginally better than in the panhandle.

Warning. If you are a liberal Northerner who is thinking of retiring to a warmer more peaceful, laid back climate you may want to eliminate Florida from your list. You won't be welcome in most of these places unless you are willing to embrace the racist, neo fascist rhetoric in church, condo associations, political activities, etc. and are willing to remain silent when unjust and unfair treatment of minorities and the poor go on all around you.

The only reason my wife and I haven't left this stinking fetid racist swampland is that we own substantial real estate that we would have to sell at depressed prices before we could leave.
+3 # suzyskier 2013-10-11 10:33
Wow I had no idea that Florida was that racist, disgusting. As for Florida I can honestly say I would now never consider moving there. I'll take the cold winters of Vermont any day(not that Vermont doesn't have it's own racists, especially law enforcement) still it is a very liberal state.
+2 # Glen 2013-10-11 12:13
Key words here are "racists northerners", proving once again that racism is not isolated among long term families in the south. Miami certainly has had its racial issues. Prior to that everybody hated the Jews moving down there, conveniently forgetting the Mafia, et al.

How about Jew haters? Those still exist everywhere, thanks to worn out stereotypes.

Above your post is wwway, who brings up Reagan and those who fell under the growing agenda of dividing the country. They did not do it to themselves. U.S. citizens are born into the system of division, myths, stereotypes and hate. Only a few wake up to see the reality after 12 years in school and cultural influences over them, not to mention marketing and capitalism at its worst. The middle class did not urge corporations to leave the country. They did not urge George W. to pull funding and spend like a 16 year old millionaire and they are not urging Obama to continue military spending and targeting citizens for assassination and military persecution style smashing of citizen rights.

The wealthy are concerned only with maintaining their wealth and status, no matter what part of the country they hail from.
+4 # mjc 2013-10-10 09:18
Divide and conquer has been a Republican ploy long before Nixon. While many in the north, and especially in the northeast, believe that this region is much less racist than any city or state in the South, it is probably not true. Racism in all parts of the US is usually quite suppressed in public but if one lives in some of the communities on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line there is no such suppression in private and private relationships result in a lot of hate and cruelty aimed at tolerance is quite open. Being black or Hispanic or mixed race is always considered the reason for poverty and the best reason why any state or national government should ever give in to "safety nets" or social welfare, they are mostly thought of. The Republicans have allowed their Party to be overrun with Tea Partiers who openly hate any government, much less any governmental program, especially one for the least prosperous of our society.
+2 # Anarchist 23 2013-10-10 23:26
As we approach the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, it is interesting to chart the progress of our national destruction. It is also interesting to note that it was for Nixon's 1968 campaign that the RNC issued its new Elephant Logo button with the three downward pointing five-pointed stars (pentacles) Evil is triumphant in the land now, everywhere we look.
+5 # Mrcead 2013-10-11 05:03
Let's go into human behaviour. One of the strongest feelings a human can experience is jealousy. From childhood to adulthood, we all experience this. Even our cats and dogs experience this feeling.

"Jealousy is an anticipatory emotion. It seeks to prevent loss," said Ralph Hupka, Professor of Psychology, Emeritus at California State University at Long Beach.

"Jealousy causes us to take precautionary measures. Should those fail, the new situation arouses anger, depression, disappointment, and so on."

So from this, we can see that all Southern Strategists had to do was show the Southern Whites that what they had, all they had, was in jeopardy of being lost to the Blacks and it took off from there with little effort. Coupled with the grueling way people were treated by their employers made all of that hard, hard work that much more in jeopardy of being whisked away unless they appointed a cowboy in a white hat to stop it.

If you listen closely to the rhetoric of Southerners opposed to Obamacare, you can always find that property angle in their rhetoric. Never any substantial issues of character or crime, just the intense fear of the loss of "something".

But using people's fears against them is not new. It's how human children are raised after all.
+2 # OligarchyNot 2013-10-11 18:50
I just want to remind folks that, just because some states are labeled as "red states" does not mean that there are no democrats in them. Some red states are really blue, but thanks to republican gerrymandering and voter suppression, and not enough people going to the polls, republicans are winning the elections. Since there are republicans in each and every state, and since republicans seem to be overwhelmingly racists, I would imagine that the balance of racists in the north and the south is pretty much equal.
+1 # Mrcead 2013-10-12 05:22
Having lived in both regions, I would have to agree. The main difference is that socially, minorities are not held back from earning in the north as they are in the south but that may be due to the lack of resources and opportunities (the south believes in cronyism and dynasties) and hence, a more hostile competitive atmosphere. But, like I've said before. The story may change but the ending is still the same. Northerners just don't make the time to engage in racism as much as southerners do. You'd be surprised how many northern minorities have expressed an interest in Canada just because it is less socially oppressive than America in this regard.
0 # factoid 2014-01-26 12:10
this is all about politics and power not health care.Fact healthcare departments exist and are for normal everyday people who cant afford health care. I have one down the street.They are sponsored by the state and federal govt. and are free.
Fact,major medical cannot be denied by law and is reimbursed by state and federal programs. So tell me why we need Obama care? I have helped people with major medical problems for years in this way and saved a few lives. The problem I see is ignorance of these rights and programs. This health care fallacy is about power and money and nothing else. Follow the money and you will see.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.