An Associated Press poll released on October 27th found that a slim majority, but a majority nonetheless, of Americans now hold a negative view of blacks. 51% of people polled indicated an explicitly negative view of black people, compared to 48% in 2008. When tested implicitly – controlling for the possibility that people are unaware or unwilling to express racially prejudiced attitudes, that proportion is 56%, compared to 49% in 2008.
Looking through this election cycle, it is not difficult to see why America has emerged from its first term under a nonwhite president more prejudiced. While many touted Barack Obama’s election as the end of racism, the stark political divide, already colored along racial lines, has only grown deeper. Here are my top 5 Racist comments of Election 2012, courtesy of the season's presidential candidates (Warning: ignorance to follow).
1. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) accuses Huma Abedin of being part of a Muslim conspiracy to infiltrate the Department of State: The letter, still available on the Representative’s official website, is eerily reminiscent of the McCarthy hearings. It espouses the belief that one cannot be both Muslim and American. When people accuse Illuminati Jews of infiltrating the U.S. government, we appropriately call them “crazy.” When they accuse Muslims of the same, Rush Limbaugh calls it a “Constitutional Duty.” . I will give credit to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) for denouncing the attacks, an act which only further highlights how far we have fallen in just 4 years.
2. Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) does not care about black people:
Well, Kanye was 7 years before his time here. Did he day it, or did he not? “I don’t want to make [black] people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.” You will note, as will future generations, this was not the end of his campaign.
3. Former Governor Jon Huntsman (R-Utah) is not an American:
This video, while not directly connected to the Representative Ron Paul (R-Tx.) campaign, comes with the caption, “Ron Paul is the only authentic conservative in this race, and the only one capable of bringing authentic change to Washington. He is the only sole alternative to flip-floppers responsible for the costly mistakes of the past.” Governor Huntsman is a classy man and perhaps the only Republican candidate who could have taken this die-hard liberal’s vote away from the president. Of course, that means that he is an unfit candidate. The sickening implication that, because someone has adopted daughters from abroad, or because he speaks Chinese, he holds Anti-American views sends us farther back than the 1950s, all the way to the days of the Know Nothing Party. Of note, only one former President, Herbert Hoover – a Republican – spoke Mandarin.
4. Newt Gingrich solves unemployment and street violence by making poor [black] kids clean toilets:
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), claims that poor children have “no habits of working.” While he does not explicitly say “black children,” his related comments about “black people deserving better than food stamps” as well as his tinged epitaph for Obama, the “food stamp president,” allow us to draw a dotted line. Again, not the end of a campaign.
5. You know where Mitt Romney came from:
Yes, "Mittens" finally made the list. At a campaign stop in Michigan, former Governor Romney (R-Mass.), quipped, “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate; they know that this is the place that we were born and raised.” (‘Because I’m white”). In an obvious allusion to the birther movement, Romney single-handedly validated the belief that Obama is a foreign-born socialist muslim terrorist. Bravo governor, bravo.
Here area few more dishonorable mentions:
• ““We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life,’ Ann Romney, apparently unaware of the historical linguistic undertones to her comments.
• ''Michael Steele! You be da man! You be da man!'?” – Michele Bachmann. But Michele, it was Mitt Romney “who let the dogs out.”
• Anything that Ann Coulter has ever said, written, or thought that is not homophobic, classist, or xenophobic.