November 22, 2009

Race-Baiting Comments by Lamar Alexander (R-TN) During Healthcare Debate

Perhaps I am too sensitive. However, 50 years of living in America has taught me to hear the race-baiting dog whistles from old white guys. I heard Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on one of the Sunday talk shows call Medicaid a 'medical ghetto'.

It turns out that Alexander used this term a number of times on the Senate floor during the healthcare debate.

Cheryl Contee (Jack and Jill Politics) wrote,
"The right (and some on the left) would have you think that Medicaid was created so lazy shiftless black people could eat bonbons, watermelon & fried chicken while having their free x-rays, abusing the tax dollars of hardworking white people. Like Lamar Alexander who has repeatedly called Medicaid a “Medical Ghetto” on the Senate floor."
I encourage all villagers to read Cheryl's full blog post.

Why do old white guys in politics always devolve to race-baiting when they are losing the argument?


Stimpson said...

It wouldn't be so bad if he actually supported or put forth solid measures to see that no one was in a "medical ghetto." Instead, he and his party comrades oppose meaningful health-care reform.

To look at it another way, I could see Jesse Jackson decrying a "medical ghetto" of substandard care for the poor. So the phrase itself isn't necessarily offensive. It's the context - opposition to progress - that makes Alexander's remarks at least a little bit, um ... repulsive.

Jeett said...

The simple answer to your question is a sad truth: in this country, race-baiting works far too often.

Villager said...

Stimpson and Jeet - I appreciate both of you visiting my blog and sharing your village voice. I hope you find reasons to come back again in the future.