Only a Fool Would Compare Slavery and Welfare

Published November 7, 2008

Only a Fool Would Compare Slavery and Welfare

Posted Nov. 7, 2008- Ironic isn't it, that amid all the euphoria over Barack Obama’s ascension to the nation’s highest position, that the true racists would come to the fore.

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Just two days after Obama was elected president, Jim Quinn, co-host of The War Room with Quinn & Rose, compared "slave[s] in the Old South" to welfare recipients today. In the most recent highly publicized racist rant, Quinn effused that the "difference" between welfare and slavery is that "[t]he slave had to work for" their alleged benefits.

“You know, if you were a slave in the old South, what did you get as a slave?” Quinn said. “You got free room and board, you got free money, and you got rewarded for having children because that was just, you know, tomorrow's slave. So, you got a free house, you got free money, and you got rewarded for having children. Can I ask a question? How's that different from welfare? You get a free house, you get free food, and you get rewarded for having children. Oh, wait a minute, hold on a second. There is a difference: The slave had to work for it." 
 
Quinn’s rhetoric echoed another avowed racist,
Pat Buchanan, who eight months ago – as Obama was marching toward his historic destiny – said Blacks owed Whites a debt of gratitude for slavery.
 
Free room, free board, free money, and rewarded for having babies. Let's break that down.
 
Free room: in a dank, dreary shack, packed with other poor souls, with conjugal visits (translation: the right to rape with impunity) reserved for the slaveowner, any time – day or night – without the consent of the wife or the husband. There's a deal, huh?
 
Free board: If eating the table scraps from someone else's trash can be termed as such, I guess he must be right.
 
Money: Really? In what sense? There were no contracts, and the money that did change hands was between the White slaveowners. Slavery was not a job. It unpaid, forced servitude, under which the "workers" had no rights, no say over working conditions, no union, or community, legislative or other representation – and no right to air grievances. It was violent, brutal and horrifically inhumane.
 
Reward for making babies: Infants and children were often snatched taken away from the family, sold to another slaver. In many instances, the family never saw that child again. Nice reward.
 
What is the difference today? In some ways, none. The attitude that produced slavery, Jim Crow, the KKK, Black Codes, Plessy, Dred Scott, the Tulsa (Black Wall Street) massacre, the Red Summer and the Aryan Nation, and elevated the likes of George Wallace, Bull Connor, Lester Maddox, Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond, David Duke, the Greaseman, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Buchanan and Sarah Palin into positions of power and wealth has not changed.
 
The dehumanizing of African Americans by those who still seek to take refuge in justifying the most inhuman treatment of people based solely on outward appearances continues to this day.

During his Nov. 6 broadcast, Quinn quoted conservative Frances Rice, head of the National Black Republican Association. "It should come as no surprise that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican,” Rice proffered. “In that era, almost all Black Americans were Republicans. Why? Well, from its founding in 1854 as the anti-slavery party until today, the Republican Party has championed freedom and civil rights for Blacks." Quinn jumped all over Rice’s comments: “Gee, you'd never know that walking through the hallways of a school today or listening to the media. And as one pundit so succinctly stated, the Democratic Party is, as it always has been, the party of the four S's: slavery, secession, segregation, and now, socialism."

To be sure, Blacks were Republicans and proud to be – until the Dixie strategy forced African Americans away, and Brown v. the Board of Education, and civil rights and voting rights laws (enacted by Democrats) sent White Republicans scurrying for the shelter of hate-based politics.

What have Republicans done for us lately? Go to the next page.

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What have Republicans done for us lately? Voted against every piece of legislation targeting racist practices and demonized Blacks by making us the poster children for every fear uttered in polite White society.
 
And now, as cities struggle under the weight of history, and Blacks manage to rise out of that morass in larger and larger numbers, Quinn insists on living in a world whose time has come to an end.
 
These truly are the end of days for people like him. His words, which once did have a sting to them, have been rendered irrelevant. White supremacy has been reduced to being a mere relic of the bad old days – the stuff of museums. Quinn is part of a dying breed, and his rants are the scorched earth of a world view that no longer enjoys favor among the civilized.
 
Rather than take seriously the rantings of a traitor to the American nation, we should place Quinn and his ilk in a zoo, a lab, or a museum, where we can study such people as we would the cave-dwellers.
 
I feel a new Geico ad coming on: “So simple a racist can use it.”
 
At the end of the day, an African American sits in the White House, something not possible in Quinn's workfare world.
 
Sorry, Mr. Quinn. No sale. Your "15 minutes" are up. You can leave the stage now.

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Written by BET-Staff

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