Ach! The (Republican) White Man’s Burden

White rich Republicans appear to have adopted Rudyard Kipling’s poetic call to duty, the White Man’s Burden. Only they do so not quite as bracingly as Kipling recommended, but with a great deal of racial resentment—and without understanding the irony.

What rich Republicans resent is having to pay for all those worthless dark-skinned freeloaders, who are failures for no other reason than they are naturally lazy, whereas we ourselves are the backbone of the nation, taking nothing and contributing everything. The plain and simple fact is, those people want nothing more than to live a life of leisure at our expense. All that matters is that they get their welfare check so they can loaf all day in their subsidized housing and go out after dark to get drunk or score some drugs. It goes without saying that these people don’t embrace the ethics of decency and hard work that we do. They don’t understand honesty. They are sneaky. And we are the ones that must pay for them, thanks to the Democrats.

What rich Republicans resent
is having to pay for all those
worthless dark-skinned freeloaders.

There is nothing new about these and similar racist resentments, and they can be found in all parts of the world, with people of all colors, for equally false reasons. There are endless examples of white America’s ugly attitude toward those from other cultures, and the current political climate has reminded us that the outlook hasn’t gone away, which is surely an understatement. It is by no means a uniquely Republican failing, but that’s where we see it most clearly right now.

Are they right? Are there large numbers of dark ne’er-do-wells loafing on the public’s dollar? To be sure, there are a few, although color has little to do with it, and most of those end up as guests of the state for a while. But most people who are surviving on welfare—and “surviving” is the right term, because such aid allows one to just get by—do so for a good reason. They are permanently injured, they are the frail elderly, they are suffering from a serious disease, or another worthy reason. The army of dark-skinned loafers does not exist.

The army of dark-skinned loafers does not exist.

Remember how Japanese-Americans were so sneaky and untrustworthy during WWII that they had to be penned up in concentration camps all those years? Recall that neither they nor Chinese-Americans were allowed out of their ghettoes or allowed to marry outside their culture and race? American Indians, African-Americans, and virtually every wave of new immigrants were also treated badly because of white prejudicial beliefs.

Barely unspoken is Republican resentment that one of them has somehow tricked his way into the White House. Ironically, this ugly attitude is just about the only thing that has “trickled down” to the less affluent echelons of Republican whiteness. We hear the same litany from non-rich Republicans, who automatically endorse each and every Republican thought from on high because they are True Believers, rarely convinced by even the most obvious evidence contrary to the canon of the Republican church. We hear this racism for the record, plain as day, within the halls of Congress, and even before the news media’s microphones and cameras. Those people are causing all the trouble.

It’s all a terrible burden, the white man’s burden.
How many Republicans realize that
Kipling was being ironic?

The racial resentment tactic that Republicans are currently exploiting, that of blaming a group of people for the woes of the nation, does not differ significantly from the tactics of Hitler and many another political malefactor. Find someone to blame, and people won’t notice that you are wrong at the core. For Hitler, the Jews served the purpose well. In parts of Europe today, it is the Turks, the Muslims, the Africans. For Republicans, it’s the lazy dark-skinned.

The fact is, though, that neither the welfare bums Republicans rail against, nor any of the other demonized groups, is actually different from anyone else. What they all need, what everyone needs, is opportunity. Republicans seek to remove opportunity by slashing the budget for everything that doesn’t directly benefit the rich.

It’s all a terrible burden, the white man’s burden, and we would all be better off if we didn’t have to support all those dark people who are naturally lazy welfare bums.

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