Monday, February 27, 2017

the last book I ever read (Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped from the Beginning, excerpt thirteen)

from the 2016 National Book Award winner for Nonfiction Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi:

Ironically, it was a former Hollywood star who came to embody Rocky Balboa in real life; and at the same time, to embody the racist blacklash to Black Power in politics. This real-life Rocky decided to challenge incumbent Gerald Ford for the presidential seat on the Republican ticket in 1976. Reagan fought down all those empowerment movements fomenting in his home state of California and across the nation. Hardly any other Republican politician could match his law-and-order credentials, and hardly any other Republican politician was more despised by antiracists. When Reagan had first campaigned for governor of California in 1966, he had pledged “to send the welfare bums back to work.” By 1976, he had advanced his fictional welfare problem enough to attract Nixon’s undercover racists to his candidacy, gaining their support in cutting the social programs that helped the poor. On the presidential campaign trail, Reagan shared the story of Chicago’s Linda Taylor, a Black woman charged with welfare fraud. “Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000,” Reagan liked to say. Actually, Taylor had been charged with defrauding the state of $8,000, and exceptional amount for something that rarely happened. But truth did not matter to the Reagan campaign as much as feeding the White backlash to Black Power.

No comments:

Post a Comment