George Graham

A Sense of Entitlement

Saba-Ahmed

 

Once again, a Republican politician is being accused of misconduct. This time, it’s Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who’s in trouble. He is accused of “criminal” behavior in his 2011 and 2012 campaigns. Why do Republicans seem so prone to this kind of scandal?

I think the reason is a sense of entitlement.

I am convinced that Republicans, especially male Republicans, feel they’re somehow privileged, that the rules applying to common folk couldn’t possibly apply to them. After all, they’re a cut above, as all the world knows – or should know.

Read George Will’s columns if you don’t believe me. And look up comments that Republican candidates make on rape, birth control, voting rights and other social issues. They seem to think white males are entitled to rule the roost, to take what they want and decide who gets the rest.

Or listen to the neocons talk about blowing up children in Iraq and other faraway places. Obviously, in their eyes, non-white children aren’t the same as white children. Non-white children are expendable – collateral damage, casualties of history…

I bet they wouldn’t be so eager to bomb families in Denmark or Sweden – or even Russia, which they hate so much.

I grew up in Jamaica, when a small colonial class ruled the island. These privileged representatives of the British were nearly all white – or “Jamaica white” – and they enjoyed special privileges. I won’t list the many ways in which this special position was abused. If you’re from Jamaica, you know. If you’re not, you probably don’t care.

The point is that I see the same kind of thing here in America.

It’s as if America were a colony of some kind with a ruling class identified primarily by skin color. You might think I’m crazy, but where are the black billionaires? And how many Hispanic billionaires can you name?

Obviously, I’m oversimplifying. In a country of more than 300 million people, a country that is changing as I write this blog, the situation is far more complex.

But what I’m getting at is the sense of being special that Republicans seem to have.

Their disregard for “the other” was on display recently at the Heritage Foundation conference on Benghazi. When  Saba Ahmed, a Pakistani Muslim (above), suggested that some at the conference seemed to stereotype all Muslims as violent and anti-American, she was ridiculed and scolded. (Click on the link to the video at the end of this blog.)

And Republicans in Congress don’t seem distressed by the suffering they cause when they slash funding for social programs – the school lunch program, for instance. It’s as if they believe poor people’s children should go hungry.

So why do so many poor people vote Republican? Statistics show these voters are mostly white males, and I can only assume they are basking in the reflected glory of their more privileged brothers. They might be poor but at least their skin is the same color as David Koch’s – and that makes them “better.”

Yes, I know I’m oversimplifying. But can you tell me why I’m wrong?

Click for the Heritage Foundation video.

Click for the Walker story

Click for Will’s views on rape.

About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com