The Racist Undercurrent in the Stimulus Package Battle

If you are wondering what’s in that stimulus package, you can find out at recovery.gov, where the details are provided and where spending of the $787 billion will be tracked. Here’s a chart copied from the site:

stimulus

One of the spending goals that caught my eye was “Protecting the Vulnerable,” for which $81 billion is allocated. I imagine that’s the part that has some Republicans acting as if they just stepped into an ant nest. If it’s one thing Republicans seem to hate, it’s protecting the vulnerable.

That’s why some Republican governors are refusing part of the money allocated to their states. In South Carolina, for example, Gov. Mark Sanford is rejecting funds tied to census¬† tracts with a population that is chronically below the poverty level. House Majority Whip James Clyburn, who represents most of those tracts, points out that the residents are overwhelmingly African-American, and he calls the governor’s rejection of the funds “a slap in the face” for those citizens.

I am sure I don’t have to mention South Carolina’s racist history, or point out that Gov. Sanford is white and Congressman Clyburn is black… or that the governors refusing stimulus money are mostly from the Old South. So much for “post-racial America.”


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

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