By Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.
I was listening to Chuck Todd of MSNBC as he interviewed Iowa Governor Terry Branstad regarding the drought conditions in his state and how they would impact Iowa farmers. Without prompting and surprisingly to me and, I suspect, other viewers, the conversation leapfrogged to a totally unrelated matter– the Romney team’s accusation that President Barack Obama had arbitrarily taken away the work requirement from the “Welfare to Work” law.
Without regard to common television etiquette, Governor Branstad talked over his host, Chuck Todd, as though he did not even hear the corrections that Mr. Todd attempted to insert in the discussion. Without any acknowledgment of the misinformation he was spewing, Governor Branstad seemed determined to get his talking points out—true or false.
If he were the only person doing that, I don’t suppose it would matter so much, but just before that interview I had heard Congressman Paul Ryan use the same talking point, and before that I had seen the Romney attack ad doing the same thing—using information to make a point that has been debunked by reliable sources over and over again. I asked myself, “Doesn’t truth matter anymore?”
Shelton Gragg and Stefan Petrucha authored a book called, “What the____Is Wrong with the Right?”, and I have been asking myself that a lot lately. Almost any day, we can see someone on the right disrespecting the Office of the President, hurling coded insults about everybody who is not white, male, wealthy and on the far right on every issue. In other words, as far as the right is concerned, there is something wrong with African Americans, women, Progressives, seniors, Democrats (all of which I am), Latinos, LGBT persons, poor people, working people, labor unionists—well you get the idea.
Not so long ago, the right said President Barack Obama was too cool! Suddenly, Ryan and Romney decided the President is a “hateful, angry Black man!” They need to get real!!! They’re working from a script that is designed to drag the President down. They’ve had a measure of success when you see a group of unknown Black preachers standing at a microphone talking about blocking the President’s re-election or when a few Blacks seeking attention or blood money ask, “What has the President done for Black people?”
Black women are not pleased at hearing the “angry”label applied. We like it even less when it’s used to denigrate us. We sure don’t like it when Ryan, Romney and right-wing types use it on our President. God knows we have much about which to be angry — lynchings, castrations, forced family separations, mis-education of our children, thefts of our property under the cover of law, no payment and/or underpayment for services rendered, shooting our sons and brothers down in the streets of cities across America, and the list goes on. Sure, we get angry, because we have done far more to make our communities better than the right has ever helped us to do.
The Ryan-Romney team stands ready to take back from us hard fought gains we have earned. They don’t mind using lies and laws to limit our voting rights. They threaten our health by threatening to end Medicare and to take away affordable health care. They try to impose their will on what we women do with our bodies and frighten immigrant children who were brought here as babies. Ryan and Romney want to force the most draconian, extreme budget upon us and, then, make us believe they are on our side. Truth just doesn’t matter to this crowd. Please! Give me a break! Do they think we are stupid, crazy or what?
Dr. E. Faye Williams is National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. 202/678-6788. www.nationalcongressbw.org and Board Chair of the Black Leadership Forum.