“But what, if anything, does this bullying of bus monitor Karen Klein] say about society at large? Many things one could argue, but, for me, it is a remarkably apt metaphor for this moment in the American discourse in which hostility has been drawn out into the sunlight.
…Whether it is a Republican debate audience booing a gay soldier or Rush Limbaugh’s vicious attack on a female Georgetown law student or Newt Gingrich’s salvos at the poor, bullying has become boilerplate. Hiss and taunt. Tease and intimidate. Target your enemies and torture them mercilessly. Maintain primacy through predation.
…Women are under attack. Hispanics are under attack. Minority voting rights are under attack. The poor are under attack. Unsurprisingly, those doing the attacking in every case are from the right. “
“Left unchecked or unchallenged our biases, bigotry or stereotypes take over our better judgment. People – in Trayvon Martin’s case a teenager walking home from the store – are dehumanized into some form of ‘other’ unworthy of respect, and it’s justified as a way to make people some kind of separate and unequal status.
So, when Newt Gingrich, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says that, quote, “really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. They have no habit of I do this and you give me cash, unless it’s illegal,” or Rick Santorum says, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives easier,” or Rush Limbaugh calls a presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama a magic negro, or Mitt Romney says nothing at all, the effect is dangerous, because they reinforce and validate old stereotypes that associate the poor and welfare as criminal behavior with African-Americans and people of color, calling us lazy, undeserving recipients of public assistance. In the case of Trayvon, those festering stereotypes had lethal consequence.”
“Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, these guys have a fundamentally different economic philosophy than we do. Our philosophy, ours is one that values the workers in the success of a business. It values the middle class in the success of our economy. Simply stated, we’re about promoting the private sector, they’re about protecting the privileged sector.
We are for a fair shot and a fair shake, they’re about a no rules, no risks and no accountability.”
“[T]here is sort of a race between his egomania and his racism. I think [Newt Gingrich’s] running the most overtly racist campaign that I’ve seen in this country since George Wallace, if you are talking about presidential campaigns.
So I think what he tries to do is to do these dog whistle things to people who he thinks he can connect with, to make up for his shortcomings, frankly, as a human being.”
“I mean, we have a really interesting case study in the Republican party in these two candidates, because Mitt is the candidate of vulture capitalism that hollowed out the middle class and represented and enriched the top one percent.
But Newt is the face of the politics of resentment and racism and angry white male rage that let guys like Mitt do that to the economy. They work hand-in-hand.”
“These are code words. It’s inappropriate.
…The codes words are, as far as I’m concerned, words that generate and signify race.”
“I think [Gingrich] has that subtlety of racism that I know quite well and that Gingrich knows quite well, that appeals to some people in Georgia, particularly the right wing.
…[H]e knows the subtle words to use to appeal to a racist group.”
“Newt’s main appeal and his main skill is as a guy who knows exactly where to put the explosive device to blow up the bridge.”