A Few Words on Mitt Romney’s “47 Percent”.
(ThyBlackMan.com) Normally, I write about music business, not politics, and you’ll see how I work my usual subject into this political article I never intended to write. But, when I turned on my news and saw the video of candidate Mitt Romney revealing his authentic feelings about the 47 percent of the public he thinks is going to vote for President Barack Obama, the historian and journalist I still am inside demanded that two questions be put forward to the voting public.
First, let’s have an accurate quote from Mitt Romney. Here is a large portion of what he said in the video, according to a transcript I found in an article by Timothy Kelly over at Forextv.com.
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. These are people who pay no income tax. 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll (President Obama) be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. [emphasis mine]”
And here’s what Mitt Romney had to say about independent voters:
“What I have to do is convince the five to ten percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.”
Now I’m in the five to ten percent that’s in the middle; I’m not happy with the president, and I’m the type Mitt Romney is trying to convince to vote for him. Thus, I’m going to need him to answer two questions. Who, specifically, is part of the 47 percent? And what do you plan to do with – not for, a distinction with a difference – them?
Let’s see if I can figure out who might be in the 47 percent Mitt Romney entirely discounts, this group of dependent victims who seem to be living off the government and contributing so little to the national life, who pay no taxes…
Could it be the majority of our country’s SENIORS, people who worked hard all their lives and now have the right to expect their government to fulfill the promises of Social Security to them after they spent a lifetime paying taxes into the system out of every check for that purpose?
Could it be the majority of country’s CHILDREN, some of whom are in families that have been hit hard by the recent financial crisis and by the systemic, historical, and irrefutable results of the repression brought on them by Mitt Romney and his rich land and capital-owning counterparts since the founding of this country, CHILDREN who Mitt Romney does not want aborted, but who may need a little extra government help in getting fed, clothed, and educated so they can become productive, tax-paying citizens?
Could it be the country’s VETERANS, people who have paid a higher price than you, me, or Mitt Romney will ever pay to serve and protect this country, people who are coming home with injuries internal and external that make it harder and sometimes impossible to find work, or even get their government to recognize their need for care?
Could it be the country’s long-term UNEMPLOYED, people who have been looking and looking and looking for work, for jobs that no longer exist because the country’s manufacturing base has been shipped overseas by the likes of men such as Mitt Romney through companies such as Bain Capital?
Could it be the majority of the country’s COLLEGE STUDENTS, who are having to go into lifetime debt to get an education for jobs that no longer exist because of the likes of … well, I just said that…
Or is it just a slap at “them Negroes,” lied about as lazy and shiftless during those same centuries in which we contributed the labor to build even that White House Mitt Romney wants to be in, who contributed just about every bit of American culture that is not the leftovers of Europe – those same Black folks who contributed the music Mitt Romney’s own party appropriated when the RNC featured BeBe Winans, renowned gospel singer, as part of its lineup (thank you, Fred Willis, Plano Gospel Music Examiner, for the heads up on that)! These same Black folks that are productive to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars in sports, music, and advertising revenues for the corporation “people” Mitt Romney loves so much, in addition to the millions of Black workers across every segment of society – could they be in the 47 percent just because the vast majority supports Barack Obama?
So much for the who question around the 47 percent – now, I need to know what Mitt Romney plans to do with them – with them, please note – if he is elected, for certainly he does not seem to think they are worthy of doing anything more for. So what would he do with them, if elected?
History gives me the shivers in terms of what happens when the rich and powerful in any state decide a large part of their population is essentially useless; usually, the powers that be take a few courses of action we’ve seen in world history over and over again. However, the “cut-em-off-and-starve-em-out” option cannot be readily used if you are up against 47 percent of the country, because that many people might not take that lying down (witness the French and Russian Revolutions). Later rulers than Nicholas II of Russia have found other and more brutal ways to deal with the problem.
I could name times, dates, and infamous world leaders… but let’s just say that if the United States ever had an executive that wanted to take a run at brutal state repression, torture, and concentration camps, it could be done on a scale that would let him rival those folks I’m not going to name. You fill in your own historical knowledge. Mengele would have loved the Tuskegee Experiment, for just one example.
Now imagine, if somebody got to the heights of executive power here, and decided that since 47 percent of the country is essentially worthless, he might be inspired to find places to put them and things to do with them that would benefit the “better, productive sort.” And remember: nearly every horror that shocks us from the pages of history has already been done or at least anticipated on a small scale to Black people in the United States and across the Americas. Go read some history and find out. Now, imagine that coming to a member of the 47 percent near YOU.
Maybe my imagination, fueled by 22 years of historical study (since my parents gave me my first book of slave narratives at age 9), is running far afield. But since I’m in that five to ten percent Mitt Romney THINKS he can move to his side, I’m going to need him to give a really solid answer to the question of what he intends to do with the 47 percent of this country – the non-tax-paying seniors, children, veterans, long-term unemployed, college students, and Black folks – that he holds in such utter contempt, all of whom are represented among people that I love and will fight for to my last breath! Until then, the only way I’m moving is to get the word out about Mitt Romney – he finally showed us who he is, authentically. Take note, and as I always say, SPREAD THE WORD.
Staff Writer; Deeann D. Mathews
You may connect with this talented sister via twitter; Deeann D. Mathews.
She is also author of The Freedom Guide for Music Creators which can be purchased from the website of Marcus Bookstores, the oldest African American bookstore in the world: http://marcusfillmore.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/c8/.”