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Who are the real racists in the welfare reform debate?

By Scott Tibbs, September 7, 2012

Leftists (especially Rachel Maddow) have been declaring for weeks that Mitt Romney's ads attacking Obama on welfare reform are a "dog whistle" to racists and play on racist resentment whites have against black people. With these criticisms, Romney's critics on the Left reveal their own racist views.

Here's the issue: The only way the accusation that Romney is a "racist" works is if you assume that welfare recipients are black. By claiming that Romney is playing on "white resentment" of "black welfare recipients" Romney's critics reveal their own assumptions about who is on welfare. There are blacks, whites, Hispanics and others who get various kinds of welfare payments - the benefits do not exclusively go to any one race.

So who are the real racists here? Is it the Romney campaign, for attacking Obama's executive order on welfare reform? Or is it Obama's defenders, who claim "racism based on the premise that welfare recipients are black? It is obvious that it is the latter.

When Obama was elected in 2008, the promise was that our nation's first black President would help heal our racial divisions. That did not happen. In fact, it got worse. This is because Obama's opponents were accused of opposing him simply because he is black - as if Republicans would have fallen in line had Southern white male John Edwards been nominated and elected instead and pushed the exact same policies.

See, this is why we cannot heal our racial divisions in this nation. We cannot have a rational discussion of public policy - be it welfare reform or housing policy - without opportunistic race baiters shamelessly playing the race card and accusing their opponents of "dog whistling" to white racists. If we are going to deal with issues of race, we have to stop injecting race into every issue.