|"Shut up already!"|
More than 40 national Catholic leaders and prominent theologians at universities across the country have just released a letter to "our fellow Catholics" Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to stop vilifying poor people, and using racial stereotypes while on the campaign trail.
As Catholic leaders who recognize that the moral scandals of racism and poverty remain a blemish on the American soul, we challenge our fellow Catholics Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes on the campaign trail. Mr. Gingrich has frequently attacked President Obama as a “food stamp president” and claimed that African Americans are content to collect welfare benefits rather than pursue employment. Campaigning in Iowa, Mr. Santorum remarked: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.” Labeling our nation’s first African-American president with a title that evokes the past myth of “welfare queens” and inflaming other racist caricatures is irresponsible, immoral and unworthy of political leaders.
Some presidential candidates now courting “values voters” seem to have forgotten that defending human life and dignity does not stop with protecting the unborn. We remind Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Santorum that Catholic bishops describe racism as an “intrinsic evil” and consistently defend vital government programs such as food stamps and unemployment benefits that help struggling Americans. At a time when nearly 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty, charities and the free market alone can’t address the urgent needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. And while jobseekers outnumber job openings 4-to-1, suggesting that the unemployed would rather collect benefits than work is misleading and insulting.
The racism, bigotry, and pure hate on display during the Republican presidential debates have been quite a spectacle. But should this be any surprise, coming as it does from the only political party in the entire western world which is a proponent of torture? The party that’s pro-war, pro-death penalty and anti-universal health care? The party that has acted across the country to deprive 10s of millions of Americans of their right to vote? The party which would take the common wealth of the nation and hand it over to a select few? Since this party has absolutely nothing to offer Americans of ordinary means and influence (sorry, being nominally anti-abortion hardly qualifies as being pro-life), the Republican Party can only appeal to the fearful, the ignorant and the haters.
The party is a disgrace to itself and to the country.
Amen to that