It's probably much worse--most sweater-knitters may well be on Medicare, but most black people aren't actually poor or on Medicaid. And so what your left with, again charitably, is a kind of mental laziness, and weak, mealy-mouthed, factually wrong conflation of black people and the poor. A lot of bourgeois Negroes, like myself, spend too much time being offended by this kind of conflation. In fact the people who should be offended are the white people Lindsey Graham represents.
The charitable interpretation rests on the invisibility of white suffering. It rests on the erasure of Clay County. It rests on the notion that the white poor are not merely the white poor, but white trash. It's a formula makes an anchor of black America, straps it to a larger population of poor white Americans and then drops them in the Mississippi. It's a con that asks large swaths of white folks to suffer poverty in shame and silence.
No black person can end this alone, nor should we have to. The NAACP shouldn't say a word to Lindsey Graham. We can not purify people. We can't stop those who are set on blinding themselves. Ignorance is the burden of the ignorant. You learn this when you live black--or you learn the penal system. It's time to spread the glorious news.
See web-only content:
This article available online at: