The racism of John McCain

by twit

There are two possible alternatives to John McCain being a racist.  On one hand, he could simply be a bumbling old man who has trouble explaining himself in unscripted town hall meetings.  On the other hand, he could just be pandering to his perception of the racism in his supporters.  However, if we proceed on the idea that McCain is not simply a bumbling old man nor simply pandering to his base, it appears that only one conclusion remains.

When I watched the livestream video of the McCain/Palin town hall in Grand Rapids Michigan on September 17, 2008, I was shocked to hear the word associations made by John McCain when he was asked about “Hispanics.”

From a generalized question, McCain leaped to “immigration,” “illegal,” “criminal,” “drugs,” and his classic condescending line about “God’s children.”  His answer rolled out as if he considered all Latinos to be immigrants, that the main issue related to the Latino community was “securing our borders,” and as if his main concerns about the Latino community was managing the “supply” of illegal immigrants and stopping drugs from coming across the American border.

For the record, the US Census Bureau reports that of the 35,238,481 people counted as “Hispanic” in 2000, “About 7 out of every 10 Hispanics residing in the United States were either native or naturalized citizens.”

The Grand Rapids Press reports on September 18, 2008 that “[w]hile Martinez did not specifically ask about illegal immigration, that was the question McCain answered.”

Unfortunately, in a stunning breach of journalism ethics, the Grand Rapids Press edited out some of the more unseemly parts out of McCain’s answer, even though the full response can be heard in an audio file on the Grand Rapids Press site.

I have not been able to find a full transcript of the September 17, 2008 town hall, so I transcribed the question and answer in order to discuss it here.

Read more of this post