Calling someone a racist doesn’t further the conversation. Even if it’s true it tends to cause all sorts of defenses to engage. It stops the conversation rather than engaging the listener to consider the facts. I am proposing the term AAA White Guy as a way to get people to keep talking.
Another Angry Arrogant White Guy gets at all the venom and privilege that underlies racism. It calls attention to the rhetoric and the sense of entitlement that a guy like Newt uses to stir up racial hatred and white privilege. It is meant as a put down. It is meant to turn the ‘angry black man’ and ‘angry black woman’ epitaphs on their head.
Consider Newt Gringrich’s spewing at the South Carolina debate. What a wonderful put down to call him just another angry arrogant white guy. I love the idea that a AAA bond rating is the highest a country or company can have. It almost sounds like a compliment to call Newt a AAA White Guy.
AAA White Guy will cause the listener or reader to stop and wonder if it is a compliment or what exactly it means. Some responses:
Old Newt said, that “Obama was the food stamp President,” a claim which was rated half true. So what percentage of the people on food stamps do you think are white? The New York Times has an interactive map that lets you get the answer by county and an excellent article on the new users of SNAP. Snap stands for supplemental nutrition assistance program. And from The Root more excellent statistics on poverty and race.
The truth? Of the 46 million people living in poverty in America in 2010, the U.S. census revealed that 31 million were white. Ten million were black. Of the 49 million people without health insurance coverage, 37 million were white; 8 million were African American. Latinos of every race and Asian Americans represented the remaining largest ethnic groups.
The face of poverty in America is overwhelmingly white, but as sociologist and professor William O’Hare explains in a 2009 study on children in poverty, the white American poor, especially those in rural areas, are “forgotten.”
More Gingrich from the Washington Post:
So in fact, Rick, it is a very sound plan, and I say this as somebody who helped balance the budget four times in a row.”
But… As for Arrogance….
As we have noted before, Gingrich consistently pads the number of years he was responsible for the balanced budget. (There was a surplus that lasted four years, but Gingrich left Congress after the second year.)
Newt isn’t the only AAA White Guy of course. I plan on using the label a lot. If the right wing can have ‘dog whistles’ certainly we can have some sort of name calling that points to truth and facts. If it is too confrontational to talk about racism, perhaps we can talk about the AAA White Guys.