Sweet baby Jesus—serial sexual harasser and unapologetic adulterer Herman Cain finally crawls back into his hole and now we gotta watch serial cheater and crook Newt Gingrich take over the airwaves, screeching about how child labor laws, especially in the ‘hood, are “truly stupid,” 9-year-olds should be able to work as school janitors, and poor black mothers are a bunch of tragically lazy effers raising a bunch of even lazier effers?
I’m not making this up. Here’s what this nutjob said in Des Moines just a few days ago: “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash’ unless it’s illegal.”
*insert image of Denene making dead fish eyes*
This right here? This mess right here? It’s more lethal than any instance of Herman Cain shoving his hands up a woman’s skirt or breaking out into an acapella version of “Amazing Grace” to explain why his 13-year jump off is making the TV rounds. Newt, the architect of the mean-spirited, early 1990s Contract With America, is waging war against our society’s most vulnerable: the working poor, the unemployed, and their children, many of whom are African American and Latino.
So that we’re all clear, Newt’s talking out the side of his whole ass. In his New York Times columm, “Newt’s War on Poor Children,” Charles M. Blow sets the facts straight: Three out of four poor working-aged adults have jobs—half of them full-time, a quarter of them part time. He adds that census data shows that most poor children live in households with at least one working parent (hello—single moms!), and even a third of children living in extreme poverty—defined as a household living at least 50 percent below the poverty level—have one working parent. That translates into what you and I already know: That the problem isn’t lazy parents—it’s being stuck with jobs that pay no money while millionaires like Newt work tirelessly to dismantle every stitch of the little bit of support poor families need to simply survive. Dap and a bro shoulder bump to Charles for adding this:
[Newt’s] statement isn’t only cruel and, broadly speaking, incorrect, it’s mind-numbingly tone-deaf at a time when poverty is rising in this country. He comes across as a callous Dickensian character in his attitude toward America’s most vulnerable — our poor children. This is the kind of statement that shines light on the soul of a man and shows how dark it is.
Don’t get it twisted: Herman Cain was a UniverSoul Circus side show. There was no way in hell he was going to be the ring master. But Newt? Dude is being lifted by a bunch of ignorant, callous Americans salivating over his chance to decimate the very programs that help brown babies eat, brown mamas live, brown families get and stay healthy and our community survive in the middle of the worst, most debilitating economic times of our generation.
Y’all better get like Dap in Spike Lee’s School Daze.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.