As you’ve no doubt read or heard by now (hat tip to Bryan Alexander for the heads up on this via BS), Mitt Romney has dropped out of the presidential race. And, in case you missed his exit speech, the full transcript is available here. It’s really hard to know what to make of the jumbled, and quite frankly bizarre, mix of conservative rhetoric he used in his exit speech, but I’m pretty sure that there’s some deeply flawed in logic in this passage:
“Tolerance for pornography—even celebration of it—and sexual promiscuity, combined with the twisted incentives of government welfare programs have led to today’s grim realities: 68% of African American children are born out-of-wedlock, 45% of Hispanic children, and 25% of White children. How much harder it is for these children to succeed in school—and in life. A nation built on the principles of the founding fathers cannot long stand when its children are raised without fathers in the home.”
Let me see if I understand this: “Tolerance for pornography” and “government welfare programs” lead to higher rates of out-of-wedlock births among African-Americans and Hispanics than for Whites? I suppose Romney would say that he wasn’t being racist because he included Whites in the “out-of-wedlock” birth stats in his litany of what’s wrong with this country. Of course, one of the many ironies of talking about “out-of-wedlock” births and children “growing up without fathers” (code for the “sexual promiscuity,” a term that gets applied almost exclusively to women) is that men in the U.S. have launched an all out assault against the notion of paying child support. Romney’s remarks strike me as more of the same conservative sexism and racism that sees “sexually promiscuous” Black women and Black children as the source of all social ills in this society. Given what can only be called crimes at the highest levels of the current conservative administration, it’s particularly galling to try and shift the blame onto children of color. Personally, I won’t miss Mitt or his rhetoric.