South Carolina’s Lt. Governor Andre Bauer recently had some disparaging words this week targeted towards the poor which also was a brick smack to the face also targeted at Black people. Recently comparing government assistance to “feeding stray animals,” Bauer stated to the Greenville News,
“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”
Currently campaigning for Governor of the state, he insisted that the country could not afford to keep giving away money without nothing in return. Some of the stipulations he wants to invoke include poor people losing their benefits if they don’t pass drug tests, and parents should be required to be more active in their children’s education and be forced to attend PTA meetings.
Receiving flack for his “stray animals” comments, Bauer has since tried to clean up his words. He added,
“There’s no way that I was trying to tie animals to people, but what I was trying to talk about is the dependency culture, and just like when you feed an animal, you create a dependency.”
Hip-Hop Wired recently spoke to Dr. Boyce Watkins about the comments and if he felt they were racially biased.
Dr. Boyce Watkins: He may not have been talking about all Black people but he was certainly talking about poor Black people. But his comment wasn’t exclusively aimed towards Black people but Black people have a greater reason than most to be offended because we do have a disproportionate representation among America’s poor. Also the Republicans have for the longest time made Black people the face of welfare so it’s not inconceivable that his comments would be considered to be racist.
HipHopWired: As we know the problem is way bigger but he chose to start with the kids. Many kids who are on public assistance have drug addicted parents or some type of hardships so it sounds as if he’s saying the children should suffer the parents’ consequences. Not once did he mention about trying to fight the drugs coming into the country because he knows that’s controlled by the ones at the top. It’s well documented that the government pumped drugs in the ghetto to control Black people, could this be phase two?
Dr. Boyce Watkins: Now with this guy’s remarks…his remarks were not just controversial, they weren’t just a little bit insulting. They were disturbing because he was effectively saying not just that poor people are like stray dogs. But that if those people don’t behave the way you think they should behave then you should take food from their children. You should stop giving their children free lunch and then he connected feeding the children to breeding. That these people should be discouraged from breeding by starving their children. That almost sounds like some Shyte that Hitler would’ve said in Nazi Germany, that certain people should not be allowed to breed.
You’re opening a real dangerous and ignorant and destructive door when you talk about controlling the reproduction patterns of people that you don’t agree with. So for him to really say that, it’s unbelievable and then you can go to another level. He believes as a lot of people do, that the government has the right to control the actions and the behaviors of people that are getting government assistance but he doesn’t feel that middle class and upper class people should have their behavior controlled.
HipHopWired: How ironic when in actuality they get more government assistance than everybody?
Dr. Boyce Watkins: Exactly, because in this county the wealthy get more government support than anybody because the wealthy get corporate welfare. You saw the government bailing out the bankers. Even this politician himself is living off of government money. How is he going to sit there and say that people getting government assistance should not be fed, their children should not be fed. They should not be able to reproduce and all these other things when in fact he himself should also be subjected to the same behavioral modification mechanism.
And also when he talked about breeding he was actually saying that these people don’t know any better. Like they don’t know how to stop breeding. All these things that really are disrespecting the humanity of his fellow Americans. So it makes him look as inhuman as you can imagine. I think this guy, his comments are worse than anything anybody has said in politics in the past five years that I can think of. His comments are worse than what Bill Clinton, Rob Blagojevich, and Harry Reid said. His comments go to the point of almost advocating various forms of genocide which is incredibly problematic which is why the need to get his butt out of office immediately.
HipHopWired: Now let’s be fair. He’s not the first person to complain about welfare abuse, Black or white. Some people do sit on their A$$ and have baby after baby and wait at home for check. What’s the difference?
Dr. Boyce Watkins: The difference I think is… number one. He compares them to stray animals which is problematic to begin with. Number two… while a lot of people can criticize those who are irresponsible parents and while we all can agree with this idea that you shouldn’t have children if you can’t take care of them, the truth is irresponsible parenting is not just something poor people do.
I’ve been around rich people all my life and their parenting can be just as irresponsible. They also impose a cost onto society when you raise a child who’s hooked on crystal meth or some little rich boy who goes off to Wall Street and ends up destroying the whole financial system. Or goes to college and drinks like a fish and act like an A$$ and rapes some girl in a fraternity house or whatever, you’ve got a lot of irresponsible parenting going in middles and upper class America too. So my feeling is while we certainly can criticize and critique poor parenting, we can’t sit here and assume that only poor people do it because we know that all different types of people do it.
For more information on Dr. Boyce Watkins, log on to www.yourblackworld.com.