Rep. Mo Brooks and the War on Words

Poverty -- one of the pressing issues facing the nation -- afflicts Americans across lines of color. It is true that the per capita poverty rate among minorities is higher and is far more visible in economically challenged urban centers, but in total there are actually more white children living below the poverty line than those in black families. To be sure, that statistic derives from the fact that there are more white families in total, but the end effect is the same. When government policy makes it more difficult to climb the ladder out of poverty, the chickens come home to roost for everyone, regardless of skin color.

Brooks was also correct in pinning the tail on the party of the donkey and noting that their strategy seeks to create divisions where none should exist. Claims that the GOP “hates” minorities, women, gays or various religious denominations have been blisteringly effective. Tossing out such rhetorical bombs all too often shuts down the original discussion of serious policy issues, leaving the beleaguered politico staring down a hostile audience and stammering to explain precisely why they are not engaging in any sort of war on this or that group. It’s a winning formula for Democrats, and one they’re not likely to abandon any time soon.

Unfortunately for Mo Brooks, he managed in just three short words to pull the pin out of the grenade himself rather than waiting for some liberal authority on cultural malfeasance to do it for him.  Stating that the opposition is in any way attempting to go after white people immediately triggers the check-your-privilege response in the media, setting them to slavering faster than waving a cheeseburger in front of a hound dog.

The sad upshot of this story is that Mo Brooks created a self-fulfilling prophecy and whisked it into existence in the space of a few seconds. He was attempting to discuss immigration policy -- surely a subject which should be of interest to everyone --  and frame the discussion in a way which exposed exactly how difficult it is to have a productive discussion when so many are simply interested in pointing fingers for political gain. But with three little words, he succeeded in setting the cables news cycle on fire and had everyone talking… about everything except immigration policy.