Opinion

GOP pinned as racist for withholding food stamps from  murderers, rapists, pedophiles

If one is to believe the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the majority of murderers, rapists and pedophiles are African-Americans. I’m not kidding.

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Photo credit Mother Jones

Last week the Democratically-controlled Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously approved an amendment proposed by David Vitter, a Republican representing Louisiana. His amendment would exclude “convicted murderers, rapists, and pedophiles” from receiving food stamps, according to Mother Jones.

The ban would apply even if the wrongdoer was a youthful offender at the time he committed the violent crime, and he served his sentence. The committee action received little notice at the time.

However, since then, the aforementioned Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has looked the amendment over and believes it’s discriminatory — not against “convicted murderers, rapists, and pedophiles,” but against African-Americans. Shame on that racist Republican for even suggesting such a thing.

In his May 22 statement titled “Senator Vitter offers — and Senate Democrats accept — stunning amendment with racially tinged impacts,” the Center’s president, Robert Greenspan, lambasted the Vitter amendment.

“Given incarceration patterns in the United States, the amendment would have a skewed racial impact,” he said. “Poor elderly African Americans convicted of a single crime decades ago by segregated Southern juries would be among those hit.”

Greenspan concludes:

Senator Vitter hawked his amendment as one to prevent murderers and rapists from getting food stamps.  Democrats accepted it without trying to modify it to address its most ill-considered aspects.

The farm bill is still on the floor, and the amendment can still be modified.  Senators should gather the courage to step up to the plate and address this matter forthwith.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities bills itself as a non-partisan think tank, but its language choice would suggest otherwise. Words and phrases such as “stunning,” “hawked,”ill-considered” and “ gather the courage to step up to the plate” have no place in a boll analysis. The fact that he chose to single out GOP Sen. Vitter confirms further that far from being a “non-partisan think tank,” the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a political agenda.

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