FOX News on food stamp fraud: “99% of them have a refrigerator!”
How hateful and deluded does one have to be to equate having a refrigerator to public assistance fraud? In their frightening disconnect, in front of a camera and away from the corrective bitch slap of human decency they’d find outside the studio, FOX News writers have no idea that they come across as far more repugnant than the people they are criticizing.
One thing we learned from the Nazi propaganda that Jews were “useless eaters” and needed to be starved is that language can kill. While describing people on food stamps Bill O’Reilly often uses the terms “rats” and “parasites” to dehumanize his fellow Americans and it’s something that can’t be dismissed as harmless. These attacks appeal to logical fallacies such as one person representing millions, or the dissemination of outright lies to inflame and confuse viewers to distract from ongoing efforts to end corporate welfare and tax havens that have robbed Americans of 1.9 trillion dollars that are hoarded outside of the US. If FOX News were to shower cities with leaflets warning citizens that they are being exploited by “millions” of people on public assistance, even that would be less damaging to scapegoated Americans than what they are doing now. These news anchors also need a scapegoat to deflect attention from themselves: these are the very people who sold Americans the fairy tale “trickle down” economic policies that emptied the treasury, they are the ones who have to defend an indefensible corporate welfare system that takes more money than public assistance programs which they not only ignore, but hypocritically defend. Corporate welfare going to already profitable oil companies alone cost 1 billion dollars more than food stamp fraud.
This language and propaganda is literally no less dangerous, virulent and repugnant, than the Nazi propaganda leveled against the Jews. The attacks are not limited to those who abuse the system, they are also leveled against the”entitled” poor growing “rich” off of food stamps, completely oblivious to the fact that rich people don’t ever use food stamps and that you can’t buy a house or sports car with food stamps. Rats, parasites, mooches: children hear this said about their parents who work two minimum wage jobs and still struggle to get by. It has an effect, and no amount of rationalization can justify this sociopathic depravity.
One of the most common reactions after people watched the video below was “what can we possibly do to keep children from believing this about themselves?” The answer is a pretty simple one: throw your television out the window. In the days before television came along, children would eventually learn to hate and fear others but it was usually passed down from parents and grandparents, who bred in them their own prejudices and fears. Yet the child still stood a chance. They had to see a “bad person” to know one. After television came along, they could see one and often it wasn’t just people that were different but also themselves. 1 in 5 Americans go hungry every night. Minimum wage workers and even 1 in 3 bank tellers can’t feed themselves without food stamps, and then the media portrays them, as FOX News literally does, as subhuman “rats”, “parasites”, “moochers” and frauds.
Like race, hunger is not a choice.
In the famous Kenneth and Mamie Clark doll experiment where black children were shown a white doll and a black doll, they were asked which child was the pretty doll, nice doll, etc., and they invariably pointed to the white doll. When asked which child was the “bad doll” the children pointed to the black doll. When asked who the “bad doll” resembled they pointed, with a sobering poignancy, to themselves. This experiment is what ended segregated schooling. In Brown vs. Board of Education it was noted in the majority opinion that “To separate them from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely to ever be undone.” Now if you were to take two identical dolls, then tell a child of any race that one is on food stamps but not the other, which one do you think the child will pick as the “bad doll” and representative of himself? This is a media influence above anything else, and you know the answer the child will give.
Children see this and they are not only shamed but become ashamed of their family. The fact of the matter is that the majority of people on SNAP, or food stamps, are actually employed. This is contrary to idiotic and divisive Facebook memes trolled by the uninformed, and too often taken as fact, but anyone who considers himself educated on the matter by seeing a one sentence caption on an unflattering depiction of a scapegoat will likely earn more scorn than the people they condemn. You may oftentimes walk by children as they eat with their parents or walk down the street. They wave. They smile. You realize almost immediately that they are innocent of hate. Hate is a learned behavior. The corporate media specializes in hate. They target grown viewers but it instantly pollutes the waters children will drink.
To scapegoat someone is to act with malice, as one is deliberately ensuring the victim is harmed because once that is accomplished the guilty party can escape blame and punishment. Don’t ever let the media fool you into scapegoating your countrymen and their children.
The corporate media is not one individual but largely a group of unaccountable and anonymous people which has no sense of right and wrong, it exists only to profit. As such, when one says the corporate media is promulgating hate and fear it is not hyperbole but fact, and it should be considered with special interest because what they do to Americans amounts to hate and persecution because innocent people are being scapegoated and harmed. Children are being starved and emotionally scarred, and their innocence is being taken away for political ends. What innocence is being taken away? They are being taught to hate others and themselves. This is the same thing you get with child abuse.
Behind this all are individuals we do know: Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, the Koch Brothers, and also individuals that portray themselves as progressives but are playing both sides by donating in equal measure to both parties.
A hate crime doesn’t have to be rooted in religious prejudice or racial prejudice to have the same effect. Hating the poor for being poor, and hating the hungry for being hungry has the same destructive effect because innocent people are being hurt, and it makes you do stupid things like act against your best interests. This moves people to act, so they target the poor, and people of different races and religions because as long as you are buying their propaganda you can be financially and politically exploited: you will vote for leaders that are extensions of corporations and nothing more. Their laws are written by corporate lobbyists, regardless of party. So it doesn’t matter if your child does not watch FOX News or any other propaganda asset. If you watch it, and you believe what they tell you about people who have never harmed you, your child will lose his innocence and learn to hate. You are the most important role model in a child’s life.
Children will mirror your behavior and fear what you fear and hate what you hate. Children watch your behavior and are also saturated by media coverage, and if poor will hate themselves in proportion to the massive propaganda campaign against them. If the hateful memes of trolls appear on their social networks the effect is worse because now it is peers that are judging them.
The entire campaign against people on SNAP wasn’t just about shaming the poor but rallying the nation against them, and it would be unfair to say FOX News managed to do this all on their own. FOX and Friends may be friends of the Koch Brothers but they are not your friends. They are, and this cannot be stressed enough, your most potent and malicious enemies.
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