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Republicans' "pilot program" for summer food assistance excludes urban kids

We always knew that Republicans really don't want to do much to help minorities, that they largely despise them; and despite their denials, which have always cut against their actions, they've failed in their attempt to beat back cries of "racism." But frankly, nothing they've done in the past is more starkly racist than the newest agriculture and food safety budget House Republicans have proposed:

"House Republicans proposed a $20.9 billion budget for agriculture and food safety programs Monday, an 82-page bill . . . And in a surprising twist, the bill language specifies that only rural areas are to benefit in the future from funding requested by the administration this year to continue a modest summer demonstration program to help children from low-income households — both urban and rural — during those months when school meals are not available. Democrats were surprised to see urban children were excluded. And the GOP had some trouble explaining the history itself. But a spokeswoman confirmed that the intent of the bill is a pilot project in 'rural areas' only." (Emphasis added.)

After decades of legislative support for the poor, House Republicans stripped food stamps from the farm bill; Republicans have refused to pass an extension of federal unemployment benefits, and have even been working to cut the Earned Income Tax Credit; many red-run states have refused to expand Medicaid, denying many poor people access to health insurance and healthcare.

In January, Republicans decided that their rep on the streets as the enemy of the poor and unemployed needed to be altered, so they tried paying lip service to concern over poverty. Oh, how they worried, gnashed their teeth, lost sleep over poverty. They held interviews, gave speeches, all about their angst over the poor. But when the rubber met the road, they reverted to type, and continued their scorched earth policy of warring against those in our society who most need our help. These are people, let's remember, who think the approximately $32 weekly benefit under SNAP for a family of four needs to be cut.

As Elizabeth Drew at Rolling Stone wrote, both the food stamp program and the country "have been the subject, or the victim, of narrow-gauged fanatics who observe no boundaries and in their recklessness have left a lot of wreckage in their wake."

Republicans have lied so long and denied so long and misrepresented their positions so long that they've forgotten, evidently, that actions matter. Their actions - spiteful, hate-filled, racist and cruel - have pointed to the truth as most of us know it: Republicans would allow poor minority children to starve rather than provide them and their families the assistance they need to thrive.

Poor kids in "rural" areas (translation, white areas) will have access to summer food programs; poor kids in urban areas (translation, black areas) won't. It's jaw-dropping in its brazenness, even for Republicans, but not particularly surprising in its content.

Evidently, Republicans' concern over poverty only lasted until they had to give some poor black kid help. They've quit trying to even pretend to be non-racist any more.

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