Young. Poor. Black. Single with child… now what? Does “uncle sugar” really show up to enslave the libido of all those young black girls having baby daddy’s baby out of wedlock? It is difficult to imagine how women within the demographics that Huckabee was describing would respond to what he had to say. It appears that once again the poor have been made punching bags for those who have the power to create narratives that are not grounded in sensitivity to issues that are defined by those unable to fight back. Nor do the stories reflect the reality of being poor and black and single and with child.
Huckabee, former Republican candidate for president in 2008, speaking at a recent Republican National Convention luncheon, conjures up a narrative featuring the government as uncle sugar and birth control being used by women as them being enslaved by another government subsidy as if they have not the ability to control their own desires. The only question left is what next?
From cuts to legislative intent to balance budgets on the backs of the poor by cutting and undermining efforts to help sustain these programs- from cuts to food stamps, income tax credits, long-term unemployment insurance and a rejection of Obamacare to now the uterus.
As reports of Huckabee’s remarks settle in the homes and smartphones of those his remarks were intended, I’m hopeful outrage over his comments will transform into something more than a momentary emotional response. Instead just maybe that “war on poverty” that was kicked off over 50 years ago will finally land in the bins of bipartisanism without the grids that now divide us. Just maybe the nation will agree that poverty is a fierce interrogative that impacts even conversations about libido and uncle sugar and a woman’s right to decide and to protect babies born or not. And that whether her prescription for birth control is to prevent unplanned pregnancies or a health condition made better by it, this is a narrative better scripted in some place other than a narrative about an uncle sugar.