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Whitewashing S-CHIP

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It should be abundantly clear to any regular readers that I am not one to criticize the S-CHIP reauthorization effort. That remains unchanged. But what I do think is worthy of criticism — or a least a critical eye — is the way S-CHIP is being sold. The Frosts (and the successors, below) are blameless in this and don’t deserved to be attacked by the pitbulls that are the nutjob talking heads and bloggers.

However.

I am concerned about the whitewashing of S-CHIP. What does that mean, you ask? Well, look at who’s being held out as the beneficiaries of S-CHIP in order to shame Bush et al into passing it?

First Graeme Frost, and now Bethany Wilkerson, who stars it this video:

Don’t get me wrong. Bethany is adorable as is Graeme Frost, and both kids are (undeniably) great examples of why S-CHIP is so important.

My only question is this: why is it that the “good examples” all have to be white? I understand it politically (must beware of any image that might raise the specter of the dreaded welfare state, and who does that more, in the minds of the crazies, than black women and their kids?), but I can’t help but be angry about this. At what point do we stop giving in to subtle (and not so subtle) racism? When our desire to get a good policy enacted bumps up against our indignation, the pragmatic policy consideration usually wins. I’m not sure that’s wrong. But I am sure that, once we’ve gotten that policy we want, we have to think about what it took to get us there and how we might work to change that underlying consideration.

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