Using the recent inflammatory racial remarks of the LA Clippers owner as a launching-off point, Ed Schultz of MSNBC attempted to frame the minimum wage debate in racial terms, saying that the Republicans' resistance to raising the national minimum wage “is every bit as racist as comments made by Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling.” Schultz then parlayed that accusation into a critique of all of the Republicans' major policy positions, arguing they are ultimately grounded in racism.
You're either for working families who are struggling or you're not. Let's call it what it is. Minimum wage is a racial issue, look at the numbers. I think not raising the minimum wage is a racist policy. Standing up, making the case that people of color in this country do not deserve a living wage is a racist policy. There's a lot of different ways to prove racism in America. Not providing a livable wage for Americans hurts African-Americans.
The numbers are very clear. 17.7 percent of minimum wage workers are African-American, a minimum wage increase to 10.10 an hour, which would happen only in a three-year period from now, would lift three and a half million people of color out of poverty in this country. A study from the Center for American Progress shows minimum wage increase would, combined with wages of people of color, it will total $16.1 billion, combined increase in wages for people of color. Race is an element when it comes to income and opportunity in this country.
You cannot deny that. And not raising the wage, the minimum wage, is every bit as racist as comments made by Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling. It's just displayed in a different way. It's not just the minimum wage, Republican policies, look at what they do. They hurt all people of color with their policies, from food stamp cuts to repealing Obamacare over 50 times, to the effort to privatize social security and even get rid of it.
Transcript via Newsbusters, video via MRC.