“This Isn’t Racist, but …”

Former VP candidate Sarah Palin becomes the latest to think slavery comparisons are okay, choosing to compare the federal debt to slavery.

By Chris Hoenig

Sarah Palin compared the federal debt to slavery, but prefaced her statement with "this isn't racist, but..."Quick note to Sarah Palin, or anyone else who does this, for that matter: If you open a sentence with “This isn’t racist, but …,” well, chances are you’re about to say something that probably is racist and you should stop yourself right there.

Oh, and a second note: Comparing things that are not slavery to slavery ignores centuries of history. It doesn’t matter if you’re a FOX News contributor talking about the Affordable Care Act, a Nevada lawmaker trying to win over voters, the President of Emory University or, in this case, a former candidate for Vice President of the United States.

Palin, who recently left her position at FOX News, compared the federal debt to slavery during a speech at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s fall fundraiser. She opened by warning of the “free stuff” being offered by the U.S. government. “This free stuff, so seductive. Why do you think marketers use free stuff to bring people in? Free stuff is such a strong marketing ploy,” Palin said. “But didn’t you all learn too in Econ 101 there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch? Our free stuff today is being paid for by taking money from our children and borrowing from China.”

That’s when the Going Rogue author decided to compare a nation’s debt to slavery. “When that money comes due—and this isn’t racist, but it’ll be like slavery when that note is due,” she said. “We are going to be beholden to the foreign master.”

Palin also took on the Affordable Care Act while talking to the crowd of about 750, reportedly receiving a resoundingly positive reaction as she criticized the law and spoke about the work of grassroots conservatives. The movement is about “moving the poor and the underemployed out of poverty and out from the shackles of dependency on government,” she said. “We’re not wards of the state but free men and women who can live good and productive lives without D.C.’s appointed best and brightest telling us what to do.”

She went on to assail the censorship of religious activities, a topic that DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti tackled in his “Ask the White Guy” column last week. “Christmas is under attack,” Palin said, also plugging her new book on the subject and her moose chili recipe. “I say in a very jolly, Christmasy way: ‘Enough is enough,’” she said. “Enough is enough of this politically correct police out there that is acting to erode our freedom to celebrate and exercise our faith.”

You can see video of her remarks below:

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31 comments


  • I agree with Sarah. From what I’ve learned from reading, slavery, thru the millenia, has occurred much more an economic or military conquest basis than along a racial line. And slavery still exists today. According to Wikipedia,slavery predates written records, has existed in most cultures, and still exists in some.. Most slaves today are thought to be debt slaves, largely in South Asia, who are under debt bondage incurred by lenders, which sometimes can last for generations, which is what Sarah’s talking about – national debt slavery that’ll last for generations.

    • I have often wondered if reibson is a real person. The comments attributed to that name are so obviously boilerplate right-wing foolishness that I have suspected that reibson is just a foil to generate responses.

  • Does she mean like the Free Money that she gets, from those dumb-ass comments that she CONSTANTLY makes in ALL of her appearances? She has a lot of my fellow Patriots BAMBOOZLED! …AND THIS PISSES ME OFF!

  • Yeah, I’m with reibson. I get the need to demonize her and all, but there’s better material for doing so than I saw in the above. We like to avoid thinking about it, but no amount of the “lalala I’m not listening and you’re a racist for comparing it to slavery” treatment is going to make our growing national debt disappear. And that does suggest genuinely dire consequences for our children.

    Besides, various talking heads among her side’s competition love to do the same thing, comparing the plight of the present-day low earners to slavery. My FB feed gets a daily dose of such memes. Are they, then, racist as well? And given that the memes are reposted by African Americans as much as anyone else, just what race are they being racist against?

    • Luke Visconti

      I’m with both of you guys. If Palin runs for president, I plan on donating a lot of money to her campaign. She’s one of the few people I’ve ever heard who speaks in multifaceted foolish sentences, often several within minutes of each other. It’s so good for my circulation that I hope she runs in every election from now on—and has Paula Deen or Marcus Bachmann as a running mate. The reaction to such compound jackassedness might even spark a new era of common sense in Washington. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • A couple of decades ago, centrists and leftists were calling working for wages, “wage-slavery.” I guess whether a slavery comparison is racist or not depends on whose ox is getting gored.

  • Sarah is 100% correct. Only in America do we equate slavery with racism. Slavery has nothing to do with race.

    • Luke Visconti

      In what fantasy world do you come from to post your garbage here? Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

    • John, In this country, slavery has EVERYTHING to do with race. Don’t kid yourself.

  • Michael J. Lowrey

    It was so-called “conservatives” like Palin and Reagan and the Bushes who created the current levels of national debt, insisting we could simultaneously wages multiple wars AND cut taxes for the parasitic rich, without increasing the national debt. Of course, it didn’t work: the money was wasted on the wars without purpose, the veterans don’t die or go away, and the job cremators tucked the money away in their sheltered foreign bank accounts and moved our jobs off to China or Vietnam or other bastions of freedom.

  • “When that money comes due—and this isn’t racist, but it’ll be like slavery when that note is due,” she said. “We are going to be beholden to the foreign master.”
    I’m Black or Brown or African American or truthfully a male human being-lol- I agree with Palin. Debt is slavery. The master is the person you owe. It will not speak kind words to you when you have to pay-up. What’s wrong with using this word in its proper context? NOTHING.

    • Amen sir, I agree 100% with your statement! Thank you for sharing your feeling on the issue.

    • Unlike slaves — who were enslaved against their will — debtors have some choice in whether or not the go into debt in the first place. And debtors have additional choices with regard to how to get out of debt, whereas slaves had to risk their lives to attempt to escape their plight.

    • Luke Visconti

      I think there’s a big difference between being enslaved and being in debt—and you have choices when you’re in debt. I’d say that healthcare, when you have cancer or your child has a 103 degree temperature, is a necessity. Sixteen different “intelligence” agencies, a larger military than the next 17 added together, and an agency with almost a $1 trillion budget that can’t put a website together are luxuries you can’t afford when you’re worried about debt. Especially so when you see nobody going to prison for absent weapons of mass destruction and two lost wars in 10 years and Secretary Sebelius still having a job. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

    • Let’s not be intellectually dishonest. The correct comparison is indentured servitude, not slavery. It is beyond hyperbole to compare the kidnapping and torture of humans, whether it was black Africans, Native Anericans or the biblical Israelites, to the national debt.

  • Gee, I wasn’t aware that slaves were allowed to vote and choose the government that enabled their enslavement. My bad! :)

  • Even in those few sentences, she still sounds like an idiot, albeit a slick one. She picks her audience that’s how she maintains her base and “popularity”. I notice the trend in the past decades by some whites is to co-op the issues that have faced people of color for centuries in the country. Now white folks are being (reversed) discriminated against, now they are enslaved, now black folks can use the N word, but they can’t, and whine, whine, whine. If China is getting rich off our backs it’s because we’re being sold to them by rich folks who don’t care how they get richer. All that “free” stuff that she implies those “other” people are enjoying is also enjoyed by the majority. If government backed “free” public education, highway/road maintenance, libraries, military protection, tax breaks, tax incentives, farm-aid, etc. went away there would be such a hue and a cry!

    • Sarah doesn’t “pick” her audience. She speaks to the crowd she is instructed to spew her foolishness to. How that woman ever become governor of Alaska is a true mystery. Voters turn-out must have been extremely low.

      • BTW, here is a telling tale about her audiences: they are dwindling exponentially!

        “Palin also took on the Affordable Care Act while talking to the crowd of about 750…”

        And this was in IOWA!

        You have a good turnout for a high school theater production of Romeo and Juliette with 750 people. You are probably a frontrunner in a Middle American mayoral race if you have 750 people at a campaign stop.

        …But you’re a political “has-been” if, as a former Republican vice-presidential candidate, you go to the epicenter of Tea Party conservatism and draw only 750 people!

        Palin’s speaking appearances have a striking resemblance to the final scene of Sunset Boulevard, as Greta Garbo descends the stairs with a crazy-eyed glare — her mind disconnected from reality — and announces, to the non-existent stage crew, “I’m ready for my close-up.”

        All I have to say to Palin is, “…AND…SCENE!” You are done; go back to your trailer!

  • What choice do I have in the National Debt? No matter what party we elect, the debt rises. Only the Tea Party (which you seem to oppose Mr. Visconti) has any thought to reduce the debt. For all intents and purposes, the US is bankrupt (trillions in debt). Would you prefer that term to slavery or bondage.

  • LaJuana Caldwell

    OMG! Are we really wasting keystrokes on Pallin? Wait… are we on SNL? This is a joke right?

  • Keep up the truth-telling Luke! American history; Slavery had everything to do with race. Institutionalized White entitlement to accumulate property (often stolen from native tribes), included the constitutional permission to own other people. It did not matter whether the White owners were wealthy or in debt. They still benefited from subjugation of others based on race. Debt is not slavery. Free Black folks could be racially profiled, captured by U.S. Marshalls and posse comitatus, and sold back into slavery, (the Fugitive Save Act 1870) The legacy of White privilege continued through government action and corporate policy to the modern era. Read: “When Affirmative Action Was White” by Ira Katznelson.

    • Luke Visconti

      One of the best books I’ve ever read. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

  • Republicans just love to make inane comparisons to slavery. Combine that with their remarks about rape, their opposition to gay marriage, their loony right-wing conspiracies, their opposition to immigration, their attempts to restrict voting, their myopic love of the wealthy, and, well, just keep talking.

  • It’s interesting how certain people are trying really, really hard to reduce the horrors of enslaved Blacks to simply owing money. Hmmm, I wonder what spin they’re working on to “simplify” the slayings of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis?

  • Coming from one of the most suppressed groups in America, she is able to embrace the idea of oppressed application…/// socio-emotional slavery is alive in America

  • When a child is born with tens of thousands of dollars in debt and is expected to keep serving that debt all life long so that a few rich individuals and corporations/banks can live a comfortable life of the interest payments they receive, isn’t that a form of slavery?
    All children in America are born with that debt, irrespective of race.

    • Luke Visconti

      It is not a form of slavery, just irresponsible and criminally negligent governance. If we trimmed back the “defense” budget by half, we’d still have the largest military by far. Eliminate nuclear weapons and stop arming space as well; turn the savings into infrastructure projects, big ones: maglev trains, super bandwidth, true urban reform to liberate that potential workforce. And there you’d have it—debt free in about 10 years. Luke Visconti, CEO, DiversityInc

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