At a campaign event in South Carolina on Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was asked how he planned to include black people in his campaign and get them to vote for him. Bush responded, “Our message is one of hope and aspiration.” But he didn’t stop there. He continued: “It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting — that says you can achieve earned success.” Charles M. Blow Politics, public opinion and social justice. The Soft Bigotry of Ben Carson SEP 23 Don’t Coronate Carly Fiorina Just Yet SEP 21 Race Relations Out at Republican Debates SEP 17 Bernie Sanders and the Black Vote SEP 12 Hillary Is Hobbling, for Now SEP 10 See More » There it is! If you let people talk long enough, the true self will always be revealed. Not only is there a supreme irony in this racial condescension that casts black people, whose free labor helped establish the prosperity of this country and who were systematically excluded from the full benefits of that prosperity for generations, as leeches only desirous of “free stuff,” this line of reasoning also infantilizes black thought and consciousness and presents an I-know-best-what-ails-you paternalism about black progress.