RI Foundation Tells Rhode Islanders to Shut Up and Take Their Medicine


The lede of a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Daniel Henninger describes its point concisely: “Barack Obama’s presidency of moral condescension has produced an electoral backlash.”  The notion of this condescension from our elite betters came immediately to mind when I opened up a Rhode Island Foundation email promoting this video, which is part of its “what’s next” initiative, and which is slap-in-your-face offensive:

The video opens with a blank screen and marching thrum before the following phrase appears: “Actual quotes, From actual Rhode Islanders.”  The text doesn’t specify which Rhode Islanders, or where these phrases were found.  It’s just us; things we’ve said as we’ve participated in public debate.  (At least its those of us who don’t fit the obvious political profile of the people included in the RI Foundation’s “community contributions” section.)

The slap comes immediately and with deliberate offense, with video of a child being beeped for reading swear words from a notepad.  Child 2 is beeped again, reading another quote from an “actual Rhode Islander.”  Child 3 looks up in disbelief after reading his quote.  A small girl offers the first commentary after hers:  “Who says this?”

Next, our local elite betters put their own words in the kids’ mouths: “Stop! … Stop complaining. Stop blaming. Stop trolling.”  We (“actual Rhode Islanders”) aren’t making things better; we’re making them worse.  Not to worry, though, because these kids “are what’s next.”  They’re going to solve the problems of the world when they’re adults, but in the meantime, they need us to “be nice or be quiet.”

That’s right.  The message of the people promoting this slick video…

  • who rope all of us broadly into the suspect category,
  • who include the very act of complaining on the list of things that we should stop,
  • who deliberately slap us with the shock of putting swears in the mouths of children,
  • who tell us that we’re merely a hopeless generation occupying space until the saintly kids grow up

… is that we’re not being nice, that we’re being dismissive.  That we should just shut our traps and not complain about the treatment to which the powerful in our state subject us or when they do things like impose new fees, take away our rights, and slush around money sucked from our economy in a corrupt whirlpool (or when they use non-profit organizations to push political agendas) or blame them when things continue to go wrong, year after year.  We’re just “trolling.”

Who are the condescending people behind this message, hiding behind children?

Well, the Rhode Island Foundation we know.  It’s interesting to note, though, the group behind this video, NAIL Communications, because it’s received almost $2.5 million from the state government through HealthSource RI, our ObamaCare health benefits exchange, over the past few years.

So, yes, shut up and pay your taxes, you nasty Rhode Islanders, so that people who think they’re better than us can get big paydays from government ventures that limit our freedoms as well as redistribute our money.

  • Snap N McGarrett

    Collectively, Rhode Islanders put up with a lot. High taxes, crumbling roads, poor schools, in-your-face corruption. Companies are abandoning operations in RI and moving to other states due to prohibitively high expenses. Professional and skilled labor are fleeing [with their wealth] for the same reasons. Retirees have to leave the state or go broke. The population shift is evident, government assistance rolls are booming and middle class neighborhoods are dying.

    They complain bitterly and wonder why things just get “progressively” worse and then go to the polls like zombies every November and reelect the same crooks who screw them over time after time.

    That’s why I voted with my feet and my only regret is not moving away from that hellhole sooner. Snap out of it! You’re living in the $hitstain in the undershorts of America; a single party, union ruled suckhole turned welfare state.

    Other than that, I have no strong opinion on the matter ;)…

  • stereorealist

    IMHO, using children to deliver a message meant for adults is a form of child abuse. They don’t know what they are saying and don’t have the maturity to object to the lines fed to them or state their own opinions cogently on camera.

    I don’t know *who* will actually watch this video, but it is meant, not so much to shut up people who object to the RI foundation, but give a sense of indignation and moral superiority to their supporters. You and I are piqued because we know what they are doing is so obviously invalid and hateful.

  • Brian Smith

    Rhode Islanders get the services they deserve since they consistently keep voting for the same people into office. Until Rhode Islanders vote the Democratic party out of office, stop supporting public sector unions and stop looking for a public sector job, Rhode Island is always is going to be the third world of the United States.