Just Say It
All of which is just to say that an awful lot of the post-election talk about "culture" and its impact on voting serves to obscure the extent to which a lot of politics is about race.
and Digby adds:
It's fundamental to understanding our country, our politics and our culture. Unlike any other western country, we had to fight a bloody civil war to end slavery in the middle of the 19th century and we lived with segregation for another century after that. This is built into the fabric of our nation. It's naive to ignore it.
Right on, guys. Race is yet another issue that the Right frames in their mealy mouthed, obfuscating, feel good happytalk because to speak plainly makes them look bad. So we talk about "culture" and "values" and end up debating everything but what matters, in this case, the simple fact that white people are enormously racist.
Whites don't want to live next to us, go to church with us, have our children play with theirs, work with us, or socialize with us. Whites fetishize us as sexual "animals" and entertaining athletic clowns. Whites treat us unfairly when we are engaged with the legal system, and discriminate against us when we go to our government or financial institutions for service. Occasionally, and not really that infrequently, whites beat, rape and kill us. These actions are not limited to Republicans, a lot of "good liberal" white folks are racist and have a hard time admitting and understanding that they are.
My impression of political trends over the last couple of decades has always been that whites live with a constant, acute, reason-killing fear of the day when they will no longer be the majority, and in total control of all institutions such as the government, banking, media and the military. Indeed, my understanding is that the enlisted class of our military is greatly overrepresented by minorities, even if the officer class is still mainly white. CA, TX and a couple of other states now have no white racial majority, and birth trends reflect the fact that black and brown people are getting busy faster than their white counterparts all over the country. Immigration adds to this situation, legal and otherwise. I'm sure for the more racist white folks who've been appraised of these facts, it's hard not to feel like a drop of milk surrounded by a whole mess of steaming hot coffee. It certainly explains the need to cheat at the polls.
Being a majority doesn't have to mean institutional power. Brazil and South Africa come to mind, where white racism still insures an unfair distribution of power coupled with a racist "culture" shoved down the throats of the majority to reinforce their inferior status as correct. And being white doesn't mean you have to be racist, I am always surprised by the lack of American-style racism I encounter when I talk about race with my European friends (although they have their own issues as well). But as Michael Moore suggests in Bowling for Columbine, it's the fear that matters most. White people can't stop feeling it, and combined with guilt, it's probably the most powerful sentiment in American politics today.
The (American) Net is overwhelmingly white, I suppose this is one of the reasons why our counterparts on the right get away with some of the outrageous racist crap that is common at LGF or the Corner. Anyone who reads the boards canâ€™t avoid noticing that trolls canâ€™t help but let slip their own racism regularly and with force. But there are a growing number of nonwhite voices online, and as the technology to be online gets cheaper and more widespread, the global reality will become more and more apparent. That is, white folks are a minority, and white â€œcultureâ€ isnâ€™t everyoneâ€™s cup of tea. Most of us know it for what it is, and actively reject it in our thoughts and actions. White people donâ€™t define me, and never will.
Iâ€™m not making any profound point here, but Iâ€™ll ask you this question: how many blogs do you read each day? How many of them have nonwhite authors? Do you even know? If you think you shouldnâ€™t care, youâ€™ve got a problem. There really is a difference in the way black, brown and other â€œcoloredâ€ people talk and think about race, and as we face the disasters in the South together, itâ€™s important to remember that we can all learn from each other for the betterment of this country that we all share. Nonwhite folks already know all about white â€œculture,â€ white control of the media has made it impossible not to. Take a minute today and every day afterwards to learn something new about the rest of us in this country, the internet makes it easier than ever. Youâ€™ll find that thereâ€™s nothing to be afraid of after all, and that as weâ€™ve been saying since the end of the Civil War, all most of us want to do is get along. Hereâ€™s a place you can start: Xenophon.
A vulgar parting shot: sometimes, what I think itâ€™s really all about is nothing less than the fear of the Black Cock, and the knowledge that the rumors are twu, so twu.