I was looking for some interesting reading on the web when I found the following article from David Neiwert. Now he is telling us what most of us already know, but he still makes some very interesting points. Especially when he writes about my friends in the re-puke-lican party.
"Recently the New York Times carried a report on the "noose incidents" that have been occurring with rising frequency around the country, inspired seemingly by the protests over the "Jena 6" case.The report came complete with a graphic showing where the incidents have occurred.
Remarkably, it isn't just happening in the South: the incidents are also being reported in places like Minneapolis; Cicero, Ill.; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Newark; Baltimore; and New London, Conn. Equally striking was the analysis from Mark Potok, the SPLC's Intelligence Project director, who wrote: These incidents are worrying, but even more so is the social reality they reflect. The level of hate crimes in the United States is astoundingly high - more than 190,000 incidents per year, according to a 2005 Department of Justice study. And the number of hate groups, according to the annual count by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has shot up 40 percent in recent years, from 602 groups in 2000 to 844 in 2006. It seems that the September rally in Jena - much as it was seen by many civil rights activists as the beginning of a new social movement - signaled not a renewed march toward racial and social justice, but a surprisingly broad and deep white backlash against the gains of black America.Indeed, as Digby observes, "The racist beast is clamoring to be set free." The old once again is new: there's a "new racism" that pretends to be daring new thinking, dashing the molds of political correctness, but really is just the same old shit recycled. And it's not even relegated strictly to the right: Witness, for the most recent example, William Saletan's sally into the rancid fields of eugenics. That this is happening is acutely clear for African Americans, historically the chief victims of racist hate in America, as the noose episodes suggest. But it's also becoming true on a broader scale as well, with a rising tide of openly espoused ethnic bigotry manifesting itself in myriad ways, particularly on the immigration front, where Latinos are increasingly targeted by rhetoric emanating from the very highest levels of Republican leadership that manifests itself in a tide of hate crimes; and in the "war on terror," which has provided for an opening for a variety of right-wing figures to spew hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric, with similarly predictable consequences. One kind of hate feeds another; one open expression of bigotry without significant consequence only provides permission for many more to follow, and the inherent violence of such talk inevitably gives permission for people to act it out. Thus this shifting social tide has, just as predictably, brought the broader result of a significant increase in bias crimes of all kinds across the country.And the breadth of the tide also tells us that this is not really about blacks or Latinos or Muslims specifically, but is about the people who fear and despise them: white people.
It's about defending white privilege.And there has been one primary driver for this gravitational shift: generically, the conservative movement, and specifically, its wholly owned subsidiary, the Republican Party.You can hear the push to defend "white culture" from nearly every sector of the right, from Bill O'Reilly: But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you're a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have. In that regard, Pat Buchanan is right.Patrick Buchanan: I think America may exist, but I'll tell you this: I do believe we're going to lose the American Southwest. I think it is almost inevitable. If we do not put a fence on that border ... you're going to have 100 million Hispanics in the country, most of them new immigrants from Mexico, which believes that belongs to them. What's going to happen to us, Sean, in my judgment, is what is happening right now: We are Balkanizing. We are dividing and separating from one another politically, morally -- on issues like abortion or Terri Schiavo -- racially and ethnically, when you get Jena and then you get Don Imus, and all of these things ripping us apart. All the things that used to pull us together and hold us together no longer do.Michael Savage: But basically, if you're talking about a day like today, Martin Luther King Junior Day, and you're gonna understand what civil rights has become, the con it's become in this country. It's a whole industry; it's a racket. It's a racket that is used to exploit primarily heterosexual, Christian, white males' birthright and steal from them what is their birthright and give it to people who didn't qualify for it.This is nothing new, of course.
The defense of white privilege has been a cornerstone of the GOP's electoral appeal ever since the its ardent adoption of the Southern Strategy, dating back to Goldwater and Nixon and continiuing through the Reagan and Bush years. Even Republican strategists acknowledge this to be the case.Joseph Aistrup, in his book The Southern Strategy Revisited: Republican Top-Down Advancement in the South -- a text written primarily to influence GOP politicos -- observes the following: When a GOP presidential candidate's campaign strategy emphasizes racially conservative appeals, he identifies not only himself but his party as the one that protects white interests.
The identification of the GOP, instead of the Southern Democrats, as the protector of white interests, combined with the large infusion of blacks into the Southern Democratic parties, opens the door for Southern whites to abandon their historic ties to the Democrats.It's critical to understand, however, that the Southern Strategy wasn't geared simply toward winning votes in the South -- it also is aimed at white suburbs and rural areas where the defense of white society remains a significant cultural issue. Its reach ran well beyond the South.One way of seeing this clearly is by examining the history of "sundown towns". As James Loewen details (excruciatingly) in his study Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, there are literally thousands of towns across America -- relatively few of them in the South -- who for much of the 20th century forbade minorities, blacks especially, from living within their communities. Many of them placed signs at the town limits warning "Whites Only After Dark" or "Nigger, Don't Let the Sun Set on You Here" -- that all nonwhites were to be out of town by sundown. In many cases, especially suburbs, no signs were visible, but all-white covenants provided the same effect.Most of the "sundown towns" and "sundown suburbs" that Loewen documents were in the Northeast, the Midwest and West -- the same places where we're seeing "noose incidents," as well as attempts to pass laws aimed at driving out Latinos.These same "sundown towns" have, unsurprisingly, a history of following racial election appeals, including broad support for George Wallace in 1968, and Republican presidential candidates in the ensuing years, all of whom made use of the Southern Strategy's core appeal to white racial interests. As Loewen notes: As a result of such leadership, Republicans have carried most sundown towns since 1968, sometimes achieving startling unaninimity. ... So the "southern strategy" turned out to be a "southern and sundown town strategy," especially in sundown suburbs. Macomb County, for example, the next county north of Detroit, voted overwhelmingly for Wallace in the 1972 Democratic primary. Wooed by Nixon, many of these voters then became "Reagan Democrats" and now are plain Republicans. The biggest single reason, according to housing attorney Alexander Polikoff, was anxiety about "blacks trapped in ghettos trying to penetrate white neighborhoods." [pp.372-373]Take a look at where the nooses are appearing, where the anti-Latino and anti-Muslim hate crimes are occurring. If you look through the incidents, it's clear that many of them are occurring in precincts that, historically, were all-white by design. It's part of the continuing defense of that status quo in those communities that engenders so much of the nation's current racial divide -- with bias crimes, as always the on-the-ground manifestation.
I know that Democrats have been tempted to try to tap into this tide to their short-term electoral advantage; witness Rahm Emanuel and Co.'s attempts to advance an immigration plan that's absurdly enforcement-heavy and reform-light.Before they take that step, they need to stop and think about the consequences. Not just the electoral calculus, considering what it would cost Democrats in terms of the votes of blacks, Latinos, and Muslims who are flocking to them now because of the GOP's increasingly inchoate bigotry, but the real-life results. They need to think about those nooses, and where they come from, and simply do what is right."
And people wonder why I will vote for the dumb-ocratic candidate no matter who it is.