Wednesday, December 19, 2007

These republicans aren't helping the republic.

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.


Blinders Off said...

Definitely interesting reading, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Very enlightening and scary too.

Anonymous said...

And people wonder why I will vote for the dumb-ocratic candidate no matter who it is.

Which people?

kid said...

This is deep ,but if you want to wake people up go the newshound article about a blogger responding to white guilt, The hyperlink is about Dog the bounty hunter . The graphics have him on a box of cereal called 40 o's , with a 40 oz bottle on it and more N-words than a rap concert. It's a joke to them a sick joke.

Anonymous said...

Hades, even the Iraq war is about the preservation of white privilege and white world dominance; so Field, tell me something I don't matrilineally fornicating know already!

NSangoma said...

anonymous said...

Hell, I am not anonymous; I am the 'Sangoma!


field negro said...

"matrilineally fornicating "

That's a different way of saying it!

kid, I will check out that news hound article. I need a link though.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Field, That's a great article above. However, the white male supremacy paradigm has more reason to feel threatened now electorally than ever before. In fact, the tag team of "Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Represents a Two-Pronged Attack on the White Male Supremacy Paradigm."

The Love Collective said...

Field, You should do a post on what is racism, exactly. I remember some time back Farakkhan said he was a racist in the absolute sense, "like a pharmacist is devoted to the root word (pharmacy)." In that sense, are'nt we all racists?

Joel said...

I'm surprised you haven't blogged about the William Saletan article in Slate. I noticed that his thesis (basically, that science shows blacks have inferior intelligence) got an absolute smack-down by Malcolm Gladwell in last week's New Yorker.

rikyrah said...

Here's an article for you about Flipping Mitt....he's #*$*ing LYING about his father marching with MLK. Needs to go from a sidebar to front page, don't ya think?

ROmney fields questions about King

When someone LIES and tries to use MLK, can't be tolerated.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Well, think about the "Handkerchief Head" Negroes who are registered ReThugs. There has to be something wrong with you when you aspire to join a political party affiliation who orchestrate and perpetrate all of these racial incidents because they fear people who don't look like them.

Yet, when you confront a white person with the concept of "white privilege", you always (at least I do) get this "deer-caught-in-the-headlights" look, followed by a "W-T-F" expression.

When you point out how you have to conscientiously think about how you act in public, when you walk into a store like Lord & Taylor's, Tiffany's, or Needless-Markup (that's slang for Neiman-Marcus) because you are a person of ethnic background (and always assumed you'll be stealing from them, as opposed to the white guy who walks out of Nordstrom's wearing a suit he didn't pay for under his track suit) - they can't comprehend.

They can't comprehend what it's like to drive a nice car and hope you don't get pulled over by a bigoted cop who can molest you (if you're a woman), because you're Driving While _____.

They can't relate to anything that affects people of ethnic background on the scale that we're affected.

First, I tell them to learn about us; where we came from; who we are; how we think. No entire race of people are monolithic as a whole; they may be monolithic on certain aspects of their culture, but, by and large, someone is always unique, and independent thinkers.

Che Guevara, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Mother Teresa, Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez, come to mind here.

They all scared the shyt out of the establishment. Because they didn't conform to some perceived stereotype, lie, myth or figment of the white man's imagination.

But, until we get to that point of having those honest discussions of race; where we don't sing "Kuubyaah" and hold hands in harmony - but get down in the dirt and point shyt out like the origins of racism, sexism, xenophobia and any other ism or phobia; own it, acknowledge it and stop trying to re-write history because it doesn't look like Beaver Cleaver's family life back in the 1950s, we will still have nooses being hung, DWBs, profiling, not styling and general overall drinkers of haterade.

I guess that's why I'll have my job until I retire, cause it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Anonymous said...

Are Democrats any better? What have they done for Black people? Voting for them just because you hate/fear republicans is not going to improve our lot in life. A vote for a democrat is a vote to maintain the status quo, a vote for stagnation. Unless you believe that we have finally overcome and there aren't anymore problems.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Rikryah says I don't do this enough:

The Borg Queen Rents a Negro can be seen on my blog:


Prodigy-Maestro said...

very good read. especially interesting i thought was the bit about losing the southwest, which seems like a very realistic possibility on some levels

kid said...

Field, the site is call death of a 1000 papercuts. The article is suppose to come from a different site and a black author.

fieldonnpr said...

off topic:
Great job on NPR Field. I was pleasantly surprised that Carmen was on too. I read her blog as well.

Christopher said...

I think this thesis is sound and logical.

Today's GOP is safe harbor for the "angry, white male" of the 1980's and 1990's.

I once thought the Republican party was all about economics and the power they derive from paying as little taxes as possible, while keeping people poor.

But after reading this piece, I think the Republican party is all about holding onto white privilege.

jjbrock said...

Field great post some frighten stuff.

rikyrah said...

Just in case you thought Kerrey's apology MEANT ANYTHING

texasgirl82 said...

Wow. I learn more on this blog than any college level government class can teach me.

Thank you.

Woozie said...

Blogger needs one of those little applause smilies that some message boards have.

rikyrah said...

Clinton Acolytes' Racist Attacks

The Real Race Card

Ivan Ivanovich Renko said...

I've been reading Niewert for quite a long time. He's originally from Idaho, and as a newspaperman he covered the rise of the militia movement and especially the white supremacist movement up there (think Aryan Nations.)

He's done some interesting posts in discussing trends toward "fascism" (I use quotes because the term is notoriously difficult to define); identifying what he calls "pseudo-fascism" (he doesn't see much of the kind of political thuggishness of the SA or the Blackshirts-- yet.)

I'm slow of wit; so it was reading his blog that made one thing perfectly clear: Movement conservatism is primarily the about the defense of white supremacy.

That, of course, makes it difficult not to take a gyot-damn stick to the conservative, midwestern white engineers I deal with every day.


Democra-She said...

The R's are about selling the idea that *you* (black, white or brown, anybody of "merit" as defined by them) can *attain* privilege, can join their lofty club, and if you do manage to do so, someone *undeserving* is going to try to take it away from you in the form of taxes, or unfair demands for a living wage, or health care. They are class-lure whores, used to be just luring poor whites (but reading Zinn, it did not start out like that; their party was taken over. Lincoln would die again if he could see them today), now duping on an equal-opportunity basis. O, merciful heavens, our precious cash, for education and health care for Americans?! No, no, we're saving it up for a foreign war. Or maybe we'll do the war on credit... and we''l all make money by investing in the contractors... yeah, that's the ticket...

Hence the emphasis on "shrinking government until it can be drowned in a bathtub" - much easier to loot if there's no oversight - and hence the emphasis on characterizing those "undeserving recipients" as brown, black, Latino, Arab, other, outside, feminist, liberal "trust fund kids," God only knows what else, these hatemongers with a few hefty infusions of cash from Scaife and the Coors family and similar denizens have been lubricating their hate machine since the 80s. We got so liberal as a society in the late 70s, maybe we got a little too reactionary as well (rigid form of PC; I lived in NYC, I lived in Berkeley, CA, I lived in south Georgia, and some of Berkeley's ways were a mite whacked - as were the others, differently-whacked). The R's found a disaffected, disoriented group and latched on, identifying the fears and aspirations and skillfully cultivating hate. Now that they have been pouring hate into the media in the form of AM talk radio and Faux for years, how is it surprising that hate groups are increasing?

I know people who will not vote for Dems because the D's have lacked sufficient courage, because they have not even tried, for the most part, to stand up against these monsters. But to vote for the monster, or for the "third party"? To give the monsters power again on a platter, with a mandate? How crazy is that? This is worse than the Nixon era, and I remember, as a young teen, expecting him to go for martial law at one point during all that. Field, you are awesome. Awe-some. I am going to go listen to everything you have said on NPR; I'm so glad to have stumbled into your blog. Got here by Googling "Erik Rush," trying to figure out what on this green Earth he thinks he is doing. Still don't know *that,* of course.

field negro said...

rykirah, you are all over HNH Bill :) Thanks for the link about Mitt. I knew he wasn't being honest. He doesn't know how to be.

Thanks fieldonnpr. If I can find it I will provide a link. Yeah that Carmen was alright.

joel, I haven't checked out that article on Slate yet, but I will.

"Field, You should do a post on what is racism, exactly"

love collective, that would be some thread stuff, because I am sure it means different things to different people. My man Francis Holland, for instance, doesn't believe there is such a thing, he has his own name for it. And he actually makes some good points. I have my own definition as well, and you are right, I should blog about it. But that will be a long ass post.

Anonymous said...

If anyone wants an alternative view of world events...

Christopher said...

Speaking of Republicans, did anyone catch Willard "Mitt" Romney wrap himself around MLK and the civil rights movement?

He claimed he watched his daddy march with Dr. King in Michigan.

Sounds good. Sounds admirable. The trouble is, Romney lied. Papa Romney never marched along side Dr. King.


Beware of Republicans with good hair and even better stories.

fieldonnpr said...

Field on NPR:

Black Bloggers Roundtable:

Cobb said...


This post is going to make me issue a challenge. It's a challenge that I rarely see anyone take, but that may be because I have only issued it tangentially before.

But it basically goes like this. I defy you to find serious and popular bloggers who will respond to your characterizations.

Anytime some blowhard takes liberties with the spelling of proper names, I take it as an immediate cue that they're full of it. Obviously nobody is going to stand up and say Hey Re-Puke-Lican, that means me!

I see that the Southern Strategy Boogieman still puts the fear of God into come class of superstitious whiney babies - two generations of voters later. With that logic in place to vote Democrat, it's not surprising that party is out of ideas. They can point to a mistake made 40 years ago and still pull the crowd.

It's sad really.

Cocoa Goddess said...

I defy you to find serious and popular bloggers who will respond to your characterizations

Cobb, that's pretty subjective isn't it? I leaves you to be the one to decide which bloggers are serious and / or popular. That "challenge" ventures into the realm of an abstraction.

Aaron & Alaine said...

Cobb throws down a challenge that I would regard as disingenuous, as only the unashamedly racist would likely sign up to carry the flag in defense of Southern Strategy ideology. By the same token, sundown towns, noose incidents, and immigration rhetoric are not the final arbiter issues for whether or not blacks should engage the republican party or address the shortcomings of the democratic party.

Cobb calls it shadowboxing. I'm not so quick to call it paranoid navel gazing as I am to say its taking the eye off the ball. Racism exists, but in terms of what holds us back, there are a multitude of self destructive behaviors that are equally if not more important to our success as racism. A host of things that if we changed what we were doing, our life opportunities would improve dramatically. Now, if you can agree that that statement is true, then you have to admit that our near constant focus on being victims of bias is energy we ought to be spending somewhere else.

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