Sunday, April 24, 2016

Change and fear in America.

Image result for tubman imagesNot everyone is thrilled that America is trying to embrace her diverse makeup, and that she is finally trying to recognize the diverse cultures that contributed to making this country what it is.

The latest controversy (shouldn't even have been one) over placing a woman of color on the twenty dollar bill, is a perfect example of that.

Predictably, the person most likely to win the republican nomination is against it, and the leader for the democratic nomination thinks that it is a wonderful thing.

"Donald Trump’s take on the decision to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill as “pure political correctness” is symbolic of a style of politics he’s displayed throughout this campaign: at times wary of changes to long-standing American customs and institutions and showing a willingness to take controversial stands on issues that affect women and minorities.

“I think Harriet Tubman is fantastic,” Trump said in an interview on NBC’s Today Show on Thursday. “I would love to — I would love to leave Andrew Jackson and see if we can maybe come up with another denomination. Maybe we do the $2 bill or we do another bill.”

His remarks illustrate the divide between the political approach of Trump and the man he could succeed, Barack Obama.

The decision by the Obama administration to honor Tubman was a celebration of a historic figure admired by Americans of all political beliefs. But it was also a clear political act.

“This whole thing is symbolic politics,” said Andra Gillespie, an associate professor of political science at Emory University. “Putting women on currency is not going to change the gender pay gap and not going to change the fact that the pay gap is worse for black women and women of color.”
 
Obama and his administration have put the inclusion and promotion of women, people who are gay and transgender, African-Americans, and Latinos at the center of their political agenda, seeking to make up for past discrimination and promote diversity of gender, race and sexual identity whenever possible. Obama has appointed the first Latino Supreme Court justice, first two black U.S. attorney generals, the first openly transgender White House staffer making his administration one of the most demographically diverse in history.

Replacing Andrew Jackson — who forced tens of thousands of Native Americans to relocate from the South to Oklahoma in what is known as the “Trail of Tears”— with Tubman was a natural step for Obama’s team.

“The decision to put Tubman on the twenty is a powerful sign of Americans’ changing relationship with their own history. At the same time, it’s also the gesture of liberals who have been fairly impotent lately in their efforts to correct the deep socioeconomic sources of racial inequality,” said Molly Worthen, a history professor at the University of North Carolina who has written extensively about how views of identity shape each party.

The decision split conservatives along predictable lines.

 a central theme of his presidential campaign and last year created a task force to deal with tensions between minorities in his state and the police, applauded the honoring of Tubman.
In contrast, Ben Carson, several Fox News personalities and Trump said that the decision was the latest example of an administration bent on what conservatives cast as “politically correct” moves. They praised Jackson, who was one of the key figures in the founding of what is the modern Democratic Party.
 
While Trump complimented Tubman, he said he didn’t agree with replacing Jackson on the denomination.

He added, “I don’t like seeing it. Yes, I think it’s pure political correctness. Been on the bill [Jackson] for many, many years. And, you know, really represented somebody that really was very important to this country. I would love to see another denomination, and that could take place. I think — I think it would be more appropriate.”

Trump has made comments suggesting that the Mexican government is intentionally sending criminals across the border, Muslims should be barred from entering the United States and that the U.S. needs to build a large border wall to keep out Mexican immigrants.

The comments about the replacement of Tubman with Jackson, like those other controversial Trump stances, have clear racial implications, Gillespie said. The issue also highlights that the real estate mogul has campaigned as something of a traditionalist, willing to defend people and customs that other Americans want to alter radically.

“Donald Trump knows that when he makes certain types of comments that he is going to tap into certain types of resentment in the American economy… jobs disappearing and a certain trepidation about the country changing demographically,” Gillespie said. “Those are sentiments he’s tapped into to cultivate his base of support in this primary season.”

Trump complained of the push by the NFL to make changes to the rules that might reduce concussions, telling a crowd in January, “football has become soft like our country has become soft.”Early this month, campaigning in Pennsylvania, Trump called for the return of a statute honoring the late Joe Paterno, the Penn State football coach who was fired by the university amid allegations he had covered up allegations against assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who molested young boys while he worked at the university. Trump has repeatedly praised police officers and suggested that the Black Lives Matter movement is overly critical of them.
 
And throughout his run, Trump has argued he will not conform to “political correctness,” which to the real estate mogul seems to link issues from football to Tubman.

“The real rise of the phrase [political correctness] can be traced to the early 1990’s, when people started to use it to critique or just lament the policing of ideas that are out of step with the hegemony of liberalism in American society, post civil rights and post women’s liberation. In doing so they also effectively signaled themselves as ‘free thinking,” said Carole Bell, a professor of communication at Northeastern University in Boston.

But in case of some conservatives backing Trump, Bell argued, “it’s an expression of the racial resentment that political scientists have long known were animating much of our political discourse around identity. But it’s masked as a concern for free speech.”

Greta Van Susteren, a Fox News host, said this week the Obama administration was in effect the offender, not conservatives, arguing the Obama administration, in replacing Jackson with Tubman instead of leaving his face in place and putting her on another bill, was “gratuitously stirring up the nation.”

On gay rights, Trump has been more open to following the liberal drift in American culture.
He has not railed against same-sex marriage, as other Republicans have, and said in the “Today” interview that North Carolina should have not passed a law regulating which bathrooms transgender Americans use.

Obama, in contrast, has suggested that if he had a son, he would be reluctant see him play football, and has defended Black Lives Matter activists.

Hillary Clinton, in a tweet, wrote, “A woman, a leader, and a freedom fighter. I can’t think of a better choice for the $20 bill than Harriet Tubman.”

Politically, Trump’s remarks suggest he will continue to appeal to voters, particularly whites, who feel left out of Obama’s vision of America, Gillespie said adding that he will have to pivot for the general election.

Trump’s approach may be resonating.

A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 46 percent of Republicans said the country’s increased diversity makes the U.S. a “better place,” compared to 13 percent said who that diversity makes it a “worse place,” and 39 percent who said “no difference.” The majority of Americans (59 percent) indicated “better place.”

In the poll, Trump supporters, compared to those backing the other four presidential candidates, were the least likely to say “better” (39 percent) and most likely to say “worse” (17 percent).

Ultimately, the rhetoric over placing Tubman on the $20 is about a different kind of political currency, one of identity, political experts say.

“That’s going to symbolize for them a kind of change they are not necessarily comfortable with,” Gillespie said. " [Source]

They are not comfortable with it, and thus we get phrases like "Make America great again."

To them, recognizing the contributions of other people besides white men to our country's history is weakening the fabric of something great.  

Of course we know now that it will not, and that they, of course, will know in time, that nothing could be further from the truth.  I will bet you five Tubmans on that.






     

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fuck white people. Fuck the white race.

PilotX said...

It would have been great if Ms. Tubman knew what was in store for her.

dinthebeast said...

Political correctness is just a bullshit label made up by assholes who are bothered by the concept of manners. Manners are not optional fripperies about salad forks, they are a tool to be employed in keeping the homicide rate down as the population density goes up.
And Jackson was dead set against the idea of paper money, so maybe he wouldn't mind being taken off. But they're not taking him off, they're just moving him to the back. Which is maybe semi-symbolic?

-Doug in Oakland

The Purple Cow said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck white people. Fuck the white race."



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field negro said...

PC,good call on the DBA.:)

The SBPDL crowd and others have been trying for a long time to sabotage TFN.
Over 7 million hits later we are still here. :)

field negro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anotherbozo said...

Yeah, the reactionary kickback was sickening. Anyone read Patrick Buchanan's defense of Jackson on Yahoo's home page?
http://cnsnews.com/commentary/patrick-j-buchanan/dishonoring-general-jackson

He uses the other-presidents-did-it-too argument. So Jackson ordered the genocidal march of Cherokee from Tennessee to Florida. Truman bombed Hiroshima! Yeah, that's why I never use my Truman money.

The bummer is that Jackson is going to be on the BACK of Tubman's $20. Unless we can get up a big movement against that!


The only gripe--if that--should be that "they" often try to make up for systemic exclusion of women and African-Americans in some quarters is by installing one token that is both black and female--one token being fewer, i.e. more bearable, than two. But Tubman was such a saintly hero that I don't think that's a problem.





PilotX said...

Did you guys catch the CNN special about the kkk with Kamu Bell? Not as good as I thought it would be but still entertaining. I thought we would get more insight into the minds of racists but they pretty much all seem the same.

Anonymous said...

Based on the historical expediency of our government, by the time the treasury actually has Ms. Tubman's face on a $20 bill we will likely no longer be using paper money.

The Ministry of Truth said...

"Did you guys catch the CNN special about the kkk with Kamu Bell? Not as good as I thought it would be but still entertaining. I thought we would get more insight into the minds of racists but they pretty much all seem the same."

If you want to have a good laugh, watch "Blood in the Face." This is a documentary filmed years ago at one of those racist hoedowns out on a farm somewhere -- a sort of a convention for white supremacists from different organizations.

The people who have made hatred into an entire lifestyle are a sad, sorry, dysfunctional bunch.

PilotX said...

Wow, Kasich and Cruz are forming an alliance to take down Trump. They say Trump would set back the Gop a generation. Hell, if either of them is elected they'll set the country back a generation.

PilotX said...

As intereting as that sounds MoT Imma take a pass. We have enough toothless inbreds right here who think they're god's greatest creation to keep me amused. But thanks for the heads up.

Anonymous said...

Pilot X, the losing Republican candidates can try to "take down Trump", but their strategy won't work. It is amazing the entire GOP establishment has turned against Trump and yet he keeps winning elections and growing more popular. I think he will win the general election, too. Not because he is a good politician, but because the pendulum has swing too far left and most Americans aren't comfortable with the extreme progressive environment in current society.

Will Trump be conservative leader? Hell no. He is well known to be NY Liberal, just not a politically correct liberal. Hillary is the true conservative compared to Trump. Even the Koch brothers are considering backing Hillary instead of Trump.

The Ministry of Truth said...

"In contrast, Ben Carson, several Fox News personalities and Trump said that the decision was the latest example of an administration bent on what conservatives cast as 'politically correct' moves. They praised Jackson, who was one of the key figures in the founding of what is the modern Democratic Party."

Ironic, right? It's mainly conservatives who find something to like in Jackson, even though he was effectively the founder of the Democratic Party. Of course, the two parties, at their inception, didn't fall into categories that we'd recognize today as liberal or conservative. The 19th century Democrats were an agrarian party, while the Republicans were an industrialist party.

But to the extent that you can identify issues or attitudes from those times that still have some kind of relevance today, Jackson and his followers mainly stood for a mindset that is only favored by Republicans today: a somewhat paranoid belief that they were being "oppressed" by the central government, and a determination to pointlessly trash government programs that happened to be highly useful in serving the common good.

Aside from the determination of the Jacksonians to expand the practice of voting from only wealthy white males to all white males -- the first in a succession of expansions of democracy -- you won't find too many modern-day Democrats excitedly leaping to praise the accomplishments of the Jackson administration.

Anyway, it's clear that only some of the GOP objections to Jackson's removal have anything to do with honest appreciation of Jackson's legacy. A lot of it, inevitably, is racist freakout, which is what Republicans do best these days.

PilotX said...

I disagree that the pendulum has swung too far to the left but SOME Americans think so. The majority of Americans are ok with gay marriage as an example but there are SOME (usually religious folk) who disagree the strongest. I also disagree that The Donald has a chance to win because most Americans don't trust him to occupy the WH. Think about what you wrote "Even the Koch brothers are considering backing Hill-dog" now that right there should tell you how unpopular The Donald is. He also can't overcome the gender gap, the Dems haven't even started their ads showing the sexist filth that came out of his mouth.

Lee said...

Andrew Jackson was a shit president anyway.

The Ministry of Truth said...

Today in bad PR for the Po-Po:

"Reacting to the news [of a civil settlement for the family of Tamir Rice], the head of Cleveland’s Police Patrolman’s Association association Steve Loomis called on Rice’s family to use part of the settlement to educate children on gun safety. The bright orange safety tip on Rice’s toy gun was reportedly removed when he took it to the park days before Thanksgiving in 2014. According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, 'Loomis has used Tamir’s shooting to show that police often cannot tell the difference between real and replica firearms.'”

Is the Cleveland police union trying to troll Rice's family? Or are they simply that clueless? You decide.

James Bold said...

"Is the Cleveland police union trying to troll Rice's family? Or are they simply that clueless?"

You'd think that a simple "If you don't want to be treated like you're waving around a real gun, don't wave around something that looks like a real gun" would be simple enough to understand.  Absolutely straightforward.  Something you'd never object to if it was White people on the receiving end of the message.

Do you really think the po-po should only hire psychics?  Or is it more "don't EVER shoot Blacks unless they've shot at you first"?  Maybe without the "unless"?

"Thinking" overstates things, I'm sure.  In your case, it's pure tribal hatred of White people and everything associated with them, including law and order.  Your refusal to accept or even understand the social compact that underlies civilization, and your undermining it at ever turn, is why White America is tired of you.  How that exhaustion works out is going to be quite the show.  More popcorn, please.

James the Bitch is a sick fuck said...

Your refusal to accept or even understand the social compact that underlies civilization, and your undermining it at ever turn, is why White America is tired of you. How that exhaustion works out is going to be quite the show. More popcorn, please.
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You mean the social compact that allows mothers to trade sex with their newborn children for drugs? How about you keep your baby raping society you sick fuck. You talk tribal hatred but you come here every fucking day railing about niggers. Are you fucking kidding me? I know toothless white trash racists are stupid but are you really this dense James? I know, rhetorical questions are probably way too advanced for your dumb ass. I guess we can attribute your mental deficiencies to inbreeding. Irony is lost on racist idiots.

field negro said...

"In your case, it's pure tribal hatred of White people and everything associated with them, including law and order. "

But isn't TMOT white?

Law and Order my ass said...

.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3370481/Man-jailed-raping-six-month-old-baby-posting-images-online.html
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Is this more of your social compact James? Tell you what sicko, you can keep it. This is why Black America is tired of you. How that exhaustion works out is going to be quite the show. More popcorn please.

James Is a Bitch said...

How that exhaustion works out is going to be quite the show.
--------------
Yeah yeah yeah blah blah blah we're sooooooooooo scared James. Jesus, you white supremacists are all so bad but all you do is talk. Blah blah fucking blah. How about you cowards stop raping babies and start the race war already. Wtf are you waiting for? Stop posting dumb shit and get the party started or are you fucks all talk? Let's guess what the answer to that question is. Yawn.

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