e-reader version on Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/doc/162386003/MAKERS-vs-TAKERS-Tax-Lax-and-Blacks-How-Racial-Tension-is-Fueled-in-the-Politics-of-Blame
How did we get here? My perspective
In the name of “Truth”, “Freedom”, “children”, and even “colorblindness”
Inferior or Superhuman? Forfeiting justice and destroying the nation
Definite patterns in the history of race
The economic basis of racism and blame shifting
Fears and anxieties
Translating the “code”
The problem of conservatives
The Black and Liberal Response
The theological angle
The Shadow and guilt
Different Reactions to White Guilt
What should we want?
Race and temperament
I look over Google at the peaceful looking Eastern Shore of Virginia, which I’ve reminisced on in my blog, especially after finding a “gangsta rap” video filmed in a town right in the middle of the farm-lined stretch, greatly resembling what you would expect from LA and other big cities, with a lot of anger at the police, apparently. It was such a serene setting we used to pass through, going between Norfolk, where I was attending college, and home in Brooklyn. As I mull one day taking a vacation there, I and imagine walking into the interesting looking old shops, and saying hi to friendly most likely white owners, I have to wonder, what do they really think of me. Are the races getting along there, or is it still full of tension?
A few years ago, a friend’s father died, and we attended the Jewish funeral ceremonies with her family and others, and as the only black couple there, and knowing how shaky black-Jewish relations have been and how others see us overall, yet being greeted in a friendly fashion, I can’t help wondering how the people really feel about us. (One person can't answer for all the others, and nobody can see into others' hearts or minds).
I find a friend in internet typology discussions, who is another INTP (Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving) Aspie, and a white Midwestern female, but seems to think so much like me in ways (which is very unusual for me), and it really seems to erase racial lines, as the typology discussions in general do. The brain neurology does not recognize the pigmentation in the skin. (Type is a difference that is more useful in explaining clashes between people, yet we realize it is just a different way of perceiving and judging things. The other posters are probably mostly white, and from around the world, but still, you do not readily know the race of the posters, so it’s very irrelevant). I still wonder how she and the others really feel about race, in the back of their minds. (Most seem to be on the liberal side, but still, you don't really know).
Even more recently, I meet a Pennsylvania antique dealer halfway, in central New Jersey to buy an old Steelmaster 30 drawer cabinet I had been trying to find for 20 years, to help organize all my papers (I got one back then, and immediately figured I would need another, but new ones are expensive, and old ones are hard to find) and am greeted by this typical cheery white country girl, who brought the cabinet in the back of her minivan. I like the interaction with such people, and imagine it’s a sign that race is irrelevant; we’re just people. But as my father and others warned decades ago, when segregation was overturned, and blacks seemingly were finally free to integrate totally in society; “they smile in your face, but behind your back…”. So who knows.
Especially after seeing from the faceless posts of the internet, and the rhetoric of political leaders, that many still think all these bad things about us. A Cheerios commercial showing an interracial family even drew a lot of hatred!
•I don’t think most people start out consciously trying to dislike black people.
•The desire is more to elevate themselves rather than put down others (though the net affect is the same).
•They do this through their heritage (the greatness of their nation, and its original “culture” and “values” through history)
•This history/heritage was reproved, by more progressive elements, for the glaring evils of slavery and later forms of race-based oppression or discrimination.
•This criticism of the heritage is what the “patriots” are reacting against the most.
•So to maintain the purity of this heritage, the progressive forces must be demonized, and the the evils they are charging must be either dismissed, diminished in affect, or excused
•This is done in part by focusing on the victims’ "problems" and alleged "negative affect" on society
•Those fringe elements who DO still despise the other race get mixed up in this, infusing the rhetoric with their own sentiments, which are disguised to resemble the feelings of the general conservative public
•This creates the blaming posture that has characterized conservative political talking points
The heart of racism today is the badgering of the issue of some supposedly large group of people abusing public assistance, to the point that it fills nearly all conservative talking points in the form of complaints about “taxing and spending”. This is made virtually the sole problem in the economy, and the money-draining actions of huge corporations (many of them global), are patently ignored, if not solidly defended in terms of what they “deserve”.
Hence them fitting the new (or really, not so new) category of “makers”, as opposed to the undeserving “takers”.
How did we get here? My perspective
It seems like in the middle of every decade, the race issue dies down a bit, and I feel it’s finally becoming less relevant, but by the end of every decade, something happens to incite a lot of bad rhetoric, and sometimes activism, leading to race being an issue in the late and early portions of each decade. Then, I feel like I was being naïve in thinking we were getting past it.
I guess it was in my dealings with people, such as joining the Air Force in the 80′s and being around a lot of people from across the country for the first time, and race never seemed to figure. They were just new people I had to learn to know, and it was actually a great contrast to the tough urban “ghetto” culture I was in part running away from.
Later, joining several internet communities, where in several interests, such as Transportation or Typology, race was something that would usually be mentioned only in passing (like the statistics done of how common a particular MBTI type is in each race).
Then, there were Christian debate forums, which at first seemed pretty silent on race, though as time went on, the typical conservative “welfare” rhetoric increasingly surfaced, especially around the presidential elections. As this escalated, I suddenly began hearing stuff like blacks “want whitey’s money” (using this epithet on themselves!), in addition to hearing the term “takers” for the first time, sneeringly hurled at a group implicated by race statistics.
It’s usually the presidential elections that become the breeding ground for bad rhetoric. And it’s generally the conservatives who are more loud, even as they claim the other side is doing all the “incessant whining”.
I began noticing this pattern when coming of age just in time for the 1980 Reagan campaign.
Late columnist Carl Rowan’s excellent (but underexposed) treatment of race, The Coming Race War in America p. 56 points out that the KKK declared that Reagan’s campaign/Republican platform (which included the “story” of a “hardworking taxpayer” wondering how to pay for a “few pounds of hamburger” when a “strapping young buck” walks up paying for a pile of T-bone steaks with food stamps) “reads as if it were written by a Klansman”.
Reagan ran proudly on that platform, and once in office, began executive branch sabotage of all the programs enacted by Congress at the behest of Kennedy and Johnson. The Klansmen and other haters quickly got the message, and began to crawl from under the rocks from Mississippi to Montana.
Every white supremacist figured that his time in America had come again, and the bigots had a field day that lasted all of Reagan’s eight years.
He then continued on, describing Bush’s “Willie Horton” campaign, and here in NY, the Howard Beach, Bensonhurst and Crown Heights incidents also fueled racial tension (even as we got our first black mayor, whom opponents' fans derided as a “washroom attendent” among other things).
He was also fairly critical of Al Sharpton (even included him in his list of “hate mongers”), who incited racial tension with the Tawana Brawley case in 1987.
1991-2 brought the Rodney King beating and resultant LA riots, along with a new round of political campaigning, with the usual focus on “welfare” vs “supply side” economics, with Bush’s loss ending Reagan’s legacy (which was losing steam, as people were not quite as satisfied with him as his predecessor), and a new liberal, Bill Clinton winning for two terms.
1994 Susan Smith drowns children, blames “black man”. At this point, it seemed like an isolated incident.
But we were getting ready to enter a huge upswing of more open racial blaming.
Next, was a last try at an old racist premise; genetic inferiority, with The Bell Curve. As Rowan pointed out, the purpose of such a study is just to cut programs. No need “wasting” money on the people if their problem is genetic.
Some conservatives out there herald this as “hard truth” liberal "egalitarians" couldn’t deal with!
1995 Oklahoma City bombing brought militias into public consciousness.
OJ Simpson trial
“Harlem Massacre”, in which Sharpton was involved
Government shutdown. Conservative rhetoric had really turned up the volume on welfare, as if that was where 99% of government expenditure was going. Totally ignored were all the other forms of govt. waste, such as $400 screwdrivers, huge airports built in the middle of nowhere, all the pork barrel projects that benefitted suburban America, and what stood out to me, two fancy new courthouses being built, with marble halls and bronze doorknobs, right as all of this was going on. Again, political rhetoric remained steadily locked in on welfare.
1996 saw the reform of welfare, then the rhetoric died down a bit (as if that was actually what was causing the problem).
1999 Diallo. Defense wins the case with “If he had only done what the [plain clothes, mind you] officers told him”!
Around 2000, race focus on the right shifted more to stuff like why there’s black history month and no white history month (which would soon lead to heated griping every year beginning with MLK Day); and on the left, the younger Bush’s campaign stop at Bob Jones University (BJU), leading to the school grudgingly ending its segregated dating policy.
2001, 9-11 shifted the ire of patriots toward Muslims.
2004, Unhappy with both parties (for “big government spending”, with the focus on “welfare” regaining steam, like the reform never happened), a push for a third party gains steam, with the Constitution Party as the lead runner.
2005, Hurricane Katrina raises issue of neglect of minority section of New Orleans during the aftermath of the storm,* but also highlights the looting and violence among the people.
So 2008 and 2012 were all about the campaign and election of the first “black” skinned president.
*(And once in office, during some widespread tornado damage in white conservative states, they would counterclaim that they were the ones being neglected and not given the attention Katrina victims got. A small example of the “backlash” rhetoric that has characterized the political climate of his presidency).
The last 3 decades were filled out by two term presidencies. So the second term elections in the middle of the decade were generally not as heated with rhetoric as when the guard was being changed.
Still, in those elections, you heard the blaming “us vs them; we must stop our opponents from giving everything to THEM” stepped up a lot.
Losing Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s “47%” comment referring to the supposed "takers" who vote Democratic (which thankfully gave him some campaign race trouble when the off-the-record comment was nevertheless recorded and published) is just the outpouring of the festering of “lazy grasshopper” type rhetoric that has been passing around among Reaganites and the Limbaugh crowd and others for the past 3 decades. Even though minorities are not 47% of the nation's population, it still came in handy as a "race-neutral" deflection by changing the parameters, to attain such a figure (like the assistance programs being counted); yet others have made very clear which group they believe the "takers" are.
Of course now, when the country does the unthinkable in electing a black president, they HAVE to prove he’s “the worst in history” (by now, his downing of our worst enemy in history is all but forgotten, like it never happened; replaced by accusations of lying about an overseas terror attack that came up last year and other stuff they sling at him), and even many saying “He’s not MY president“. One meme reads "I hate it when I wake up in the morning... and Barack Obama is still president". Some express wishing he was never born.
People actually looked forward to getting him out of office in the next election as soon as he won the first! (“GONE 2012″ stickers). I have NEVER seen an election campaign begin before the previous election was finished!
And once he got in, the move was quickly to invalidate his presidency to begin with by questioning his natural citizenship, and demanding to see his birth certificate. When he finally did show it, they still tried to discredit it.
Eventually, “secession chatter” began springing up everywhere, with enough petitions in some states to be received by the White House (though still rejected).
Next, beginning as the second election proceeded, several news stories of government blunders were turned into “scandals” used to demand him to be impeached. They even argue emphatically that these things are worse than Watergate! Clinton went through impeachment procedures because of his lying under oath about a sex scandal. Everything done under the Obama’s administration is elevated to such a level. Yet they insist that he’s being “treated the same as every other official”.
If this isn’t convincing, let’s not forget the “Don’t re-nig” statements that passed around before the second election!
Facebook posters also keep tabs on every vacation and recreation the family engages in, claiming they are spending up our tax money on this, and not running the country. Even though it doesn’t seem to be any more than what any other recent president has done.
Clearly, they cannot accept him as president, and while they say it’s because of his “policies”, they did not scrutinize other liberal presidents quite like this. As this site: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/09/fear-of-a-black-president/309064 points out: “Barack Obama governs a nation enlightened enough to send an African American to the White House, but not enlightened enough to accept a black man as its president.”
The Internet has really exposed a lot of stuff that was hidden in people’s hearts, but can now be safely (so it seems) shared from the anonymity of a computer screen. However, while individuals can hide that way, when they all do it, the overall ideology they have long denied issues forth at full blast in your face on that screen!
Staunch “patriots” who always accused others of “hating” America began virtually deriding most of the country as stupid for voting for him. They even produced a video of the worst stereotypes of ignorant, uneducated black and white “trash” on government program lines to caricature Obama voters.
The “worst in history” judgment was made as soon as he got in, and is based on a whole lot of “damned if he does; damned if he doesn’t” double binds. [a collective Trickster projection in Jungian lingo]. The biggest being the Republican Congress refusing to work with him. Still, "no excuse!", conservatives jeer.
Worst in history, even with record corporate profits, as they continue to blame “socialist programs” for the nonworking poor for draining all the money, and holding corporate profits as the key to economic prosperity (the so-called “bigger pie” they would supposedly create); again blaming “socialism” for them taking jobs out of the country, or sitting on the money.
If that’s so, then what is the problem? It’s all Obama’s fault, with his flock of adorers waiting for their “free handouts”. That’s always the final answer. Yet people see no connection with this to racism.
One example of a prejudiced stereotype that is totally counter to historical fact is what’s become known as “Obama phones”, which is a program supposedly giving free cellphones away to poor minorities. Pictures are produced showing some ghetto black woman saying “I want my Obama phone”, and it has become further generalized into what they call “freebies” these people all want, that the liberals promise to them to get votes. One meme reads “Please do not feed the park animals. They become dependent and will soon want free cell phones”.
Meanwhile, what’s been pointed out yet ignored is that the program really started under Reagan, and began issuing cellphones under Bush. http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/cellphone.asp But it now remains tagged on Obama.
Yet with all of this, on Facebook, I see meme after meme posted by conservatives about a so-called “race card”, with rebuttals aiming to turn the tables and show how racist or otherwise "problematic" blacks themselves or liberals promoting them are (and this, mostly from only one “friend”, alone!) But while they’re doing this, the issue is being raised again and again, by them, not the other side. This is what’s called in Jungian terminology, “shadow-boxing”. You’re projecting something within your own mind, and then fighting it, by seeing it as coming from someone else. (There’s also “shadow-hugging”, where you become jealous of some virtue you see in others, but haven’t tapped into within yourself, and this also figures in a lot of racial resentment).
Other social network “memes” say stuff like “Disagreement is not racism” (insisting it is only his “policies” they are opposing); but what they fail to realize, is this goes way beyond mere “disagreement”! I don’t think they’ve ever DISOWNED any other president like this. Let’s not forget all the comments I see calling him nothing less than a “piece of s___”!
Conservatives used to be the ones to advocate RESPECT for the nation’s “commander in chief”, even if you don’t agree with him. But that’s now gone right out the window.
But many people have so stuffed and disowned the racist implications of their sentiments, they cannot even see it, and only see everyone else as falsely playing a “card” on them.
Also, many have expressed fears that a black president somehow means that blacks will now start “acting up”. So every black on white incident now becomes hyped up and specially reported or passed around in conservative media, and in one such incident a few years ago, titled “Beat Whitey Night”, questions loomed as to whether the black attackers actually said this, and it was soon revealed that the report came from white supremacists trying to rally up white people.
Such people love to call Obama and liberals “pathological liars”, but think nothing of doing it themselves when they think no one is paying attention.
And now, even white on black incidents, Trayvon being the latest and most heated in a while, become the cue for the conservative blogosphere to post every new black on white incident or black on black crime statistics, or some black racist leader spewing hatred toward whites and/or threatening violence.
This is basically acting like a child caught doing something wrong, who then points to another child saying “he does it too!”
So the Right must bear more of the blame for keeping the race ball rolling. They are the ones who spoke nonstop of having something (the nation, freedoms, rights, jobs, taxes, etc.) “taken” from them, given to some “undeserving” group, and that they want it back. They are the ones who insisted everything was better in the 50′s and before. (Which also happened to be before Civil Rights took hold).
They accuse “political correctness” of being “hypersensitive” regarding race, but they cannot expect the race issue to not be touchy when they’ve never stopped referencing or implying race in their political blaming. (They should also realize a principle called confianza which would explain why blacks can use the N word amongst themselves, and it’s not the same as when someone else calls them that).
The liberals had in turn been relatively silent, or at least more passive. (As conservatives themselves will point out, they are more into legislating their ideals rather than coming up with good arguments for them. Now, more of their energy in recent times has shifted toward gay rights and abortion).
Blacks have maintained some resentment; largely from subtle instances of racism that continued (especially police treatment). So that kept things hot on their end.
But the biggest instigation of racial tension is the reverse blame conservatives would continue hurling out, to clear the good name of their culture, nation and race, of any real wrongdoing and prove the victims are the problems themselves (including just for presenting themselves as “victims”); especially in political campaigns.
Blacks haven’t directly addressed this much, but likely figure that the people are still racist anyway, so it figures. It would further prove nothing has really changed (at least not in people’s hearts), so I imagine, no answer was felt to be needed.
In the name of “Truth”, “Freedom”, “children”, and even “colorblindness”
Much of the racist sentiment is wrapped up under the guise of “patriotism”. People simply defending their “freedoms”, and “the right to keep what we’ve earned” (i.e. taxes) from a government seen as giving it all away to “undeserving” people as a group drawn largely on race. Rowan points out (p.112) regarding “blacks, Hispanics, women, and others not qualified for jobs or promotions”, that “there is the argument that nevertheless, they are salting away the goodies of American life”.
Limbaugh associate radio host Jim Quinn even came up with a retelling of Aesop’s old “The Ant and the Grasshopper” fable, where the “National Association of Green Bugs” (NAAGB, more recently replaced by ACORN and others) helps the lazy grasshoppers take all the ants’ hard earnings and squander it, leaving everyone in squalor. (Reagan had reportedly used a similar retelling of “Chicken Little”).
One group now has even resurrected the old “Don’t Tread on Me” (Gadsden) flag, used by early American colonists fighting for their independence from Britain before being replaced by the final “Stars and Stripes” model.
However, those defending slavery and segregation employed the same “government oppression” premise as well. That was the big thrust for “states’ rights”.
The Citizen’s Councils; well known racist organizations opposing integration in the 60′s, said the same exact things:
We are fighting for our children, grandchildren, nation, churches, schools. The fate of this nation rests in the hands of those white people who today oppose racial amalgamation. If the white people of these United States submit to the unconstitutional destructive forces of integration, the malignant powers of mongrelization, communism and atheism will surely destroy this nation. (Citizen 1-64, p.8)
As we shall see, many of these people are still alive, and shortly after, they would realize that they had to remove such clear references to race, but what would remain was the more innocent “rights” of “our children, grandchildren, nation, churches, schools” and calling what they're opposing "unconstitutional" (and the deflectionary focus on communism and atheism), and this hasn’t changed a bit.
I got my first true inkling of just how bad the problem still was in early 2012 (around the time the election campaign was really getting underway), when seeing the new comments on an old blog post (since removed) entitled "Why I Hate Blacks" (which was on a hip hop site!)
“blacks are the disgusting race the creator created. (kevin February 4th, 2012) “They are the most useless race the creator has ever made a mistake on!! I am not sorry to say this but I wish blacks were wiped off this planet!! I’ve had many bad experiences with blacks. Yes every race has its problems but the majority of blacks ARE a problem.” (John on 31 December 2011)
“ur a f___ing nigger get over it!! dont walk down the street ? really? dont get lynched u stupid nigger,,WE run america not you..we let a nigger in office to shut u f___ing spookes up” (rhino: March 23rd, 2011 at 3:19 am)
“The majority of black people are classless, selfish, sub-humans, they care for no one but themselves and will screw over anyone and everybody, and they will literally take candy from a baby if it will help them. If by some miracle (or more likely a govt program) they get a job, it won’t last as they are the laziest damn people on this planet. About the only peace and quiet we non-black people get from them is right around the 1st of the month when they get their govt checks in the mail and retreat into their homes to drink and use copious amounts of drugs.
If only we could travel back in time to the colonial days and tell those plantation owners and slave drivers that they will be doing irreparable harm to future generations by importing black people to America.
In no uncertain terms black people are ruining this country. We had one shot for them to actually become contributing members of society instead of leeches and that’s when Obama became President, but not even a black man having the most powerful position in this world could change them. They are doomed and need to be taking out back and shot.”(Nick on 2 February 2012)
And other posts calling blacks "monkeys".
On one hand, the basic PREMISE of this stuff was little different than some of what I’d encountered in other conservative forums (including Christian ones), but minus this more open vitriol. The same anger, resentment, blaming and denial is there, however! (and I wonder if Nick is willing to admit any wrong on his ancestors, if they were so mistaken in bringing blacks to the country! Bet they never think of it that way!)
But even the more directly racist vitriol would now seem to become more common in online posts, to the point that the above no longer seems that outrageous!
On Facebook page comments and other places like YouTube and blogs, complaining about how Obama is a socialist taking away people’s “freedoms”, and now, commenting on Trayvon:
So now we see our innocent little victim of racial prejudice is a thug, drug dealer, wannabe gang banger who wears his pants like a thug, and enjoys flipping off cameras…just like De’Marquise Elkins.
The liberal state run media isn’t going to point fingers at the family and/or local community. They are going to rant about the need for more social programs and money for “outreach.” None of this is going to change a thing.
It is time to point fingers. It is time to name names and demand that people change their behavior. You can’t eliminate gangbangers with social programs if they have no father and their own mother and aunt are willing accomplices to their thuggery.
The major problems confronting a large segment of the black community have little or absolutely nothing to do with racism — problems such as unprecedented illegitimacy, family breakdown, fraudulent education, crime and rampant social pathology. If all white people became angels tomorrow, it would do nothing to solve problems that can only be solved by the black community…and they don’t seem the least bit concerned.
Objective site simply rebuffing an unjust “race card” played on them, and only lamenting the people's "pathology", right? Well, another one reads “Just another prime example of the ‘North American Pavement Ape’ these savages have not evolved past the chimps that they are” [another adds "never will"]
Along with talk of “hangings”, truck draggings, and liberal use of the N word, S___ stain”, POS, monkeys, etc. Even “this is what segregation was designed to prevent”!
When I see all of these comments, I wonder, who; where are all of these people? I then will sometimes see every white person I don’t know and have to wonder, do they feel that way?
Some out there, somewhere must, in order for these pages (along with the political pundits and campaign sentiments) to be so popular and filled with so many comments all saying the same things.
Under the meme “FED UP WHITE PERSON. I’m tired of being labeled a ‘racist’ because of the color of my skin”, we get:
«I’m so tired and fed up being called racist and hated by dumb ass ghetto black people all because of me being white, and if any f__head black guy called me a honkey I’d kicked the hell out of him a second later.»
But who’s calling anyone a racist just because they’re white? People get called racist because of stuff like this! But they don’t have the slightest clue!
And all the other labels and stereotypes like this because people are black.
It’s amazing how this stuff can be spewed out under the premise that they’re the ones being discriminated against, and they apparently think nothing of it.
|Racists realized they needed to get their points across in a race-neutral language to make the intentions hard to prove|
And again, you can’t say it is all the liberal “race-baiters’” fault for fanning this, because for the last 35 years or so, at least, the Right has been the most vocal, with blaming “social programs” for all our financial problems, and focusing on black crime.
And now they’ve even totally co-opted the language of equality.
It is a sad day when those who are in positions of leadership openly display racially biased views and condone racially biased inequality.
It is a sad day when the media purposefully fans the flames of hatred, fury, and ethnic divide to make their fortunes.
It is a sad day when an American cannot be simply an American, but must be labeled, categorized, and treated differently due to the color of one’s skin.
It is a sad day when you realize that our nation has grown in so many ways, yet still we have not reach the level of maturity needed to become Color Blind.
This, with comments following that say stuff like “what about all the attacks of blacks on whites. Where’s our coverage”, concluding with “f___ those negros!!!!” (And on another post, someone says the way to solve our problems is to send the blacks back to Africa)
Again, these are the very people who always scream that some “race baiter” is playing a “card” on THEM. (In addition to another post on that page lamenting racial division).
So they have done a total switcheroo. They are the real victims of racism; they only want a color blind society, which blacks who won’t “get over it” keep denying them. Yet they are the ones still echoing sentiments like this.
Rowan points out how in the past, lifelong racists who never lifted a finger for equality began demanding “colorblindness”, and the tactic continues.
They have accepted “racism” as wrong, but have redefined it as only something that goes against what they believe is “the truth” about race, which even though it denigrates one side, is not racist, simply because it’s “truth”.
So you even see “blacks [and liberals] can’t handle truth”; even rubbing in, when citing some “fact”, “the truth hurts, doesn’t it?” But then why doesn’t it seem to ever hurt you? Because what you are calling “truth” is basically a blaming premise (that naturally incites animosity), and is often heavily skewed in places at that; (ignoring other factors in the data cited), and it is no less inciting just because you say it’s “the truth”.
And thinking one has such a lockdown on truth is the epitome of a superiority complex or “chosen one” mentality. How can “truth” always favor one group or disfavor the other group? See if you can answer that in a "colorblind" way!
|How does all "truth" always manage to hurt one side and favor the other?|
This gets to the point that at least one person can now call his site “Stuff Black People Don’t Like”, meaning all the “truths” of how they have ruined the nation. One article in particular, in response to a story of a program called “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing”, which the conservative blogosphere has construed as “Obama Administration Begins Moving Poor People to Better Neighborhoods to Fix Poverty” yields the comment:
As always the black communities are the “hardest hit” communities, as if multiple asteroids cast down from Olympus by Ares himself are to blame. Blame the “zip code” for the problems, anything but the PEOPLE residing in those zip codes. Every time these ingloriously stupid africans open their mouths they just confirm how pathetic and incompetent their people really are. I will ask yet again, IF the Africans “built” America as slaves why can they not replicate these same feats as FREE PEOPLE???? Bueller? Anyone??? PK’s analysis of black america just makes so much sense regarding black america’s current conditions; i.e. the lack of future time orientation, the inability to delay gratification, the cargo cult mentality, the complete and utter lack of personal responsibility, etc. When you look at black america as a whole and see NOTHING but ruin and despair you have to ask yourself WHY would the government through HUD move these people into productive areas? It’s not so much conspiracy thinking as it is connecting the dots and asking rational questions about those dots. Look I wish it was not like this, I wish that black people were really equal in intelligence and ability to White people. If that were true we would not have these same problems that exist today. IF blacks and Whites were truly equal the black race would have long ago made a first world civilization for themselves and would not have to rely on playing the worn out, tattered race card at every opportunity. Blacks, they built America but somehow could not figure out how to keep the lights on in Detroit.
You wonder why he doesn’t own the “race card” then. I guess, because he “wish it were not like this”, just like the others who are so sad race is such an issue (—because the wrong people are being blamed).
The whole premise is that blacks have done nothing good, and we see the moralistic language of “delaying gratification” and “accepting responsibility”, but it’s clear that blacks are being made responsible for everything wrong, while all the other factors, such as the destructive effects of slavery and racism, the education system, and the greed of corporations such as the auto industry just do not figure at all. To mention them would presumably be to prove his point of “denying responsibility”.
Blacks are all bad, whites are the put-upon victims, but blacks have turned this upside down, and pretend to be the victims so they can take over (the site speaks of “BRA”, “Black Run America”. This brings to mind Rush Limbaugh claiming “we’re already a minority”, and if you’ve ever doubted his true feelings on race, this article http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2013/07/rush-limbaugh-zeev-chafets-and-devils.html cites this article by him http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2013/07/24/america_discovers_zev_chafets_book_on_the_role_of_race_in_detroit_s_demise regarding Detroit).
While people may say “this is an obviously white supremacist site”, we see here how the rhetoric blends right in with what mainstream conservativism has been saying for decades. This group has simply reversed the tactic of “excision of race from the language”, figuring that “hard truth” justifies the conclusions, so no hiding of the race language is necessary. And they’ve traded in ignorant backwoods style stump ranting for intellectual and moral sophistry.
So it should not be shocking for those who do use race neutral language to find themselves still tagged with the beliefs being expressed here.
Is it unreasonable to believe this could be the ultimate source of mainstream sentiments? It’s only been filtered through “PC” complicity (as much as they despise “political correctness” for censoring them in the first place).
Even if Obama instantly created heavenly prosperity for all, they would have to find some fault. Obviously, to people like this, it doesn’t matter what Obama does. If the rest of the black community is no good, then one should not be leading the country. The stuff he does then is only used as proof of why such people should not lead.
(Also of note, in an article on McDonald’s, the site owner says he has no problem shutting it down, and points out he doesn’t use the Constitution much. Most conservative blamers' entire premise is defense of the Constitution and “freedom”, but we see here how readily that can fall by the wayside. Wonder if a lot of the other Conservatives, many of whom virtually mulling an armed war against the “tyrannical” government, would still side with someone like this, and ditch the Constitution if felt necessary).
He also has a book aiming to fulfill King’s dream of “people being judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”, but the whole point of the site is that an entire group defined by the color of their skin always fails at “content of character”!
Again, “truth” that “speaks for itself”.
So we see the ultimate fruition of the notion of how the “colorblind” principle actually favors discrimination (and thus meddling with it is the true “racism” that messes up race relations). If we judged by “the content of character”, the blacks would still come out on the bottom, proving discrimination was right all along!
The question can be turned back on them. Obviously, he’s mocking the notion that “Blacks built America”, which some black writers and activists have said over the years. That of course is ludicrous, as blacks are capable of nothing but destroying, so of course it’s the white race that really built it.
But then if that is so, then how was your superior product able to be taken over and destroyed by an inferior group?
They’ll blame white liberals for wrongly promoting blacks and creating systems like socialism, but why would they do that if race was the issue, meaning they [white liberals] too were on the superior side?
They, “personal responsibility” jargon aside, cannot own the wrong of the past. So they end up compounding it by taking its negative effects as its own self-justification.
People like this so want the black community to get a public scolding, as if that would magically solve all our problems, and then we could move on, happily ever after. One person told me “blacks should stop worrying about what whites think about them and just improve themselves”. (This, mind you, in the very breath of rebuffing what blacks and liberals say about his group). You even had an immigrant, Dinesh D'Souza, brought in to try to tell the American black community about itself (The End of Racism, including criticism of “victim rhetoric”, which was ironic considering the fact that this was at the height of the so-called “angry white male” revolt which was nothing but pure victim rhetoric and much louder and from a group still dominant).
Then there was the controversy of an anti-abortion ad in Harlem that was accused of playing off of stereotypes. More recently, it was Bill Cosby rising up from out of the community to try to give it that self-correction. Instead of this satisfying all these external judges (that there are voices out there addressing the problems of the community), they simply focused on examples of people rebuffing the criticism. (Like they had no right to question any of it).
Both Cosby and the ad controversies became opportunities for conservatives to step up their judgments of the entire black community as refusing to improve itself, and thus proving to be detrimental drains on society. (Not allowing them the human tendency to resist change). Citing abortion statistics, they claimed to be expressing dismay at the “racist” liberal plot to destroy the black race from the womb (“The most dangerous place for black children”), but what they were really doing was angrily scolding the community’s “immorality” and “ignorance” for being “bought out” by these liberals!
Some will even say they "wished race was something that could be discussed", instead of being so censored. But what they really mean by “discussing” is complaining, blaming and scolding blacks' “problems”. Basically, “playing the race card” the way THEY want it played.
All this public chastisement they want would do is basically exonerate the entire history of the country. It would openly name and isolate the problem from all the “good” folk making up the good nation, and then perhaps the appropriate steps could be taken, 'whatever they may be'. You wonder if it would represent a modern collective hanging in effigy to some. (Since we see, some out there do still want hangings of the "problem people").
Racism is obviously not really wrong in itself to such people; but the determinant for who it is right or wrong for is one’s achievements in the world. (Might makes right)
People have gotten so caught up in the “evil” of Obama, liberals, blacks and their “problems”, “whiners”, “takers”, etc. they can’t even see their own evil they point out only in others, and thus why people still complain about race in the first place!
|Conservatives claim the media and blacks ignore black crime, but the media has never stopped highlighting black crime, and blacks have been addressing it the whole time|
If this type of rhetoric has me wondering who out there I see in the world feels this way (and thus feeling a bit less trustful of people), then we can see how it has the potential to really sour race relations, even if it is a small “fringe” that people think can have no effect.
This has the power to poison race on both sides if not answered strongly, as not only will blacks take it as proof whites are all racists, but even a nonracist white who suffers a brutal crime by a black, in the traumatized state, might rethink these things, and the rhetoric finally “click” for them, in anger.
Inferior or Superhuman? Forfeiting justice and destroying the nation
Then, as part of the judgment against blacks for their crimes against themselves, you have stuff like this: http://www.ijreview.com/2013/07/65527-in-513-days-between-trayvon-shooting-and-zimmerman-verdict-11106-blacks-murdered-by-other-blacks
What is the point? That blacks are not outraged about their own crime (as is insinuated)? But to the contrary; they’ve been speaking out about it for decades!
(And they are the ones who have had to deal with the ghetto. Conservatives, often far away from these high crime areas, complain about it, then pitch guns —which we would be the ones more likely to get shot with. I wonder if this is deliberate among some, as it has been made clear that no one is trying to take their handguns or sports rifles away. What other kinds of guns do they want to be out there, and who do they want to be able to get them so easily?
Gun culture is another romanticized aspect of the “exceptional” past society. Everybody wants to be John Wayne and have the “showdown at the OK corral” and blow the smoke off their pistol and ride off into the sunset; but it doesn’t usually go quite that way in actual gun battles!)
Then, of course, let’s not forget the proverbial black-on-white crime, which they also claim is always ignored now. The recent one they all like to throw up at us being a little white Hispanic baby supposedly killed by two teens.
So now, I’ll see someone say whites “don’t have an Al Sharpton” to defend the little baby, because such a leader would be called racist.
However, you do have Limbaugh and others like him, plus Republican campaigns and the Tea Party, who have spoken far louder and influenced opinion much more than Sharpton or any other liberal voice, and have all mastered the excision of explicit race (a deliberate tactic as we shall see shortly) from the language while still getting the message (of blame) across, and fans can even use that fact to brag that liberals don’t have as much of an answer.
(Ironically, it turns out that this story, trumped up loudly by conservatives, was a HOAX and the parents were the culprit! http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/07/24/new-evidence-in-georgia-infants-death-points-to-parents-not-two-black-teen Just a repeat of the Susan Smith incident of almost 20 years ago!)
What this whole argument pretends never happened is that the media has never stopped highlighting black crime. That's why a single story like this or all the black on black incidents might get glossed over. Lost amongst the dozens of other similar stories.
(The whole message of these conservatives is like kids caught doing something and saying “what about HIM?”)
But to keep throwing this up in a case like Trayvon makes it sound like we do not have the right to question a case where we thought a member of our race was wrongfully killed. It’s like any one person in our community has forfeited any claim to justice because of what others in the community do. (One FB meme points out that a white person being killed is never justified by the fact that whites kill other whites too! Rowan also makes a similar point regarding the fact that while simple shootings or robbery may be associated with black males, more heinous serial crimes are often committed by white males!)
All of this BLAME I would say is a betrayal of deep racism, aside from any open discrimination (like in college, hiring, or renting) that may be disputed as ongoing or not.
|The sweeping generalizations conservatives feel safe in making (based on supposed “fact”), are themselves keeping race in the issue|
Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow mentioned black kids (the main target of the Drug War) as “pariahs”, and now we see a prime example of this: Trayvon essentially being killed for the way he dressed, and the conservatives trashing him as a “thug” who deserved it.
They even turn this into yet another of a string of constant attacks on Obama, who tried to identify with the boy by saying it could have been him with a meme mocking that he “could have been a Skittle-eating, hoodie wearing, cracker hating, drug using thug”.
This is the image that has been consistently trumped up in Right wing political discourse. The perennial prince of the “takers” who’ve singlehandedly brought down the nation, both economically and culturally, by refusing to work and living off of both crime and “handouts” taken from others.
This sums up the attitude of many (and in the comments of a liberal article:
If there is a small spark left from an enormous fire and people keep talking as if the fire rages on, the perception among ignorant people will be that the fire rages on. Then tremendous resources will be allocated to the spark. Breaking the back of the ability to fight real fires. That is what all this race baiting is about. Trying to gin up more white guilt to devote resources to a problem that exists only, for the most part, in the minds of self pitying, victim playing people who will not raise productive children and do not care for the nation as a whole.
On the demise of Detroit:
white flight – yep regardless of what anybody posts on here – blacks cause most of their own problems – wanting everything for free – and the unions – want everybody to make $60,000 for turning a bolt and retire making the same $60,000 a year – the whites move crime increases and the Southern states get all the jobs – right to work states.
This brings the issue of class back into the debate. Class was beginning to be seen as underlying race, but events would always turn the attention back to race. Conservatives don’t like either “card” played on them, and contrasting from the “Archie Bunker” old blue collar style of conservativism, the new breed is against unions just as much as welfare. So even if you are working, you’re still a “taker” if you essentially want “too much” (including any sort of job security and benefits. Apparently, only those at the top “deserve” them). Ignored is the fact that workers like that are struggling to keep up as rents and all other prices are rising, but their incomes are not rising as fast, if at all!
Just look in the link at the 50+ photos of ruins. Blacks and unions created this whole mess, or the system responsible for it, under the Democrats giving them these “free rides”. That’s where all the money went. The auto industry presumably only “did what it had to do” to survive (under the "oppressive" liberal policies).
Even the subprime mortgage crisis that crashed the economy I have seen being ultimately tied to minorities, since they benefited (initially, that is) a lot from the loans. Blame is placed solely on the victims, while the banks (like the auto giants) are completely exonerated.
It’s easy to see where this race-based blaming would help spike up animosity, especially as it occurs as we get a black president, for two terms.
In both cases, the huge corporations had to be bailed out, and while such “corporate welfare” was usually hailed by conservatives as “pro-American, pro-capitalism” under conservative “trickle down” philosophy; when Obama did it, he was all the more condemned for “socialism”. He should have let the institutions fail, they insisted. (Never mind the question of why they were "too big to fail", in the first place, especially when liberalism is so accused of oppressing business, and this said to be the cause of the problem in the first place).
Meanwhile there were reports of CEO’s taking bailout money and continuing in their opulent lifestyles as if nothing happened, such as an $89,000 pheasant hunt or million dollar birthday parties.
Whenever this financial (rather than racial) aspect of injustice was mentioned, the conservatives retort with stern religious style “rebukes” of “covetousness” and “envy”. They deserve it; “it’s their money, to do with as they please” (no matter what). They would NEVER say that about a welfare check. When the government taxes us and gives it to the poor, it's still "OUR" money wrongly stolen from us. When the same government gives the same money (and much more of it at that) to a rich corporate leader, it's THEIR money. Why? Because “the market” determines what CEO’s are worth, and that they got to those positions by making all the right decisions (and basically just being smarter than everyone else; one person in a video comment debate said “he’s the CEO and you are not”).
In the case of the bailouts, no connection was made between this principle of theirs and the fact that these companies failed, yet the CEO’s were still rewarded immensely. Even as Hostess Brands failed, the CEO’s actually asked for seven figure bonuses to LIQUIDATE the company they had obviously killed, including by using pension money for themselves! People again blamed the unions.
So continuing, according to this logic, those who struggle have only themselves to blame for making all the wrong decisions (the same person in the video comments used as an example a couple having a child before becoming financially stable. Children don’t always come as planned like that. He also told me wealth was just four mouse clicks away for anyone).
This philosophy is summed up here: http://www.capitalisminstitute.org/stop-hating-the-rich. The article claims to acknowledge "Certainly, corporate welfare and cronyism play a part of the present injustices in society. It’s evil and it has to stop", but then lists a bunch of the richest people and then makes a comparative value judgment: in any given day, they've "provided more value for the rest of society than either your life or my life in total", and of course puts the onus on us to do the same ("in service to others", even) instead of complaining about them; and the religious themed rebuke regarding "envy". "It’s a really humbling thought to realize that the reason that you’re not wealthy yet is...because you’re just not as good as the rich at giving the world a lot of value. This isn’t an insult. It’s just a fact." Like the person I tangled with, it then appeals to the internet as giving us the chance to change that reality.
If it were really all that simple, then everyone would seize the opportunity. For all of these people who want “free rides”, sitting at a computer and making four mouse clicks is far easier than waiting on welfare lines, after all.
Unless the problem is that the people not doing this really are too stupid. The overall message I’m seeing here is that you’re either one of them (the powerful), or you’re just unworthy. I have seen others claim "the poor don't create jobs", as if "I'm just more worthy". Over and over, I keep seeing it all attributed solely to some depth of character on the part of the rich, which everyone else is then judged as lacking. (And yet again, we see that word “fact” as proof of superiority. And don’t DARE say they didn’t “build” everything alone with no help or any other factors!)
To tell us we need to "provide value" is to totally devalue what we're already doing. (And that is the crux of the problem with this philosophy. And remember, it's even not the unemployed welfare recipient they're talking to at this point, but rather the average workers, who “only do your 40 hours a week and then go home” or “only turn a bolt”, and don’t do 100 hours like people they’re defending, apparently. They produce "value" (and “build” it all by themselves); you produce no value. I guess they could just run an office of ghosts replacing all the workers, and produce the same "value". Or better yet, machines, and not have to pay anyone. That's obviously the ideal they've been working toward, but until then, even lower paid sweat shop workers in other countries will have to do. (Good counter-point, see Banned TED Talk: Nick Hanauer "Rich people don't create jobs").
If you devalue workers like this, why should they be more "productive"? This is the same principle used to excuse the CEO's for taking jobs away if they are taxed or otherwise restricted. "Punishing their hard work" defenders call it. The question is, how much compensation defines "valuing" or "punishing"?
But it seems only CEO's have this right as humans. While this “covetousness” is condemned in the average person, the rich are justified in any reaction they may make when they "lose money", in which case they basically punish everybody (and it gets blamed on the lower classes themselves and socialism! And just pointing out inequity is not necessarily coveting. You don’t have to try to take what the other person has; just desiring it, and striving to gain the same thing or even just more in general, even if by your own “hard work” is what “covetousness” is! Most people complaining about class are not actually trying to get what the rich have).
I got my first taste of all of this several years ago, and on a Christian forum at that:
"Workers DO have the same rights as 'big busness' does, but they dont have the same rights as the owners and other decision makers in the business..."
[So these PEOPLE have the same rights as an abstract entity called "big business", but they do not have the same rights as other PEOPLE who have simply managed to gain some status!]
"...30,000 deadwood workers...a bunch of chattel..."
"...Only for people who are worth fifty cents an hour, with no healthcare and unhealthy working conditions, if that's what the market dictates"
"Some people are better than others in life's horse race..."
"Sounds vicious? Well maybe it is, but owner's game, owner's rules"
[Since this was a "Christian", I wonder where God fits into all this. Isn't it supposed to be HIS game?]
"...like the rest of our loutish, low level workforce"
This, folks, is the mindset conservative rhetoric has been defending! We see here it is identical to the slaveowners' beliefs. (So it's no surprise that they would lump the descendants of the slaves in with all these "louts" and "chattel" as undeserving and wanting too much. Basically, the rich and even the corporations they run are seen as “the People”!) This is what we should remember we are dealing with, when we keep asking them for “fairness”.
And it ignores that a lot of these owners are heirs, or at least had the right connections, the gap between them and everyone else has increased enormously in recent decades, and they haven't created that much more value, and that many more than they are willing to admit have gotten a lot of this through cronyism and corporate welfare.
No one is saying they shouldn’t be richer than others (this is a straw man); it’s that their wealth is increasing while they claim they must cut back on jobs, pay, services and quality. They’ve created what one observer calls an “illusion of scarcity”. (And the system is geared to trap people in cycles of debt; which becomes like a virtual form of slavery). And the tactic has been to get those beneath them to blame each other for this scarcity, when there is really a hidden abundance.
Still, we see here a mindset of superiority (even if the writer himself is conceding it to someone else). The supposed "makers" or "productive", with the entire population divided into these categories that determine people's actual "worth"; sounding almost like some sort of cold robotic dictatorship in the darkest science fiction. "Entitlement mentality" is criticized as if it's wrong in itself, but in practice, it's right for those who have "earned" it!
We see here the bridge between the modern system and slavery. After all, those "backward" Africans and Native Americans were "unproductive" in their own right, so since “we” [the West] were the ones being "productive" and building modern civilization, we had the right to take their land and labor. So likewise, if you're not "productive" [enough] today [i.e. climbed to the top like us], we have the right to suffocate you financially, and have you working for low wages and benefits, while prices are high, and we reap all the benefit.
"I delayed gratification", so I'm DUE gratification NOW; you didn't delay gratification then, so you OWE now (and that's why things are hard for you!)" Just put two and two together and you see the underlying rationale for the justification of everything from slavery to economic oppression.
Just think; if one is in debt, and the other is due something (that is the source of the others' debt), then a natural relationship of domination is clearly inferred!
This is what they are justifying with this philosophy. Same exact system and underlying mindset; just carried out differently. (And made to look like anyone is "free" to climb up to the top). And just like before, any attempt of anyone to remediate it is seen as the true nation-destroying betrayal. The rulers then become the real "victims".
If they have no problem affirming being "better" than others by class, then it shouldn't be hard to believe many will still draw that line along race as well. Why wouldn't they?
It's also a big slap in the face in the face to accuse all who suffered under poverty, discrimination and most importantly, poor schools (which limit "opportunity", contrary to the claim of those who appeal to other groups who survived discrimination), of simply "gratifying" themselves (i.e. not "delaying" it). It is the ultimate self-righteousness, or what is known in Christian doctrine as "works-righteousness", or in scripture, "righteousness of the Law"; by which people judge others (based on God's laws, such as upholding their end of a give-and-take transaction) while justifying themselves (not aware of their own inherent sinfulness and failure to always do what’s right. Conservative Christians, who officially believe in the doctrine of "Grace" yet have been heavily involved in these moral and political debates, should know better! One pastor and former Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin, cites the comfort-oriented “undesirables” of the big cities that “rob states of liberties” as why he moved to Montana! http://newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin652.htm)
They also try to argue that “it’s not a zero sum game“. Giving more to CEO’s doesn’t take away our pie, it gives us a “bigger pie”. (This is basically “trickle-down” theory, but when it still doesn’t work, even under Republican administrations, then we must still keep blaming liberal policies alone).
As we shall see more of, economics is really the driving force behind all of this, so it should not be surprising that blame would be shifted the way it is.
Even if poor minorities were getting all the money and spending it on steaks, electronics, gold chains, expensive clothes, etc. as we see charged; as “consumers”, they would be actually putting the money back into the economy. They are not the ones SITTING on the money, or taking it out of the country, like corporations and the rich can do. (So here, the “zero sum” argument turns right back on them!) But of course, this is excused as well, as it’s the liberals’ and their poor constituents’ fault business has to take the money elsewhere.
Conservatives won’t even stop at seriously distorting the “truth” they so appeal to!
“Obama Tells Teachers Not To Reprimand Black Students”
“The order births a new federal bureaucracy and effectively offers black students a green light to misbehave at school.“
This of course becomes yet another platform for everyone to talk about black “problems” and how they will now be encouraged to get worse, and how Obama is a racist favoring blacks.
Yet the article does not even cite the source of this claim.
Here is the actual order:
What they are probably referencing is:
(vi) reducing the dropout rate of African American students and helping African American students graduate from high school prepared for college and a career, in part by promoting a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools, and by supporting successful and innovative dropout prevention and recovery strategies that better engage African American youths in their learning, help them catch up academically, and provide those who have left the educational system with pathways to reentry
Notice the word “disparate“: “Fundamentally distinct or different in kind; entirely dissimilar”.
It’s aiming to prevent blacks from being disciplined worse than others (as for the same level of misbehavior), not saying they should be disciplined less, regardless of how much children who happen to be black might misbehave. (And of course, you have those who say “they’re disciplined worse because they misbehave more” citing statistics of course).
Another one to take note of (for those who insist no one is trying to address the root of black problems):
(iii) decreasing the disproportionate number of referrals of African American children from general education to special education by addressing the root causes of the referrals and eradicating discriminatory referrals
Another good example is how a picture of an older man was used for Trayvon:
Surely, these “self-pitying, victim-playing” people with their “unproductive children” are being made to bear the entire country’s “shadow” (this concept will be discussed later).
In a quote from columnist Gary Wills regarding the oft cited belief that “blacks are taking over” Rowan points out: “Obviously, blacks occupy a large amount of psychic space, no matter what their numbers are. All in all, if blacks could really do what people are claiming, they would be superhuman, and we should yield to them as our natural leaders” (p.118-9).
Of course you have some who turn the whole situation on its ear by claiming that this is in fact what has happened! http://www.wnd.com/2013/07/zimmerman-trial-exposes-negrophilia-in-u-s
Erik Rush, (who is black, and was the first to expose the Rev. Jeremiah Wright), author of “Negrophilia: From Slave Block to Pedestal – America’s Racial Obsession,” published by WND Books; who, according to the review
doesn’t refrain from using the new N-word – “Negrophilia,” an “undue and inordinate affinity for blacks” – to describe the mindset that he says is behind a pervasive manipulation expertly employed and exploited to divide and destroy American society.
“Whites succumb to Negrophilia when, believing that people of color are somehow more benevolent and less corruptible than themselves, they develop an undue affinity for them,” says Rush.
I’ve never seen a liberal believe anything like this; liberals pitch for “equality”, remember; it’s conservatives who always argue for “better/worse” judgments, and their blaming stance towards blacks certainly doesn’t picture them as more benevolent and less corruptible.
This of course ties into the whole “African and Native American societies are portrayed as paradise that the white man ruined (ignoring their tribal wars)” charge. I have never heard anyone teach that either, but what is usually mentioned is that they lived more in harmony with nature rather than trying to completely conquer it. That is not the same as being “less corruptible”, or “paradise”.
Then on another article on the site, by another black writer, Mychal Massie (“The Ugly Truth About Trayvon”), he says “There is an attempt to portray Martin as worthy of deification”.
Where did he get that from?
People are really projecting their own mindset (including black conservatives who appear to be trying too hard to show themselves “objective” in not just following the black liberal perspective).
All of this is how conservatives think about themselves, with young black culture forever failing to measure up to this standard.
The irony of all this is that it's not that black parents (even single ones) don't teach their kids anything, as people are assuming. Quite the contrary, blacks are known to be the roughest parents! The proverbial “a__-whooping” is the staple of childhood and parenting memories, while white parents will generally beg and plead with their kids to behave (and even in the past, when they were stricter, it was usually “wait 'till your father gets home”). I constantly hear many working class black coworkers and others, who criticize the youth culture, with the saggy pants, sexual indecency and all of the other things the entire race has been portrayed with. (You often hear them saying "If I caught my kids doing that...!" Right wingers even sometimes acknowledge black community as being conservative (especially with the traditional homophobia we’ve been known for), but still insist on generalizing us all as having been “bought out” by the liberal Democrats when we should have stuck with the Republicans. We abandoned the Republicans because of all the “Dixiecrats” who took it over and infused it with their race-blaming sentiments and policies. Yet we are now judged as blind and/or selfish for voting against those who show they do not represent us, which is supposed to be the whole point of American “liberty”; and we should vote for them anyway, because they know what’s good for us, which is what the authoritarian Left is criticized for!)
Pop culture has trumped up this young “thug” image, just the same as it has done with the young [white] "blonde bimbos" gracing the tabloids every day. People have taken this and run with it, to justify old prejudices, but it shows why such generalizations are always wrong, no matter how much statistics you may THINK you have!
However, I've always noted that these tough parents teach the kids to fear THEM, yet when they are not around, the kids learn to get away with stuff. This is when they get influenced by the culture, which in their community defines a young black kid as a “thug” wearing baggy pants, and the girls as “hoochies”. The parent receives the respect and fear of the kid, and then talks about how he has his kids under control, compared to all the ones in the streets, or the news, or the “twerking” videos. But then when they finally do get caught up in something, it's the total denial of “my kid doesn't do that!”; hence, the “coddling” the black parents or community is often accused of.
It is easy to point and say what parents or the community should do, but much harder to go and do it (like the parents would have to never allow the kids out of their sight, including to go to school or anything else). It's easy because the fingerpointing conservative community has learned to blame all of its (or the nation's, including their own younger generations) problems on some isolated-from-themselves others, including the blacks, the “liberal” media and education, foreign people or philosophies, etc.
|No one is saying anybody shouldn’t be richer than others; it’s that their wealth is increasing (far more than the value they produce) while they claim they must cut back on jobs, pay, services and quality, and have created an “illusion of scarcity”.|
Definite patterns in the history of race
Michelle Alexander The New Jim Crow outlines the development of the race issue, and we see from the birth of slavery (p.22, 23), http://erictb.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/review-the-new-jim-crow:
•It was the big business of the time (planters, etc) that benefited from the institution
•One of the tactics was “driving a wedge” between poor whites and blacks
•The status quo said to be for blacks’ own good
•Southern economy in jeopardy, they claimed the federal government was trampling on their rights
•As slavery ended, blacks came to be viewed as menacing, dangerous, aggressive predators.
•Segregation began with the purpose of creating a low paid submissive labor force
An interesting point is that opinion became divided between “liberals”, “conservatives”, and a third group called “populists”. The first two pretty much paralleled today’s major “wings”, one being progressive yet paternalistic, and the other opposing progress and speaking of people’s “proper station in life”, and that the liberals’ agenda actually posed a danger to the cause of blacks.
The populists criticized corporations as the liberals did, but wasn’t as paternalistic toward blacks. (The closest to this group today would be some libertarians). They eventually cave into conservative intimidation.
Now, (as we go from the 19th to the 20th century) we begin cycling between some common themes that run throughout the whole period:
•Planters see the benefit of poor whites directing their hatred toward the black competitor, so the planters wouldn’t have class hostility directed toward them.
•Dominant whites concluded it was in their best interests to scapegoat blacks
•As Jim Crow ended, fears of blacks becoming susceptible to communism arose [this was the new factor in this round]
•Another backlash, as once again, racial equality was being forced upon the South by the federal government
•Civil rights turns focus to economics; evolves into a “Poor People’s Movement”, including white poverty. [This will be countered in the remaining steps]
•Conservatives begin searching for formally “race neutral” system of control; could not involve explicit or clearly intentional race discrimination. New race-neutral language was developed appealing to old racist sentiments.
•As the Civil Rights era drew to a close, opponents increasingly turned to “law and order” rhetoric, picturing integration as causing crime, even using statistical “facts” such as lower crime rates in southern states, and appealing to rise of national crime rate and rioting.
•Police harassment as cause of uprisings dismissed
•An important point many Republican apologists miss, the Southern Strategy, where Democrats unhappy with the party’s embrace of Civil Rights are lured to the Republican party. THIS is why it can be claimed “the Republicans were pro civil rights and the Democrats were the racists” as people ignorantly shout, as if it proved who is really racist or not, now.
It’s not about the parties, it’s about the ideology.
•Black “welfare cheats” and their dangerous offspring emerged for the first time, into the political discourse and media imagery.
•Competing images of poor as “deserving” and “undeserving” became central components of debate.
•Burden of integration fell on lower and lower middle class whites (jobs, busing, etc). Conservatives could now claim “liberal Democratic establishment” as out of touch with ordinary working people. So they resolved how to persuade poor and working class voters to align with corporate interests and the conservative elite.
This, in Alexander’s outline, then culminates in the War on Drugs, supported by the Republican majority, as inner city communities were suffering from economic collapse, with factories closing, multinational corporations transferring jobs away from American cities, etc. Kids who learned nothing in crumbling schools would end up instead in high tech prisons (which also are becoming privatized big business) for minor offenses. (Meanwhile, traffickers bringing it into the country, and even local kingpins would not even be touched, though!)
This would also help perpetuate the “problems of the black community” that have come so in handy in conservative rhetoric, including to demonize people like Trayvon.
With all of this, Right-wingers who try to point blame at minorities fail to see how they have fallen right into perpetuating this cycle, rather than racism being so behind them. All the rhetoric and tactics they are using are not new. So it’s not “so long ago” either; it’s something that has just trans-mutated along with the times.
Here we see the development of the trends that lead up to today’s rhetoric. The split between the “conservative” and “liberal” approach, how corporatism has benefitted from the race/class divide the whole time and deflects suspicion from itself, and how the “angry middle class” came to see corporations (i.e. unbridled capitalism) as the hero and instead focus on welfare and crime to blame blacks; all the while able to insist there is no proof of “racism”.
We can see here the repeating themes of:
•The underlying economic basis
•“Divide and conquer”: dividing the lower class group according to race, to throw suspicions off of the ruling class
•Claiming to be victimized by the federal government
•Characterizing blacks as dangerous (to further justify what they’re fighting the government about)
•Claiming conservatives have the best interest for blacks, who are being “used” by liberals in their goal to destroy America (i.e. through “socialism”).
So it’s like on one hand, blacks are linked to the destruction of the nation, but not directly; they’re just pawns of our real enemies, white leftists. That’s who we’re really against, so it’s not about race on our end; it’s only our enemies who make it that way.
(Of course, this ends up as all the more demeaning to blacks, because the way it often is presented, blacks are too stupid and/or greedy to see how they are being “used”. So they are like just a political football the Right throws at the Left).
The economic basis of racism and blame shifting
We see it all ultimately starts with economics, which is what some have tried to move the focus away from race toward. Slavery was an economic system (and slaveowners were actually rich corporate leaders), and segregation also was economic.
Think; wouldn’t an ideal situation for a company’s profits be if the workers could work for free? That’s what slavery was. Or extremely low paid? That’s what they’ve been trying for ever since, in one way or another.
When they couldn’t get that here, then corporations turned elsewhere where they could get cheap labor, and the conservatives defend this, in the name of “profit” (“financial responsibility”, even), and then blame the workers here (and often racial groups) for “wanting too much” and thus driving business out. (They then toss out red herrings such as “if you want more, pull yourselves up like the CEO’s”, to prove this system is neither classist nor racist).
[Edit: There's a saying being passed around "Growth for growth sake is the behavior of the cancer cell". Ironic that those who practice and defend this keep likening those not "growing" enough to the true "cancer" or "prarsites"!]
For decades, Republicans campaigned as representing “the forgotten middle class” against “big government” taxing them to give to the poor. Now, one leader is saying not to speak of “middle class” at all, because it’s “Marxist” language, and “buying into” Democrats’ “rhetoric of dividing America.” because “there’s no class in America” and it’s a place where “everyone has the opportunity to succeed.” http://www.mediaite.com/tv/rick-santorum-in-iowa-the-term-middle-class-is-marxism-talk
Our attention is always pointed away from class divisions, which are real, as the “1%” charts show. But it’s OK to point out a racial group (and blame them for that division), with the “opportunity” claim used to place blame on those who struggle!
Another thing they condemn is “wealth redistribution”, meaning government taxing ordinary people to give to nonworking poor. However, they ignore that wealth is already being redistributed, in the other direction, to those at the top. Again, we are told they deserve it, and that their excesses are not taking anything away from everyone else, but rather would benefit us all if we just gave them even more.
I only had to think of such devious tactics such as “planned obsolescence” which became obvious in the late 70′s, where items were built of cheaper quality and essentially made to need to be replaced. (And often, things breaking down right after the warranty expires. Today, it is common with electronics/software, to be superseded quickly by the next version, rendering the previous one obsolete).
Yet both prices and executive income rose dramatically, yet this was the “good” system in the world (unlike those "godless materialists" overseas), and all the blame began shifting to the poor person buying something with food stamps as our economic public enemy #1.
It was recently revealed that the Tea Party, which has become a big breeding ground for these rhetorical tactics, was basically created by Big Tobacco (one of the players in the Old South from slavery on, of course), as well as the billionaire Koch brothers (whose father was a founding member of the John Birch Society, who said “The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America,” through public welfare and “getting a vicious race war started.”. Koch, Fred C. A Business Man Looks at Communism. (1960) self-published).
Study Confirms Tea Party Was Created by Big Tobacco and Billionaire Koch Brothers:
(They basically get to instigate racial division under the very pretext of calling it out!)
Shouldn’t it be clear how forces like this would benefit by getting the unhappy whites blaming blacks yet extolling the rich, while claiming that it’s the Left that is causing the race problems along with every other problem?
Is it hard to believe that this might be the source of a lot of the attitudes expressed in the rhetoric; that they would believe themselves to be "makers", and look down on others who have not climbed up to their level, and would thus want everyone to believe the same? (Couldn't you picture them telling some [likely underpaid] worker "I'm the CEO and you're not!"?)
Already we see the direct connection to the blaming of blacks and Communists in conjunction. In this whole tactic, any claim blacks make about race is instantly invalidated as part of a Communist plot. (Conservatives often post memes on Martin Luther King, for the most part owning him as a good Republican, who had Christian values, and whose “Dream” of colorblindness was a noble one (being violated today only by the "race-baiting" blacks themselves and Democrats).
But that's not how the "Constitution-upholding" conservatives of his day saw him. (Christian colleges reportedly even erupted in cheering at his assassination!) He was seen as the prime example of the Communists using blacks to stir up racial tension. Amazing how King's evil "anti-American leftism" has suddenly disappeared to such patriots today!)
On one hand, the nation defended by the Kochs and JBS tyrannized a group of people centuries ago, and now in the last century, it gained a perpetual “enemy” whom they believe is trying to tyrannize them. Both sets of detractors ironically get lumped into the same pot, to be isolated into 100% invalidity, while these defenders and their economic system continue to shine as the unfairly maligned “good guys”).
And so to throw suspicion off of their interests, they would have the Tea Party and think-tank organizations/foundations they support infuse political discourse with the blaming of these others? The goal being to receive less taxes and regulations, so they can have all the more power?
Being that people are the same in any age, if earlier private and government forces could maintain slavery, where some groups were used for free labor, (and this even under the banner of the “self-evident truth” that “all men are created equal”), then why should it be hard to believe that the current economic crunches could be part of the same goal of virtual slavery (people working but still not having enough to make ends meet, rather than the problem being the poor gaining all the money)?
Are such enterprises so “good”, just from having this “maker” designation applied to them, that they are above human fault; that others, including the poor can be plagued with “greed” and “covetousness”, but people like this are above that, just because of their position and status? Because they supposedly “delayed gratification” at one point? Are they the ones being elevated to godlike status, (rather than Trayvon and black culture as people actually claim)?
So as far as the decay of Detroit and many other cities, it’s like when it couldn’t have slavery, then couldn’t have segregation, the nation went into a sort of “self-destruct mode”, through “white flight”, in both cities (as owners held onto property, but let it decay, many fires were due to heat not being given or buildings being abandoned, or outright insurance fraud, etc), and then the job market and economy. So now, since the blacks are the ones left in these bombed out cities, and all of this just happens to occur right after desegregation and other Civil Rights progresses, that proves it; it’s all their fault. They did all this, and the liberals using them to turn this into a "socialist" country.
Hopefully, through deductive logic, this would become clear, and there would eventually be a backlash leading to people finally rising up and “taking back the country”. Hence, fulfilling the old dream that “The South shall rise again”. (The old “Lost Cause“, seen as representing the purest original values of the whole nation, for which Southern-based conservatives have resented the government ever since. [Edit: conservative ideology has even been called the "Nationalization of Southern politics"!]).
All of the “facts” these people present can be taken to point to one thing. Blacks are the cause of the fall of the nation, so the slave-owners, or at least the segregationists must have been right all along (and we see a few who will even come out and proclaim this), now proven as unquestionably and concretely as gravity, so for our good, and actually for their own good as well, we must restore the original “principles” of the nation (and [interpretation of] the Constitution). The “truth” of just how this is to be carried out will be seen as “speaking for itself” and thus not "racist".
When I kept seeing the utter denial regarding wealth-based power, and how people REFUSE to even consider that this might be part of the blame, this eventually made it CLEAR that what they are fighting for is the "honor" of the nation's history. (The final clue should have been when one person on a Christian board even told me to "man up" when I complained that eyeglasses I thought were a bit costly were still cheaply made. I’m the one getting gipped, yet the fault is with me, not the manufacturer OR the “market” that makes them cost the way they do! Nothing is EVER their fault! Yet when the same people complain about being cheated by taxes, they don’t tell each other to “man up”). This was evident, especially after seeing how clear The New Jim Crow made the economic basis of racism and the divide and conquer tactics. It all fell into place! They take personally any charge made against either the historic nation or modern capitalism. They have a deep solidarity with it.
If the old nation (which included its slavery and segregation tactics) won't be completely accepted as wrong, then neither will today's economic control. One is the continuation of the other, and they stand or fall together! If God ordained one, He ordained the other.
And blame MUST be assigned to the sufferers to make the whole premise work. This country is so good that those who don't make it here were and are just "inferior" in one way or another! That's the bottom line!
Blaming supposed "destroyers of the nation" was precisely the tactic of Nazi Germany. Ironically, the racist stereotype of Jews is basically diametric opposite of blacks. Where blacks were always portrayed as being “leeches” by way of being “lazy” non-workers, the Jews were seen as workaholic money hoarders. Everything the blacks are not; but nevertheless, the far Right blamers of that time and place still held this as “leeching” off of everyone else, and thus draining and destroying the nation. (And even this carries over to this modern American rhetoric war, when a few ultraconservatives do acknowledge the culpability of “world bankers”, but almost always have to specify them as “Jewish”, as if that makes a difference. It does when you need someone else to isolate the problem to, and the blacks can’t possibly be blamed for world economics).
So what was that people’s solution, to “save their nation”?
|I’ve heard far more anti-welfare rhetoric such as “strapping bucks”, “grasshoppers” and “chickens and ducks” over the years than I’ve heard minorities actually demanding more|
Conservatives claim to be defending against the erosion of our “freedoms”, especially as embodied by “public” systems they call “socialist”, while unbridled “capitalism” is seen as the totally “safe” alternative. But will it matter whether a tyrannical system is made up of government or private enterprise?
People generally associate tyranny with the Left, but the spectrum is really 2D, with both left and right, and authoritarian and libertarian as the other factor. Where Soviet Communism was authoritarian Left, Naziism and fascism were authoritarian Right (even though conservatives keep trying to lump them in with the Left based simply on the authoritarianism).
Giving unlimited shrift and power to big business (while spending so much time and energy blaming and fighting your fellow citizen, at the behest of big business financed rhetoric) will surely lead to some form of authoritarian regime; even if constructed under the premise of “freedom” (Marx was for “workers’ rights”, not government control, but it turned into that anyway. Man can’t help himself when given so much control).
Those “private” enterprises will still need to maintain order if they gain power, and so-called “market forces” can all the more be manipulated to not regulate the growing power base. And remember, they “earned” the dominance!
But the “dittoheads” of the nation seem to think “private” power or its leaders can do no wrong; continuing to “drink the Kool Aid”. (Some libertarians and so-called “paleo-Conservatives” might include “global corporatism” as a threat to our freedom; and controlling both parties, but the most blame always seems to ultimately fall right back onto minorities and the social programs).
If they want to shed the accusation of racism, then let’s see them stop blaming other races for their problems!
Fears and anxieties
It’s like what was pointed out last fall in analyzing why the Republicans lost, despite all the rhetoric of how horribly Obama was performing, that they catered to the fears and anxieties of one particular demographic. http://tv.msnbc.com/2012/11/10/white-identity-politics-doomed-2012-republican-effort (emphasis added)
The beating heart of modern conservatism is its visceral appeal to anxieties and fears of white Christians. This is a different statement than saying the beating heart of modern conservatism is white racism or white supremacy [i.e. what they accuse others of saying about them]. It’s not, or not principally. It is simply white “identity” politics, with all of the pathos and ugliness that implies. And if you don’t believe that, go read some conservative comment threads, or click over to the Drudge Report or Fox News, two outlets with a preternatural sense of the deepest anxieties of the modern conservative base.
Look at the ceaseless coverage of the New Black Panthers, and voter fraud and immigrants living high on the hog off government welfare, and the absolute frenzy the right whipped up over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque.
So the people believe anything these sources say (what they accuse others of, with “the liberal media”). It sounds like they are looking out for their best interests, freedom, prosperity, even religious heritage. Hence, all the big corporations and CEO’s are our heroes, “the makers”, while the nation is suffering because it is filled with all these (for the moment, nondescript) “takers”.
So they start out trying to maintain the race-neutral language of their rhetoric. But since race was used as the main vehicle of the system in the past, and people feel that as “the best country in the world”, this must be excused or made irrelevant, race keeps getting brought back into it. The conservatives must claim it is the minorities themselves “trying to get free stuff”, and the liberals “trying to get their votes” with that, that keep bringing race back into it. But they don’t realize that these sweeping generalizations (they then feel safe in making), are themselves what’s keeping race in the issue.
I’ve heard far more welfare rhetoric, with “strapping bucks”, “grasshoppers” and “chickens and ducks” over the years than I’ve heard minorities actually demanding more.
Over the past 30 years, you had blacks still complaining about the living condition in urban ghettos, and lack of opportunity, but that did seem to ease off a bit as time went on and some of these things improved a bit. Police brutality then became the bigger issue.
Sharpton and Jackson may have mentioned “reparations” occasionally, or riled things up at the latest incident, and it seems people are looking at them as representing what the entire black community wants. I almost never hear about them in the community. You pretty much only hear about them in the news, and that has become overall far less frequent (outside of particular incidents, like the current one) as time went on.
It’s the conservative candidates who the whole time would rather loudly infuse their campaigns with this thinly disguised 'code' rhetoric to try to rally up their voting base (exactly what they accuse the liberals of with the minorities). “Vote for me, and I’ll stop these leeches from draining your pockets” is what we’ve heard for 35 years at least. And then other pundits, such as the radio hosts, further keep everyone rallied.
Of course, when they win, the electorate still remains unhappy with the economy (as well as the moral direction of the country these candidates also campaigned on, such as abortion. —Which just maintains the platform for the next campaign).
Their policies do succeed in more money going to corporations, though they still cut jobs despite their profits.
Then comes the back and forth finger pointing; that the Republican couldn’t fix the economy because the Democrats had messed it up so much. Of course, now the tables have turned, and they get to spend a tremendous amount of energy berating Obama for “blaming Bush”.
Translating the “code”
So this tactic began with excision of race from the rhetoric, as Alexander pointed out. So now it becomes focused on quality of life and economics.
This is perfectly summed up by the statement of Harvey LeRoy “Lee” Atwater, advisor of U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush (for whom he was mastermind of the Willie Horton TV ads) and chairman of the Republican National Committee, regarding the Southern Strategy:
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.” (Lamis, Alexander P. et al. (1990) The Two Party South. New York: Oxford University Press; Herbert, Frank, (October 6, 2005) “Impossible, Ridiculous, Repugnant,” The New York Times)
And “abstraction” is the key to these debates. Abstraction covered up with concrete “facts” when needed, but still something you can’t readily prove or disprove, so can be thundered absolutely, and yet can be interpreted and skewed many different ways.
So you can’t just believe anybody, not even your own self; as we end up “boxing” our own doubts, which drives much of the emotional fervor in both religion and politics, the two subjects we are advised never to begin arguing about.
But to translate the modern rhetoric:
•“takers” is basically the new “nigger”
•“makers” is the new “chosen ones” or “smarter”, “superior”, etc.
•The liberals supposedly giving the “takers” all the makers’ hard earned cash, are basically the new “nigger-lovers”.
•The fact that the “takers” can hypothetically cross racial lines builds the Right’s case of race neutrality, but then white examples of these “takers”, such as the Occupiers, whom they similarly derided as “living in their parents’ basement and being too lazy to work”, then are the new “white trash”.
•Blacks who are “productive” or are good conservatives they’d LOVE to elect to office are the new “good ones”.
We can call this “excisionism“, as the contrast and rhetorical opposite of racism. This since some suckered into the “race-neutral” blaming rhetoric will naturally protest that their premise is not racist, and many may not even be aware of what the sentiments mean, since it’s all tailored to speak to legitimate needs and fears.
In all of this, it should be pointed out that the education system is the biggest area where blacks will say the system is racist. How can all of these ghetto people everyone loathes (and judges the whole race by, or generalizes into these hordes of “takers”) improve themselves (as people who want “fingers pointed” toward the black community argue the solution is) when the schools are so bad where they live? (And not talking about kids acting bad or skipping out of school, as some will toss back, but rather the quality of the education being offered itself).
I was just reminded of this seeing this article: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/07/16/1224079/-Good-news-from-the-Trayvon-Martin-tragedy which says (of Rachel Jeantel, the witness mocked by many for sounding ethnic) “Instead of taking responsibility for our pathetic education system, racists pilloried this young woman for her diction and perceived ignorance.”
The problem of conservatives
Failure to realize that their nation and culture is human like everyone else, and anything humans do is flawed and will become broken leads to the intense denial we have seen. So instead, they have to prove their nation was “chosen”, or “superior”, or if they choose not to use those words, just “exceptional” or “the greatest in the world” for whatever reason (some will “let facts speak for themselves”, pointing to some sort of genetic superiority).
|I have not seen any spokesmen for blacks shirk all responsibility for the community’s problems; it is only the conservative “patriots” who speak in terms of ALL or NONE, and will accept absolutely NO responsibility for anything|
Blacks are the ones who had to live through all of the urban (or rural) blight, on top of the racial oppression in the past; no one made all these angry conservatives live that way (even though you would think so, from Quinn’s “Grasshopper” analogy, and how angry they are); and the middle class of all races are the ones still struggling.
The ideology being promoted by right wing rhetoric poses this “fair” world where everyone suffers because of their own "stupid mistakes" (but then they at other times will tell us “life isn’t fair” when defending gross wealth inequality), so those with the least power manage to be responsible for everything. However something went wrong in the system, and these people who did everything right are also being brought down with the losers (“punishing productivity, rewarding freeloading” or something like that), and are seething mad, and want to place blame.
Obviously, you cannot say minorities who become criminals or vandalize the neighborhood or try to abuse public assistance, or any middle class who might make dumb mistakes (like spending up all their money frivolously) have no share in the blame for the problems, and I have not seen any spokesmen for these groups shirk all responsibility (hence all this “blacks kill each other; what about that” rhetoric is so ridiculous and childish); it is only the conservative “patriots” who speak in terms of ALL or NONE, and will accept absolutely NO responsibility (on the part of their system and its history), so it must ALL fall on these disenfranchised groups themselves.
We’ve heard it again and again and again for half a century or so; they built this great nation, and then all of these forces (from inside and from outside) came and wrecked it all, and the good conservatives (including the Christians) have done nothing but struggle trying to defend the honor of “God and country” by fighting off all of these invading enemies. Everyone from the minorities, to the communists, to the “godless”, to the liberals, to "illegal aliens", and among some, even the Jews (though with Zionism becoming popular in large parts of conservativism, many will shy away from this) and especially now, an added focus on Muslims.
Speaking of Muslims, just look at what one recent meme says about this group:
“All I want to do is move to your country, rape your women, bomb your buses, riot in your streets, and demand that you accept my religion. Why can’t you be more tolerant?”
A militant looking person is shown, but there is never any distinction between militants and others. In these memes and statements, the entire religion of Islam is painted as all the same, and those who are not like that are presumed to be secretly following the militants.
This from people who would scream about being lumped in with Christian Crusaders, colonial American slaveowners or modern racists to the far right of themselves.
(Large old religions like Islam, Christianity and Judaism have many different interpretations and levels of moderation, as religion is very abstract, and almost nothing can be absolutely verified. So one cannot be held responsible for what other groups do under the banner of the religion).
Then you have this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/08/mike-huckabee-muslims_n_3725678.html
And while I’ve long thought that Jackson and Sharpton have not been the best of spokesmen, what I’ve been seeing a lot of recently is statements like “These racebaiting culture-hustling microphone-pimps”, which sounds like it’s playing off of racial stereotypes, and going beyond just a criticism of their handling of these issues.
Someone posts a video of some black hate group saying to kill whites, and the response is “Wow, what a true Savage. No more welfare checks for you Nut-Job”, in addition to all the “N” words, and “go back to Africa”.
This is going beyond reacting to his hate; it’s regurgitating old white racism (including the generalized “welfare” stereotype; who said he was ever on welfare; groups like that often preach against having anything to do with the “white” government, and always actually agreed with the Right that it uses welfare to control the black people). Yet thinking that it’s now justified because look, this guy is spewing hate against whites! Again, the “child caught red-handed” pointing to another saying what about him?”
Even if the problem is not racism per se, it is still a general attitude of superiority, in basically all areas. The name of the overall vice is “narcissism”.
The Black and Liberal response
I feel both white and black liberals have lacked tact in their approach in post-Civil Rights times. So it looks like we are just still holding resentment and still wanting “more” for no other reason than a desire to get a “free ride” (which ties right into age old stereotypes about us). The notion that the oppression of the past has broken us is taken as a given, but the conservatives are not buying it. It does no good to keep parroting that, or even just assuming it as a given, if those we are trying to communicate this to are not registering it. They will appeal to other groups that were oppressed, but were able to pull themselves out of it. Here’s the typical:
‘Ask the black illuminati – the so-called talented tenth – why a Korean family I am friends with – who spoke very little English, came here with no money, moved into a town where they had no friends or relatives, opened a corner fruit stand, taking proceeds from each day’s sales to buy the next day’s produce – in seven years sent their daughter to an Ivy League school and in nine years sent their son to Rutgers University?
How is it that students from Africa and India come here, go to school and graduate as doctors and medical specialists?
I’ll tell you how they do it – they do it because no one tells them the white man is out to get them. They do it because they understand that there’s opportunities here they didn’t have in their home countries, and they are determined to take advantage of same – not wallow in despair, blame and victimhood.
Blacks have not only been lied to, they have embraced the lie with the vigor and willingness with which a child clutches an ice cream cone. Blacks have embraced anger, blame and victimhood with the eagerness of children awaiting Christmas. Even the majority of blacks who have seized the opportunities America avails all harbor bitterness and blame for whites.
[I'm surprised he didnt mention Jews; who are another common example of a persecuted group rising out of it].
So then we have to get even more into the complicated history and psychology of the issue to explain why that was different. Like what I call a “hierarchy of whiteness“, where those other groups may have been persecuted, but they were not degraded as bad as blacks were. It was blacks the “Christian” society believed were under a divine “curse”, not Asians or the other European groups. (Gen. 9 was seen as establishing this hierarchy, with the Asians as “Japheth”, the Jews as “Shem”, and Caucasians as either Japheth or even Shem among some, and the blacks as the accursed "Ham", of course. There’s also a psychological thing with the dark skin, since “darkness” looms on the collective unconscious as a symbol of “bad”, and thus projected onto the dark skinned people. Contrary to this laughably alleged “Negrophilia”, this has influenced even blacks' perception of themselves, as you can ask any teenage girl, still. Hence, Nation of Islam converts traditionally being taught the connection of the meaning of “dark/light” to racism).
Don’t forget, that many of those groups could pass as “white”, where blacks obviously couldn’t. Irish, Italians, and even most Jews were basically “white-skinned”, and usually could just change their names! Even Africans who might come here today are not facing the oppression as those brought here against their will centuries ago under slavery.
Meanwhile, we have been slow at answering a lot of the skewed rhetoric that has been put out there. Like us draining the economy through “welfare” programs. Why haven’t there been more Rowans, who so excellently nailed these points? They are few and far between. (The best thing I’ve seen lately is this site, which mentions a lot of good points, but generalizes white behavior, in a similar way as they have generalized our problems, but without clarifying why they have acted like that: http://allhiphop.com/2013/07/31/we-charge-zimmer-cide-why-our-self-destruction-is-not-self-inflicted)
So then, when we’re still complaining about something, or asking for something (including “justice” in cases like Trayvon), it fits right in to what the detractors have been saying!
This provides a basis to dismiss the anger in situations like Trayvon.
So on the other side; we have these elements that have maintained black resentment:
Black Muslims and their offshoots. (NOI has toned itself down, though still officially holds the same beliefs).
Lesser groups like Ansaars (once popular in NYC), and Black Hebrews (still visible in a couple of places, —the guy in the earlier mentioned video resembles them; though not many passersby seem to listen to them much, for they preach against the fashions and lifestyles of the black people they deem to be the “12 lost tribes” just as much as they condemn the white system).
The biggest influence, and one that’s largely behind the scenes because it’s not an organized movement, is the Five Percenters (“Nation of Gods and Earths”), a sort of offshoot of Black Muslims stripped of the religious morality. (So you can do anything —screw women, rob, kill, drugs, etc. —except eat pork).
The rationale follows that of the NOI; that the black man is God, and of course, the white man is the devil. And this, their main answer to everything in this issue. (I even saw one comment battle where apparently the black guy was saying whites were devils and blacks built everything, and the white guy only had to recite whites’ achievements and blacks’ problems).
This movement has had a very wide influence, not just in the young black community and the streets, but most importantly, in the hip hop industry, which in turn helped continue to define the image of what it is to be a young black in America by way of the typical negative stereotypes they claim are only them "telling it the way it is".
Then, in politics, it’s the New Black Panthers, and Jackson and Sharpton, who often seem out of touch, yet they’re the primary voices defending us.
Meanwhile, there was little response to all the conservative caricatures and generalization from this “conscious” element of black culture; and to conservatives, silence=“we’re right so they can’t answer it”. Hence, for 30-40 years, all of these sentiments were allowed to fester, and here it all erupts today.
So it’s this imagery conservative America is holding up as its scapegoat and pariah for everything wrong, and hence the opinions in the Trayvon case and others.
It is totally overgeneralized as if it represented 99% of a community (which ever one they will claim they are calling “the takers”).
The theological angle
Conservatives; a huge majority of them religious, have not learned the lesson being taught to the Israelites of Bible times. They were waiting for Messiah to come and put down the “sinners” of the gentiles, and make them the kings, and after centuries of learning God would not bless them as they openly broke His commands, the religious leaders did a total about face and tried to get the nation ready for the Kingdom through rigorous application of the Law (Torah), including keeping the ethnically “impure” at bay.
But they showed themselves unfit to rule in this kingdom, in instances like the woman taken in adultery. You may wonder what Christ could have written in the ground to make them throw down the rocks and flee, but right off the bat, the commandment they were appealing to said to bring BOTH the man and woman for stoning. They only brought the woman, and the man was nowhere to be seen. (It may well have been one of the accusers!) How unjust was that? They were no better than the pagans who persecuted them!
Jesus also pointed out that one’s “neighbor” could be from any ethnic group. You wonder what the Christians who condoned or supported segregation did with such passages, as much as they claimed to uphold the Way of Jesus and condemn others for “infidelity”.
So they claim they once had a “chosen” Christian nation, and that others ruined it, and now the nation will come under judgment instead of ushering in the Kingdom; but we see that they had their chance, and proved themselves just as “human” (“fallen”) as everyone else, Israelites and pagans alike. (“And if you have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” Luke 16:12)
And they don’t like this, so direct all the anger to the “liberals” and “minorities” who represent this “dark spot” on their record. They try to isolate it as something not of themselves.
The premise is that God “chose” the nation, which included subjugating others and taking their land, resources and labor. The Old Testament could be cited in support of this. (This ignores that the New Covenant supersedes all of that).
So they decided that those things weren’t sin, and compensated for this by focusing purely on sexual sins, which they put themselves forth as being totally above.
The initial basis was Calvinism and a version of it called “covenant theology”. The “chosen” were identified by both being prosperous (including the power to gain and maintain prosperity—"providence"), as well as their morality, that is, “following Biblical principles”. God, in His sovereignty divided man into “vessels of mercy” and “vessels of wrath”, and would take from one and give to the other, both in this life and after death.
Later, Arminianism arose within Protestantism, through the influence of groups such as the Anabaptists, and later, the Wesleys. Many of these groups initially opposed the politics of the more established churches, but eventually adopted them as they mixed in the culture.
Contrasting a bit with Calvinism, their focus was on “personal choice”, both in salvation, as well as morality. Hence, the American “can do” spirit of individual piety, “hard work”, and “earning” one’s prosperity (and that all prosperity of those who represent the system can be assumed to have been justly “earned”).
These two strains blended into the American Christianity we had come to know. They both believed themselves to be chosen by God in addition to proving themselves “worthy” through the great nation their fathers built and which they defend.
Whatever goes wrong must therefore be blamed on someone else; everyone else; if not denied as wrong to begin with, in order for this to be verified. In either system (election or free-will), the “cursed” people would still be “held responsible” for their condition; hence, all the blame being cast. All of this is “hard truth”, that is above our “limited human comprehension”.
So the world was truly divided between the “bad” and “good” (even while scripture declared “all under sin”). They denounced all other religions and philosophies and moderate forms of Christianity for not believing in the doctrine of the sinfulness of all man. But while maintaining that doctrine so vigorously, they were able to exclude themselves from it on the premise of being “chosen” (election/justification) and “changed” (“regeneration/sanctification”). Therefore, everything they believed and did must have been right. All sin must come from everyone else. (This was the same thinking as the Israelites whom Christ dealt with. Of course, the difference was, they rejected Him, while this new “chosen” group accepted Him, so they can’t see that they’re being the same way).
This is what the Reconstructionists call “Presuppositionalism”, which is one of the pillars of their ideology, along with Calvinism. You just “pre-suppose” that what you believe is “just right”, because God says so; no proof, reason, logic or common sense needed (including the question of whether scriptures cited are being expounded correctly to begin with). This has completely undergirded many conservative Christians’ method of argumentation.
So this is why the rich-favoring system of capitalism has to be justified at all costs, and the poor and minorities blamed for their plights. To support it is to “love” America and all it stands for (including “God”), and to oppose it is to “hate” America. They cannot admit any inherent evil or sin in the system. Again, they take it very personally!
I even had some Christians I was debating with say that the historical flaws I was pointing out in the nation rendered it not worth defending or believing in! Our standard is so high; it must be virtually perfect in order to be worth believing in. This is what began to make it clear this was why they couldn't admit any error.
Yet, ironically, the super-rich and others defended by both secular and religious leaders do not necessarily care about either America or God. They really don’t have to when most are operating internationally. If America falls, they can just go elsewhere. (Leaving us to blame each other). They care about the bottom line, so the solidarity conservatives assume is really one way, and thus ultimately illusory.
Meanwhile, those who focus on gay rights, most of them Christian, have to oppose the people's lifestyles, even though it doesn't affect them. (Just as preachers used to thunder judgment down on all sex sin, before homosexuality came more out onto the open). Their fear is “bringing God's judgment on the nation”, even though the New Testament they follow makes clear that each soul stands alone before God (The Old Testament "nation" focus was superseded by the Cross), and that the preacher's job is to warn them, and once you've done that, you've fulfilled your responsibility before Him, and are to leave their judgment up to Him (which is precisely the line many nonChristians have adopted when hounded by Christians. They know that much more about the Bible than the ones preaching it!)
But that's not good enough. More is at stake. They again, are fighting for the collective “righteousness” of the whole nation, just as the Israelites of Christ's time had been doing.
So 30 years ago, listening to them (or their political heroes, even if they weren’t specifically practicing Christian) was like watching super hero cartoons on TV. You had the total good guys and the total bad guys, “evil empires”, inferior cultures and subcultures, and everyone out to get the good Christians. (So now, we have this current leader who can apparently do not one thing right. You wonder how anyone could be so 100% bad).
One meme says “America was built on God, guns, guts and glory”. All good stuff [right?]; was there anything bad? Of those four things mentioned, was the usage of any of them ever bad? And are you really sure “God” and “guns” were really meant go together like that, especially when you teach others “trusting God”, which is usually interpreted as acceptance of negative circumstances as “His will”. On Facebook, the same person will post this stuff about guns and how the government is trying to take them away to tyrannize us, and the next post will be “trust God” or “God is in control". (This is the sort of thing Malcolm X and others used to complain about. It was OK to fight their enemies in the wars, but once we came home, and a racist sheriff attacked our family, we were supposed to just "pray" and not fight back! After all, a kingdom of happy subjects would prove that the kingdom must be perfect! Let's not forget the occasional portrayal of blacks as happy under slavery or Jim Crow. Again, the society was that good!)
It seems like the people are above both human sinfulness and the Divine Law they teach to others!
Makers= “good guys”; Takers= “bad guys” further promotes self-righteousness of the works of the Law. The sentiment being expressed is “I work, I’m good; he doesn’t work, he’s bad!” Creating categories such as “productive” and “delayers of gratification” and placing yourselves on that side, and others on the other side, with no thought that this “tooting of one’s own horn”, is the definition of self-righteous.
And yet unscrupulous corporate leaders manage to end up as part of the “good”, while all poor (and even struggling middle class), regardless of their actual situation end up as “bad”.
Absolutely no grace at all; it’s all the “law” of survival and punishment. (Christian writer Michael Horton excellently handles a lot of this in Beyond Culture Wars (1996), showing it is basically the same error of legalism as the ancient Galatians Paul tangled with).
“Our forefathers taught and obeyed God’s Law, and some other people later came and messed it all up.” As for colonialism and slavery, those just have to be downplayed or justified. People are even asking “why make such a big deal of it when every other nation did the same things?” (Including blacks selling each other into slavery, and Indians taking each others’ land).
Maybe it’s because we are the loudest at proclaiming ourselves such God-fearing Christians, or at least, the “greatest country in the world”! We looked down on these “savages”, so how do they end up becoming the standard we justify ourselves by? People are naturally going to hold us up to the lofty standard we posture ourselves in, and judge others as lacking in.
Like how can anyone fatuously label others today as “takers” when your forefathers and historical heroes were the biggest ‘takers’ in the world? If they could do that, then why would it be wrong for someone else (whether liberals and poor minorities, or the communists or other foreign enemies) to take it back from you? (The only difference is that they justified it with God and/or legalism; e. g. God “gave” it to them, or they “worked hard” to amass such power, so they “deserve” whatever they can gain with it; which is the same justification they use for today’s CEO’s. Also, they try to prove the colonists and slave traders were really “makers” anyway, for “saving the people from tribal life” and building up such a wonderful nation. Even if God did “give” you the nation, what ever happened “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away” [and not even because of anyone’s sin!] Job 1:21? Are we above that?)
So over all, the master division is between the “makers” and the “takers”, and those with the least power and comfort end up a the true “takers” and culprits, while those with the most power are the true victims of evil.
But all of this is the precise mentality of the Israelites who eventually demanded Christ to be crucified. They were the “chosen”, chosenness meant a right to rule over others, they proved their chosenness by their rigorous profession of the Law (despite the inconsistencies, as Christ pointed out), the “heathens” ruling over the nation as well as the “sinners” within were the blame for their problems, and the determination that they would “not fall”, but “rise again!” ("Masada shall not fall!”; which strikingly parallels “The South shall rise again!” The latter being known as “the Lost Cause”, which can pretty much sum up the whole “taking back the country” philosophy).
The divine revelation Western conservativism is supposed to be grounded upon says that all are by nature sinners, and “choosing” the truth (or being “chosen” for it as some argue) makes one a servant of God, not some “better” person than others or “rightful ruler” over them, or anything else like that. People cite many scriptures on “the nation that follows the Lord…”, and always imagine that to be speaking of themselves, because of their “heritage” (the [supposed] righteousness of the forefathers and society in general until about the 1950′s), but such physical “heritage” is what was referred to throughout the New Testament as “the flesh”, and set at odds with the Gospel’s means, of the Spirit. No one is automatically good because of the righteousness of others, including ancestors or forefathers. Such language in the Old Testament would ultimately testify that no fleshy nation could do it.
So given human nature, it is highly unlikely (and a-historical) that any collective group like that would be consistently “righteous”, to be able to pass down such "exceptional" goodness, even if it could justify the descendants. (God ultimately deals with individuals, not nations).
All of this was the mistake of the previous “chosen” nation that came under divine judgment in the Bible. (Showing that no matter how outwardly righteous a nation was, sin was still there, and this was the lesson being written through that nation; not something for us to copy wholesale, to prove we are better than everyone else).
(And it should be emphasized that God only had one “chosen” nation in scripture; and while Matt. 21:49 says “The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits thereof”, and 1 Pet. 2:9 “But ye are a holy nation…”, which was obviously addressed to the Church; where did anyone get the notion that this would be a new physical, ethnic “nation” just like the old one —which dispensationalists also still insist is still “chosen”?)
It is a legalistic view, that one who takes from others is not a “taker” if he has some form of MERIT to justify himself. “I did this, and this, and this, and actually improved things in the world, so I’m really a ‘maker’!” Anyone who complains of being unjustly treated is the deemed the “taker”.
Absolutely no sense of “grace” received (so therefore, no grace given to anyone else).
Just “we EARNED the RIGHT to dominate”.
Scripture asks “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7) They believe there’s nothing they have that they did not [themselves] MAKE. (Basically, “little Gods”. Saying God is the one who gave it to them is nullified by the second part: “And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” Wit the anger over the “You Didn’t Build That” statement).
Racism started out under a largely religious premise, but now has turned to an almost purely empirical stance, so you wonder how many of these people really even care what scripture says anymore.
With all of this, the ideology can be summed up in this outline
(Religious underpinnings of ideology not necessarily shared by all political conservatives, who might fiercely deny some of these points):
•Whoever prospers must have done things right (from colonizers to capitalists)
•Whoever suffers must have done wrong (from tribal people to the modern poor)
•Anyone making “mistakes” should be allowed to fail
•Nothing happens by accident or chance, so God, who is sovereign, must have ordained this system. It’s evidence of who is “chosen” (Puritan belief) •The US founders feared God and were “chosen” by Him.
•To oppose and change this system is to oppose God
•Their intentions for the Constitution are nearly infallible and should not be questioned
•Anyone who changes them is guilty of “treason”
•The US founders feared God and were “chosen” by Him.
•The nation as founded, was proven godly, because of its good works, which were proven good because the nation was godly…
•The reward of godliness is physical rulership over others
•(Promises and curses in scripture are to be transferred over to nations today to justify this —even though we insist we are not under the Law).
•Africa is backward (this is historical “fact”; facts aren’t bigotry).
•Therefore, the colonists and slavetraders did the people a lot of good. They should be thankful
•Those who imposed “egalitarianism” on them are the ones who caused racial tension.
•Blacks in America have more problems than anyone else. (Statistical fact. Again, facts aren’t bigotry)
•Liberals caused all of today’s financial and cultural problems by trying to give these people too much
•Now they just want everything for "free" and will vote for anyone who gives it to them (proving they’re problematic)
•The people should instead be castigated for their problems.
• [If they still cannot change (and some argue they can't), all the above will point to what course of action? (again, facts speak for themselves)]
• Political correctness paints “the truth” as “racist”
The Shadow and guilt
Conservatives keep talking about “truth” others can’t handle, and often, which would be labeled “racist”. But then why do they get bent out of shape at having the so called “card” played on them? (Which is simply what they’ve dealt being played back on them!) Why don’t they embrace the label, then?
Because of the doubt in their conscience. The total rightness, monopoly on “truth”, and possibly even superiority of themselves and/or their culture, and the utter wrongness of everyone else is too much for the psyche to swallow. So the ego (the center of consciousness) holds on to the data that makes it feel good, and suppresses the rest, into what’s called the “shadow”.
Whenever this suppressed knowledge is tapped into, it generally produces a fiery, defensive emotional reaction (which then is often turned outward at the perceived threat in an offensive fashion). We often have little control over it.
"The shadow in Jungian psychology is the unconscious dumping ground for undesirable characteristics of personality" (review of Robert Johnson, Owning Your Shadow: Understanding the dark side of the Psyche). In the modern racial consciousness, it is not blacks per-se anymore, but has not been totally removed from blacks (who in many ways continue to live out the negative roles).
This is exacerbated by people's need to feel superior. So they cast a bigger shadow onto anyone seen as not measuring up. In fact, that's what generates this particular shadow element in the first place, because if you (individually, or collectively, like the “nation”) think yourself “exceptional”, and you have to prove yourself superior, then anything that contradicts this has to be isolated and disowned.
A perfect example of this is the tactic of ignoring the Southern Strategy. “The Democratic Party” then becomes the dumping ground of all the nation’s [admitted] faults. They were the racists of slavery and Jim Crow days, and now 'changed their tactic' by “enslaving” blacks a 'new way' through “government dependence”. Their “socialism” then caused all the decay of the cities and the economic problems. See, it’s all THEM, (or “DEM[‘s]”)!
Likewise, ignoring the authoritarian/libertarian divide and placing all the evils of authoritarianism on the Left. The Left then becomes 100% “bad”, and the Right is wherein lies everything “good”.
All wrong is completely isolated into one place. (The psychological term for this is “splitting”)
So if you or the nation (and its forefathers you associate with) take another group of people, screw them up, and now they cannot heal (or are healing too “slow” for your comfort), you have to both justify or downplay the initial abuse, and then separate out those who continue the resultant dysfunction. What better way to do that than to just make the group “inferior” in one way or another. Two birds with one stone. Their problems are not OUR fault, or our forefathers. It's them; there's something wrong with them; look at them, all they do is try to get stuff for free. They’re so violent! Other groups were abused and healed. Obviously, “See, it wasn’t that bad here at all!”
Of course, most people today won't be conscious of that underlying insinuation, so they will all the more vehemently fight off charges of racism. Yet, we still end up left with the castigation of the whole group on one hand, and the showcasing of “exceptions” (such as black Republicans and others making conservative statements) who 'prove' the isolation being pushed is not really about race after all.
This is the truth being suppressed from one side of the political debate. This is the “shadow” of the nation!
This would explain why people in online comments could spew such explicit, classic racist comments in the very breath of disclaiming racism, along with why all this hostility toward Obama would surface, especially like trying to invalidate his presidency from the start (birtherism), and others violently disowning him (“he’s not MY president”).
This by the same people whose rhetoric has always focused on minorities as the detriment to the nation, through both “welfare” and crime, and yet are in abject fierce denial the whole time, refusing to recognize the racism of these very sentiments. (Hiding behind “the facts” they cite, which they think somehow cancels it out). They’re too busy throwing all the charges back at everyone else.
They despise “victimhood” (they have to in order to justify their heroes the colonists, slaveholding Confederates, and today’s ruthless capitalists), but nevertheless display forms of victimhood for all to see. They have criticized others for a “victim” mentality while waving a “Don’t Tread On Me” banner, saying someone’s taking away all their rights and freedoms (yet they still live as much of the American Dream as ever; if not more), and even (as you’re beginning to hear more), that they’re the persecuted “minority” now.
|Conservatives criticize others for a “victim” mentality while waving a “Don’t Tread On Me” banner, and say someone’s taking away all their rights and freedoms; while still living the American Dream|
They complain the other side is “fanning race flames”, yet after every event like this latest one, they begin digging and putting up stories of blacks attacking whites (whether in retaliation for the current news, or otherwise). Comments are full of stuff like “This is everyone letting black people do what ever without holding them responsible and making excuses for them.” followed by “no I think its just the jungle bunnies doing their stupid act again. they are not civilized and should all be caged.” These writers apparently think nothing of it. That certainly isn’t racist to say, right!? They seem to forget the whole premise is that it’s the other side that is “fanning race flames”! These comments are apparently totally justified by "the facts" of the other side’s evil, proving everything they’ve always believed anyway.
Under this line of thinking, the brutal sheriffs and church bombers of 50 years ago weren’t the racists, as they were only defending their legitimate rights, trying to keep the “jungle bunnies” in their cages to maintain order. The true “racists” were the "self-hating liberals" who turned them loose on the nation.
Regarding the also frequently thrown up counter charge of all the stats of blacks killing each other (“why no outrage about that?”); as someone has said, those blacks who do shoot up their own people still end up in jail or dead if caught. No one’s excusing them, and if it seems there’s no outcry, it's because they either get caught, or are at least hunted down, and then the entire community ends up profiled by the police because of these crimes anyway, so that is more than addressed as part of the overall problem!
Conservatives are being just like any other people being reproved of a sin (a “falling short” or “missing the mark”, before God, and affecting fellow man) and not wanting to give it up or even confess it. (Prov. 28:13) But at least some conservatives have so convinced themselves that they are effectively beyond sin and the potential for deceit, it seems totally ludicrous. (I had one tell me he had no deceit in his nature, and another say he had no “ego”!) It’s like “You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach US?” (John 9:34)
Jesus responded (v.41) “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.” And clearly, the conservatives in today’s politics have been saying rather loudly and incessantly that they see, and blacks are blind, to the liberal liars.
One culture is allegedly acting in an inferior way, while another is acting superior, as part of a compulsion to prove itself superior (which indicates a “shadow” of inferiority, in Jungian terms).
Another concept is the Johari Window, which is a matrix of what’s conscious to self and to others. Its four panes are “conscious to self and others” (our public persona), “conscious to self but not to others” (our private life), “unconscious to self and others” (totally unknown areas), and most importantly in an issue like this, there is also “unconscious to self, but conscious to others”.
These latter two, are the person’s “shadow”. However we see, part of this shadow is visible to others, even as we are in ignorance or denial of it ourselves.
Conservatives certainly appeal to this reality when they proceed to tell blacks about their collective faults or "problems" they are supposedly too blinded by the liberals and the prospect of “free stuff” or “blaming everyone else” to see and fix themselves. But to repeat, “you say ‘we see’, therefore your sin remains”.
THAT is why public opinion seems “slanted” against them as they complain, blaming the “liberal media”.
But while there may be some truth to what they say about black denial (to some extent), as the blacks are just as human as everyone else; the conservatives have to remember they too are human, and refuse to see the negative about themselves (including their overgeneralizing others’ problems).
Again, the whole platform has always been “we built up this great nation and everyone else is badmouthing and bringing it down and trying to take it from us“. Where’s the room for their own human error in that? There is absolutely none. So they have to keep pointing and blaming, even while rebuffing the pointing and blaming they feel coming back at them.
|Electing a black man as president must be the most unimaginable betrayal in history - an "Obamanation"- according to the “values” of the forefathers which conservatives claim to represent, and they know it|
So all of this makes it obvious that feelings about Obama are stronger than just about his policies. One of those things where they probably couldn’t quite put their finger on it if they tried.
Even if people tried to make themselves like blacks, he still represents several things that clearly go against what they believe are the true American values instilled by their forefathers. Most of them believed blacks were inferior, and good only as slaves; so that right there creates a dilemma for these modern patriots who on one hand insist they aren’t racist, yet continuously maintain that they represent the values of these forefathers.
I think everyone must think at some time “what would [insert historic hero or ancestor] think of me if he could see me now?” And you know how central racial suppression was to their vision of both the nation and the Gospel. Yeah; modern BJU leaders (for instance), what would Bob Jones Sr. think of the concessions you have made on the race issue, given the stuff he said about it? (Even calling those who disagreed, “enemies of God”!) Either he's just plain wrong, or you're wrong! There is no way around it.
What would the forefathers (even most of those against slavery, like in the North) think of the country electing a black man as President? If they were too “savage” just to live in society as free men or just so much as equals, how could one lead us of all things? It must be the most unimaginable betrayal in history. And you know it! (An "Obamanation" as they call it!)
Then you add to that the policies they believe are un-American (most notably, Obamacare). They will insist it is just the policies, but these policies are not all THAT different from his Democratic predecessors. Obamacare being the thing that seems so "radical", but that policy alone is not enough to garner all the utter HATRED people are displaying.
What it is, is that to them it is all apart of a grand representation of the antithesis of everything the forefathers lived (and died) for, including the race issue, which again, was inseparable back then.
Again, it was bad enough he got in in the first place, but we figured he’d go down in flames, tarnishing the image of “the first black president” in history, forever. But for him to be RE-elected? That wasn’t ever supposed to happen!
(One meme tries to create this "judged in history" image for us, but make it look like a "sad" self-evident reality, rather than being fabricated by his enemies, in addition to claiming he was only elected because of his race:
So in the shock of the moment, a lot of shadow stuff has sprung to the surface. In cases like this, what is suppressed we often lose control of, and it erupts regardless of the careful masks we wear.
Another tactic that has been used is the “good ones” exceptions. So they can argue that they’re not racist, because they actually like blacks who don’t fit the behavior they’re criticizing. So it’s the behavior they’re against, not the race. Still, the race is always implicated in these generalities. And many have simply increased the number of “good ones”, to possibly even a majority. Still, the race as a category is still carrying a negative connotation, despite how many “exceptions” you make.
Natural examples of “good ones” would of course be black conservatives and Republican officials or candidates who agree with them. (Citations of them are common in the social media memes). Colin Powell had been the most notable one they advocated as “The ‘Nice’ Black Man of Hope” in earlier elections, as Rowan dedicated an entire chapter to, and obviously an opportunity to “prove” colorblindness. But he himself dropped out of the presidential race, citing lack of passion, but there was the looming sense that it ran deeper than that. Rowan p. 263 points out “Bands of GOP character assassins were on sordid forays looking for dirt with which to attack members of Powell’s family.”
Proof that this is how this works is in this past election, when another black conservative GOP candidate arose, Herman Cain. (Leading to the possibility of a race between him and Obama; two black men for president, and it will be either one or the other! And if it’s the one running on their side, there will be absolutely no excuse to hate on him!) So isn’t it funny how when he began looking hopeful they quickly got him out of the race by digging up a sex scandal!
Not only has Obama the first black President of the United States been constantly railed about, and demanded to be impeached, but also first black Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, with constant claims of all the same stuff they say about Obama: him “hating” America, being a “socialist”, and that he should be fired or tried as a criminal.
Then, you have Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who called down judgment on America for racism, and just Obama being remotely associated with him is taken as proof he “hates America”. They’ve all completely forgotten all the white conservative evangelical Christians who’ve said the same things, in somewhat different words, much more frequently and persistently, but for abortion and homosexuality instead of racism. No one ever questioned their love for the nation. They’re seen by many as its most faithful guardians.
It’s all about what goes along with the party platform.
Again, I’ve never seen this much disrespect for people in these offices, and it is again the shadow of the nation being thrown onto them by people who refuse to own their superiority complex: that they believe they are the chosen nation, and resent the reproof of the country’s past for racism (and to some, that these figures should have never been able to attain these offices in the first place).
So to them, it’s all these other people who are the ones making themselves “superior” and trying to “take” from others, often violently or through using “victim” rhetoric! Everything one does is so clearly and emphatically pointed out in the other!
We box our doubts, especially when things aren’t very clear, or are abstract. (The tack then often becomes to make it black and white or concrete; using “fact”, and then thunder it all the more as such. However it ignores that even a lot of things we take as “fact” are still subject to our own subjective interpretation and skewing).
I point out in this recent post: http://erictb.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/shadow-boxing-a-political-confession regarding what I’m boxing in conservatives:
I’ve had to realize that I get too angry over this stuff, and am also boxing something in others. I identify with a people who have taken on a bad reputation; perhaps the worst in the world (crime, laziness, backwards civilization in Africa, etc.) and I do feel many of us can do better for ourselves, and are making too many excuses after awhile (or at least, not articulating the legitimate ‘excuses’ well enough).
The image of the street thug, the loose ghetto mother, and the crime and prison stats are very embarrassing, (in addition to myself feeling threatened by such people. This is something others such as Jesse Jackson have been quoted as testifying to as well).
And our explanations of why these things are so are very complex, and not bought by conservatives, who like to focus on black and white “facts”. So these explanations don’t even sound convincing; sort of like someone caught in an embarrassing position claiming “it’s not what it looks like”, and then offering this complicated explanation.
(And, liberals are not quick at articulating these things to begin with).
In addition, I had felt rejected by the black community when I was young, as I didn’t fit in (because of Asperger's, as well as the neighborhood changing quickly), so then I had also rejected it back, in return, to some extent. Then, as the black “street” subculture was looked down upon by the larger culture, which I wasn’t fitting into either, then I identified with it as far as matching my own feelings of powerlessness.
I grew up and live in an “advanced” civilization, and “primitive” civilizations don't “look good” to us. So I was uptight as it is, that this is the typical picture of our African heritage. (Even if we look back at Egypt, the Moors, etc. still, these cultures eventually fell, while Europe remained strong, and the Far East eventually rose. This is the standard of “civilization” the world is judged by). Then add the image or reputation of [urban] blacks even within the “civilized” world.
All the “facts” seemed to support western superiority. It’s like the people with the most power rose to the top, in perfect harmony with the laws of nature.
So there was a sense of shame, in the people I associate with not being “up to par”, and thus seeming like they really are inferior, as the dominating culture has judged them. So I take it personally and “box” with this “doubt” in those who seem to verify this by either directly (or implicitly) pushing our inferiority, or upholding or implying their superiority.
This “shadow of inferiority” behind a mask of superiority, on the black side was greatly exemplified by George Jefferson, the black “Archie Bunker” counterpart who of course spun off his own series. He had such a black "pride" and resentment of whites that he crudely harassed his interracially married white neighbor, who was obviously the very opposite of Archie.
Yet in one episode, we see beneath all of this, how he feels about his own African heritage. Obviously jealous of the neighbor's heritage when ancestors were being discussed, he then describes his own ancestors as “nothing but a bunch of witch doctors and spear throwers”! I don't even remember Archie ever coming out and slamming Africa like that, though it is precisely how his ilk feels. Yet George obviously felt the same way as his nemesis about his own people! (He then had to be schooled in all the good of African heritage, just like the racially ignorant).
So he was both “hugging” and “boxing” his shadow in whites at the same time.
The other thing we box is the reality of life. It's like life is difficult, but none of us want it that way; so we set up a sort of manmade “legalism” (often framed around divine Law, but set up so that we come out “righteous”), and then figure through our own sense of rightness or goodness (in keeping the “rules”, "laws" or "principles", and in contrast to others seen as falling short) that we've “earned” the “right” to the ultimate reward, which is usually taken to be ease and comfort. So then, we must place blame for the fact that things are still difficult, for us, with difficulty ending up interpreted as some sort of punishment.
I know I wish God favored my view of things, and conservatives seem to argue that He does in fact favor their view. So I get annoyed when I see them throwing God into politics in a way that justifies themselves and their history and casts all blame for the problems on others, including one or another group that I'm part of. I wish God "favored" me like that. So likewise, believing God in fact does favor their view, it is the ultimate slap in the face for those lowly evil liberals and blacks and various other "sinners" to have the temerity to criticize their great society and not allow them to enjoy their power and wealth in peace and with a clear conscience, and perhaps gain back "rights" they've wrongly had to concede. Again, “you, being ‘born in sins’ criticize us”?
It's not that we want too much (more than life can give us) and are imperfect and thus haven't earned as much as we claim. It's “THEM”. They have taken something from us, or caused things to go wrong. If we can just isolate them and restrain them, then we will be able to “take back” what we have lost.
We imagine others being more satisfied than we are, and most likely at our expense somehow, but everyone thinks that they're just “do[ing] what they gotta do” to survive. (Even if it involves bending or breaking the rules and stepping on others). We all do it, and yet justify it in those instances, while fighting this same tendency in others.
It's like if we can just isolate the problem and name the parties responsible and point them out, we'll be on track to get our due. When this still doesn't procure that for us, we have to turn the volume up all the more.
This is a common human tendency; to put the onus on others, while we will resist change until only when we feel like it. (I call it "inertia". Everyone is like this, so it does no good to try to stick it to another group when we see them resisting change).
So I have witnessed myself doing that. So when I work hard and still struggle making ends meet, and see others profiting profanely off of the same system, (which sends me the message “hey, things don't have to be this bad; your difficulty is not 'just life' like your parents always said; it's really those people 'up there' hoarding everything”); and yet some people then suggest that I want too much (and already in fact get too much; recall the blaming includes union workers along with nonworkers) and don't really work hard enough like they do; and that the better-off are the ones unfairly deprived, and that's why the deficit is being passed down to everyone else, then I'm naturally going to feel the truth has been turned on its ear and react.
And conservatives must have an unconscious shame that their civilization had not really lived up to the moral ideals, through its colonialism, slavery, racial oppression and economic injustice. This lied in the “shadow” of the much touted outward morality. (You can also think of some of the most vocal preachers on morality falling into sexual sin themselves!) So they must somehow brush it off, and blame the others.
A legacy of religious persecution, colonialism, slavery, and now, economic greed. All of this creates a huge shadow. Everyone else must then be made into the “takers” in their view in order to compensate for this.
Even as we brag of being the most “civilized”, both the colonial brutality, as well as today's “do or die” economic philosophy are apart of the same “survival”-instinct-gone-wrong that leads to the crime, sloth and sensuality we look down on in others. In other words, the “law of the jungle”. Whether the literal jungles of the tribal world, or the “concrete” jungles of urban ghettos, or the glass and steel jungles of the corporate world (which are often called, significantly enough, “the rat race”), it's all the same principle. The first two lie in the “shadow” of the third.
The current economic state of things is set up like we are still in the ice age (the frozen “jungle” of ancient cave life), with the ‘scarcity’ instinct of “survival of the fittest” ruling life, justifying the immense hoarding going on, and now blaming the poor and even struggling middle class for simply not being “fit” enough, and wanting too much.
Hoarding creates the illusion of scarcity, which then justifies more hoarding, and the survival philosophy, and the deflectionary blaming (that the poor actually are the ones doing the “taking” and hoarding when someone else comes and gives them some little something). Which then justifies more hoarding (“they take jobs and money away because all their hard work is punished so that freeloading can be rewarded”), and on and on it goes.
(The staunchest opponents of evolution and other “godless” philosophies end up ironically as the biggest supporters of Darwinian and Randian principles!)
So when you call others “jungle bunnies”, you're only pointing out the same tendencies you have somewhere justified in yourself, hiding them behind other criteria.
The whole “truth” lies in neither pole; those are based on our limited awareness in space, time and chance. (Which are each divided into polar opposites by our immersion into reality).
|The goal is to name the problem, point it out, and then isolate it as not of ourselves. Then, we believe we are on track to get our “due”|
So I’m “boxing” my doubts that my race is not inferior, after all the “hard truths” presented. I myself had been resentful toward the people, for my own not fitting in. (A racially conscious person I was getting to know online even picked this up when I was describing my background. I realized it must be my own shadow that was showing). And because people in the streets would often bully those they saw as “weak”, I even sympathized with Bernhard Goetz. In that instance, a different basis of identification took precedence over race. One that was more practical for me. (Being black did not prevent one from being harassed or threatened in the streets).
I even found some of Reagan’s campaign words impressive, until I really learned how he was putting all blame on one side, while excusing another side (ongoing discrimination and capitalistic greed) that I saw as more at fault for problems in the country, and thus playing upon racist sentiment.
I was also impressed by the message of early rap, but in the mid-to late '80s, it decidedly went in the direction of “braggadocio” and aggression (which would naturally evolve into a "gangsta" or “thug” theme in less than a decade), and at the same time, materialism, which conflicted with the message that blacks are struggling in an unjust system. I was resentful of this as well, and saw rap stars as becoming just another part of the white system (even as much as many later ones would take on an anti-white attitude).
For this reason I became critical of rap in the direction it began taking around 1983. (See http://www.erictb.info/rap.html)
I also believe it is what would do more than anything else to perpetuate the “thug” image all of these white and even black conservatives are reacting to, and make it hard to debunk their rhetoric, especially with the statistics they pull out. Early rappers lamented the ghetto life, which the people felt trapped into. In the nineties, it became something to brag about, and glorify (including the expensive cars, clothes and jewelry).
So that was the image thundered at the nation, and what they are now throwing back at us.
This also connects to the issue of police harassment, like the “Stop and Frisk” policy big in the news here in New York these days, as well as the sort of citizen policing that brought Trayvon down. (In addition to the whole “people locking their car doors” bought to recent light by Obama, or the old one, “clenching their purse”). It’s true that people in the streets are carrying themselves in a way to evoke fear in others. This, largely deliberate. They’re trying to prove themselves “tough” to each other (as opposed to “soft”), so yeah, they’re going to be scary to those passing by who are not living that lifestyle.
So the NYC mayor and police commissioner are able to point to how their policies bring down crime, benefiting the minorities in whose neighborhood most of the crimes occur. We must remember complaining about the police doing "nothing" as crime ran rampant in the ghetto decades ago. We’re now making them “damned if they do, damned if they don’t”.
However, the question becomes where to draw the line in aiming at a particular profile of people in neighborhoods, and what to do once you’ve caught someone committing a crime. This is what’s been abused, which will naturally raise people’s suspicions every time someone is frisked or shot. And then the other side will throw up their statistics and talk as if we’ve forfeited all rights, which then makes our side say “see, they’re all racist”.
There seems to be no easy answer to this. (Again, there is a lot of abstraction going on when you start trying to denote “groups” of people. Here’s a report that says stop-and frisk does not do what it claims: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/20/ray-kelly-says-stop-frisk-saves-lives-theres-no-good-evidence-for-that).
I’ve had to think how I would feel if I was white, and struggling with the same fears of black crime (on top of the white guilt). I probably would be saying “what’s wrong with those people”, while trying to be nice and accepting to the “good ones” (hoping they accept me as a “good” white). As it is now, when I see yet another black face in some routine petty or brutal crime, I keep thinking “what the hell is wrong with him/[us]?”
Again, the complex psychological explanations just don’t register in the emotional heat of the moment.
So all of this is in the back of my mind (or even further down in consciousness) as I read the latest conservative meme or comments on how bad and coddled blacks are, and how good and innocent the rich are and how fed up the whites are, then get emotional and try to fight back.
In conjunction with this was doubts about God, who allowed racism to be done in His name, and whose Word can so easily be twisted to support it, along with the less zealous opposition to the conservative beliefs. All of this makes it seem He favors the powerful (whether racial or financial), which contradicts sacred revelation, and would then call into question His existence.
On the other end, I’m subconsciously “hugging” what I’m jealous of in the conservatives: that they have such a “heritage” they can proudly stand up for, and can so loudly and effectively place blame elsewhere (which I was never allowed to do with my faults when being raised), and maintain a sense of rightness, and that all the “facts” are on their side.
It’s also true (as some of the more hardnosed arguers will tell us) that almost everything you see around you in the West was built up (or at least named) by whites, and even those relatively few things credited to blacks were done under white control.
And life just doesn’t seem to grant anyone excuses such as the limitations we faced. The universal law of nature seems to say you either have the power or you become prey. (And rappers and others certainly testified to this when talking about survival in the streets!) Even if you once had more power (ancient African civilization argument), if someone else stronger comes and is able to take it from you, your previous strength means nothing.
So this is a natural observation that looms in the back of consciousness, even though we try to fight against it. (On the other hand, the flipside of this is that while whites may have created a lot, they have also been the most dominating in a negative sense, which is a big point in their shadow most conservatives cannot own).
This coupled with the vocal caliber of their rhetoric makes it look like "the truth", and they even will use this against liberals. (One guy once told me “liberals have no answer to conservatives, and that’s why they try to censor free speech”). So I figure it must "feel good" to be able to say all of this stuff.
By being defensive about blacks’ bad reputation, I’ve bought into the “works-righteousness” of political debate; that the lower the crime stats, the more “good” your group is, and by extension, the more worthy and deserving (“entitled”) you as an individual are. This self-righteousness is then what I fight in the “other side”. And they continue to fight theirs in my side.
I’ve had to come to realize that the reason liberals (in political debates, as well as others such as “new evangelicals” who are similarly criticized by old-line fundamentalists; evolutionists condemned by creationists, etc) have seemed to be less fervent in the debates than loud, “fiery” emotion-filled conservatives, is because the liberals end up essentially having what we could call a "smaller shadow".
In all of these cases, the conservative is taking the stance of defending older beliefs and values that supposedly have higher moral ground, yet have been discarded by the modern world, among other things, for being, unnatural/unscientific, and often abusive and even inconsistent (people didn’t really “practice what they preached”). The people defending this stuff have to go against an incredible mountain of modern knowledge and conscience and try to prove that stuff that has now been alleged to be indefensible, was really true or better, and of a necessity shift blame for its observed problems to others.
Of course, the liberals do still have a “shadow” (everyone does; no one can completely master the unconscious), and theirs generally comes out as opposing the rigidity of conservatives and religious fundamentalists, yet then becoming just as rigid in opposition. (“You become just like what you fight against”. In reality, you’re already like them; it just comes to the surface more!) Hence, what they're often accused of: government "authoritarianism"!
Evolutionism is one area that seemed to be relatively silent for decades while Creationists ripped the theory (even blaming it for the downfall of society) in almost every sermon and book,* but has become more aggressive in recent years, with some writers totally trashing religion, especially in the time around the Dover Trial a decade ago.
It seemed they felt a bit threatened around that time, and debating with some online, it seemed issues such as “abiogenesis” were the “holes” in the theory they had to suppress, while defensively trumping up the lack of empirical evidence on the other side, and painting theists as “subjective” crutch-dependent idiots.
So they would then go jugular, and compare God to a “pink unicorn fairy”; one well known writer began speaking of religious “woo-woo”; another speaking of “The God Delusion”, or others even make up a whole mock religion around a grotesque figure they called the “Flying Spaghetti Monster”. The points they were making through that were valid; that many creationist arguments for “design” really do not prove their whole theological concept, scientifically. But the way they were going about this point had clearly become very churlish; markedly similar to religious leaders’ first reaction to evolution 150 years ago.
So louder and more persistent arguments are generally a sign of feeling threatened. Like you’re basically trying to convince yourself!
*(in the 80′s, I was only able to find three books responding to Creationism: Kitscher Abusing Science, Ashley Montagu Science and Creationism and David Wilson Did the Devil Make Darwin Do It?, and these were far more civil than some modern responses, even as today’s creationism, called “Intelligent Design” is far more civil than the rigid “young earth” creation of Henry Morris and his associates).
|When you insist you represent the “greatest nation on earth” (compared to others), that is an awfully HUGE pose to maintain, and “too good to be true”. You then become defensive as you are held up to this high standard and judged accordingly!|
The psychological dynamics that make the radical conservative the way they are are still present in the progressive, though likely disowned, and people forget this. So it too is fought in the other side. (The conservative then tries to turn the table, and uses this to show they are no better, as if it renders their flaws OK. This goes back and forth between sides).
However, since the liberals are accused of wrongly fostering “white guilt”, that means they have owned something the conservatives are virulently refusing to own (whether it’s necessarily absolutely true or not; owning one’s shadow is about expanding awareness of different possibilities), hence, in this area, their “shadow” is smaller. (This, it should be noted, does not mean “better”. It may mean more mature, perhaps, in that one area).
So in rebuffing “the race card”, conservatives are fighting the natural doubt of their lofty stance. When you insist you are apart of the “greatest nation on earth”, the “shining city on a hill”, etc and that among the people of this nation, that you are or at least identify with “the makers” (e.g. “productive”, etc), while others are “the takers” and otherwise detrimental, and that everything wrong is others' fault, and you’re standing up for what’s good; that is an awfully HUGE pose to maintain. So it casts a huge “shadow” that nags at you (as there should be a deep seated sense that it must be too good to be true. Especially to all the Christians who believe this stuff), and everything anyone says will prick at this.
It would be nearly impossible to own the nation’s problems when we were taking the high moral stance in labeling our opponent “the evil empire” and while our leader valiantly tells them “tear down this wall”. (Robert Bly A Little Book on the Human Shadow even suggests Reagan was projecting his shadow on Russia). And when the changes over there began, with glasnost, I remember hearing conservative commentators over here initially saying it was just propaganda and nothing was really changing. Like we were the ones appointed to audit their progress; waiting for them to "get right". (The same attitude towards the blacks in this country. And I kept thinking we should stop waiting for them to change, and fix the problems in this nation). When it did finally change, of course, that was just the ultimate proof that we were “better” all along.
Of course, our economy was on the up and down rollercoaster leading to today's problems, and it seems we're falling just as much as they did, but those same patriots blame our fall on only certain people in the system, rather than the system being just as human and thus fallible as the other. Again, many have to prove this one was divinely ordained.
You had the statement “the problem with socialism was socialism; the problem with capitalism was capitalists”, meaning they now acknowledge the limited humanity behind the system. Yet these "flawed" capitalists still get credited with creating a superior system, or being divinely chosen and/or guided to create it. The problems are yet again isolated and ultimately disowned. I'm surprised they even admitted that much, and didn't rather say “the problem with capitalism is socialism” (TV preacher D. James Kennedy and others virtually claimed this) or “the problem with capitalism is lazy minorities”.
Patriotic conservatives want to personally identify with all of what they see as the good of US history and economics, but when it comes to slavery and racism, “I wasn’t around back then; don’t blame me; that’s the past!” Today’s economic problems are then blamed on everybody else.
They need to decide to either identify, and own both the good and the bad, or to dissociate. (Which is what the liberals have done; hence not seeming as patriotic).
Conservative Christians often preach to others that one should “trust God”, be “thankful”, don’t “worry”, this world is passing away, Heaven is what really matters, Christ is coming soon, things are going to get worse before this happens, and we are going to be taken out of the world before the worst part, etc.
But for many of them to nevertheless express such dismay over the perceived destruction of America; “the erosion of our values”, and among some (especially the further you go back into the past), that the white race will be assimilated, eliminated, or at least marginalized (become the minority) through so much integration, “egalitarianism”, “multiculturalism” or immigration, then there must be a part of themselves that doubts these “promises” of God, as they teach them to others. If a person losing his job or home or suffering an abusive relationship should not worry, because "God is in control", then why should they worry about these other things (which would take generations to fully occur, and the people today will be long gone, though some seem to think it’s already happening)? It’s a lack of faith, pure and simple!
This part of themselves they obviously suppress (into the unconscious), since they themselves teach that to doubt these promises is to lack faith, and possibly indicate lack of regeneration (i. e. “salvation”). So they fight all of this doubt in others.
People want to believe that people are divided between “better” and “worse”, and that they are the “better” ones, others are “worse”, and the detriment of society if allowed to infiltrate, and it is the job of the “better” to correct or corral the “worse” ones. (And some vehemently insist on the “better” label when it comes to “cultures”, which are just collectives of people. The basis is outward morality, and this emphasized the most by “Christians”, whose scriptures conclude all people under sin, as essential lawbreakers in need of Grace, no matter how “moral” they may appear).
Yet they don’t want to be labeled bigots! “Racism”, then, ends up only being something others do to them in calling out their ideology or opposing their rights to dominance, which is when they suddenly decide race shouldn’t be judged.
One glaring example of denied unconscious; an online video experiment*, with pro-life advocates who insist abortion should be made a crime, but couldn’t bring themselves to say it should be punished. (They would usually begin talking about “forgiveness”). I too believe it is not our place to terminate pregnancies just because they are “accidental”, but always felt it just wasn’t quite the same thing as the murder of a born person, and thus that pro-lifers were being too absolutist in raging such a war against it (especially, as sometimes noted, that they didn’t seem to care as much about the children once born, or anyone else suffering in this country. As Horton, Beyond Culture War put it, they were thinking politically, not theologically).
*(http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002908662 entitled if-youre-holding-a-sign-with-an-aborted-fetus-on-it-you-better-be-able-to-answer or “Asking Abortion Demonstrators…”, video: youtube iD97OVJ4PNw; since taken down due to “copyright claim by Lee Goodman”).
So this is another instance of people boxing their own doubts. They may argue (to the point of marching, picketing, calling judgment down on the nation, and even bombing clinics) that we become a person at conception, but something inside is confirming to them that abortion is not the same as killing a born person, but since this would go against their stance, they ignore it, yet it still does come out when not expected.
Allowing these suppressed viewpoints does not always mean that you lose your whole argument, like the other side is completely right. Again, I still believe that aborting a child out of convenience is murder, even if the fetus is still apart of “the woman’s body”. I still could believe racism is wrong even if I can see some of the empirical points it may be sought to be justified with. I can acknowledge that life is naturally difficult, and that we often expect too much ease or pleasure, yet still believe that things can be better, and that there is too much hoarding of resources (that make things easier) going on.
People are people, and they (especially kids, who are the primary group perpetuating the “thug” image) will always fall into little subcultures noted for one problem or another. This has been called “cultural sins”. Every group has them; so it does no good to point at another culture’s sins and try to censure, isolate, or scold them or command that they come up to “par”. In order to do that, your own culture’s sins must then be repressed, which will cause it to fall into a collective “shadow”. Something you don’t want to address, because it destroys the lofty platform you’ve set yourselves on; and if anyone else should happen to bring it up, you’ll lash out at them in defensive denial, and likely try to turn it back on them.
This we see a lot, and characterizes much of the political debate.
So I believe both sides really need to change their tune, but there is just too much ego involved in everyone.
As Jung said: “If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick Shadow [all his own evil]. Such a man…is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against. Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself”. http://www.shadowdance.com/cgjung/cgjung.html
(And this I'm keeping in mind, as I'm doing the same thing in pointing at conservatives as "they").
Christians and even some others may knock psychology, but whether you accept Jungian terms such as “shadow” or not, arguing for “scripture only”; scripture is clear on the solution to this: "He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy." (Prov. 28:13)
Different Reactions to White Guilt
White guilt became split between denial and compensation. The deniers maintained the rightness of the old society, but eventually realized the race language needed to be hidden in order to maintain a respectable “voice” in an increasingly pluralistic society.
They became “conservative”, and working towards the “race-neutral” image they hoped to maintain would be their younger generations, who themselves did not fight against racial progress, but nevertheless could still identify with their parents in feeling that something was being wrongfully taken from them and given to people who had not really “earned” it, at the hands of the other group, the compensators trying to ease their portion of the collective guilt.
The compensators had gone to the opposite extreme; many of them rebelling against, renouncing, and disowning the society they were brought up in, for its hypocrisy. They reacted from their own pain and disillusionment, and then identified with the minorities being oppressed by the same system.
They became the liberals, who tried to make up for the evil of their fathers by having “bleeding hearts” and trying to be extra nice to minorities and give them as much reparation as they could, at the hand of the government.
So to some of the intended beneficiaries, it created dependence, to others, an advantage to take, to yet others, it came off as patronizing, and thus ironically, another sign of a superior/inferior mentality (as well as trying to ease their consciences, which appears to be seen as an ulterior motive of sorts), and to the deniers, it ultimately produced a backlash, as they felt their guilt was being manipulated. Many would even echo the previous points on how the compensators’ position is not in the blacks’ interest.
Blacks retain a lot of anger, from generations of struggle, and many gave up (after generations of working hard and still being in squalor) and learned that they could get “even” in a way (most likely on a subconscious level), by trying to live off of the system; in addition to the violence that stems from this anger, and their negative sentiments against the system (especially the police, now). They felt promised “40 acres and a mule”, so this is probably what they see the social programs as coming the closest to.
Among blacks still seeing racism in every corner, one of the biggest claims they make is of unconscious “white privilege” (from http://erictb.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/a-very-alarming-commentary-on-race-relations):
So I have seen some deep seated black resentment, particularly from some older people, and especially in the South.
I want to believe that people are just people, and not have to suspect the entire white race of harboring some deep seated racism (whether conscious or unconscious).
But (aside from the rhetoric of many conservatives, which often are based on racial assumptions or overgeneralizations), people speak of institutionalized racism (the drug war is a big example), and an ingrained sense of “privilege”. I see privilege as tied more to economics now (which was at the root even of slavery, initially!) Yet there’s still examples I’m given like ACS (NYC Administration for Children’s Services, where white children are reportedly placed in homes more quickly, while others remain in the system longer), and the general image of blonde and/or straight hair versus black hair. Even by blacks! These images remain in the public consciousness, even though many openly disclaim racism.
Whites; especially liberal ones, feel a lot has been achieved in race relations, yet obviously have some amount of guilt feelings (reacted to in the liberals by a traditionally altruistic stance, and in conservatives by denial and reverse blame) so many cannot figure out what blacks still want. (Hence conservatives’ backlashing with charges of “whining” and “trying to get something for nothing” from them, and even some liberals reportedly thinking “we tried to help them and they don’t appreciate it, nor are helped by it” and then becoming more conservative).
Then, you have the conservative charge that the liberals are rigging these “handout” programs to “keep minorities enslaved” (dependent on the system) and also “buy their votes”. (And this they tie into the Democratic Party’s racist past, which ignores the Southern Strategy).
People should be given a chance, at least; the benefit of the doubt, first.
When I look around at people, like these "hipsters" today, for instance, I doubt they are walking around thinking “I’m white; I’m privileged”. If any have a sense of privilege, it would be more from background. Like in their grandparents’ generation, they were privileged because of race, and their kids were used to the privilege, even as they may have been the generation that questioned racial inequality, and even rebelled against their upbringing. So they likewise passed down to their children privilege.
An example I’m given of how this younger group is “just as bad” is the black LGBT community being shunned by white LGBT activists, and other instances of “sorry, can’t help you”.
But this is so vague, and again, making generalizations based on instances of what some individuals have done.
I’m sure many of them may have the same fear of the black “thug” image in the streets (though they have certainly been willing to move into black neighborhoods from where the older generations fled). But as pointed out, other blacks are afraid of that themselves.
Of course, the other side of this is that them being the beneficiaries of a lot of gentrification in the city (poor blacks are priced out of the neighborhood, and a group of hipsters will pool their money together and afford sharing an apartment and thus move in) is something blacks resent.
But that’s not their fault; you have to look at the urban planners and developers.*
What we call “privilege”, the person possessing it takes for granted and sees as normal sustenance. That’s how humans are; whatever they have becomes “standard” or less, and the goal is to gain more. So they don’t think of themselves as “privileged”; let alone because of race.
That they may go along with some subconscious belief should not be used against them. It can be pointed out, but if we rail against them and lump it in as “the same old racism”, they will likely just become defensive.
People tend to think of themselves and their group more than others.
People are individuals and cannot always be held responsible for their group. We cannot control what’s in people’s heads or hearts, to make a judgment against a whole group because of what individuals do, or pre-judge individuals because of a stereotype or even legitimate collective “sin” of the group they are apart of.
We don’t want to keep badgering the younger people who aren’t necessarily thinking in terms of race, because if we make them uptight about some supposed “privilege”, then they will naturally become defensive and begin going into denial, forming the same sort of “shadow” that drives the older people’s racist sentiment, and keeps the hostility going. We then take that as “see, we were right; racism is indelibly ingrained in them”, and they take it as “see, we (or our ancestors) were right; inferiority and a ‘taker’ mindset is ingrained in them”.
(It seems we are slow to answer conservatives because we don’t make enough of a distinction between them and conservatives; just lump all whites in the same pot).
Even if one does see the liberal approach to guilt suspicious and ultimately no better than the other side, I say we have to give them a break, at least for the effort. How much can you really press people for what we think is right? How can we get inside of people and clean out their heads or hearts? We certainly aren’t perfect. But at least that side is willing to listen and take action on our behalf.
If we’re going to remain here and interact with the rest of this culture, then at least this group is much easier to work with than those who just want to deny any guilt on their part and just throw it all on us.
As for the liberals being patronizing or trying to keep us enslaved; then it would be up to us to continue to try and be more independent.
If I suspect a white liberal is acting “nice” toward us out of guilt and shame, it won't make sense to call this out, (and toss him on the “racist” scrap heap, as some are wont to do). What else do we want from such people? They too should be given some grace, like we want grace.
The biggest complaint is a “paternalistic” attitude, (for instance, black conservative Ben Carson complains "And you're attacked in many respects because of your race. You're not supposed to think like this [i.e. conservative], and supposed to talk like this. A lot of white liberals just don't like it, do they?" said Levin, host of the syndicated radio show. “You know, they put you in a little category, a little box -- you have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?" responded Carson. Based on this, "Well, they're the most racist people there are” (“Ben Carson: White Liberals Are 'The Most Racist People'”
The Huffington Post, By Luke Johnson and Preston Maddock 04/02/2013).
This is probably part of the guilt reaction. They are trying to coddle us, perhaps too much, so it comes off paternalistic like that. (In my own case, when doctors couldn’t determine what my Asperger’s-related problems were, they just concluded it was “the father’s ‘Black rage’” and dismissed it).
We can point this out to them, but we should grant them some latitude. (It’s far better that a lot of the stuff many conservatives say and do. Aren’t they attacking us the same way, and even worse for voting Democrat?)
Here is a good article on this:
*(I’ve noted how the real estate market is what burst the bubble and collapsed the economy in the first place, yet the building boom is still going strong. The whole core of the city was allowed to be wasted for decades, and then when they”re good and ready, they move in and build back up, though pricing everyone out).
What should we want?
When assessing the whole "reparations" issue and what we should want, I feel like frankly, I don’t want anything from this system. Why would you ask anything from people who are already calling you a “taker” and blaming you for their economic deficits and resenting you deeply for it? I even thought my union was unwise for asking for more money despite the economy (and striking over contract disputes given the political climate of the time; this is by the way when the mayor coined the term “union thugs”; and with the stiff penalties imposed on us).
What I want is a society where I can work and live decently, and everything not be overpriced and inferior in quality.
But even that seems too much to ask for, and we cannot even square away whether the problem is the abuses of those with the most power, or the laziness of those with the least power, like my own alleged lack of "initiative" for not becoming one of the powerful myself.
It’s always been said that Western society is so much about “doing” than simply “being”. Both are necessary for existence, but our egos get hung up on one side to an extreme, and insist it is the RIGHT way.
So called “makers” are obviously “doers”, and the people being called “takers” are more into just “being”.
Doers tend to put their whole sense of “being” in what they DO, and this gathers for them a lot of power and respect in the world, but then they also end up with stress, ulcers, and the sense that everybody’s out to get them and take it all away from them.
|White guilt cannot be paid back, but what can be done is to let go of the collective “righteousness” of the nation and rest in Grace|
Guilt tells us to make amends. Scripture says the way to repent of a sin is to give back what was taken (if it can be given back. Else, as in something like a rape, something else must be given to compensate). So if whites took the land from the Indians, and robbed Africa and enslaved the people, then what would this lead them to do? Give the land back to the Indians, and perhaps bring the blacks back to Africa, and give back the wealth taken from there (gold, diamonds, etc.) and help build up the countries.
Of course, this is a colossal project that is probably impossible. How can millions of Caucasians pick up and crowd back into Europe? Who can afford to give everything (or even the proverbial promised “40 acres and a mule”) back to blacks and Africa? Especially given the state of the economy.
Of course, the liberal programs, and others some ask for (other monetary “reparations”) would be the most that could possibly be done. But even those are resisted, and again, the economy is tight enough.
(Most blacks really don't seem to be sitting around waiting for all that anyway, but instead moving on and trying to struggle in the economy now, like everyone else. What people with resentment I asked said should be done to make amends for racism, is to fix the education system!)
Still, people are left with a tremendous amount of guilt that they can’t pay back. So one side tries to do as much as it can, through programs, while the other side denies any guilt at all, and pretends to be the true victims of someone else’s evil, and pointing at the victims as hopeless parasites who refuse to improve themselves, and perhaps can’t. (And can detect an ulterior motive in the other side’s altruism, but assume it is simply “buying votes”).
So if it can’t be paid back, the only thing that remains is to let go of the collective “righteousness” of the nation, and individually, find true righteousness by falling back and resting in God’s grace. (Non-religious should just realize using whatever secular philosophy they hold that their worth should not lie in the merit of others).
Any form of superiority mindset has got to go; that you, even if collectively and not individually, are "better" than someone else, or "exceptional", or any other such term. Even if it's based on something other than race. If not, "the issue" (and its associated "card") will continue to nag at you from the Shadow, because it will continue to subconsciously influence your ideology and actions like blaming others. You resent having the card played on you, but the card is within you! And others will continue to see this, and associate it with the infamous old channel of superiority, race, even if you don’t intend to despise other races. So people must find their righteousness in God, not in the nation, even if they insist that the nation was founded on the Word or principles of God.
That is what would end this rhetorical race war, as people would no longer have any reason to be defensive of the sins of the nation and deflect the blame to others. They could admit that there are problems in the system, that should be fixed if possible. The others would not sense this hostility and neglect toward them, and then would ease their suspicions of racism. If the legitimate problems (such as the education system and economics) are fixed, then a lot of the problems would disappear.
On our end, even day to day little acts of institutionalized racism (such as with the police), people’s perception of us is very important. (I know there’s a meme going around that says “what others think of you is none of your business”, but then this will affect how they relate to you, especially when they’re the ones in power). We can’t allow others to portray us as nothing but a bunch of “takers” and ignore the rhetorical basis of the policies we complain about and then expect to get more respect by the institutions we say are still discriminating against us. We need leadership that addresses this and not only makes demands or just writes all whites off as racist.
Race and temperament
Personality type and temperament theory is another useful tool for understanding differences.
It seems that the Caucasian race produced a lot of Cholerics (as Christian temperament writer Tim LaHaye even mentions, Why You Act the Way You Do, p.150-1), and will thus reflect the good and bad sides of the temperament. (Corresponding Myers-Briggs type groups are EST, ENJ and NT. Type codes are E-Extravert, I-Introvert, S-Sensation, N-iNtuition, T-Thinking, F-Feeling, J-Judging, P-Perceiving; see http://erictb.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/eight-step-intro-to-type and http://erictb.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/introduction-to-temperament-theory)
On the good side, the Choleric (defined as expressive and task focused, or aggressive and critical) is the “go-getter”, the “mover and shaker”, the “doer”, the “maker”. The one you can depend on the most when you want something done (as Richard G. Arno, another Christian temperament theorist points out).
The bad side is being controlling and not liking people, often using them as objects for one’s own goals.
It should be pointed out in this regard that even those “movers and shakers” who are supposedly “delaying gratification” are likely still gratifying themselves on the way up the ladder. An ego is still pushing for its goals, and many people are gratified by their work; sometimes too gratified, as with the phenomenon of “workaholics” who push themselves into the ground, even while their health and families suffer. Temperament has a big influence on this. So this should be kept in mind, and this “gratification” concept not used as yet another judgment to hit others over the head with, as if it justifies greed and neglect of other areas of life.
Blacks seem to be heavily Melancholy (reserved or passive, and critical or IST, INJ and SJ), with touches of Sanguine (expressive and people focused, ESF, ENP and SP) and Phlegmatic (moderate, but traditionally being seen as reserved and people focused, ISF, INP and NF). There are also a lot of Cholerics, but not enough to really drive the race like the Caucasians. (These will just be the more hot headed rebels, who often get into the most trouble).
The most common type groups seem to be STJ, then some STP, NTJ, ESFP (the purest Sanguine) and some INFP, who will be the Phlegmatics.
ISTJ, the pure Melancholy and most common type of all in the community, (See [from University of Iowa study]) with its dominant "introverted Sensing" function, in particular; will on one hand try to work within the system, but also tends to hold on to a lot of resentment, and never forgets. (You see this trait more in the “classic temperament” profiles of LaHaye and others moreso than in the more “positive”-focused MBTI type profiles). Passive and critical might sound “nicer” than aggressive and critical, but as the aggressive type constantly vents his anger, the passive one actually holds it in, until it intensifies and possibly explodes.
The Sanguines (EFP; and even the Sanguine-Choleric blends, ETP’s) will be the more “agreeable”, less serious “party people”, and the Phlegmatics may seem sluggish and more agreeable.
All of this shapes the stereotypes the black race (in America, at least) has taken on. It will be a big reason the people as a group will seem more passive (as far as “achievement”), and yet at the same time, very critical (still resentful of racism despite a lot changing), and even violent, but in a more localized and less productive way.
The positive side of this (ignored by traditional racism, just as they ignore their own negative side) will be a greater ability to have “fun” and recreate, and also provide a more “colorful” side of culture (in comparison to the more inhibited “classical” culture). This is seen best in what has been our greatest contribution to the arts: music; from jazz and blues, to rock and soul, and the modern rhythmic “poetry” of rap. (All often despised as “sensual” by old time cultural and/or religious conservatives, and it’s true that it can cross a line into indecency, just as classical culture can become too rigid, and breed rebellion leading to worse sensuality).
The ability to have fun (rather than burning ourselves out in the rat race to world power, with all the neurosis that brings) is what is being judged as the "failure to delay gratification", but in the environments we were in, it is what gave us the resiliency to endure all the hardships we have faced over the centuries.
There are a still a LOT of STJ's with the old conservative attitude, as mentioned earlier. Again, kids have been captured by cultural stereotypical roles, and it is hard to control this.
|Even the "delaying of gratification" can be a form of gratification to some temperaments, while the ability to have fun prevented burnout for others. Each personality type has good and bad sides to it|
The temperament patterns could have been affected by the history of the different stocks. One theory is that the effects of the harsh tribal life of Ice Age Europe would produce Choleric tendencies that push one group to greatness in survival techniques carried to an extreme. Not having those conditions will lead to more passive temperaments.
The scriptures often at the center of these political and cultural debates (especially on the conservative side), say that man is created in God’s image (initially “good”), but misses the mark or falls short of the universal standards God has set up (fallen in sin)
May we all open our eyes and learn to accept each other, good and bad, and to own our own flaws and not blame others; then we can move forward and live together.
Rowan, Carl T., The Coming Race War In America: A Wake-up Call (Little, Brown and Company, 1996)
Alexander, Michelle, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press, New York, 2010)
Horton, Michael S., Beyond Culture Wars (Chicago: Moody Press, 1996)
Cone, James H., Martin & Malcolm in America: A Dream or a Nightmare (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991)
Himes, Andrew, Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family, (Chiara Press, Seattle, WA 2011)
Bonillo-Silva, Eduardo; Forman, Tyrone “‘I am not a racist but . . .’: mapping White college students’ racial ideology in the USA” Discourse & Society, 2000 http://www.asc.upenn.edu/usr/ogandy/C53704read/Bonilla-Silva.pdf
© 2013 Eric Bolden