Culture war – race

Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America By Sara Robinson

The Persistence of Racial Resentment By THOMAS B. EDSALL, Feb­ru­ary 6, 2013 -Although there was plenty of dis­cus­sion dur­ing the 2012 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign about the His­panic vote and how intense black turnout would be, the press was pre­oc­cu­pied with the white vote: the white work­ing class, white women and upscale whites. Largely miss­ing from daily news sto­ries were ref­er­ences to research on how racial atti­tudes have changed under Obama, the nation’s first black pres­i­dent. In fact, there has been an inter­est­ing explo­ration of this sub­ject among academics…Despite how con­tro­ver­sial it has been to talk about race, researchers have gath­ered a sub­stan­tial amount of infor­ma­tion on the opin­ions of white Amer­i­can vot­ers…the evi­dence strongly sug­gests that party attach­ments have become increas­ingly polar­ized by both racial atti­tudes and race as a result of Obama’s rise to promi­nence within the Demo­c­ra­tic Party…At the moment, the pop­u­la­tion of the United States (314 mil­lion) is head­ing towards a majority-minority sta­tus in 2042. The Amer­i­can elec­torate, on the other hand (126 mil­lion) is cur­rently 72 per­cent white, based on the vot­ers who cast bal­lots last Novem­ber …the shifts…within the right wing of the Repub­li­can Party. Many vot­ers voic­ing stronger anti-black affect were already Repub­li­can… Some Repub­li­can strate­gists believe the party’s deep­en­ing con­ser­vatism is scar­ing away voters…what Time Mag­a­zine recently described as the Repub­li­can “brand iden­tity that has emerged from the stars of the con­ser­v­a­tive media ecosys­tem: Rush Lim­baugh, Sean Han­nity, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coul­ter, and others.”It is not so much Latino and black vot­ers that the Repub­li­can Party needs. To win the White House again, it must assuage the social con­science of main­stream, mod­er­ate white vot­ers among whom an ethos of tol­er­ance has become nor­mal. These vot­ers are con­cerned with fair­ness and diver­sity, even as they stand to the right of cen­ter. It is there that the upcom­ing polit­i­cal bat­tles — on the gamut of issues from race to rights — will be fought.

What Do We Really Know About Racial Inequality? Labor Markets, Politics, and the Historical Basis of Black Economic Fortunes

Are Humans Hard-Wired for Racial Prejudice? Robert M. Sapolsky, Los Angeles Times,, July 31, 2013   

Tim Wise on White Resentment in a Multiracial Society – interview by Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview, March 2, 2012 …it took America — this place where the old divisions would need to be put aside so as to subjugate indigenous persons and maintain chattel enslavement of Africans in the name of “the white race” — to really bring racism, as we know it to fruition…If the elite could make the poor Europeans believe they were members of the same “white” team as the rich Europeans, then the prospects for class-based rebellion would be dampened…My goal…is to confront us with the reality that, ultimately, racial equity is in the interest of all of us; that the nostalgic remembrance of the past is not only problematic in that it tethers us to a narrative that overlooks the fundamental evil of those “good old days” for millions, but also because it commits us to the kind of nation that is not sustainable for anyone in the long run.…

America’s Ku Klux Klan Mentality By Lawrence Davidson,Con­sor­tium News, Sep­tem­ber 8, 2012 -The Ku Klux Klan… declared mis­sion was to “main­tain the supremacy of the white race in the­United States.” To this end it adopted tac­tics in the South­ern states that would so ter­rify eman­ci­pated African-Americans and their white allies that they would not dare to vote, run for pub­lic office, or inter­min­gle with whites except in “racially appro­pri­ate” ways…It was very rare that those involved…were arrested for their actions much less con­victed and ade­quately pun­ished. This, in turn, was pos­si­ble because of a num­ber of factors: – First and fore­most, the belief that African-Americans, and sub­se­quently all non-whites, were dan­ger­ous to “white civ­i­liza­tion.” This belief was built into the cul­tural per­cep­tions of the majority…The nation’s deep-seated his­tory of racism has helped pre­serve an appar­ent per­ma­nent sub­set of Amer­i­cans who grow up with prej­u­di­cial feel­ings against any­one they per­ceive as a threat to their ver­sion of the “Amer­i­can way of life.” This back­ground can help us under­stand the ongo­ing attacks against Amer­i­can Mus­lims. Since 2010 there has been an increase in the num­ber of attacks on Amer­i­can Mus­lims, their mosques and other prop­erty, as well as Amer­i­can minori­ties (such as Sikhs) who are reg­u­larly mis­taken for Muslims…An impor­tant fac­tor in all of this is the role of a num­ber of cam­paign­ing politi­cians who go around pro­claim­ing the threat that Amer­i­can Mus­lims sup­pos­edly rep­re­sent to the country…the United States, the nation spent…165 years, build­ing up an “Amer­i­can way of life,” which legit­imized dis­crim­i­na­tion against non-whites… there are still those groups of cit­i­zens who are deeply racist…when con­di­tions allow, that racism emerges in a pub­lic way, often in hate speech but some­times more bru­tally. These extrem­ists are the mod­ern day ver­sions of yesterday’s Klans­men and, given a chance, they will hap­pily com­mit may­hem in the name of their cher­ished tra­di­tions. Amer­i­can Mus­lims are now their chief target…

How Obama’s Election Drove the American Right Insane By David Nei­w­ert [2], John Amato [3] Poli­Point Press [1] posted on, May 25, 2010 — The fol­low­ing is adapted from “Over the Cliff: How Obama’s Elec­tion Drove the Amer­i­can Right Insane,” [4]due out next month from PoliPoint Press.On the day Barack Obama was elected pres­i­dent of the United States… those who opposed Obama pre­cisely because he sought to become the nation’s first black pres­i­dent — it went well beyond the usual despair….So maybe it wasn’t really a sur­prise that they responded that day with the spe­cial venom and vio­lence pecu­liar to the Amer­i­can Right…We are see­ing lit­er­ally hun­dreds of inci­dents around the coun­try — from cross-burnings to death threats to effi­gies hang­ing to con­fronta­tions in school­yards, and it’s quite remark­able. I think that there are polit­i­cal lead­ers out there who are say­ing incred­i­bly irre­spon­si­ble things that could have the effect of undamming a real flood of hate. That includes media fig­ures. On immi­gra­tion, they have been some of the worst. There’s a lot going on, and it’s very likely to lead to scape­goat­ing. And in the end, scape­goat­ing leaves corpses in the street…

Large Portion Of GOP Thinks Obama Is Racist, Socialist, Non-U.S. Citizen: Poll by Sam Stein, Huffington Post, February 2, 2010 February 2, 2010

No Longer a Party of Lincoln: The Racial Politics of the New GOP by John Nichols, The Nation, January 10, 2012

For Politics in South, Race Divide Is Defining ByCampbellRobertson,New York Times, October 2, 2011

Welcome to the Shari’ah Conspiracy Theory Industry by Sarah Posner Religion Dispatches, March 13, 2011

White Democrats Lose More Ground in South by Campbell Robertson, Washington Post, August 31, 2010 August 31, 2010

His Southern Strategy Made a Dent by Byron Williams,, October 11, 2007 October 11, 2007

Not Afraid to Talk About Race by Charles Blow, New York Times, June 7, 2012

The Racism-Conservatism Link: ‘National Review’ Firestorm Over Racism Calls Up William F. Buckley’s Troubling Legacy By William Hogeland, AlterNet, April 24, 2012

Right-Wing Racism: Past, Present—and Future by Eric Alterman, The Nation, February 29, 2012

Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America By Sara Robinson, AlterNet, June 28, 2012

Fear of a Black President By Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic,The Atlantic, Sep­tem­ber 2012The irony of Barack Obama is this: he has become the most suc­cess­ful black politi­cian in Amer­i­can his­tory by avoid­ing the radioac­tive racial issues of yes­ter­year…This irony is rooted in the greater ironies of the coun­try he leads. For most of Amer­i­can his­tory, our polit­i­cal sys­tem was premised on two con­flict­ing facts—one, an oft-stated love of democ­racy; the other, an unde­mo­c­ra­tic white supremacy inscribed at every level of gov­ern­ment. In war­ring against that para­dox, African Amer­i­cans have his­tor­i­cally been restricted to the realm of protest and agi­ta­tion.…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…This is a func­tion not only of Obama’s elec­tion to the White House but of the way his pres­i­dency broad­casts an easy, almost mys­tic, black­ness to the world. The Obama fam­ily rep­re­sents our ideal imag­in­ing of ourselves—an ideal we so rarely see on any kind of national stage. What black peo­ple are expe­ri­enc­ing right now is a kind of priv­i­lege pre­vi­ously withheld—seeing our most sacred cul­tural prac­tices and tropes val­i­dated in the world’s high­est office. Through­out the whole of Amer­i­can his­tory, this kind of cul­tural power was wielded solely by whites, and with such ubiq­uity that it was not even com­mented upon. The expan­sion of this cul­tural power beyond the pri­vate province of whites has been a tremen­dous advance for black Amer­ica. Con­versely, for those who’ve long trea­sured white exclu­siv­ity, the exis­tence of a Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is dis­com­bob­u­lat­ing, even ter­ri­fy­ing…In Amer­ica, the rights to own prop­erty, to serve on a jury, to vote, to hold pub­lic office, to rise to the pres­i­dency have his­tor­i­cally been seen as belong­ing only to those peo­ple who showed par­tic­u­lar integrity. Cit­i­zen­ship was a social con­tract in which per­sons of moral stand­ing were trans­formed into stake­hold­ers who swore to defend the state against threats exter­nal and internal…The idea that blacks should hold no place of con­se­quence in the Amer­i­can polit­i­cal future has affected every sec­tor of Amer­i­can soci­ety, trans­form­ing white­ness itself into a monop­oly on Amer­i­can possibilities…After Obama won, the longed-for post-­racial moment did not arrive; on the con­trary, racism inten­si­fied. At ral­lies for the nascent Tea Party, peo­ple held signs say­ing things like Obama Plans White Slavery…While Beck and Lim­baugh have cho­sen direct racial assault, oth­ers choose sim­ply to deny that a black pres­i­dent actu­ally exists. One in four Amer­i­cans (and more than half of all Repub­li­cans) believe Obama was not born in this coun­try, and thus is an ille­git­i­mate president. More than a dozen state leg­is­la­tures have intro­duced “birther bills” demand­ing proof of Obama’s cit­i­zen­ship as a con­di­tion for putting him on the 2012 bal­lot. Eigh­teen per­cent of Repub­li­cans believe Obama to be a Mus­lim. The goal of all this is to dele­git­imize Obama’s pres­i­dency. If Obama is not truly Amer­i­can, then Amer­ica has still never had a black president…What we are now wit­ness­ing is not some new and com­pli­cated expres­sion of white racism—rather, it’s the dying embers of the same old racism that once ren­dered the best pick­ings of Amer­ica the exclu­sive province of unblack­ness.…An equal­ity that requires blacks to be twice as good is not equality—it’s a dou­ble standard.…politi­cized rage has marked the oppo­si­tion to Obama. But the rules of our racial pol­i­tics require that Obama never respond in like fash­ion…a pres­i­dency that must never betray any sign of rage toward its white opposition. Thus the myth of “twice as good” that makes Barack Obama pos­si­ble also smoth­ers him. It holds that African Americans—­enslaved, tor­tured, raped, dis­crim­i­nated against, and sub­jected to the most lethal home­grown ter­ror­ist move­ment in Amer­i­can history—feel no anger toward their tormentors.…The president’s inabil­ity to speak can­didly on race can­not be brack­eted off from his inabil­ity to speak can­didly on every­thing. Race is not sim­ply a por­tion of the Obama story. It is the lens through which many Amer­i­cans view all his politics. But what­ever the pol­i­tics, a total sub­mis­sion to them is a dis­ser­vice to the coun­try. No one knows this bet­ter than Obama him­self, who once described patri­o­tism as more than pageantry and the scarf­ing of hot dogs. “When our laws, our lead­ers, or our gov­ern­ment are out of align­ment with our ideals, then the dis­sent of ordi­nary Amer­i­cans may prove to be one of the truest expres­sions of patri­o­tism,” Obama said in Inde­pen­dence, Mis­souri, in June 2008. Love of coun­try, like all other forms of love, requires that you tell those you care about not sim­ply what they want to hear but what they need to hear…In a democ­racy, so the say­ing goes, the peo­ple get the gov­ern­ment they deserve. Part of Obama’s genius is a remark­able abil­ity to soothe race con­scious­ness among whites. Any black per­son who’s worked in the pro­fes­sional world is well acquainted with this trick. But never has it been prac­ticed at such a high level, and never have its lim­its been so obvi­ously exposed. This need to talk in dul­cet tones, to never be angry regard­less of the offense, bespeaks a strange and com­pro­mised inte­gra­tion indeed, reveal­ing a coun­try so infan­tile that it can coun­te­nance white accep­tance of blacks only when they meet an Al Roker standard…