Sunday, 11 April 2010


Working-Class Whites Driven to the Right



Barack Obama's relentless, life-long self-absorption, falling off of every page of his books, is infuriating; he windbags like a gifted, polished, well-educated Neil Kinnock,  if you can imagine such a contradiction; his phrases sparkle and enchant but they are all superficial, all about him, his destiny linked to that of the whole world;   the greatest political speechifier of my lifetime, elegant, lyrical, rythmical, he presents, in his tedious books, as a man never known to make a foolish move, a nit-picking, hair-splitting cheese-paring,  pain in the arse, po-faced, sanctimonious, know-it-all sonofabitch, for Barack, Call Me Barack not Barry,  the act of  chewing gum  would be one considered and thoughtful, responsive to but not overwhelmed by his notional Afro-Americanism; not for Barack the helter skelter of teenage enthusiasms,  Barack the Pompous was of mixed-race parentage, uniquely, almost, and spontaneity  therefore, would be inappropriate, considering how important he has always been to himself  - and briefly to the dumber, more gullible section of the youtubing, facebooking, myspacing, twittering US electorate, the Obamaniacs, confusing politics with teenybopping.

His can-do, trust me, I'm not a real nigger sermonising, however, doesn't boil any kettles with the Tea Partiers, an American taxpayers alliance, named after the early American rebels who ditched imported British tea in Boston Harbour, rather than pay Hanoverian taxes on it, No Taxation Without Representation their naive cry as they ushered in generations of bent, Masonic, BigHairWhiteTeeth Senators, Congressmen and Presidents, happy to do exactly as their backers told them, infinitely worse, more cynical, venal, corrupt  and degenerate even than the British House of Commons, a criminal justice system in hock to organised crime, an unstoppable and ruinously expensive military-industrial complex and a foreign policy which terrorised any who questioned their ownership of the world's resources,  The modern home of ethnic cleansing, a huge rogue state, the US is ceasing, has ceased, to be a white majority nation; mortgaged, now,  to China, despised across much of the  world, and with the wheels falling off Obama's ghsatly charm buggy, there are interesting political rumblings

It seems that, now,  in the land of Uncle Sam, as here, the staus quo shit is starting to - what's a good metaphor? - back-up in the pipe, instantly dissolve the toilet tissue, come pouring out when you turn on the cold tap to clean your teeth. I dunno, maybe hit the fan's the best there is.

As, here,  soft-left wedges of the electorate are repelled by their own traditional party and cast around for something else, the ShitEaters maybe, or the BNP, maybe even the Sam'n'Daves, sometimes drifting into single-issue alliances, like the taxpayers'  or the petrol price protesters, so in the States different groupings spring up, too, outside the control of the party machine. There's always been redneck nutters and Bible thumping bigots, Hells Angels and survivalist Mountain Men - my own favourite Amurrkins -  but they have kept themselves largely to themselves;  the Boston Tea Partiers, however are starting to piss on Obama's shoes.

from wiki:


The Boston Tea Party's platform clearly expresses the party's philosophy of anti-statism as follows:
The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.
The party's platform is supplemented by a program which advocates, among other things, the withdrawal of all American troops from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East; an immediate and complete end to warrantless searches and seizures, warrantless surveillance, and other practices that encroach on personal freedom; and an audit of the Federal Reserve.[4] The program was deliberately adopted from Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty.[5]
While the largest part of the party’s members accept a libertarian ideology in the classical liberal tradition, others consider themselves anarcho-capitalists, objectivists, voluntaryists and a variety of anarchists.[6]

this, by a Democrat from ed strong the motherblogger.

Bitter White Americans

By the time of the Clinton recovery in the late 1990s, working-class whites were already distrustful of Democrats. They were unwilling to give Democrats any credit for the improved economy and promoting working-class material well-being.
There’s a long history here of Republicans preying on white working-class insecurity, and Democrats mostly ignoring it. The right wing has always stoked us-vs-them feelings among disadvantaged whites.

Frank Rich, as always, does his trade honors in Sunday's NYT column on the real source of Tea Party anger.
The column pairs nicely with Richard Kim's dissection of Tea Party conspiracy theories in The Nation this week.
But understanding this movement's emotional and mental core is only part of the battle. We also have to respond to it, and that's where progressive and Democratic Party leadership alike continue to fail.
Progressives consistently meet tea partiers with sneering outrage. What we need, with increasing urgency, is leadership that explicitly aligns working-class whites with blacks and latinos.
Rich points out the reality that America is undergoing one of the most deep, significant changes in its history. No, it's not health insurance reform. Nor is it our economic collapse, though that's surely part of it.
Frankly, it's not even the fact of a black president. The change is far deeper and probably far more consequential: White people will shortly lose their status as normative Americans.
Whatever else does or doesn't change, by the time Millennials are adults, no one will equate white skin with the phrase "all-American" – assuming the phrase carries meaning at all.
Rich cites this stat: Nearly half of all babies born in the 12 months preceding July 2008 were born to black, Asian or Latino moms. He'll be able to fill his column with similar stats when we get results from the 2010 Census.
Already, the demographics of public schools in the South and the West defy the notion of "minorities." And while the absolute number of white Americans will shrink over the next generation, the Latino community will nearly triple.
All of this will eventually shape every aspect of American life. Young, colored folks will drive the economy, the culture, the politics – and the country's rapidly shrinking, white-dominated enclaves will grow increasingly defensive about that fact. As Rich writes:
If Obama's first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House -- topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman -- would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play.
It's not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver -- none of them major Democratic players in the health care push -- received a major share of last weekend's abuse.
When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan "Take our country back!," these are the people they want to take the country back from.
They can't.
But they can rip our polity to shreds in the process of trying. And if they do, it will be as much the fault of national progressive leaders as it is the conservatives we're rightly holding accountable for the recent violence. Progressive leaders remain reluctant to confront the meaningful anxieties working-class white people face. Profiteering demagogues like Sarah Palin are filling the void.
I'm consistently reminded of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s most astute, if rarely cited analysis. "The Southern aristocracy took the world and gave the poor white man Jim Crow," he declared during the 1965 march on Selma, Alabama.
That pact has come apart. Our manufacturing economy is gone, along with the inequality that reserved the best jobs within it for whites. The face of our politics is forever altered, by both Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.
And Millennials are redefining the very idea of an American. The Glenn Becks of the world peddle the notion that sheer anger can reverse these trends. What's the progressive response? Sneering's not it.
The upheaval of our times present a unique opportunity to dismantle a centuries-old tool of oppression: pitting working-class whites against people of color.
Either we seize the moment by addressing the "bitterness" Obama so infamously identified on the campaign trail, or we watch the public square devolve into a mob of spit and bricks. Worse, we squander a rare opening for real change.

" watch the public square devolve into a mob of spit and bricks."


black hole sunset said...

The author of "Bitter White Americans", Kai Wright, has a ludicrously, prehaps even simple-mindedly, high opinion of his chosen party. Obama, sans autocue, appears to have no more grasp of the goings-on of his country or banking empire sponsors than Lewis Hamilton. The other party machine functionaries he refers to are, for the most part, a mixed bunch of dodgy bastards and rogues.

It'll be interesting to see what fruit the actions of these so-called Progressives bares, and more than a pleasant surprise if slogans and groupthink give rise to a measurable improvement in literacy and the practice of algebra.

call me ishmael said...

Thanks Mr BHS, I couldn't help but note the Toynbee-esque nature of the complainant's concern, the assumption of moral, political, financial rectitude and Oh, Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood, all we need to do is explain to stupid people and we'll be ok; never for an instant the possibility that not only might he or she be wrong but that his or her party might actually be an instrument of Satan, which, as with NewSnot, the Sam'n'Daves and the ShitEaters, it fucking well is.

As for the BTP, well, as with the BNP or UKIP or even order-order, it is great to see the status quo challenged.

black hole sunset said...

Couldn't agree more, Mr Ishmael.

The supposed moral case offered by the Left is utterly consumed by their rotten habit of 'locking in' a constituency of the disadvantaged. A generation of belligerent, trades union activism has sold its members, and their offspring, down the swanny with all the dispatch of Thatcher's grimmest spivs. Now, for most, as you observed in Brum, which is no different to many other places, there's fuck all left.

For all their talk, a decent education and that grain of self-dicipline required to study, work, or do anything at all that might earn a few crumbs of comfort, are no more a feature of Left wing government that Right.

call me ishmael said...

The locking-in is the real up against the wall offence with Labour. All across Scotland, the North and big chunks of London. Diane Lard, first and still most useless female black MP proudly trumpeting that after twenty years in her stewardship her constituency is worse than ever. How do they sleep at night, these bastards, in their Barbadian holiday homes?

Anonymous said...

How do they sleep at night, these bastards, in their Barbadian holiday homes?" Very well I should imagine they have skin that a rhino would be envious of.

black hole sunset said...

You are surely correct, Mr Anonymous, they sleep very well indeed.

Safe in the knowledge that the continued - ideally, deteriorating - plight of their constituents is, if only for themselves, a career with real prospects.

With the Tories, it seems to be a case of inexcusable indifference; and a thing not even in their own shallow self-interest, the mean-spirited fools.

With Labour, something dark and sinister; to seriously attend to the needs of their supporters could put that support, and their own prospects, in jeopardy. This disgusting calculation seems to underpin, in their implementation, most of Labour's policies.

woman on a raft said...

It says on the telly tonight that the Obama camp have been advising our own dear party leaders in preparation for the 'debates' they will hold.

The right little trouble maker here suggests that advice is: "OK, one of you will have to black-up".

I have emphasized that wit like that is not to be repeated in school, but I thought the Ishmaelites might enjoy the quip.

call me ishmael said...

It is delicious, Mrs WOAR, and just the sort of idea around which one might have constructed a post, had you not so helpfully done so.