As summer officially winds down, it seems that no one is in The City. The trains are relatively empty, the streets less full. My summer fling ended much too soon (by mid-summer) this year, and weather-wise there wasn’t a heat wave worth remembering...
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Republicans are struggling right now to find a “great white hope.”
-- Rep. Lynn Jenkins
For those with a lack of historical context, the phrase “great white hope” is associated with pre-civil rights-era racism and is widely believed to have entered usage in the U.S. when boxer Jack Johnson, who was black, captured the heavyweight title in the early 20th century. Many whites reacted to Johnson’s achievement by trying to find white fighters -- a “great white hope” -- who could beat him. The boxer’s story inspired a play, then a movie, with that title, both starring James Earl Jones.
Some will contend that Jenkins is an aberration, but I challenge that contention. There is ample evidence that racism is alive and well and in some cases even more pernicious than ever. In order to see the pervasiveness of white male privilege one only has to consider something as ordinary as consumer trade. It’s a known fact that blacks and other minorities are denied mortgages far more frequently that whites with comparable income. But even in something as seemingly mundane as buying a car, race plays a powerful role. A study of automobile dealerships in
That systemic racism exists is without question. The real question is how racism is manifested in these so-called post-racial days. Is Rep. Jenkins an aberration, or an expression of a large swath of white neoconservative
But this post isn’t necessarily about racism per se. My question is more along the lines of uncovering the meaning behind subtle and not so subtle racism. What is the meaning behind the yells of “nigger!” and “kill him!” at Palin rallies? How is it that disconnected mostly conservative whites are convinced at every turn to vote against their own interests? How is it that major league dimwits such as Palin, Limbaugh, and Beck can intentionally lie about “death panels” and so many neocons fall into line goose-stepping and yelling, “We’re no. 1”?
The standard conservative talking point against health care reform describes an
And what is this
I see, with crystal clarity that the people who claim to be the biggest patriots -- the ones yelling at town halls, calling for Obama’s birth certificate, foreskin or placenta -- are the same ones who yell out “nigger! at political rallies. The pale-faced red-staters who feel the need to drape themselves in flags and rant “U-S-A!” can’t be feeling good about themselves. From where I’m standing, the disasters and humiliation of the Bush years -- from the 9/11 attacks, to Katrina (which made parts of the USA look like Calcutta on a bad day) to the collapsed real estate market, shit even the humility of a white man losing to a black in the presidential election -- all this has neocons in America aching for some way to feel good about themselves again.
The problem is that the only thing too many Americans really know how to do anymore is consume huge amounts of fast food and look for dates on the internet. If you think my estimation is cruel or unjust, I refer you to the countless millions being duped into believing the myths of health care reform.
Look, all this talk about socialism and death panels and, yes, great white hopes, is really a cover of one essential truth: the rhetoric of both political parties (especially at the center!) is mostly a fraud, that the true business of both is to repay the favors in the form of policies to their campaign contributors. These very same multinational corporations are spending one million dollars a day to convince you that a market-driven health care delivery system is best.
Good luck with that...