Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Negrological Constant



Because the prevailing model of the Universe at the time was fundamentally flawed (presumed to be static, not expanding), when Albert Einstein first tried to apply his general theory of relativity to the Universe\, the results thoroughly freaked him out (Universe collapsing! Cats and dogs living together!)

So, being a clever man, Einstein invented a kind of mathematical fairy dust -- a “cosmological constant” -- which, when factored into the equation, made everything come out ever so much nicer and less Armageddonish. Einstein later dropped the whole idea and acknowledged that it had been his biggest blunder.

In this election, the predictive model we use to explain our cultural Universe is also deeply warped. Warped by race. Race is, yet again, the 17-ton mastodon in the room, but continues to scud and swirl quietly around the dark corners of American political discourse like errant dust bunnies.

And so the media develops a suite of “Negrological Constants” to explain what is happening in the polls without having to face the reality that we are not a post-racial society.

Not by a damn sight.

Better than we have been? Yes.

Getting better every generation? Yes.

But in 2008, to pretend that that all objects in motion in the American political system are not being acted on by racism is as silly as pretending that all objects on the face of the Earth are not being acted on by gravity.

During Big Convention Roundup on the Charlie Rose Show, Ronald Walters pointed out that he (rough, high speed transcription):
"…cannot understand why the press keeps insisting that Barack Obama is not being specific. I went over the +100 speech he has given since 2007 and there are dozens of specific policy recommendations all over the fucking place."
To which David Fucking Brook responded:
"I think there is no doubt that Barack Obama is much more specific than John McCain. If this were about issues, Obama would be winning by 15 points. The mystery is, why he's not."
driftglass: No, David Fucking Brooks, it is absolutely no mystery at all.

It is about race, and our pathetic, comical and ultimately lethal refusal to understand racism's many faces and means of transmission. How it is passed along, generation to generation, like hemophilia.

White male Christian supremacy was a major component of America's Genesis meme; long before the radical notions of liberty and democratic rule took root in the soil of the New World, racism and chattel slavery had set up shop and become a highly profitable self-replicating and self-propagating idea, which act (from the Wiki definition of "meme"):
“… by natural selection (similarly to Darwinian biological evolution) through the processes of variation, mutation, competition, and inheritance influencing an individual entity's reproductive success. So with memes, some ideas will propagate less successfully and become extinct, while others will survive, spread, and, for better or for worse, mutate."
Racism is a highly successful and seductive virus that bundles White Privilege in with Divine Right and market economics, and has always sought to aggressively reinforce and spread itself through media, law and violence.

From an epidemiological point of view, the Missouri Compromise was nothing more or less than an argument over whether or not America was going to arrest the spread of its Racism Virus.

The Civil War was the disease's violent response to being quarantined.

And when Lee Atwater said this in 1981 --
Questioner: But the fact is, isn’t it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps…?

Atwater: 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.
-- he was merely affirming that, in order to survive and grow, our Racism Virus had mutated. Had adopted the protective coloring of “economic things” in order to continue to poison and destroy the culture.

9/11, of course, gave the Racism Virus a massive dose of rocket fuel: now, instead of having to sneak behind the barn and talk about “quotas”, bigots can once again scream a simple, simpleminded, two syllable word – Muslim, Muslim, Muslim -- wave around an American flag, and feel perfectly certain that their dog whistle has been clearly transmitted.

Of course some people do speak up.

Like Charles Barkley.

Like this from the Guardian:
US elections: Why has Obama stalled? No one mentions race

On the eve of the Democrats' convention in Denver, Barack Obama finds himself struggling against a resurgent John McCain. Why isn't Obama doing better in the polls? There is one answer no one wants to hear. Paul Harris reports on how race has become the great unspoken issue in the campaign for the White House - and why it may yet be the decisive factor.

This week's events in Denver are fast turning into a critical moment in Obama's bid to be America's first black President. What was once seen as an anointing of his candidacy is becoming a chance to right a campaign facing a series of unexpected crises.

The Democrats are starting to struggle in a presidential race which they should be dominating. America is beset by economic troubles, mired in an unpopular foreign war and facing an unpopular Republican party. A stunning 80 per cent of Americans think that the country is heading in the wrong direction. Yet Obama and McCain are virtually tied in the polls. The possible explanations are multiple. The Democratic campaign is being daily assaulted by withering Republican attack ads. At the same time, there are still deep scars in the party left by the ferocious battle between Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton.

And then there is the issue of race. It gets much less attention than the battle with Clinton, or the daily barbs traded with McCain, or Obama's struggle to rise in the polls. Yet it might provide the key to understanding the strange inability of the Obama campaign to achieve lift-off in the polls.

'The question of this election is race. The answer we are looking for is, how much will it matter?' said Professor Shawn Bowler, a political scientist at the University of California at Riverside. America will soon find out. When Obama speaks on Thursday to more than 80,000 people in Denver's football stadium he will also reach a television audience of millions of Americans. They will look into the face of a man who could be their next President and for the first time it will be a black face.

By the end of this week, America will finally be facing up to the question that might truly define the 2008 presidential race: is America ready to elect a black President to the White House?


In research published in New York magazine, the pollster Thom Riehle, who founded the AP/Ipsos survey, calculates that even if the black turnout were to rise by 25 per cent from 2004, with Obama gaining a 92 per cent share, and significantly more Hispanic voters and under-50s voted for Obama than voted for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004, he would still need to win 40 per cent of the white vote - just one point less than Kerry got. As Riehle points out: 'This is a daunting task as the first black candidate for President. To get there, he's got to win roughly the same proportion of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents that all other Democrats get. If he doesn't he's in a world of trouble. He can't win it just by changing the electorate.'


There is little doubt that race is going to play a starring role in this election after the convention season. 'It has not been too much of an issue so far. Or, at least not talked about. But that is not going to last,' said Bowler. It is already getting a lot of play on conservative talkshows and in books. Rush Limbaugh, the 'shock jock' who is hugely popular with white conservatives, has stepped up race-baiting on his broadcasts. He recently claimed Democrats chose Obama as a sort of 'affirmative action' programme. 'I think it really goes back to the fact that nobody had the guts to stand up and say no to a black guy,' he told his millions of listeners. Warming to his theme a few days later, he said: 'You can't criticise the little black man-child.'
Like Michele Norris appearing on the Charlie Rose Show over the past two nights:
"One thing we've only touched on lightly here is the issue of race, and the polling has shown that many of these voters when they say "he's not patriotic enough", "we just don’t know who he is", "we don’t know what he really stands for", if you dig down a little deeper there are suggestions that some of these issues are proxies for this issue of race."
Like Connie Schultz of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, also appearing on the Charlie Rose Show over the past two nights:
“It hurts me to say, as the child of working class people, what these people were saying. When I get email from these people, there ain't a lot of nuance.”
And
Connie Schultz: I think Michele makes a very important point about race ... I've been writing about this because I come from the working class, and I am very troubled by some of the things I'm hearing from the working class. About race. And I said, you gotta go home and have the tough conversations with family members.

Rose: What do they say?

Schultz: (They say) "I will not vote for..."

Rose (because he is congenitally unable to stop interrupting people trying to finish their sentences): "...an African American?!?"

Schultz: Right. If they say it well. If they say it kindly. I think it's code when they say "Well we really don't know if he's a Muslim" and "we don't know if he's patriotic". That’s all code for race. And for us to pretend that isn't happening is irresponsible for us in the media.
And let me give it up for the usually unctuous and trifling Charlie Rose. With a couple of exceptions, the people gathered around his table over the last two nights actually talked about race and politics in remarkably clear language.

Which is a very good thing.

Because among all the trivial nonsense being kicked up by wilding packs of network haircuts going mad chasing each other's tails and getting bent sniffing each other's panty-liners, that is real, genuine news.

Because 100 years from now, the Tale of Election 2008 will be the story of several million ignorant, white, working-class voters – both Democrats and Independents (the Republicans are a lost cause who will remain an unashamedly morally bankrupt open-sewer for at least another 30 years) and which way they turned.

Period.

Right now there is so much pressure on these voters -- so much torque to their sense of identity being wrenched onto by them by the economic and cultural disasters wrought by the liars and sociopaths they keep electing -- that they are almost in tears, moaning and clawing at their skulls, trying to figure out how to simultaneously:
A) Keep from drowning in a rising tide of ruin and failure of their own making, and

B) Stay faithful to the deep, ugly foundation stones of bigotry they dutifully learned at their father’s and grandfather’s knees and which, up until now, they have been spared the pain of facing by the use of pretty, perfumed code.
They are becoming unhinged trying to reconcile this massive, existential dissonance at the core of their lives, except this time applying the Negrological Constant to magically explain away their fundamentally defective model of the Universe will not work.

This time there they cannot escape the choice they have to make. And this time we on the Left will remind them -- loudly, rudely, and from every street corner, blog, and microphone -- exactly what those choices are: to adapt and change and live in a Progressive and tolerant nation, or stay just as they are and die in a Conservative and bigoted one.

And right now it is 6-to-5 and pick ‘em which is stronger: the people, or the American Racism Virus that hagrides them.

42 comments:

US Blues said...

Case. Closed.

Damn drifty, not a milli-micron of wiggle room there, you just nailed them to their Cross (tm).

Suzan said...

Damnation! Dg,

So while I'm going through my day trying to get my ducks in a row for tonight's Billy moment viewing, you are nailing those bastards to the wall.

That is exactly what I was thinking as I watched David F. Brooks' wide-eyed, childlike, incurious questioning of why Obama wasn't further ahead of McInsane. Do they hold classes for this at conservative-pretender college?

If I were wealthy (and had been eligible for the tax rebate), I would have thrown the TV across the room. How dare PBS pretend they don't know the answer to that question? And let that scumbag leave unscathed after that insult to any perceptive viewer? And he's a regular there (and getting more on-camera requests from the Conservashame clubhouses everyday)!

I can't keep my incredulity about his judgments to myself anymore (if I ever did). The talking heads seem to continue thinking he actually has something worthwhile to say. I've lost my whole feel for anything PBS-sponsored now. I guess it began with the pressure to treat right-wing nonsense-thinking(?) equally with that of truly educated people (and you know we don't see any of them on the right or on PBS anymore) in order to be fair to idiots. And your comments about Charlie Rose's show last night - so dead on. I felt sorry for the women who had to put up with the blankfaced Charlie, although every now and then you can see him struggling for a nuanced thought.

I nominate you to replace them (Brooks and Rose - heck all of them!) - everywhere - forever! If only.

And your wordplay, Sir, you have no master in this world. We all bow to your political vision and prose wizardry.

Racism is a highly successful and seductive virus that bundles White Privilege in with Divine Right and market economics, and has always sought to aggressively reinforce and spread itself through media, law and violence.

among all the trivial nonsense being kicked up by wilding packs of network haircuts going mad chasing each other's tails and getting bent sniffing each other's panty-liners

the Republicans are a lost cause who will remain an unashamedly morally bankrupt open-sewer for at least another 30 years

Stay faithful to the deep, ugly foundation stones of bigotry they dutifully learned at their father’s and grandfather’s knees and which, up until now, they have been spared the pain of facing by the use of pretty, perfumed code.

this massive, existential dissonance at the core of their lives, except this time applying the Negrological Constant to magically explain away their fundamentally defective model of the Universe will not work

the American Racist Virus that hagrides them.


Carry on.

Suzan

Blader said...

"It is worse than useless to deny or ignore the existence of personal racial preferences and prejudices."

-in, Guide To Command of Negro Naval Personnel
Bureau of Naval Personnel,
Washington, D.C., 12 February 1945

good reading......if you have the stomach for that sort of thing


http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/guide_negro_personnel.htm

tanbark said...

At my fave pizza place tonight, I was sitting next to an old guy as we watched some history being made in Denver.

His take was about the same as what Drift's thread is about.

"I just can't vote for him. Don't know why, but I can't."

I asked, as gently as possible:

"Can you vote for a third term for george bush?"

He thought a moment and then shook his head. I don't know if he was doing it as a signal that he couldn't vote for McBush, or shock that I would phrase the option that way, or what. And then he said, sadly:

"The country's in trouble."

Since we were in agreement on THAT, I let it lay.

In other news, Spike Lee is sporting a t-shirt with Barack Obama dunking on John McCain. :o)

Blue Gal said...

This is the best thing you've ever written. And that's saying sumpin'.

Anonymous said...

Just to shoehorn in some optimism here, some racists might vote for Obama just to prove to themselves they're not what they know damn well they are.

Or they might just compartmentalize, like they always do. "Some of my best friends… and Obama… too bad about all the rest of 'em," etc. I think Andrew "Bell Curve" Sillyvan has already proclaimed Obama a "statistical outlier" or something.

Myrtle June said...

It's going to be okay. People will vote for Barack Obama in record numbers.

I believe that.

Anonymoustache said...

Brilliantly put. One of your best ever, driftglass.

Blader said...

Last time I was home visiting my dad, a catholic, Reagan democrat and always an astute political observer, he said, "Obama is clearly the best candidate, and the republicans have made a complete mess of everything, but he's going to have a very difficult time getting elected for one reason only, and you and I both know why."

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar /Helluvafella!) said...

Drifty, bubba/ette, I am pretty firmly convinced now that Murka feels it has paid its 'racial debt' by simply NOMINATING Obama.

"There," they're saying, "that wipes out the 400 years of racial oppression." The nomination in itself will be seen and treated as definitive evidence that "racism" a dead issue in the USofA (and white folks all over the country are heaving huge sighs of relief).

The majority of voters will be satisfied with this outcome, and will not feel any 'need' to deny their inner Duke/Thurmond by actually voting for him for Presnint.

Plus, the PukeStain campaign has no other objective than to provide to every "White" voter in the country a (yes, specious, yes, spurious; yes, plausibly deniable) reason NOT to vote for Obama. Which strategy will work/is working, as your reporting demonstrates...

Obama candidacy, I fear, will in the final analysis, no more than a notable footnote. Just as Hilary would have been/is...

fiver said...

Fantastic post. Thank you.

nycjoc said...

Amen

rick said...

Great analysis and spot on. After I read your blog I got to thinking about my personal situation and history of racism in myself and in my immediate family. I grew up in Central Illinois and was raised by racist/sexist parents and became that way myself. School segregation was confusing but helpful: I started to realize that generalized portrayals/stereotyping of African Americans was untrue;I came to like and befriend some of black students and others not so much. In fact, I came to realize that they were just like the white students-some I befriended, some I didnt. Some I liked (got along with), others not so much. So my question to myself has always been, have these racist tendencies been scrubbed out of your brain? Are there still some racist motivations tucked deep down in my psyche because of my upbringing? By giving hundreds of dollars to Barack's campaign am I subconciously trying to pay off my "racial debt" to society? I don't know. It would take some serious psychoanalysis to figure that out. One thing I do know is that I love the man and think he's a fucking genius. One final note: My low information racist mom voted for Barack during the primary. I called her up after the Rev Wright dustup figuring I'd have to talk her back on the bandwagon and she said....she didnt care. She said her minister says stuff she doesnt agree with all the time. What the Fuck??!! Some may find this cynical, but I find it beautiful.

Mauigirl said...

Great post, very insightful. I hope that we as a people will overcome this legacy of racism and actually rise above it...but you never know. Fingers are crossed.

Anonymous said...

Except Einstein was right to propose a cosmological constant - Hubble observation of supernovae has shown that the universe is in fact expanding.

You really undercut the rest of your argument when you start an article from a position of ignorance - it casts a shadow on everything that follows.

Proud2bHumble said...

WOW. Perfect Post. Thanks.

Racism, the most obviously dysfunctional symptomism
of the fundamental dysfunctionalism, dualism,
whose other children include egotism, tribalism, nationalism,
et al. All isms are cancerous overextensions of the useful differentiation tool that, through misconception, divide us from each other and the truth.

;-}

eurokin said...

Um, now see this is the problem I have with the discussion of "race" during this campaign. While I find that race IS absolutely a dramatic factor in this election, I find that it is positioned and used in several ways.

While most of the discussions center on the sometimes latent racism of certain white voters, there is little if any discussion on the black racism that is very much related to Obama's success in the polls. A group which calls itself "WE Will Not Be Silenced," produced a film which documented the criminal actions the Obama campaign resorted to during the primary season. One scene in the film shows an older civil rights activist (black) who explains her shock and sadness when she observed three young black men turning away elderly black voters with the statement, "If you're not voting for Obama go home 'cause you're not voting here today."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4XFvq5XMk8&eurl=http://wewillnotbesilenced2008.com/video/index.htm

There are elements of racism in parts of the Hispanic voting population as well.

But the following comment debases the legitimate discussions of "race" as it perfectly demonstrates why a good sized portion of white voters feel angered by the whole subect:

"Because 100 years from now, the Tale of Election 2008 will be the story of several million ignorant, white, working-class voters – both Democrats and Independents..."

Obama himself alienated a bunch of those "white, working-class voters" with the "...guns and God..." comment. That in itself was appealing to a racist cliche.

The above said comment just echoes the argument from the left that if you're white and working-class and you don't vote for Obama, you're nothing more than an ignorant racist.

I'm white, and I started looking into Obama's platform months before he started his rise in the primaries. I did that for all the candidates that I thought would be contenders. I decided to vote for Kucinich because he was the only candidate who outlined genuine and profound "change" whereas Clinton, Obama, and Biden, merely prescribed band-aids for the gaping wounds in the U.S. and around the world.

My decision was based on thoughtful, intelligent research. For the very same reason, I have chosen to vote for Nader in the general election. People say that that's a "wasted" vote. I tell them that voting for any candidate in the one-party-two-sides-of-the-same-coin system while expected real "change is what's really a wasted vote.

So, I'm still waiting for non-partisan discussion of the 'race" factor as it is a fascinating subject from many angles. Unfortunately, I'm getting sick of the racism directed at all whites who have more thoughtful reasons to not vote for Obama than racism itself. This kind of insult goes a very little way in breaking the cultural divide that many people in the U.S. sense this election season.

Suzan said...

And an anonymous (and obviously not as smart as he thinks) poster chimes in to say that your gorgeous argument is tainted from the mention of Einstein's misunderstood cosmological constant.

Don't worry Dg, no one agrees with that joker, even if it took 50 years for scientists to figure out that Einstein was closer originally than he was later.

Suzan

Lantern Bearer said...

Excellent piece.

Proud2bHumble said...

eurokin:

"While most of the discussions center on the sometimes latent racism of certain white voters..."
- Nice, the way you watered that down...

"there is little if any discussion on the black racism that is very much related to Obama's success in the polls."
- You do understand the difference between the reactive survival instincts of an opressed(still) people and the entitled racial superiority beliefs of their oppressors, don't you?

"A group which calls itself "WE Will Not Be Silenced," produced a film which documented the criminal actions the Obama campaign resorted to during the primary season."
- Are you saying the Obama campaign intentionally, knowingly coordinated/supported criminal activities? Couldn't these 'actions' have been committed independently by over enthusiastic supporters?

"There are elements of racism in parts of the Hispanic voting population as well."
- Another historically and still oppressed minority...

"But the following comment debases the legitimate discussions of "race" as it perfectly demonstrates why a good sized portion of white voters feel angered by the whole subect:"
- No it doesn't, it just assumes the reader understands and is willing to accept that there will inevitably be a justifiable backlash as a result of whitey's ethnic forbearer's enslavement and economic and political oppression of other ethnic populations, and their tacit passive acceptance of current economic and cultural oppression of same. Even if your family didn't directly participate in this inhumane disgrace, it's still a significant advantage just to have white skin in America.

"Obama himself alienated a bunch of those "white, working-class voters" with the "...guns and God..." comment. That in itself was appealing to a racist cliche."
- I've lived in Alaska, Georgia and the midwest, and have Repub family there(s). I'm often mistaken for a ghost in one of Hitler's wet dreams(I'm beyond white - I'm translucent). I can assure you from being mistakkken for one of them as a fellow Aryan brother, that cliched stereotype is completely justified.

"The above said comment just echoes the argument from the left that if you're white and working-class and you don't vote for Obama, you're nothing more than an ignorant racist."
- Which the vast majority of McCain and Paul voters are.


"I'm white, and I started looking into Obama's platform months before he started his rise in the primaries. I did that for all the candidates that I thought would be contenders. I decided to vote for Kucinich because he was the only candidate who outlined genuine and profound "change" whereas Clinton, Obama, and Biden, merely prescribed band-aids for the gaping wounds in the U.S. and around the world."
- Ditto :)

"My decision was based on thoughtful, intelligent research. For the very same reason, I have chosen to vote for Nader in the general election. People say that that's a "wasted" vote. I tell them that voting for any candidate in the one-party-two-sides-of-the-same-coin system while expected real "change is what's really a wasted vote."
- '...thoughtful, intelligent...' Ego much? As you must know, a very small percentage of the electorate takes the time and makes the effort you have to know what's really going on, and as a poli-sci mass media degree holder, you certainly don't fall into the 'white working-class' category very neatly. Nadir(haha) has his own problems and connections to big corporate plutocrapsy - they all do - and he has zero chance of doing anything but pulling a few votes away from Obama, who is, at worst, the lesser of two evils, and at best, a stealth progressive who'll veer further to the left if he can just get elected.

"So, I'm still waiting for non-partisan discussion of the 'race" factor as it is a fascinating subject from many angles. Unfortunately, I'm getting sick of the racism directed at all whites who have more thoughtful reasons to not vote for Obama than racism itself. This kind of insult goes a very little way in breaking the cultural divide that many people in the U.S. sense this election season."
- But is far less damaging than being an apologist justifying the pernicious ongoing latent, passive and active racism against minorities by a large percentage of the majority white population in the guise of a justifiable backlash against being accused of said racism. You're obviously intelligent and educated enough to know better than to throw out the current and historical nuances with the bathwater. We're in a fight for our lives and the lives of those who'll come after us, and sometimes all you can do is just delay and minimize your losses to keep on fighting. There are certainly useful times and places for symbolic gestures, but this election isn't one of them. If McCain wins, he'll finish Chimpy's job and flush this country and many others completely down the toilet, killing many innocent men, women and children along the way.

;-}

Mark B said...

Astonishingly, your immense talent at cultural insight is actually dwarfed by your immense talent at delivering that insight.

Reading this made me feel slightly less isolated. So you have my thanks.

Monster from the Id said...

Eurokin: Cheer up, you gave it your best shot--but you're a Girondist trying to reason with Jacobins.

eurokin said...

Proud2bHumble,

I completely expected many of your point by point arguments about my comments. Rather than employing the same guise let me just say a few things.

I, in no way, tried to be an apologist for any perceived racism in this discussion. I merely tried to make the point that the "race" factor is not exclusive to whites and that this IS a deeply interesting and profound aspect of the process from many angles.

I will try to ignore the insinuation that racism on the part of blacks is acceptable because of past oppression. This argument might be just as insulting to progressive black people as it is to anyone who believes that we should be living in an age where the human family takes center stage over the tribal conflicts of the past.

You also insinuated that my vote for Nader is a "symbolic gesture." All I can do to that is ask...isn't your voting for Obama a symbolic gesture as well? After all, every American should have learned by the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections that all their votes are merely "symbolic." With the Florida and the Ohio riggings it became clear that the general public's participation is nothing more than a national event designed to make the "people" think that they actually have a say in Washington.

The behavior of the Obama operatives, as well as the media complicity, causes me to believe that nothing is different since then. We are watching another choreographed event staged by the powers that be. Obama is the chosen figurehead -- and this was announced in the 2004 Democratic convention. Everything has been staged since then -- including the "coincident" date of his nomination acceptance coinciding with MLK's "I have a dream" speech.

I am fully confident that the American people are in for a serious disappointment. Obama WILL become the next figurehead in the Oval Office. Obama will NOT bring the change that people expect. The people who could do that were effectively marginalized by the powers that be.

One more thing. Because I am a college educated scholar does not exclude me from being "working class." It merely means that I work with my brains instead of my brawn. My parents who worked 9-5 all their lives (and often times more) even know that.

With all that said, I appreciate your candor and (sometimes snide) respect. I think that you understood many of my original points and I believe that this is the kind of discussion that can break more ground than the offhanded insulting dismissals of the original post.

eurokin said...

Monster from the Id...Your comment was kind-of tragic, in a way. But I also appreciated it...heh!

Anonymous said...

There is another Virus out there that the media doesn’t want to (is afraid to) mention (because it’s not politically-correct), it’s called RSI Syndrome. Reactive Survival Instincts Syndrome (the You-Owe-Me-Syndrome, renamed) is an attempt to justify bigotry under the guise of equality.

Proud2bHumble said...

"Monster from the Id said...
Eurokin: Cheer up, you gave it your best shot--but you're a Girondist trying to reason with Jacobins."

MuFTI, perhaps a Montagnard such as yourself should stay out of this discussion (if you want to throw pretentious froggyrev refs around).

hehe

;-}

Proud2bHumble said...

eurokin,

I completely expected your intellectual pride to compel you to attempt to rebut my rebuttal of your rebuttal, and that goes for the rest of you's guise.

I, in no way, tried to imply that you were an intentional apologist for racism. In fact, to clarify my original perception of your intent, you appear to oppose racism in any form, as do I. Where we differ, perhaps, is in our willingness to accept, to any degree, being erroneously associated with racism because we somewhat fit into the broad(no, I'm not calling you a broad - don't go all feminista on me, haha) white working-class bigot demo. I also checked your blog beforehand, so as not to burn a fellow/sister prog, which you are. However, your rebut had elements of apologist in it and could easily be used by bigots, latent or overt, to justify their 'tudes.

As far as any insinuation that racism on the part of anyone is acceptable, there's no need to be ignor-ant, there's a difference between insinuating and inferring. For example, above, I'm insinuating that you inferred my insinuation...hehe. Completely with you on humanity v. tribe, btw :).

You make excellent points re voting, rigging, Obamania, and bread and circuses, with which I totally agree, with this caveat: Though the plutocraps have overwhelming influence over our 'democratic' processes, their control is not complete, nor completely precise, and is even somewhat tenuous there and here(i.e. the intertubes). They may be settling for Obama as much as or more than we are.

Some Americans will certainly be in for a serious disappointment; we can only hope it won't be us progs. Obama is a tough read. His background would suggest that he's much more progressive than his candidacy. He certainly knows how to get elected, and he's very very smart. Perhaps he's smart enough to know that he can't get much done from a senate seat, and the powers that be would marginalize him if he showed all of his cards from the beginning. That's really the most hope I can muster re Obama just yet. On the other hand, McArmageddonHorny would be a complete disaster for humanity. Any vote taken from Obama is a vote for certain tragedy. Is that what you want?

One more thing. I can appreciate the loyal intent underlying your 'white working-class' tribal(haha) self identification, but your intellect/education/progressivism makes you at best an outlier in that demo, and even you know that.

With all that said, I especially appreciate that you picked up on my respect for your intellect and progressive intent(despite my admittedly snide tendencies:)). Although I disagreed with the tone, tenor and logic of your attack on Drifty's excellent post(hence my snideness), I understood all of your original points.

Once in a while I encounter exceptionally intelligent, educated, well intentioned progressives whose pride and nearly blinding ego-self identification is the only thing getting in their way, and we have a little fun talking with ourself.

;-}

Monster from the Id said...

Perhaps P2bH would have preferred a Menshevik/Bolshevik analogy?

However, to the credit of our fauxgressive neo-Jacobins, at least they haven't become violent yet--well, except for some reports of bullying in the caucuses that throw some doubt on the legitimacy of those caucuses.

This year has proven educational. I never recognized before how many alleged progressives wanted to ape the worst behaviors of the Elephascists.

For once, I wasn't cynical enough.

Anonymous said...

it's not just that there is in fact a "race problem" -- the fact that every time you turn on your teevee there's a bloviator expounding on the subject of "obama has failed to lay out specifics" while they shake their heads in despair.

Suzan said...

Good grief, Charlie Brown (Dg),

This is one of the best blog discussions I've seen on the issues surrounding racism's impact on the coming election results - also the impact of cynicism, plutocraps, blinding ego-self identification, fauxgressive neo-Jacobins, 'white working-class' tribal self identification - do I need to continue? What an admirable place you hold in all our esteems at being the intellect who wrote a seemingly perfect essay that seems to be inspiring some people to reach higher.

Good on you!

Suzan

Proud2bHumble said...

Careful, Suzan...you'll get Drifty all esteemed up :)

Ditto, Drifty, a perfect post, well worth defending...and what a nice smart bunch you've roped, with one humble exception.

;-}

Proud2bHumble said...

You just keep bringing the pate knife and caviar spoon to the gun fight, MuFTI. It's nice to have a little histrionic hors’dourves de la condescendance break in the heat of battle. :)

;-}

driftglass said...

I cannot begin to say how thoroughly humbled and wowed by the quality and richness of the comments here, from everyone.

If this was kind of discussion Americans were having everywhere, at this level of complexity and thoughtfulness, I would worry a whole lot less about the future of our country.

Thank you so much.

Proud2bHumble said...

Well, you started it...sorry, hehe :)

;-}

Suzan said...

Amen (and women).

Suzan

Monster from the Id said...

P2bH--I wish I could afford the foods you were talking about.

I wouldn't actually want to buy and eat such horrid stuff, mind you--I just wish I had enough money for that. :)

Proud2bHumble said...

MuFTI,

Your deliciously rich references, knowledgy gnoshes and tasty turns of phrase are priceless, complementing your exquisite taste in blogs and inedible snobgobbles. :)

;-}

DaleP said...

I'm over here from Mike at
http://scienceblogs.com/mikethemadbiologist/2008/08/driftglass_identifies_the_real.php

In support of your Point B, look at Rick Perlstein on the effect of Open Housing on the election of 1966. Paul Douglas was defeated as an incumbent Illinois Senator in large part because his constituents did not want to sell or rent to African Americans. His post
http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/meaning-box-722
quotes many letters received by Douglas. For example:
"While you sit on your butt in Washington Martin Luther King is violating everything I bought and paid for. That jackass Percy is beginning to look good to me."

Mike Haubrich, FCD said...

Okay, now I have to ask the question of whether or not there is an element in my own psyche that is supporting Obama because of his race. I think that racists have been able to do their dirty work under cover for far too many years, and the Atwater quote is a great example of what I mean.

I want racism in the open. I want the racists to be exposed for the cockroaches that they are. I think that the only way our country can start to eradicate racism is to have a president who is of a minority race.

Is it racist for me to favor Obama because he is black? Considering that I find the idea of a McCain presidency to be abhorrent, it is not the deciding factor for me in supporting Obama. But, I recognize that there is an element of racism in my support for him.

Does that make sense?

Like Dalep, I followed the link from Mike the Mad Biologist.

Anonymous said...

My first knee-jerk reaction to eurokin (excerpted below) was: Oh, puh-leeeeeese. You say "it is not ONLY whites who show racism." And I-Me-Myself and I "went for Kucinich at first."

A great big So the Fark What?


No one needs lessons in self loathing racial and ethnic groups. You ever heard of "apples" -- Red Outside, White Inside -- among Native Americans? Or "oreos" -- Black Outside; White Inside?

I was for John Edwards first. So the Eff What? It does not matter a rat's ass for the Right Now and the Long Tomorrows.

That was on 1st read of this ...

"Because 100 years from now, the Tale of Election 2008 will be the story of several million ignorant, white, working-class voters – both Democrats and Independents..."

Obama himself alienated a bunch of those "white, working-class voters" with the "...guns and God..." comment. That in itself was appealing to a racist cliche.


Ha ha ha. How many white working class gun-toting bible-thumpers do YOU know, eurokin?? It ain't no cliche.

Back to eurokin ...
The above said comment just echoes the argument from the left that if you're white and working-class and you don't vote for Obama, you're nothing more than an ignorant racist.

I'm white, and I started looking into Obama's platform months before he started his rise in the primaries. I did that for all the candidates that I thought would be contenders. I decided to vote for Kucinich because he was the only ...
(SNIP)

Then I read the other follow-on comments. Thank you commenters. I realized that Driftglass runs the biggest, best and most relaxed neighborhood pub in cybervillage.

DG is a Dream Bartender-avec-Philosopher. And some of us just run off at the mouth and can't handle our liquor. Maybe me. :)

Thanks, Driftie.

Gay Veteran said...

"Because 100 years from now, the Tale of Election 2008 will be the story of several million ignorant, white, working-class voters – both Democrats and Independents"

the smartest thing the top 1% ever did (for themselves, of course), was to divide poor Whites from poor Blacks

Paul Muray said...

Remember when Michael Jackson dangled his kid over a hotel balcony, with a towel over it's face? Remember people specuulating as to why the towel?

Duh, Duh, and a million times duh. It's because the kid was black, dumbasss. It's because the kid was black, and he was ashamed of it.