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Latest Class and Race Disputes

December 9, 2013

“Lazy poor” rhetoric has been greatly stepped up due to the news of fast food workers striking for higher pay or higher minimum wage.

Here is a common meme being passed around:

Just like I only “push a pedal” when my union striked, and autoworkers only “turn a bolt”, and all of us “only do our 40 hours a week and then go home”. Only the CEO or entrepreneur doing 100 hours produces “value”, and thus is “valued”. Everyone else is just a bunch of “chattel”, or a “loutish low level work force”, as I cited in Makers-Takers.

In one discussion now, I’m pointed to “the old days,” where people lived in cramped quarters and worked 16 hours a day, and just rolled up their sleeves and did what was necessary to succeed, and did not complain about their “low wages” in contrast to today’s unhappiness with wages one has “agreed to”, “bashing” the wealthy, and all the “redistribution” or “legalized parasitism”.

But because horrid living conditions (which were not conducive to health and well being) were more common and accepted back then, doesn’t make right. So because people came to demand better than that, they are regarded as parasites, and those with the power (the only ones who “deserve” ANYTHING, apparently) punish everyone for that (so they can blame these so-called parasites instead of non-government power-holders; and even the alleged total abuse of assistance; i.e. not working at all, is totally hyped up by this rhetoric machine).
It’s clear that government is not the only force who wants happy peasant subjects and lies to everyone to get it.

I’m not so much into legislating redistribution (still hardly helps with the high costs of everything), but still, I think too much blame is being placed on this, and it’s a scapegoat for people who control the market (and have largely bought out government), and thus set what everyone must “agree” to, to begin with. —Again, based on a premise of false scarcity.
The poor (or their cause) are not the cause of all these problems. Wealth is power; that’s why they get blamed, but still, the rhetoric blaming the poor has been far louder.

Here’s a good video that deals with how borrowing is creating class (and not to blame on its victims):

Also, this “quote” from West is passing around.

“Hold Obama to the same standards as a white president”
Can’t even find where he said it; it seems to be just his followers on the blogosphere.

This is a total turnaround, where the same people of course deny that he is being treated worse because of his race. As I say in Makers-Takers, he has been totally DISOWNED in a way no other president ever has, and every little thing he does people don’t like is ELEVATED to the level of the worst presidential scandals in history (such as Watergate). Of course, now, they have surpassed even those, since the white scandal bearers were punished, but he isn’t.

So they get to say that the black president is only lasting because of special treatment because of his race. And the real insult is from those “liberals” who are doing this because of his race, and not “the content of his character”.

But the conservatives are the ones calling out race (as much as they complain about others always “playing the card” on them!) No liberal has ever said they are promoting (or “excusing”) Obama because of his race; it’s the conservatives who keep inferring this.

But the issue is a matter of interpretation of what he does. Here is an illustration of all the “impeachable offenses” they have heaped up against him:

A lot of this stuff is grossly exaggerated. He does something that to them amounts to “attacking Second Amendment” (likely referring to gun control; but that is a matter of interpretation, not “attacking”)

Noam Chomsky once pointed out that the last five presidents (up to the Clinton era he wrote in) should have been impeached for declaring war without the approval of Congress!

The “funding Al Qaeda” thing is something I have heard so much from the conservatives, and I’ve never heard the other side of what they are referring to.
Still, all the other presidents do stuff on this level that can be interpreted the same way. Like Iran-Contra.

Again, why is it an impeachable offense for Obama, but not the Reagan administration, if Obama is the one getting all the preferential treatment because of race?

From → Politics


    The article makes good points, but completely forgets that jobs are hard to come by. It makes the typical assumption that those on the bottom, encouraged the left, are just trying to languish in those jobs, or get by for “free”. People usually stay in those jobs because there’s nothing to move up to. Even if you gain the skills, there’s no guarantee you’ll find anything. My wife has THREE Master’s in her field, and is only slowly finding work.

    Another article:

    People try to downplay the notion of cronyism. One FB commenter said “They assume that since corporations make a lot of money that they are ripping someone off. It does not cross their minds that it is a value for value trade between the seller and the buyer, and that the corporations and businesses that make the most money are offering the best products and services that people want, like iPhones”. But this ignores stuff like planned obsolescence and many other tricks of the trade. And that the “value” they produce has not gone up as astronomically as what they are making. (especially with stuff like lowering quality, which is apart of obsolescence).

    So a lot more cronyism is likely involved.
    Here’s a great image:

  2. Here’s one I’ve been seeing for the past few days I should have jumped on:

    Yeah, you would vote for them, until they were getting close to winning, then find a way to get them out. This is what you already did with one of the men pictured here: Herman Cain! (And yet you have the nerve to still include him there after forcing him out of the election with a last-minute ‘years-ago scandal’ revelation like that!) Earlier, Colin Powell was the one you looked up to, and he dropped out, likely seeing the same thing coming!

    They would probably do this to all of them, one after the other, and it will only be “fact, not racism” that led to their elimination, yet “at least we were willing to vote for them…”. Then, someone somewhere will put it all together, “Those blacks, even the ‘good ones’ who hold policies we like, just are too corrupt to be president. That’s just ‘the facts‘! It shows they once again need to fix their own communities”.

    Since West is the one they seem to like the most now, it will be interesting to see what happens if he does run in 2016.

    As for class:
    Pope Francis In Peace Message Attacks Mega-Salaries With ‘Crumbs’ For Poor

    I had already seen people calling him a “socialist”, and even “The Obama of the Catholic Church”!

  3. Here is something I copied for something on my tablet, and it was still in the clipboard. (Nice thing I like about Android, is that you can have multiple clippings and can access them in certain applications, where Windows only can have one, and you can’t see it anywhere).
    Not sure what I used it for or where I even got it from. Probably a link on Facebook. Can’t find it cited here already, so I might as well just post it now. (I think I remember now; I copied it because of the doctrinal implications, but didn’t know what to use it for. So again, might as well post it here).

    Butler writes that when Zimmerman told Sean Hannity that it was God’s
    will that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, “he was diving right into
    what most good conservative Christians in America think right now.
    Whatever makes them protected, safe, and secure, is worth it at the
    expense of the black and brown people they fear.”

    However, Craig counters this premise by writing, “What’s perhaps most
    ridiculous about this theology is that it seems Prof. Butler is trying
    to draw an analogue between God and Zimmerman’s situation, which is
    completely unfounded. Trying to press social and political situations
    onto a theology of God is methodologically backwards and is nothing
    more than a personal construct of Prof. Butler.

  4. They’re on the Cosby bandwagon again:

    Bill Cosby Bashes Thugs and Welfare Moms: ‘We Can’t Blame White People’

    “But will these people listen?” -article author.

    What Cosby is saying is right, but I think the observers cheering this on are a little too focused on “THESE PEOPLE” (Especially when the same are among the ones claiming a “race card” is being played too much).

    “These people” is just the ‘third person’ version of “YOU people”!
    And this attitude is what we as always see in some of the other comments.

    While expressing their admiration for Cosby, and how he is a “good one” (to paraphrase; as for the rest of the blacks? “Bill has said this for years but it has fallen deaf ears. Obviously common sense can’t be translated into Ebonics!” And another one mentioning the Democrats being “part of the problem with all the freebies they hand out”.
    And people think these sentiments are not racist!

    All have sinned. [This was first commented on the Christian FB "friend" and coworker's post of the article]. All do wrong and can do better. Everyone tries to put all blame on others, and that is what’s being done by focusing so much on “these people”, when the economy is a mess, and they don’t ever want to look at their own system. It’s all just “them” (and the liberals favoring them).

    Later on, we have this:

    Followed by this:

    (They hated the Clintons so much, but they didn’t exclude Bill!)

  5. Why Are White Men Like Michael Dunn So Angry?
    A crisis in white masculinity is killing black teenagers and, history says, the violence is likely to continue.

    For angry white men like Dunn, Jordan Davis’ “gangsta rap” music and Trayvon Martin’s “hoodie” symbolize a larger culture war in which putatively wholesome American culture is under siege by blackness. “Stand your ground” laws, Dunn believes, give Americans the right to defend themselves against “the denigration of women” and “the violence and lifestyle that the ‘gangsta rap’ music and the ‘thug life’ ” adopted by “an entire generation” of “young black men.”

    Awaiting trial, Dunn wrote several letters to his family and friends complaining about how “jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs.” In a letter to his daughter, he offered the following solution to the problem of black thuggery: “This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these f–king idiots when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.

    Threatened by growing black economic and political power in the early 20th century, white men calling themselves the Ku Klux Klan used this same portrayal of black men as violent, sexual predators to justify racial terrorism. It’s estimated that from 1880 to 1930, more than 2,400 African Americans were lynched, often for insulting white men or forgetting “their place.” For contemporary angry white men, standing up to “gangsta rap” and “thugs” is akin to night-riding on black men, as portrayed in D.W. Griffith’s classic 1915 film The Birth of a Nation.

    Although economic downturns disproportionately affect black unemployment and home ownership, working-class and college-educated whites are now feeling the sting of restricted opportunity. In his book Angry White Men, sociologist Michael Kimmel describes how these men often blame the trifecta of feminism, affirmative action and immigration for their woes.

    The relative devaluing of white privilege has been interpreted as racial oppression of whites and “reverse discrimination.”

    An aura of victimhood also extends to white millennials (ages 18-29). Almost 60 percent of young whites believe that “reverse discrimination” has become a major problem. As Adam Mansbach, the author of Angry Black White Boy, argues, the saturation of American popular culture with images of wealthy, sexy and cool black people like Jay Z and Beyoncé has left many white youths feeling inadequate and shut out of the American dream. White-student unions on college campuses like Towson University and Georgia State University exemplify the backlash against the tanning of success.

    This is not good. It means the sentiments of blame are spreading. I liked to think the problems I witness are mainly the older generations, and that for younger generations race was becoming more irrelevant, but I did caution in Makers-Takers the possibility of it spreading to younger generations, if they are persistently made to feel guilty. But here, the “reverse discrimination” claim (which the older “angry working class” people had been using) is apparently leaking through, coloring another generation to carry the banner of the need to “take back the nation”. That’s what this is really all about.
    So my point there was, that if we keep demanding something from them along the lines of race, raising guilt, while they look and see supersuccessful blacks like that, then it will all the more lead to them thinking that maybe their parents were right after all.

    In Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, Charles Murray—of The Bell Curve fame—blames liberals for what he sees as the pathologies of white America.

    Reading a review of this, basically what it boils down to, is that while we are assured that “the book is about class and not race”, this is drawn along the lines of “the cognitive elite” (who were identified in The Bell Curve, of course) versus an unnamed “lower class”, and the gist of it is basically those good old [righteous, superior] “values” of the forefathers being “eroded” by the liberals, which, if you put two and two together, was from among other things, forcing the lack of values of the influence of these “lower” people on society. The solution, shun the “welfare state” and go back to “the republic’s original foundations of family, vocation, community, and faith.” (i.e. our righteousness of the Law, even with all the evils being committed back then under the banner of those “values” which very few could even see as contrary to the true ideal of these values).
    The same old junk, just rehashed and dressed up a bit differently this time.

    Likewise, Dunn, writing to his grandmother, reached a similar conclusion, that “the courts are biased toward blacks” and his prosecution was the result of “a bunch of liberal bulls–t” and “white guilt.”

    This, despite the fact that social science research clearly documents racial bias against blacks at every stage of the criminal-justice process, including police stops, arrests, bail, legal representation, jury selection, trial prosecution, sentencing, incarceration and parole.

    More likely, the recent shootings of unarmed black people are related to a hateful strain of minority-white politics stoked by the Tea Party and right-wing commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan, who has written despairingly of the “demographic winter of white America” and once described President Barack Obama as a “drug dealer of welfare.” This kind of race-baiting exploits the legitimate concerns held by white people, and other Americans, who are becoming the casualties of widening inequality and the crippling costs of college education and health care.

    It all starts with these broad, sweeping judgments they feel justified in making.

  6. A TV Star Had To Explain Why A White Man Killing A Black Kid Is An American Problem, Not A Black One

  7. From a FB friend I thought to be more liberal (asking “what do you think?”):

    Unfortunately, those are all groups who were discriminated against, and used “Pride” to try to encourage themselves to strive for equality. (“Woman” could have just as well been there by itself, even if white women). The last one was someone who had the power all along. So what else would he need to achieve? Even if you argue power has been taken from him and given to others (and some, such as Rush, grossly exaggerate this into them being the persecuted minority now!), still the only other power they can gain is to “take back” from others, which basically means, re-subjugating them!
    That’s why it looks suspicious and gets called racist.

    Also, from the past couple of days:

    Paul Ryan Laments Inner-City Culture Of Not Working

    Followed by:

    Paul Ryan: ‘Inner City’ Remarks Had Nothing To Do With Race

    House colleague, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) called it out as “simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’” Ryan tries to fix it as concern for the “poor”, and implicating “society as a whole”.
    But as one commenter nailed it:

    “But Ryan makes it clear. He wants to isolate poverty; make it an inner city issue and thus a racial one because the racial makeup of the inner city is overwhelmingly minority: black and Hispanic.”

    Isolation is the term I used in Makers-Takers as the real game in Right wing denial and blaming (called “splitting”; we’re the good guys and the problem is these “others” over there). This rhetorical game is finally being called out [by liberalism I presume], and as long as they keep playing it, they will find themselves tagged as bigoted, no matter how much they try to turn the charge back on others, and pretend to be concerned.

    Here’s something on class:
    What a Destructive Wall Street Owes Young Americans

    • Today makes it just dawn on me.
      White groups DO have “pride” celebrations that are NOT accused of racism, and those are the ethnic sub-groups they all are apart of. So today, the Irish celebrate. The Italians have other days, including Columbus day (which is also about America too). And other groups have other expressions.

      The problem is comparing “white” to “black”, and saying “if ‘black’ can have its pride, why can’t ‘white’?”
      But blacks have all been compressed into a SINGLE GROUP (having lost their individual African national identities. Very few know which African nation they are from. The only ethnic subdivisions are West Indian countries, and people newly from Africa).

      So “black” is one group next to the Irish, Italians, etc.

      As others in discussions point out, when people make “white” an individual category like that, it’s usually to pit the entire race against others, so again, that’s why it gets suspected.

  8. Missed this really good one from the shutdown last Fall:

    It gives a detailed synopsis on the shift that became known as the Southern Strategy (without even using the term), and also how other aspects of conservatism stemmed from the racist cause (which they of course deny).
    The best point:

    By the Johnson-Goldwater election, it had become clear that overt racism and segregationism was politically doomed. Brown v. Board of Education and LBJ’s support for the 1964 Civil Rights Act saw to that. As this scary recognition dawned on Southern whites, they began searching for a new vehicle through which to shield themselves and their communities from the consequences of integration. The young conservative movement’s ringing endorsement of a minimalist federal government did the trick — it provided an on-face racially neutral language by which Southerners could argue against federal action aimed at integrating lily-white schools and neighborhoods.

    Kevin Kruse, a Princeton historian whose work focuses on the South and the conservative movement, finds deep roots in segregationist thought for this turn. “In their own minds, segregationists were instead fighting for rights of their own,” Kruse suggests. These “rights” included “the ‘right’ to select their neighbors, their employees, and their children’s classmates, the ‘right’ to do as they pleased with their private property and personal businesses, and, perhaps, most important, the ‘right’ to remain free from what they saw as dangerous encroachments by the federal government.”

    Kruse traces this language through white resistance to desegregation from the 40s through the 60s, using a detailed examination of “white flight” in Atlanta as a synecdoche. In the end, he finds, “the struggle over segregation thoroughly reshaped southern conservatism…segregationist resistance inspired the creation of new conservative causes, such as tuition vouchers, the tax revolt, and the privatization of public services.” The concomitant rise of the modern conservative movement and the civil rights movements’ victories conspired to make Southern whites into economic, and not just racial, conservatives.

    Found that article from this one:

    Yes, The South Really Is Different — And It’s Because Of Race

    This one shows, among other things, how “the Religious Right’s growth was tied up in the South’s race problem.”:

    Paul Weyrich, easily one of the most important figures in the Religious Right’s founding…and his allies spun IRS’ action [against BJU on its discriminatory policies] into a liberal campaign against the Christian way of life. The Religious Right as an organized movement grew in significant part out of the defense of Bob Jones and other similarly “persecuted” Christian schools.
    This history is fairly well-established. Ed Dobson, one of Jerry Fallwell’s top aides, confirmed it to Balmer: “government interference in Christian schools,” he said, was one of the core original causes of the original religious right.

    Also, that the modern Right is simply “the nationalization of Southern conservatism” continuing the “underlying structural trends in Southern political opinion”.
    This shows what I pointed out in Makers-Takers, that this aims at the fulfillment of the old “Lost Cause”, of “The South Shall Rise Again“, expanded to a national level.

    Another good one:

    “Racism is not merely a simplistic hatred. It is, more often, broad sympathy toward some and broader skepticism toward others. Black America ever lives under that skeptical eye. Hence the old admonishments to be ‘twice as good.’”

  9. Paul Ryan’s race flap even worse than it looks
    The notion that Ryan was dog-whistling to racists is actually the best-case scenario. Here’s the scary alternative

    Cites the Atwater statement outlining the tactic of the Southern Strategy (replacing the N word with “abstract” economic rhetoric).

    For proponents of the dog-whistle theory, the fact that Ryan cited Charles Murray, author of “The Bell Curve,” was the smoking gun.

    But if Ryan genuinely stumbled heedless into a racial tinderbox then it suggests he, and most likely many other conservatives, has fully internalized a framing of social politics that was deliberately crafted to appeal to white racists without regressing to the uncouth language of explicit racism, and written its origins out of the history. If that’s the case it augurs poorly for those in the movement who are trying to broaden the Republican Party’s appeal, because it’s easier to convince people to abandon a poor tactic than to unlearn rotten ideology.

    Treating intergenerational laziness of inner-city men as established truth, and bemoaning the ways social spending programs supposedly nurture that “culture,” blends seamlessly into Atwater’s framework.

    Weigel interprets the fact that Charles Murray has lately softened his claims as exculpation for Ryan and other conservatives who cite him. But Murray’s just following a social Darwinist’s rendition of the trajectory Atwater traced.

    Also cites this article from 9 years ago, as where he first heard the Atwater quote:

    Impossible, Ridiculous, Repugnant
    Published: October 6, 2005

    The truth is that there was very little that was subconscious about the G.O.P.’s relentless appeal to racist whites. Tired of losing elections, it saw an opportunity to renew itself by opening its arms wide to white voters who could never forgive the Democratic Party for its support of civil rights and voting rights for blacks.

    Ronald Reagan, the G.O.P.’s biggest hero, opposed both the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act of the mid-1960′s. And he began his general election campaign in 1980 with a powerfully symbolic appearance in Philadelphia, Miss., where three young civil rights workers were murdered in the summer of 1964. He drove the crowd wild when he declared: ”I believe in states’ rights.”

    Bill Bennett’s musings about the extermination of blacks in America (it would be ”impossible, ridiculous morally reprehensible”) is all of a piece with a Republican Party philosophy that is endlessly insulting to black people and overwhelmingly hostile to their interests.

  10. Rush Limbaugh Admits That Republicans Refuse to Work With Obama Because He Is Black

  11. Even in Preschool, Black Students Are Disciplined More Harshly Than White Students

    It works like this: Students, especially students of color, are hit with outrageous and disproportionate disciplinary measures in the school system. At best, that causes them to fall behind in their classes, but it can also result in students being suspended or shuffled off to separate classes for troublemakers, causing higher dropout rates and the subsequent higher unemployment and imprisonment rates. Sometimes schools turn to the police, who then arresting kids for minor infractions, treating them as criminals instead of young students who need support.
    That this is happening in junior high and high schools is well-known, but the new report suggests that black students are being funneled into the school-to-prison pipeline as young as 4 and 5 years old.

    Of course, this is the very backbone of the whole conservative argument that “there’s just a ‘problem’ in the black community that blacks are not addressing”.

    They’ll probably just attribute the ‘worse discipline’ problem to black kids just “acting worse”.

    But the younger the ages, the less likely it’s the influence of the culture. They’re just being children at that age (and as I’ve said before, black parents, even, or I could say even especially, those “irresponsible” single mothers tend to be very rough with their children; quite contrary to there being no discipline as racists assume).

    That is the answer to this:

    “Can’t Ryan reference a white nationalist, libertarian writer who uses racist pseudoscience [Charles Murray see and not be called out on it, because that’s what he did.”
    (And people like Murray are never seen as the real “Race hustlers”. Instead, they’re the heroes trying to save the nation from them).

    Five Points was a great example of what happens to the character of a “culture” when conditions are horrible. There were a few blacks there, but the area was mainly Irish, with some Italians and Jews; immigrant groups commonly contrasted with blacks as having started out in rough conditions, but climbing out of the cycles. Most of the crime was gang warfare, and these weren’t the blacks.

    But before we jump to “climbing out”, we need to pay attention to how they were while still under those conditions. If the problem was genetic as Murray insists, then the problems (crime, vice, etc) still would not have been as bad among the other groups.
    Meanwhile, blacks who finally moved out along with the other groups and went uptown, also were reported to have done better. (However, they were soon joined by waves of blacks coming up from the South, under brutal conditions. Maybe not as much cramped squalor as Five Points, but instead more fierce racial persecution. This is what would carry a lot of dysfunction).

  12. Thought regarding “resentment”, and why race keeps being an issue:

    What was needed is more acknowledgment of the wrong, but instead, defenders of the old system simply changed their language and framed it in terms of blame. Blaming is not acknowledgment of the wrong, but instead, defending the old system, with “for 200 years, our nation was the shining city on a hill, but 50 years ago, certain groups of people ruined it all”. (Turning the blame onto the victims of what needs acknowledging in the first place).

    Any resentment I may have, is not against a person for race, but because he through stated beliefs represents an ideology that seeks to blame me (or my race, with at best me as a “good one” exception), and refuses to acknowledge the wrongs of their past.

    For those who question patriotism; what does it mean to be an American or “love” America? That I have to accept all of that stuff from the past as right, or at worst “just the way they did things back then”, and then join them in blaming everyone else (including my own “race” group, which they insist I, or anyone else should be preaching at to “improve themselves”) for all of our problems today? (Ignoring the same theme of “might makes right” that drove both colonial conquest and slavery, as well as today’s financial practice). Again, these power brokers they defend are the ones who do not care about this country. They’re just using it for their own goals.

  13. Eric Holder Says He Wasn’t Playing Race Card When Decrying GOP Opposition

    Some great comments:

    Holder didn’t need to use the word “race”, for anyone with half a brain and intelligence it has been clear what is being done to both him and our president since Obama got elected. I am a 67 year old WHITE woman and I have never seen the likes of what republicans have done over the last 5 years. Try as they might, anything done to Bush pales in comparison to what they have done and continue to do to these two men. I have been disgusted with their antics since the very beginning. The republicans (most but not all) of today are the least patriotic individuals in this country. I actually have a really hard time thinking of them as Americans sometimes because most of what they say, do or want is so against what American stands for. If they dislike America as it is, I suggest they do like the colonists did when they came here – find another undeveloped country and make a constitution that suits their needs and wishes. That is the only way they will get back their cherished “good old days”.

    We all know the republican party played the race card on January 20, 2009 and all they have done was reshuffle the deck and play the same cards year in and year out. No party member, even in the most disagreeable congressional sessions has ever yelled out “you lie” to a President during his state of the union – NEVER.

    I agree. I’m a 59 year old white man who grew up in the South. I know what racism is. I actually thought we had advanced much further than we have. I guess it took a black man in the White House for all of them to show their true “colors.”

    Fox News Reporter: Obama and Holder Being Black is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Them

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