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View Diary: Memphis Cotton Gin Boss threatens employees over drinking from 'White People' water fountain (194 comments)

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  •  I believe the overwhelming emotion is fear. (20+ / 0-)

    Fear of change; fear of the unknown; fear of the other.

    When in the early days of the Obama administration, that lady said "I want my country back", she expressed a desire to go back to the world where she was comfortable. The rules were simple. White men were in charge. Men made the decisions at home. Women raised the kids. Gays were in the closet. And "white lightning" was the biggest thrill of all.

    I see this especially from upper middle class white men and women in the 45+ age group. They grew up with these rules. And the rules worked ... for them. They were successful. They have their second homes, their fancy cars, their country club memberships. They live in pleasant suburbs and send their kids to well financed schools. Life is good.

    But now change is not only coming, it's here.  It was the middle class who drove the opposition to the President's health insurance reform. The working poor don't have health insurance. The middle class had their expensive insurance policies and now Obamacare is changing the rules. And others are talking of the public option, or worse, single payer.

    And we have an African-American as President. It's OK to have black athletes and entertainers, but a black President? And the problem is that they know that Dubya was incompetent and that in comparison President Obama appears able and dignified. This can't be right. This conflicts with the rules by which they were raised. It is upsetting that their world view is challenged. Therefore they must show that everything the President does is wrong. The world must be made to conform to the old rules.

    Fear. It drove the reactionaries in the sixties and it drives them now.

    A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

    by slatsg on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 05:16:40 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I have recently been - finally - getting my head (9+ / 0-)

      around a variety of issues with the "MidEast" and "Russia" and "Iran and Iraq" and other such essentially backwards places.

      In no uncertain terms, these areas never really had an "Enlightenment" phase, nor an "industrial revolution"  or other mitigating periods of development like the "West" has had. (Hey, this is just a comment on a website, not a doctoral dissertation and is grossly simplified -  you would have to pay for the dissertation-quality comment. This is free.)

      Modern stuff just shows up in those countries, obscuring the fact they are really and truly still stuck in virtually the middle ages. Many of those cultures, as different as they may be, are actually unevolved, non-modern societies, hence the stoning of women and other barbaric acts.

      The mullahs are much like our inbred, rightwing throwbacks. They hate anything to do with modern times or civilization: they fight to keep the old primitive ways alive.

      "Western Influence" essentially means "progress" and the mullahs and throwbacks over there are little different from the throwbacks here. Same set of values.

      They all want to take us back to the 10th friggin century.

      Our wingnut tyrant wannabe's have wet dreams about this.

      Legal means "good".
      [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

      by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 05:27:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I grew up with those rules too- (11+ / 0-)

      a whole lotta people on this site grew up with those rules. This "fear", which I'd just call "being an asshole" was apparent long before Obama came on the scene, although his very existence brought it to the surface.
      There was always something that separated those of us who challenged the rules from those who fought to keep them, and I don't think fear covers it. I'm still gonna go with being as asshole but I'm open to suggestions.

    •  You summed it up nicely, slatsg. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg

      I live in the south, in a highly republican community, and see exactly what you are seeing.  Most of my neighbors are white, most used to be middle class, worked in the construction industry, or trucking, didn't have much, but found with W's economy, that they had even less.  Many lost their homes.  Almost all lost their jobs.  Then to top it off, their kids went out and married or shacked up with someone of another race, had kids, grew up in the age of computers, didn't agree with old dad and grandpa about anything.  Me, I am of the same age as the oldsters here, but grew up different.  I had progressive parents and grandparents, grew up in the north, learned we were all the same under the skin.  My niece just married a black man she has been dating since Jr. High.  I don't care, he is good to her and that is all that matters, but these people around here are in culture shock. They love their grandkids, but can't understand why their kids don't believe as they do.  The world is changing, thank heavens.  In a few generations, we will look back on this and laugh at the old grumps and their silly prejudices.  At least I hope so.  Meanwhile, I will groove with my grandkids, the cool granny that I am! (can you tell I grew up in the 60's?)

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