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Obviously, the right have an hysterical fear of the future, when, in less than a generation, whites will be in the minority.  This has been evident for some time, so I understand this fear.

What I've had trouble understanding is the ongoing drumbeat of the same old, same old, when the nation is so clearly trending otherwise.  Absent any substantive positive agenda, let alone common sense, the only action left is attack.  The Republicans' goal is obviously to dominate the national dialogue and direct attention away from real problems and thus prevent any governance from happening.  The conservative shouts, given time to play out, have shown that for each "issue," there is no substance there.  The "scandal-mongering" of the last two weeks has predictably fallen flat.  My respect for the president's dignity, patience, and political restraint, as well as wisdom, grows daily, as he watches and listens to the screaming… much the same screaming from the right he has experienced since his campaign in 2008.  I would understand completely if he just threw up his hands one day, scheduled a presser and pointed at his political adversaries' behavior and said, "Are you fucking insane?!?!?"

I scratch my head.  Surely there are rational thinking people on the right.  Surely they see the trends, the willingness of much of the country to understand and laugh at the ongoing media circus created by the right-wing-nuts.  But it just continues…

And I believe I've discovered, at last, after years of head scratching, the reason for the monumental fear on the right…  It is not just the future of American demographics.  It is, indeed, racism.  More specifically, it is racism's hideous, inhuman underpinnings.  And it is deeply, deeply rooted in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans.  Indeed, it may well be at the very heart of historical Southern culture, and perhaps has bled over into universal conservative thought.

I just re-read Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley (In Search of America)" [1962] for the third (or perhaps fourth) time.  Near the end of his trip (in 1960), Steinbeck travels to New Orleans specifically to witness the "Cheerleaders," a small group of "Jerry Springer Show" types who every morning and afternoon scream epithets at two terrified six-year-old African American children as they walk, protected by U.S. Marshals, into and out of a previously segregated New Orleans grade school as the result of government-forced desegregation.  (The "Cheerleaders" were cheered on by throngs of local citizens and for a time were the center of a national media circus.)

On his way out of Louisiana, Steinbeck buys a poor boy sandwich and, later, stops in a resting place to eat lunch.  An older, white man, dignified in appearance and manner, happens to stroll by, and he and Steinbeck strike up a conversation.  The gentleman reveals an obvious education, and a descendancy from many generations of French heritage dating back to the Louisiana Territory in colonial times.  Steinbeck mentions the purpose of his visit to New Orleans -- to witness the "Cheerleaders" phenomenon, the mention of which brings a sadness to the gentleman's face.  Their dialogue then moves on to the history of the culture of slavery in the South… and leads to the inevitable discussion of ongoing racial hatred 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation and passage of the Thirteenth Amendment.  

The gentleman is quiet for a time.  Then he speaks again:

"If by force you make a human live and work like a beast, you must think of him as a beast, else empathy would drive you mad.  Once you have classified him in your mind, your feelings are safe."  The gentleman gazes outward a moment, then continues.  "And if your heart has human vestiges of courage and anger, which in a man are virtues, then you have fear of a dangerous beast, and since your heart has intelligence and inventiveness and the ability to conceal them, you live with terror.  Then you must crush his manlike tendencies and make of him the docile beast you want.  And if you can teach your child from the beginning about the beast, he will not share your bewilderment."
[Emphasis added.]  John Steinbeck, "Travels With Charley (In Search of America)," copyright The Viking Press, Inc., 1962.

Reading this gentleman's wisdom of the ages, a light went on within me.

Fifty years after the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment (guaranteeing all Americans the right to vote), tens of millions of Americans, Northerners as well as Southerners, through the teachings of their elders, believe -- unconsciously, subconsciously or otherwise -- that the President is a beast.  And being human, he has the virtues of courage and anger, and thus must be feared… for he is no longer docile.

We shall not be rid of our national guilt from the practice of slavery and the genocide of Native Americans until we actively address them and make reparations.  And until then, in my opinion, the nation as a whole will continue to suffer the guilt of a(n enormous) debt not paid, an amends due and owing and not made.  This does not bode well for significant social progress in America.

I do not in any manner mean to speak lightly of the Native American genocide.  This diary is meant only to address our history of slavery's long, long reach into the human heart over generations.

4:32 PM PT: First time on rec list, for which I humbly thank  the community...

Originally posted to ceebee7 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 02:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight and Barriers and Bridges.

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  •  Tip Jar (227+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, Mr Robert, maggiejean, mookins, cassandracarolina, Had Enough Right Wing BS, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, se portland, myboo, Louisiana 1976, kevinpdx, alasmoses, GwenM, lowt, zenbassoon, linkage, AdamSelene, Odysseus, plankbob, NBBooks, emperor nobody, Matt Z, Just Bob, howabout, harchickgirl1, PSzymeczek, Skennet Boch, Lefty Ladig, OleHippieChick, pixxer, mollyd, Mistral Wind, on the cusp, Buckeye Nut Schell, Rogneid, radarlady, karmsy, Aaa T Tudeattack, Observerinvancouver, bloomer 101, Hammerhand, Al Fondy, some other george, catly, carpunder, maxcat06, muddy boots, DanC, bill warnick, Thinking Fella, ozsea1, high uintas, Involuntary Exile, Dave in Northridge, Chaddiwicker, yoduuuh do or do not, Alumbrados, Yamara, mommyof3, Onomastic, political mutt, urnumbersix, frisco, BusyinCA, also mom of 5, jan4insight, janis b, T Maysle, gizmo59, celdd, fumie, kerflooey, psnyder, elginblt, weck, fixxit, plok, rogerdaddy, ichibon, Rhysling, OldSoldier99, karma5230, Eric Twocents, Lilyvt, dotsright, Cronesense, mrsgoo, bkamr, Smoh, dmhlt 66, Glen The Plumber, Minnesota Deb, Jay C, vickijean, Rosaura, Jollie Ollie Orange, llbear, AJ in Camden, Habitat Vic, SaintC, wasatch, arizonablue, defluxion10, Diogenes2008, rambler american, spunhard, Dube, david78209, blueoregon, majcmb1, pvasileff, DBunn, Lost and Found, sawgrass727, Pluto, Aunt Pat, bluesheep, theKgirls, ruleoflaw, Subterranean, millwood, Nebraskablue, peteri2, FlyingToaster, k88dad, doingbusinessas, Kevskos, Eowyn9, science nerd, camlbacker, Nowhere Man, NYC Sophia, OllieGarkey, VTCC73, helpImdrowning, koseighty, jck, erratic, SuWho, thomask, begone, Albanius, BadKitties, chantedor, offgrid, chimene, jayden, LSmith, jplanner, Gemina13, SueM1121, joynow, splashy, DarthMeow504, Rick B, jhop7, banjolele, coppercelt, marleycat, TheGreatLeapForward, Yasuragi, SaraBeth, mkor7, FrY10cK, sngmama, Massconfusion, WesEverest, sewaneepat, nomandates, avamontez, Byron from Denver, MartyM, Hillbilly Dem, TheMeansAreTheEnd, citizen dan, toom, nervousnellie, nzanne, figbash, Mighty Ike, Ahianne, flatford39, rlb, caul, susan in sc, slowbutsure, Blue Bell Bookworm, DSC on the Plateau, Heart n Mind, middleagedhousewife, OIL GUY, DRo, beth meacham, starfu, side pocket, mamamedusa, Sun Tzu, zerelda, Lily O Lady, stevie avebury, agincour, Duncan Idaho, jadt65, Sapere aude, deha, poliwrangler, LunarEclipse, eXtina, CA Nana, fayea, Our Man in Twisp, GAS, MrJayTee, TheSpectator, imicon, eeff, eagleray, Larsstephens, Actbriniel, Oh Mary Oh, mofembot, IllanoyGal, rapala, mndan, phree, Rashaverak, wdrath

    Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

    by ceebee7 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 02:23:26 PM PDT

  •  Well done. (51+ / 0-)

    I agree with you, although not sure about how President Obama is viewed other than as "not us"

    If your assertions are true, then the paranoia from the RW makes more sense.

    Having grown up in the deep, deep rural North East, I don't quite understand the deep seeded rascism of the south other than by reading about it.

    Nothing like the wisdom of Steinbeck to reinvigorate the heart.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Sun May 26, 2013 at 02:33:54 PM PDT

  •  When I look at comments (72+ / 0-)

    written by right wingers the fear is palpable. I often wonder if the fear is based on the knowledge of what their genetic heritage has done to those who don't look like them and are mortified that one day they will be on the receiving end of that horrific treatment.

    The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    by maggiejean on Sun May 26, 2013 at 02:36:32 PM PDT

      •  I have seen it as well... (43+ / 0-)

        I think it was always there, just hidden beneath the surface.  The election of President Obama has brought it to the surface and for a time has made it seem worse but it is part of the healing process.  It will eventually be resigned back beneath the surface but never as deep.  

        It may take another hundred years to completely eradicate it but the healing has begun.  The racism is not as bad as it was the last time it was out in the open nor will the next time be as bad as this.

        The same holds true with mexicans.  It used to be Italians and Polish and Irishmen that were considered the scum of the earth.  One day, it will be someone else.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Sun May 26, 2013 at 04:12:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ... (39+ / 0-)

          I agree that it was there all along, but didn't come out until now.  Maybe among themselves, they voiced it, but now that there is so much hate voiced on the right, they feel that they can say it to anyone.  I don't know, but it is upsetting to find that people you have known for 50 years are not at all what you thought.  Another thing that has surprised me is finding that people who are very inclusive of all races still have negative feelings about equal marriage rights.  I have trouble understanding the hate.  They are hating people that are not hurting them in any way for things that just are the way the are.  People are born being who they are as to race and sexual orientation.  Why hate that?  What a waste of energy.

          •  "What a waste of energy." (17+ / 0-)

            Exactly how I feel about it. All that hate and anger, for absolutely no reason at all, just seems so pointless and tiring.

          •  I also have been incredulous at the hate (47+ / 0-)

            I thought there would be some, of course. But how does one hate Pres. Obama with such vehemence? Everything about his career has been about assuaging those fears, of consciously and carefully cultivating non-racially threatening politics, of representing racially and ethnically diverse communities, of deliberately downplaying issues of the inner city or of poverty in the black community - devoting far less attention or eloquence than he should have, frankly. He's been a moderate Democrat and none of this polarization has anything to do with his actual positions.

            Is the fear that deep? Do people really feel that Obama harbors such anger - the most patient, non-emotional and cerebral politician I think I have ever seen? I think Steinbeck's older man had it right, but the depth and the extent of the hate is frightening.

            “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

            by ivorybill on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:25:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you and your cohorts (10+ / 0-)

              have always treated minorities as second class citizens, or worse, you would naturally fear the obvious change in US demographics if you assume that minorities are always treated thus.

              ...and who, disguised as rambler american, mild mannered commenter for a great Democratic web blog, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.

              by rambler american on Sun May 26, 2013 at 07:11:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  essentially, yes (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ivorybill, Ahianne, fayea, samddobermann

              all you say is how it actually is. I too am surprised how bad it is. You are right. It is horrible.

              Yet, I don't think it is as bad where I am, even amongst Republicans who don't like the President. It May be a Southern thing or a non-New England thing (or possibly my experience here is biased but I don't think so).By bad I mean the deep anger and hatred.

              I'm middle aged raised and live in the Northeast, and White. I believe I'm aware of the depth and span of racism around me and where I fall in that range. Being raised in the 70s, there was a lot of racism around. My parents had had bad experiences with their urban neighborhood- so I got to hear how the "Blacks" ruined the neighborhood (blockbusting). Yet they also were the only ones who stood up at a neighborhood meeting to prevent our neighbors from keeping Black familes from buying in our suburb. It was a wierd mix. My sister and I ended up having friends and dating people of all races because my parents generally Acted and demonstrated that everyone was of equal value, even though the statement about the old neighborhood would come from my father periodically. I picked up some racial biases and still sometimes have to root it out and catch myself but I make an effort to do so. I know my subconcious racism is there. And I see it in other White people my age and older particularly working class or less educated people-because of where I live and work I come in contact regularly with a large number and cross section of the people in my area.

              There is NOT a deep racial hatred in general even in people who say racist things. It doesn't seem to have the same vehemence (hardly any really) as what we read about on right wing sites and hear about in other places. I don't sense the fear that you describe/we are talking about. At it's worst there is a repugnant stereotyping of people which I call out. In calling it out the person almost always waivers. In my coastal city most natives are relatively recent decendants of immigrants. I think that is why they waiver when I call them out, knowing that "Irish need not apply" and predudice at other ethnic/religious backgrounds is only a few generations away. They know it is wrong. I like them to know that it is no longer ok to talk like my dad did, like that, in anyone's company even other White people. And I don't hear this kind of thing often, maybe only once a few times a year directly to me at this point,and there has not been an uptick with Obama as President. I've not heard a peep of birther stuff or "usurper Kenyan" ideas.

              •  ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fayea

                It is different in the South.  I wish it were not true, but it is.  It is true of people who are caring individuals who will do anything to help their friends and neighbors who are like them and consider themselves deeply religious, but fail to see the other side of their feelings.  Having enough people around them who feel the same way makes them feel like it is acceptable.  

                What I hate is hearing something like "...this black guy did...." Why does it matter what color he is?  Why not just say that a guy did something?  Why does the color always rise up in the sentence for some people?  

            •  I was equally frightened by the Bill Clinton hate (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tobendaro

              which was almost as virulent. The conspiracy theories ... the congressional investigations ... the contempt ... the impeachment fervor--it was like a feeding frenzy of sharks.

              Now, of course, the racism adds some to the intensity and especially, to the mode of expression--lots of racist imagery available to pick up to bludgeon the President. But despite their best efforts, most people still like the guy, as they liked Clinton. All they can do is throw mud (or poo).

              I think that some of the haters are having an existential crisis of the soul. They bought into the whole Reagan/Republican world view and it is not working out for them (or anyone else who is not very, very rich), but if the Democrats are right, then .... [something happens too dreadful to imagine or they must acknowledge the paucity of their own lives or something else soul-shattering or fill-in-the-blank]. That is why it is every Democrat, not just Clinton or Obama, because the party is a marker of everything not-Republican and therefore everything scary inside and outside their own heads.

              Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

              by ohiolibrarian on Mon May 27, 2013 at 12:16:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  very upsetting. Such people call Obama "divisive" (5+ / 0-)

            I find that infuriating.
            Essentially Obama is guilty of Presiding (governing) while Black.
            It brought out the racism in millions of White Americas and they blame him for it.

            I often think that such anti Marriage equality people really do not fully get that people are BORN Gay. They think it's partly a "lifestyle" choice. As if some young boy would choose to be Gay in High School in the 80s or even now!

            •  ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Buckeye Nut Schell

              Yes, it is puzzling.  A very open and tolerant friend of mine told me that she can't change being black, but gay people make the choice.  To say I was surprised is an understatement.  How can people who have had such discrimination aimed at them not see that they are doing the same thing to another group of people?

            •  "Such people call Obama 'divisive'"... (0+ / 0-)

              What they really mean is uppity...

              •  I think some think uppity. I also believe (0+ / 0-)

                some see him as divisive because they see that the country during his Presidency has become more polarized than ever. I do know a few Republicans who think this. THey are not racists or rather not so racist to have the "uppity" judgement. Many who judge Obama as arrogant secretly think he's uppity. But divisive means something different. For some it's just a way to smear Obama but others blame Obama for WHite racist people's reaction to him. THe Republican house  has acted differently with him than with any other President. To people who don't pay close attention to politics they might think "under Obama DC is more divided than ever" and blame him. And Fox et all of course fuels this.

                I resent how Obama gets blamed for the racist reactions of some White Americans.

          •  Why hate that? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            avamontez, samddobermann
            People are born being who they are as to race and sexual orientation.  Why hate that?
            They hate those people because they are taught to hate those people.

            There are people like Bryan Fischer of American Family Association and similar groups whose lifestyle is financed and supported by teaching others to fear and hate "The Other." Such people are leaders who search for frightened followers and who teach them to be angry at some "Other" as an antidote to their fear. It's a form of tribalism.

            It can be a very lucrative profession. Look at Rush Limbaugh.

            The US Supreme Court has by its actions and rhetoric has ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

            by Rick B on Mon May 27, 2013 at 04:04:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  We can hope that one day no nationality or (14+ / 0-)

          ethnic group will be "it."

          I like your point that the present ugliness is a step in a long overdue healing process.

          It matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever. Henry David Thoreau, in Civil Disobedience

          by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Sun May 26, 2013 at 04:38:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The goal ought to be that someday it will be (11+ / 0-)

          no one else.

          We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

          by Observerinvancouver on Sun May 26, 2013 at 04:40:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Jews before WW2 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sam I Am, mamamedusa

          my dad as a kid with his family were kept out of many hotels. An he wasn't allowed in college...Jew quota (negative quota keeping Jews out).

          It's still there a tiny bit but much more superficial, mostly gone in the youngest generation (except renewed on the left by confusing Jews with Israel, but that' s another conversation).

          So your theory of the process holds true if you look at how antiSemetism has changed in the US. In the South in early 1900s it wasn't clear if they were even "White". In the 30s or 40s their was a movie about a man who "passed" as a Jew--that was the main topic of the movie.

          •  Gentleman's Agreement by Laura Z Hobson (0+ / 0-)

            Movie was with Gregory Peck. Good movie and still appallingly pertinent.

            Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

            by ohiolibrarian on Mon May 27, 2013 at 12:27:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  IT was Gentleman's Agreement (0+ / 0-)

            made  in 1947 — after many people saw the results of the concentration and death camps.

            Anti-Semitism was still rampant. The people of New York and the rest of the North East accepted the restrictions and quotas without thinking.

            Universities like Harvard, Yale and the rest of the prestigious schools had a 5% limit on the Jews they would accept. I know that Duke did also.  

            From Wiki

            Gentleman's Agreement is a 1947 drama film about a journalist (played by Gregory Peck) who goes undercover as a Jew to conduct research for an exposé on antisemitism in New York City and the affluent community of Darien, Connecticut.
            ...
            Zanuck decided to make a film version of Hobson's novel after being refused membership in the Los Angeles Country Club when it was assumed incorrectly that he was Jewish. Before filming commenced, Samuel Goldwyn and other Jewish film executives approached Darryl Zanuck and asked him not to make the film, fearing that it would "stir up trouble". They also warned that Hays Code enforcer Joseph Breen might not allow the film to pass the censors, as he had been known to make disparaging remarks about Jews. There was also concern that Dorothy McGuire's character being divorced would offend the National Legion of Decency. The role of Phillip Green was first offered to Cary Grant, but he turned it down. Peck decided to accept the role, although his agent advised him to refuse, believing he would be endangering his career. Jewish actor John Garfield agreed to play a lesser role in the film in order to be a part of the film.
            And
            Gentleman's Agreement received a generally favorable reception from influential New York Times critic Bosley Crowther.
            ...
            Crowther said that the movie shared the novel's failings in that "explorations are narrowly confined to the upper-class social and professional level to which he is immediately exposed." He also said that the main character's shock at the extent of antisemitism was lacking in credibility: "it is, in a careful analysis, an extraordinarily naive role."
            The "political nature" of the film  also attracted the attention of the House Un-American Activities Committee, with Elia Kazan, Darryl Zanuck, John Garfield, and Anne Revere all being called to testify before the committee.

            Overt discrimination was alive and well long after that and is still a factor in American and even more so in British lives.

            I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

            by samddobermann on Mon May 27, 2013 at 06:53:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  When I was young (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE

          The Italians were not considered white where we lived in Florida. Neither were the Jewish people, Native Americans, Hispanics, or anyone that wasn't white with blue, green or hazel eyes. It's strange to look back on those days ... my family had a large home that was divided up into apartments on one side, with our living area on the other. I'm sure they wouldn't rent to anyone that wasn't definitely "white" or otherwise "undesirable." The neighbors wouldn't have been happy with it at all.

          They pushed it with a couple that were both deaf, but they white so they had that going for them.

          It was just "how it was."

          Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

          by splashy on Mon May 27, 2013 at 03:02:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  wouldn't it just (0+ / 0-)

          make RW heads explode if our next President was also of a "non-white" nature.  LOL, it would epic.

          Another black person, a Native American, a Latino, a woman of any stripe?  Oh my, the crap would really hit the fan if we could elect two in a row.  It would be so worth the spectacle.

          Yes, I am psychic...or was that psycho? I always forget which.

          by Farradin on Mon May 27, 2013 at 11:00:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Same here. I have been surprised by several (32+ / 0-)

        friends who seemingly out of the blue turned racist after the President's election. Reason and facts met with ever more nasty replies until I finally had to admit defeat in any kind of rational dialogue.

        I noticed something similar with my mother in the last several years of her life.  As she aged and her health worsened, she became addicted to Fox and Rush and was increasing paranoid.  Latent racism that she had never exhibited came to the surface.  It was very sad to see her regress to her "worst self" before she died.

        “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

        by ahumbleopinion on Sun May 26, 2013 at 04:30:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have seen that (10+ / 0-)

          in people I know myself. But I can't explain it. What is it about Fox and Rush that attracts very elderly people when they get closer to death?

          •  Fear? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ceebee7, mmacdDE, T Maysle

            maybe going back to how it used to be is a comfort.Can't speak for your mom but many very elderly people have subtle (and less subtle) cognitive changes and are from an era where what you hear on the radio/see on TV is the truth. Their judgement might be a bit less sound, coupled with that generational trust of what's on TV/radio. They are suseptible to Rush and Beck.

          •  at least part of it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            T Maysle

            is that a piece of Fox's formula is to make people feel self-righteous.

            Combine general fear with fear of death, then elevate them to a feeling of moral superiority.

            Voila!  They are hooked.

            Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

            by Gustogirl on Mon May 27, 2013 at 11:05:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  My mom spoke Spanish and my family (30+ / 0-)

          has lived along the border for 150 years. But this last decade, she has slid into the morass of Republican hate politics and the swamp of righting media. So sad to see. Nothing to do about it - Alzheimer's will rob her of the vote long before Obama does, or before the Mexicans will take over.  So sad though - reading her copy of Octavio Paz helped me learn Spanish.  She had a brain, a facility with language, the sense to teach us and show us when we were young the mixed heritage and geography of the border - our own history. And now she lives in terror of the "illegals", of the guys out cutting the neighbor's lawn.  It makes me genuinely angry and unforgiving of Rush, of Fox News, and most of all, of the GOP.

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:36:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As your mother's health declined (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mamamedusa, T Maysle

          she became more afraid of losing control. It's a normal reaction to aging and health problems. I'm age 70 and I feel it myself. For one example I didn't used to have to exercise intentionally to protect myself from falls, and falls were not as much of a threat.

          That fear can set you up to be attracted to the "haters." They prey on frightened people. The anger they teach can feel like an antidote to the fear.

          The US Supreme Court has by its actions and rhetoric has ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

          by Rick B on Mon May 27, 2013 at 04:21:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rick B, mamamedusa, T Maysle

            I fell and broke my wrist a couple of years ago and also take precautions not to fall, primarily because of the cost.  Even with insurance, my surgery to have a steel rod put in my arm cost me almost $3,000 out of my pocket and it took a while to pay that off with monthly payments.  

            This makes me even more determined to vote for the party that looks out for the elderly and the sick.  I don't understand why the older voters go to the people who are so very anxious to take away the safety net they need as elderly people unable to work several jobs at once to make ends meet.  Cutting Medicare and repealing ACA would result in more loss of control for the individual.  Why run to that?

          •  At 68 (0+ / 0-)

            I'm becoming vulnerable to physical, emotional and financial shakiness. But the variability in the people here is a source of comfort.

            People in this part of Montgomery County Maryland are varied, tolerant, and almost always just plain nice. If I walk slowly, they wait or give me room. If I act peculiar, they take no notice. I couldn't handle hateful Rethugs around me.

            There's one or another group of black guys, my neighbors, sitting on the front steps of my building next to my window on some summer evenings. I can't help hearing them. I love the way they talk, the way they interact. Is that racist? I hope not. I'll take enjoyment anywhere I can get it.

            I suddenly started a blog. http://jglookups.blogspot.com/.

            by JG in MD on Fri May 31, 2013 at 08:23:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Pleasure in the way they talk? That's good (0+ / 0-)

              I graduated from an all white segregated high school and first began to know Black guys as fellow commissioned officers in the Army. I now live in a residential area of a major city that is racially and ethnically very diverse. The nearest food market is Mexican-owned now that the older firm sold it, so I practice my poor Spanish on the long-suffering clerks. Last Saturday the parking lot was totally full because of a quinceanera (Mexican girl's age 15 formal party. It's a big deal and I had never seen one before.)

              Watching the small children  in the store with their parents is really fun. Up to age about 5 they just have fun where ever they are. Then they start mimicking their parents. Teenagers avoid the trip to the grocery store, and usually the parents seem more relaxed. Watching and listening to the interactions is great fun. I now see and enjoy things that I did not even know were happening when my kids were those ages. I felt too responsible for their behavior. Silly. Sensible people just enjoy the healthy children being children.

              I've met black people on the bus who came from my home town and who attended the black segregated high school at the same time I was across town in the white school.

              It's fun to interact with all these people and to observe them interacting among themselves. We have somewhat different cultures but we are mostly very much alike.

              Racism? I have suffered from the racist restrictions I grew up living with, especially segregation and it's fall out, but overcoming those limitations is clearly not racist. The differences teach me about myself more than anything else.

              The US Supreme Court has by its actions and rhetoric has ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

              by Rick B on Sat Jun 01, 2013 at 10:55:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (10+ / 0-)

        I've lived in Dallas all my life and the racism I see after Obama's election is shocking. The same people who owned slaves and were ignorant enough to delude themselves into thinking black people would not be granted civil rights then are the same people who were shocked that a black person would be elected president.

        A little off-topic, because I'm in Downton Abbey withdrawal my wife and I are watching North and South (from the 80's with Patrick Swayze). It's pretty good. Not great. It's well acted, but it has that made-for-TV cheesy feel to it.

        I support the two-state solution: for the USA.

        by plok on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:48:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I live in CA and have experienced the same thing. (18+ / 0-)

        Obama Derangement Syndrome indeed. Folks I never heard speak like that or send racist emails went off the deep end after the 08 election. It was truly amazing. I have had to tell a few of them off. Some of them were customers.

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Sun May 26, 2013 at 06:12:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had to ask "friends" to stop sending me (15+ / 0-)

          postings and emails of their hate. I simply said that I thought is was disrespectful to the Office of the presidency of the United States and that I disapproved. Most stopped but it was shocking to me the nice old ladies and church people engaged in the most unbelievable name calling. One time someone posted a rant about a dress that Mrs. Obama wore that looked sort of like the flag along with some name calling. I just posted every country western songwriter wearing a flag shirt and asked how that was different? Crickets.

          •  Had friend, more like acquaintance, send me (20+ / 0-)

            a picture of Obama with his feet propped up on the oval office desk accompanied by a scathing letter saying he didn't deserve to be there, much less prop his feet on the desk that we tax payers provided.

            I promptly sent two pictures back.  The first of Reagan propping his feet on oval office desk. and the second one of George Bush doing the same.

            Suffice it to say, that shut them up.

            In the time it took Adam Lanza to reload, eleven children escaped. What if...

            by Sixty Something on Sun May 26, 2013 at 07:20:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah. Like when Obama forced a Marine to (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ahianne

              hold an umbrella over his head while he gave a speech in the rain. He was just showing whitey that HE'S the boss. Wait. There are pictures of Reagan, Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr and other presidents doing the same thing? Sarah Palin, too? Never mind.

              The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

              by Hillbilly Dem on Mon May 27, 2013 at 05:55:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  .... (0+ / 0-)

                Even though there are pictures of him giving speeches in the rain with no umbrella at all, people latch on to that one picture.  

                The conservatives are masters at putting out talking points and repeating them so that people accept them as truth.

          •  What surprised me was that most of it came from (5+ / 0-)

            folks in our Elks lodge. BPOE - Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks! I did the monthly newsletter in '04 so everybody had my email. It was amazing the shit that I got. From Teachers! Cops! Firemen! Business people! People that get together and pass the hat for this charity and that charity - just seemed to lose it. I used to tell my husband that BPOE really stood for
            BePoor because every time we went to the lodge they needed money for this cause and that cause. Now granted the majority of folks did not go crazy but boy there sure was a minority that just lost it. I did like you and told them I did not appreciate such things. Don't hear much from any of them anymore. oh well!

            if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

            by mrsgoo on Sun May 26, 2013 at 10:33:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Props for telling racist customers off (6+ / 0-)

          I had an ebay buyer I did that with once, the guy was from Finland and his handle was "nazi" with some numbers after it.  I told him sorry, I do not sell to Nazis nor anyone who would identify with them.  Surprisingly, I never got negative feedback from the guy.  He was willing to pay top dollar for the item and in the end it cost be a good bit of change, but it was worth it.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Sun May 26, 2013 at 08:36:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  My 74 year old mother-in-law, in Florida, (18+ / 0-)

        says similar.  She is a financially comfortable, well educated centrist Dem from New York City.  She has said to us more than once, since 2008,

        "I didn't want to believe it about some of my friends down here.  I didn't want to think they were that racist.  But I tell you, the things they have said about Barack Obama... it has opened my eyes and it has saddened me deeply."

        This is in the St Pete/Tampa area.

      •  Same here (8+ / 0-)

        People I've known for a long time started showing their stripes (and fear) before Obama became president, but it looked like he would beat McCain. It wasn't blatantly racist, it was usually something like "I don't think America is ready for a black president"....stuff like that. I would ask why not, and what would change because he is black? None could articulate a sensible answer.

        •  .... (15+ / 0-)

          I got emails from people with pictures of watermelon and African natives dancing, saying "this is your new president." This from people who never in decades had sent any political or racist emails.  Some of it came through work email, which is more surprising.  We did get notification that work email should not be used for political content after a while.  Then I would get stuff like "....this may not be true, but....."

          One of my work friends has a daughter-in-law who HATES Obama and sends her emails about him and for a while she would forward them to me.  In the past there was nothing like this.  She used to be funny and never was political on either side.  I would send corrective replies with links and she finally quit sending them to me, but I know she still sends them to everyone else.  I avoid her because every conversation, no matter the original subject, turns into something horrible about Obama.  The most puzzling thing is that her grown sons do not have health insurance and she is a science teacher and should be offended by the denials of scientific facts by the right.  Her husband is a member of a union and has done well financially because of that.  He is about to retire with a comfortable pension.  All of her circumstances point to the conservative point of view being bad for her, and yet....

          •  I don't get it either (5+ / 0-)

            How can people deny what's in front of their noses?  People like your work friend make the least sense of all......they should be educated enough to see through the blizzard of drek put out by the right, but many do not.
            About racism? There is something I truly don't understand. I've known people with racist attitudes and listening to them it's pretty bad, so how can people be like this and yet when push comes to shove it's all forgotten? I'm talking about someone who might see a house on fire and runs in to pull people out, or happens on a car accident and gets the person out before the car catches fire. These are things that people risk their lives to do and there isn't any hesitating over race, why do people spend their lives being cruel and hateful yet be ready to risk their life to help someone of the race they hate? Am I making sense?

            •  yes. you are incredulous because being (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ahianne, Quackerz

              like them is so foreign to your nature--you stretch to glean a bit of empathy (trying to walk in their shoes are you likely often do) yet you cannot. It is too far a stretch. I feel you reaching ;)

              Nice try. I have trouble more with the rational part of it myself. Science teacher being so irrational. It's so clear that we are all the same, in Africa we'd be the minority. I can't fathom people so ruled by irrational emotions and so unaware of that.

              I'd run from the room.

        •  Obama is so non threatening a person (8+ / 0-)

          Cultured, rational, moderate, very calm, concillatory by nature...so very Not scary. He's no Chris Christy (whose impulsivity would scare me in a POTUS).

          It makes it so very clear that racists project onto him when they call him divisive and see him as angry and hateful.

    •  Of course it is. (0+ / 0-)

      But it's not just a matter of expecting paybacks "some day".  There is also past experience.  Coming to the South from a New Jersey family, I have been earnestly regaled by many friends from Virginia to Louisiana with stories of the immediate post-Civil War era, of men joining the Klu Klux Klan to protect their families, of ex-slaves run amok with axes and segregated black troops passing through town during WWII.  Many of the most severe restraints on slaves, such as those prohibiting education of blacks, were originally adopted in response to very real slave rebellions: Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vessey, and Nat Turner.  Each unsuccessful revolt led to further efforts to dehumanize and subdue the obviously dangerous human chattel.  The fear is very real, and not irrational.  Paybacks happen; they have happened repeatedly.  Those who have had long experience with the situation feel it would be unrealistic NOT to expect that blacks, given complete freedom to reverse the tables, would not extract vengeance.

      •  "unrealistic NOT to expect" (16+ / 0-)

        I think we should be beyond the fear of slave uprisings by now.

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:41:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've been attempting to wrap my mind around (15+ / 0-)

        your comment, your conflating of the slave rebellions of over a hundred years ago with fears of what could happen now, your equating of black troops passing through towns in WW11 on their way to war with some sort of threat,
        your excuses for "severe restraints" on slaves, as if their uprisings were somehow at fault and not slavery itself, and it all comes down to an extraordinary insult to people of color while excusing slavery and what followed.

        The only "experience" you seem to be defending is that of racists as victims and what they are projecting onto those they harmed.

        What's "unrealistic" is you leaving that out of your explanation of "past experience."

        "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

        by Onomastic on Sun May 26, 2013 at 07:56:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank You. The Southern Commitment To Lying (11+ / 0-)

          about blacks, slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, black soldiers, civil rights "agitators," Dr. King, and, now President Obama is the cocoon they wrap themselves in to ward off the reality of their still remarkable crimes - a predecessor, if you will, of the RW Wurltizer that now creates an artificial bubble within which their ignorance and hate is celebrated as "real" American values.

        •  You mistake me for my (0+ / 0-)

          research subjects.  I TALK to people.  I listen.  I'm relaying to you what they have told me.  I'm not saying that I wasn't listening in somewhat horrified fascination that people could actually be saying such things in 1995.  I'm not saying that "their uprisings were somehow at fault and not slavery itself".  But I am trying to explain how these thoughts and feelings are structured in the minds of "traditional" white southerners.  I understand as well that YOU are used to considering these people simply as "enemies" and therefore unworthy of compassion or understanding.  But psychologists consider compassion the emotional component of internal modeling of the mental state of others with the value of predicting their behavior.  I am trying to explain to you what the very real thoughts going on in the heads of these people are, so that you can model them more effectively.

      •  I am at a loss to comprehend a comment that seems (13+ / 0-)

        to me to give credence to the worst, most profoundly racist phantasms of white Southern fantasy. Harboring an expectation in this day and age of black vengeance is horrible and outrageous. The historical record, notwithstanding the exceptional uprisings you mention, does not support that belief in any way.

        The balance of terror exerted both historically and into the recent present is tipped very, very far toward the side of white perpetrators acting out against black victims. (I usually prefer language that doesn't minimize agency, but in most cases of white violence against black people, the black targets did absolutely nothing to deserve their treatment. And I don't want to suggest either that ANY behavior would have ever merited lynching. Ever. Any.)

        Somehow I think your new white southern contacts have sold you a bill of goods. I am sorry to read that it is something you were willing to buy.

        Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

        by peregrine kate on Sun May 26, 2013 at 08:25:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You said it far better than I. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peregrine kate, Diogenes2008, ceebee7

          Thank you, pk.

          "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

          by Onomastic on Sun May 26, 2013 at 08:29:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I am explaining to you (0+ / 0-)

          the wellsprings of the behaviors that you abhor and decry.  You seem to think that they have sprung up ex nihilo.  But there is history behind them, and whether you like it or not -- I don't particularly LIKE it either -- this is what you have to deal with, where it comes from, and why it persists.  This is where George Zimmerman is coming from.  This is why fat middle-aged white men shoot innocent black teenagers and honestly (from their point of view) claim that they are defending themselves against dangerous criminals.  If all you want to do is feel superior, go for it.  But if you want to solve a problem, then you need to understand it.

      •  I find your comment, cynndara, so offensive (4+ / 0-)

        words fail me.

        "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.8., -6.6

        by helpImdrowning on Sun May 26, 2013 at 09:51:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I thought she was reporting what she heard (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DarthMeow504, shrike

          from native Southerners rather than standing
          up for their point.

          I took it differently than all you others. That she's reporting what they said and what they fear, whether it's irrational or not. It's repugnant but also useful to learn what their rationale might be.

          I don't find it a stretch to believe that that is what a native of New Jersey heard  from some racist Southerners and that is what she heard or deduced they fear.

          •  She said their fear is not irrational, but it is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Onomastic

            and there's a taking of sides right there:  it's not irrational 'cause the nice white people 'splained it...

            I am a leaf on the wind - i hover, twirl, float,
            Weightless, frictionless, I fly

            by chmood on Mon May 27, 2013 at 04:04:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry but here is verbatim what she "said"/wrote: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Onomastic

            "Each unsuccessful revolt led to further efforts to dehumanize and subdue the obviously dangerous human chattel.  The fear is very real, and not irrational."  

            Maybe she meant something different, but it is not what she "said".

            "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.8., -6.6

            by helpImdrowning on Mon May 27, 2013 at 09:46:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  kinda time warped anyway (0+ / 0-)

              it would not be irrational if we were back in slavery days-guess that's how I took it/thought it was meant. But not rational for today.

              Wish poster came back and explained self.

              •  It's not irrational (0+ / 0-)

                in a historical sense.  The past is ALWAYS PRESENT in human culture, until it is completely forgotten.  And as I was attempting to demonstrate, the past is most certainly NOT forgotten in the American South.  America's Original Sin has festered, and mutated, and twisted with the winds of change, but no matter how many times the boil is lanced, the infection continues to breed in the airless, secret places under the skin.  I was trying, regretfully, to inform the community that no matter how much they might WISH that white southerners could, no matter how much they believe that white southerners SHOULD get beyond it, it is not going to happen.  They may be outnumbered, outvoted, and shouted down, but that becomes part of the reason why they cling to their "Second Amendment Rights".

          •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

            I get so tired of being jumped all over by all sides for trying to be a bridge between them.  And after I've been jumped on by the Whites for defending the Blacks, the Blacks for Defending the Whites, the Nazis for defending the Jews, and the Jews for explaining the Nazis, I get irritated enough with humans in general that I would happily release the next Black Death and just let the entire species make way for something with a little more general decency and common sense.  At this point, I think I like Cows.  Have you ever talked to a Cow?  Very gentle, very wise "people", the bovines.  They chew over what you say for hours or days, sometimes weeks, before they decide to comment.  You get the feeling that they actually THINK about what they're going to say before they say it.

      •  I can see you've been among the "nice" people... (9+ / 0-)

        Been hearing that crap all my life from having grown up with it (GA 'boy')...it was bullshit then and it's bullshit now.

        How odd that as an adult, you take it in as schooling, believing their respectable, self-serving and oh-so-earnest justifications (I'll bet you got 'you know, the Wowah wasn't about slavery at all', too). but having grown up around black and white, I've rejected it since my first experience of the deep-rooted corruption of "Southern culture" when I was 10.  

        I'm sure your 'instructors' - or you, for that matter - having been captured, survived the overseas shipping, and set to unrelenting labor with no end but death in sight, would have either broken under the abuse or sought not only to escape, but to inflict maximum damage to their captors in punishment...just like Chuck Norris or ANY TV or movie hero...and nothing like those, y'know, SLAVE REVOLTS FROM 150 YEARS AGO.

        Yeah, those must be totally different, right?  WRONG.  I have felt safer around blacks ALL MY LIFE, as a result of being around blacks in spite of segregation all my life, and from being around whites all my life.

        Welcome to the South.  Watch out for the "nice" people.  Really.

        I am a leaf on the wind - i hover, twirl, float,
        Weightless, frictionless, I fly

        by chmood on Mon May 27, 2013 at 03:59:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't be ridiculous. (0+ / 0-)

          If I accepted the precepts of southern racism, I wouldn't have divorced my ex for his increasing activities with the National Alliance (which no, he didn't join until we'd been married for seven years).  And I'd be hanging out on Red State or Town Hall instead of DKos.  I'm mentioning these things because I get the impression that many people here simply don't understand the depth or the logic of the emotions they're confronting.  They keep complaining that the profound emotional logic of fear and self-preservation is "irrational".  But historical experience is the essence of rationality.  America's race problem exists because there are good, RATIONAL reasons, based on experience, for members of each race to fear physical violence from the other.  And rational fears of violence lead to pre-emptive self-defense.

      •  Please clue me in to what this "payback" entails.. (5+ / 0-)

        I am somehow missing the invite to the "down with whitey" meetings.

    •  It appears that their fear is that... (5+ / 0-)

      "they will be on the receiving end of that horrific treatment," but it is my belief that they will not be.

      IMO rightists generally act as if life, the economy, even entrance into Heaven is a zero sum proposition. That if anyone else gains, they will lose.

      The United States of America was built into a great nation by believing that helping others was helping ourselves and acting on that belief.

       

      "An egg is not poultry.” Brilliantly insightful comment on the notion that a zygote can in any sense be "a person."

      by carbonman1950 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 11:40:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep, you got it maggiejean (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      not this time, bluedust

      They are afraid that the People of Color will treat them as they have been treating "those" people.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Mon May 27, 2013 at 05:24:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent sig-line! (0+ / 0-)

      Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

      by OIL GUY on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:14:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have long thought their hate comes from fear (0+ / 0-)

      Yes they believe we only learned to do what they have done. If they could truly believe in mercy (asked and given) then maybe they could finally just let the hate go.

      Keeping a firm grip on my gratitude list

      by Up to here on Mon May 27, 2013 at 12:04:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wish America had the strength of spirit to (25+ / 0-)

    face up to its past like Germany did.

    "The war on drugs followed by the war on terror has eliminated protections we have had since the Magna Carta." -Horace Boothroyd III

    by mookins on Sun May 26, 2013 at 02:44:17 PM PDT

  •  take away benefits (23+ / 0-)

    In Texas we have some pretty good practices that gives kids a pretty good chance to go to college.  This has resulted in some misses, but even the misses give opportunity to those who have traditionally been denied.  This is critical because places like houston and austin are attracting the best technical talent from all over the world, and if we want our kids to compete we have to educate everyone, not just the ones who look right.  The reason for this by the way is that a technical person can earn 20% more than elsewhere, while living expenses can be up to 50% less, and of course yo have the largest medical institution in the world.

    In any case, court battles have been waged against non-whites getting into schools over white non-hispanics.  In a recent case where a non-white girl was accepted into law school and white girl was not, the parent of the white girl said in a local radio interview that he had nothing against the other girl, only that there should be other places she could go.  In effect the white people still expect preference at the historically white institutions.

    And it is a preference.  If a non-white kid can achieve the qualification, that student is probably the better candidate.  I know that white people argue that the measures are not the same, but measures are never the same.  Those inequal measures certainly allow unqualified whites in at least as much as unqualified non-whites.  Just look at Jason Richwine.  Are you telling me that the university couldn't find a more qualified non-white student, that he was not let in because of white preference?

    This is what enrages the white people.  Not only that Obama is a beast, but that he took the place of a more deserving, more entitled, white person.  This is the continuing saga of the fall of white privilege.  The privilege that gives high paying jobs to drug addicted white acquaintances, while hard working clean non-white people can't get them.  As time goes on and white people lose their entitled attitude, things might change, and they might actually be willing to compete in a free market where their value is not the color of their skin but value fo their work.

  •  Fear of "the other" breeds hate. thank you n/t (6+ / 0-)

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

    by plankbob on Sun May 26, 2013 at 03:31:00 PM PDT

  •  Ownership's Been Fomenting Racism and Racial Fears (6+ / 0-)

    because they realized it would allow them to take over before the demographic changes could threaten their power base. As we are remodeled into a democratic oligarchy, the voters are of sufficiently little importance that the looming minority status of Euro descended voters won't matter.

    It'll matter to the rightwing racist rank and file but I wouldn't be surprised to see racism fanned less and less as ownership ceases to need it to get and hold power.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 26, 2013 at 03:31:42 PM PDT

    •  Actuallly, I was referring to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Subterranean

      "ownership" in terms of "owning" the fact of slavery and its inhumanity, not in terms of ultimately being allowed to own property, but I agree with your comments.

      Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

      by ceebee7 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:00:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The history of the Cajuns is sad (23+ / 0-)

    in itself. They had pretty much been forced out of France and shipped off to what is now New Brunswick in the 17th century. Against all odds they thrived and proved to be a formidable force during the French and Indian War. The Treaty of Paris that ended the war specifically called for the removal of the Arcadians.  But France did not want them either. A small group made it to Louisiana, but families were split up and were scatter all along the Eastern seaborne and even as far as the Dakotas. Many did live in a basic exile in France, who as I said didn't want them. They had lived in the New World for 100 years and really just were not French enough anymore.

    It is a bit of the Revolutionary war that is forgotten, but the Louisiana Cajuns fought with  Bernardo de Gálvez and captured two British forts including Baton Rouge. After what was really a world war, France allowed them to leave. They didn't want them anyway.

    If any Europeans can claim to be Americans, it is the Cajuns. They did not live along side the Native Americans, they lived with them.

    I suppose that is why I am not surprised by the gentleman's response. They have a perspective that is uniquely American.

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Sun May 26, 2013 at 03:34:02 PM PDT

    •  Excellent point. The "gentleman" referred (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      se portland, jan4insight, Onomastic

      to himself as "ci jit" (with a mark over the "a")...  but not capitalized.  (Steinbeck made this distinction somewhat emphatically during the referenced conversation.) The way he referred to it sounded like the kind of Acadian group (nation? tribe?) you describe.

      Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

      by ceebee7 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:05:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good to see Steinbeck brought into the dialogue. (13+ / 0-)

    The man saw and wrote from his heart of both the Great Depression and America in flux in the 60's.  It's about time for my teenage son to read Travels with Charley, I think.  I've tried to protect him from some of the virulence now in the air, but he's going to be experiencing this current "third round" of Right-wing domestic fear for quite probably a long time in the future.  (And maybe it's actually round number four, if we want to count the good old American Commie Party fearin' days.)  

    •  Among other things, I was fascinated (6+ / 0-)

      by my latest reading of it -- the ways "America" has changed since the last time I read it, approximately 10 years ago.  In many ways, the book changes over time, as America continues to struggle to become the "great" nation is has the potential to be.  We're certainly not there yet...

      Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

      by ceebee7 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:10:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not to worry about Obama! (15+ / 0-)

    Well the old gentleman of French descent in New Orleans is not all wrong, nor is he all good.  But ceebee, I am amazed, in the light of your intelligence and verbal ability, that you have onlylately figured out that the basis of Right Wing Republican hysteria (and I mean hysteria in the medical sense), comes from deep-seated southern racism -- and a bit more than racism, but we'll get to that another time (ref. the recentSo. Carolina election results).  OF COURSE it's racism, born of many things but the one you do not mention is the impulse to cruelty, which is always easier to direct against the black man than the white man.
        Pres Truman said of the blacks, give 'em a chance, a fair deal; Eisenhower said, educate them; Kennedy tried but did not have much time -- but Johnson, probably racist himself, was a fair enough human being to recognize that Truman et al were right and that you have to educate the black man and give him a chance -- eventually one of them even got himself elected president!!!
         So, CB, on with your show. But it's just too bad, really so disappointing that Obama is SUCH a gentleman himself. He is a major disappointment to me, as a life long Dem., for his lack of fire, his willingness to say all the right things but, then settle too often, for not doing them. So much of Obama's presidency is cosmetic -- starting with Big Banking and Big Pharma: and he wont touch them, tho' he knows they are wrong. OBAMA NEEDS TO FIND HIS INNER-LBJ AND GET TO WORK!!!! I'll say it again: Obama needs to find the inner-LBJ and get to work.
         I'll tell you where Obama belongs -- and it could happen--on the Supreme Court.   If Hillary wins in 2016, she can give
    Obama about three years of speech-making and book writing
    to establish a hundreds of million dollars fortune, then appoint him to the supreme court. He'd be a perfect Chief Justice, and he'd be yet shy of age-sixty. And he would be a very strong factor in the balancing out of Justice in this warped country for decades to come.  
        Remember,  you heard it here!
    Jim/Santa Fe

  •  I fear (8+ / 0-)

    that the problem is insoluble, because sufficient reparations can never be made.  By attempting to ignore and minimize the crime for centuries, it has been magnified, like interest on a debt.  Now the very real anger and courage of the men reduced to beasts and their children who have known no other life, is effectively boundless.  There is no reparation that the descendants of the original sinners would be willing or even able to make, which will satisfy the heirs of the dispossessed.  And so those descendants have no choice but to cling to their privilege and power with their last strength, by tooth and claw, for they know that after them, in truth, must come a deluge.  On the one hand, the debt is too great for repayment; on the other, too great for forgiveness.

    It is just such long-standing injustices as this, which created the hell-holes we know as Palestine, Kosovo, and Bosnia; which earlier led to the forced mass relocations of Turkey and Greece, of India and Pakistan, and the genocides of Armenia and Azerbaijan.  And in none of those situations was one's position in the conflict forcibly declared, regardless of personal choice, by the color of a person's skin.

    •  This is absolutely bullshit, cynndara (0+ / 0-)
      There is no reparation that the descendants of the original sinners would be willing or even able to make, which will satisfy the heirs of the dispossessed.
      You are saying "no sense doing anything because it will never be good enough." What a great excuse to perpetuate the injustice — which you cover over with over the top words to give the impression that you give more than a damn.
      And so those descendants have no choice but to cling to their privilege and power with their last strength, by tooth and claw, for they know that after them, in truth, must come a deluge.
      There you go again.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Tue May 28, 2013 at 01:10:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry. (0+ / 0-)

        I've just spent my first six months back in Virginia after nine years in Ohio.  I'm saddened, cynical, and depressed with the enormity of the problem on the ground.  I'm not talking theoretically.  I'm talking as someone living in a situation where my best attempts to bridge the gap are met with defensiveness, hostility, and rejection, and I'm tired of fighting.

  •  Ignorance is no excuse (8+ / 0-)

    I was raised in a very white culture in New Zealand. I don't think of myself as racist but because I was raised in a white culture I had absolutely no clue about racial pain. My late wife was raised in California with mixed race friends - her very closest high school friend was black - and she had her eyes open. And she would catch me when I said things that bordered on racist. I meant no offense, but I was ignorant.

    She felt very deeply that reparations were owed, and that healing could not conclude without them. New Zealand took on reparations in the 80's to address broken promises from the early colonial days. While New Zealand never had to deal with slavery it did have its racial issues.

    I had moved to the US when they began, and I know the squabbling continues over who gets what and how much and on what basis. It really is a can of worms. But that is less important than the acknowledgment of everyone as having equal rights and that if we do not open Pandora's box we will never move on - we will carry it with us in denial forever.

    I agree with the diarist here. I am not sure the US has the strength right now to take this on, but if it did I have no doubt it would be stronger for it. This is very much an issue on which what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

  •  Here is a clip (6+ / 0-)

    of the "cheerleaders". A group of good Christian white women holding their bibles while they cuss at, spit on and hurl death threats against 6 year old little black girls. Just plain despicable.

    http://crdl.usg.edu/...

  •  What am I missing? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    T Maysle

    Is it 1920?

    The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude". It was ratified on February 3, 1870, as the third and final of the Reconstruction Amendments
    .

    You say,

    Fifty years after the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment (guaranteeing all Americans the right to vote), tens of millions of Americans, Northerners as well as Southerners, through the teachings of their elders, believe -- unconsciously, subconsciously or otherwise -- that the President is a beast.  And being human, he has the virtues of courage and anger, and thus must be feared… for he is no longer docile.
    You mean 150?

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:07:37 PM PDT

    •  Great diary (5+ / 0-)

      but I think Steinbeck meant that the white racist has the "courage and anger" that transmutes into terror:

       "And if your heart has human vestiges of courage and anger, which in a man are virtues, then you [whites] have fear of a dangerous beast, and since your heart has intelligence and inventiveness and the ability to conceal them, you live with terror."

      So in your analogy, the white racist is terrified not because Obama has courage and anger, but because his courage and anger turn inward and fuel his fear.

      The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

      by Upper West on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:32:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  (I meant this to be in the main thread, not as a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Diogenes2008

        response to you comment)

        The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

        by Upper West on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:34:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I believe the gentleman was asserting (10+ / 0-)

        that in a human (man), courage and anger are human traits.  First, the man (slave-owner) must turn the (Black) man into a beast by thinking of him as a beast, in order to overcome the man's (slave-owner's) natural empathy, and thus obstacle, to treating another man as a beast.

        As long as "beast" is made to be docile, the fear remains dormant.  But the man (slave-owner) never completely forgets that he has "beastified" a man... and since a man has courage and anger (since he is human), the thought-of beast is to be feared.

        Teaching his child that the Black man is merely a beast, thus docile and not to be feared, eliminated the human conflict present in the original thinking.  So long as beasts remained beasts, there was no fear of them as men in descending generations.  During civil rights uprisings in the 60s, long lines of Black men marched holding signs saying "I Am a Man."  The fierce opposition to this in the South was founded upon the above thinking, passed down from father to son.  Black men asserting their man-hood therefore created terror in the South which is still very present and is the basis of the diary.

        Obama's election was ultimate proof to those who harbored generations-old thinking of a Black man as a beast and was final proof that Black men were men, and thus possessing courage and anger.  

        The fear created by Obama's election was not that he might replace some better qualified person.  It touched incredibly deeply-held fears throughout America, and I believe those fears have never been widely articulated.  Such deeply subordinated fears have manifested in all the right wing crap we've been seeing for the last 5 years.  Every conservative starts out by saying, "I'm not a racist."  Methinks he doeth protesteth too much.

        Stated much more briefly -- The night President Obama was elected, tens and tens of millions of white folks in America looked across the room at each other and thought "Uh oh."

        Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

        by ceebee7 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 06:26:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  good analysis (8+ / 0-)

          Republicans found out in the sixties that they could use "the beast" to take whites away from the Democrats.  In '68 "they" are rioting.  In '80, "they" are taking your taxes to go on welfare and not work.

          Southern whites loved the social welfare state until it included blacks.  Then they let their fear and hatred lead them to vote for those who now have eviscerated their standard of living.

          I don't think there's a circle in hell hot enough for those who used race over the last 35 years to screw the middle class.

          The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

          by Upper West on Sun May 26, 2013 at 07:00:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Because we can see courage and anger in others. (0+ / 0-)

        Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

        by dadadata on Mon May 27, 2013 at 03:40:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My bad... I was referring to Civil Rights (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Torta, Diogenes2008, Onomastic

      legislation doing away with poll taxes, tests, etc. passed by Congress in the 60s.  Otherwise, yes, I meant 150.  Thank you.

      Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

      by ceebee7 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:47:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Too true (6+ / 0-)

    This brought me back to thinking, once again, about the movie "Django Unchained..." and what a subversive film it is....

    I keep thinking back on the actor Leo DiCapro's lines as he channels the Master of the Plantation, Candieland...

    "Why don't they just rise up and kill us?"

    And his tedious and cruel explanation of how the black slave brain is physically, genetically, programmed for "submissive behavior."  He smashes the skull of the man who raised him to make his point.  "Django," although sitting at his own dinner table, simply "cannot exist."

    Just like "President Obama."
    Cannot exist.
    Somehow....

    "Beasts," indeed.

    The lies oppressors tell themselves -- even They intuitively know them to be false...  but they MUST be held to hold onto Power.

    Therein lies the Deep Seated FEAR.

    Old Heads Dying Off is our only hope.
    The internet prevents most youngsters from believing such foolishness, regardless of what their parents say.  And the Kids "not connected" to the world won't get far in the future.

    Patience.
    This too shall pass.

  •  Its Fox, and their ilk.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Onomastic

    Takeaway these malignant, festering scum and you have reasonable Americans that have a few differences of opinion from Democrats.
      Fox peddle fear, I doubt there would have been a 2nd Iraq war without the 24 hr war mongering, and repetition of GOP lies perpetuated at Fox news.
     Fox peddle fear everyday.

    Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture

    by nezzclay on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:45:31 PM PDT

  •  Sure. But conservatives are by definition (6+ / 0-)

    fearful of change. That's what that word means. I think we've become so used to "conservatives" being fundamentalist radicals in recent years that we've almost forgotten this most basic element of what it means to be a conservative.

  •  I once had a right-wing radio host (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    majcmb1

    quote to me what Allen west said about the President. My reply to him saying "Even Allen West believes he`s a socialist!" was to tell him that Black Conservatives are "Heifers." That is they are people that never grow up or want to grow up and be independent. They just believe what they hear others say. Or say what they think will get them ahead!

  •  Also, when the size of the pie is decreasing... (5+ / 0-)

    People look around for someone to blame. Many people have lost a better future and they don't know why, so they look for an answer and FOX has provided to them culprits. They wealthy have used these periods of stress to their advantage before and will use this period again to increase their power and wealth.

    Plato's " The Cave" taught me to question reality.

    by CTDemoFarmer on Sun May 26, 2013 at 06:29:02 PM PDT

  •  I'm not making a judgement one way or another (4+ / 0-)

    but many places in the deep South have lived with majority Black populations for more than a century.  There are many towns in the SW that have a majority population of Hispanics and the functional dominant language is not American English.

    So its not like Whites can't look around and see how very possible it is to survive and thrive in a racially mixed country.

    Your idea that racism is part of the Southern core is not a three dimensional comment as it leaves out some facts and is based mostly on stereotype, if for no other reason than that it does not distinguish by race but damns by geography.

    Another fact is that racism is rampant in most large urban areas, all over the country and it is often violent.  And it is a virulent in the upper great plains as it is anywhere else in the country.

    I don't argue with the general idea of the article just how it got there.

    Yes the Republican's base is frightened of all the boogie men the R's invent, and racism is a huge part of their PR.

    •  I believe if you'll check the diary you'll (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      urnumbersix, Onomastic, jayden, Ahianne

      see references to racism and its progeny all over the U.S., north, south, everywhere... in my comments as well...   It was not my intension to stereotype based on geography.

      The diary's intent was to illustrate how racism and its justification is handed down from generation to generation, and of course that handing down began in the Southern slave states, who relied on slavery for their very economic survival, until tobacco and other agricultural forces became main stream.

      The point of the diary was not "Look, racism is (still) prevalent in the South" and I don't think it said that.  It tried to say that racist thinking survives today due to the way it was justified in the minds of men who owned slaves, and the way they passed it on to their heirs... and the fact that those heirs never had to deal with its inhumanity right in front of their faces, and thus it was easier to pass down as a way of thinking.

      Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

      by ceebee7 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 06:54:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think if you're going to assert that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ceebee7

      racism is not part of the Southern core, you need to explain why they so reliably elect hard boiled bigots.  Yes, bigots are elected outside of the South, but they are concentrated in the South and their seats are unimaginably safe.  Just look at the difference in the way Boehner and McConnel deal with Obama.  Boehner is no enlightened individual, but one gets the feeling that having a beer with Obama is no great challenge for him.  Now picture McConnel having brunch with Obama - not quite so easy for him, is it?

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun May 26, 2013 at 09:02:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It goes deeper than racism (0+ / 0-)

    These people hate and fear liberals, gays and women nearly as much as they hate and fear blacks. Mostly, they hate the "other", having grown up and lived in cultural, social, ideological and racial bubbles their whole lives in which rich white men were on top and everyone else was some degree of lesser. Their bubbles are being burst and they can't do much about it but lash out.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun May 26, 2013 at 06:39:58 PM PDT

  •  They continue to deny it up and down (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    urnumbersix, Onomastic, jayden, ceebee7

    They're still adamant that they have plenty of valid reasons to dislike Obama, skin color aside. But really, so few of those reasons hold up to logical scrutiny, I can't help but suspect racism.

  •  Just finished reading STILL FIGHTING THE (5+ / 0-)

    CIVIL WAR: The American South and Southern History by David R. Goldfield published in 2000 and he talked at length about how white Southerners are raised to feel they are superior to blacks - that they worship the "heroes" of the Confederate army and feel they were invaded and occupied by Yankees demanding they give up their property and individual rights.  

    Today we all hear about "states rights," once again and how the "government" (Yankees) are coming to get their guns and ammo.  Nothing has really changed in their minds other than they can no longer own people who look different than they do.  With this cultural mindset and their leaders reinforcing their myths, how is it any wonder that a black family in the most powerful position in this country is making their collective heads explode?  How can they possibly process this stark reality that belies their entire view of their world?

    I'd feel sorry for them.  Poor, deluded suckers.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Sun May 26, 2013 at 07:02:19 PM PDT

  •  When I read this, I thought he should say it. (5+ / 0-)
    I would understand completely if he just threw up his hands one day, scheduled a presser and pointed at his political adversaries' behavior and said, "Are you fucking insane?!?!?"
    But when I read further, I agreed that the people who are scared of Obama would just consider it proof that he was the 'dangerous beast' if he asked, "Are you fucking insane?!?!?"

    Maybe Joe Biden should say it for him.  In fact, maybe Biden should make it a recurring theme:  "The President is too much of a gentleman to say this, and his position pretty much requires him to remain a gentleman, but are you fucking insane to ask/suggest that?"  And maybe it's time for us to ask/suggest that the opposition to Obama, that seems to be a reflex in his political adversaries, doesn't have its roots in racism.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 07:35:34 PM PDT

  •  I don't normally quote Chris Matthews (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, Onomastic, jayden, ceebee7

    but he said it well last week.

    The right simply can't accept a black president named Barack Hussein Obama.
  •  I believe this is exactly it. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    majcmb1, jayden, ceebee7, mmacdDE, Ahianne

    It finally clicked for me when the last budget deal was struck when Biden met with McConnel.  The Senate republicans could have gotten a better deal with Obama, but they instead chose to bargain face to face with Biden for a worse deal.

    I'd suspected race was a major factor in gridlock before then, really from the time Jimmy Carter pointed out that he recognized the right's reaction to Obama as hardboiled racism.  But it was only after I saw McConnel's deal with Biden that I finally understood what Carter meant.  It's not accident that the heart of resistance to Obama is among the Southern states, with rural republicans throughout the rest of the country standing with the South.  These are old timey bigots freaking the fuck out over a black man being in the white house.  No more, no less.  

    When does it end?  With the second black president?  The tenth?  Blacks seem mostly accepted in sports, but Obama's playing a whole new game and the referees are neither fair nor balanced.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Sun May 26, 2013 at 08:30:33 PM PDT

  •  To quote Dune, "Fear is the mind killer.", (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, ceebee7

    so now we know that the GOP mind is killed, I knew that.

  •  Mirror Neurons* (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ceebee7, Ahianne

    Or, snorueN rorriM, sorta.

    Eventually, all this will probably come down to the versatility of one's mirror neurons. Mine are agile, flexible, robust and eager little guys; they can, of course, mirror any variety of human, and they keep right on going until they hit some of the not-all-that-many-celled organisms, and even then they wrinkle their little brows and give it a try. Of course, that really tickles.

    No brag, just fact.

    Lots of Republicans, on the other hand, seem to have tiny, defective, malformed mirror neurons; these listless little delinquents seem only able to mirror a very narrow range of humans, and only those few who look very much like their owners. I'm not sure what Republicans do with the brainpower savings thus derived, but whatever it is, I don't think Mozart would write any music to it.

    *I'm not smart and I don't play anyone smart on TV.

  •  Huddling Together Under the Umbrella of Racism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ceebee7, cjfb

    I have lived in the South all my life; when I was young, I was puzzled by justifications of murder, etc. , but I came to understand that it was the protection of the group (tribalism) which fueled racism and thus irrationality.  I believe tribalism is the root cause of most human evil:  war, slavery, intolerance, etc.  We see this clearly in the case of religion:  the religion with the most hate/fear/rules has the most followers.  When a religion gives up its mysterious rites, it loses its imagined protectiveness, loses its outward signs of belonging, and  thus loses followers. This is the reason thoughtful, honest people cannot subscribe to ongoing paranoia--but the ignorant, aware of their vulnerability, cling to "strong" leaders.  Remember Orwell's "Ignorance is Strength"?  This is racism; the strength is the strength of the bully; not inner strength, but violent hysteria.

    Old Hippies Never Give Up!

    by ravenrdr on Mon May 27, 2013 at 12:09:36 AM PDT

  •  Ironically, the less future a winger has in front (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE

    of him, the more fearful he is.

    Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

    by ZedMont on Mon May 27, 2013 at 01:15:08 AM PDT

  •  Thinking about today's Repubicans (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ceebee7, mmacdDE, Ahianne

    I can only imagine their angst as life as they know it slips through their fingers. It must be frightening and destabalizing.

    When change comes fighting it as they are brings a whole lot more pain than opening oneself to it. When unexpected change comes unsolicited, human nature makes many of us clamp down in control and dig our heels in. This is what we are seeing in them. For them it's a big and scary change so that's how they react I think--they pull hard the other way. Those of us who feel more neutral  or postive about it don't need to control or pull away.

    I'd not thought about this before-that this is why Republicans are going off the deep end to the Right. They are pulling away from the change they fear.

    I was raised (White) in a racist society, being the US in the 70s. I absorbed the bias of my surroundings and it wasn't from my parents alone. I face my subconscious racism and bias and time and time again I make it conscious and then deal with it.

    I know in my gut that millions White Americans must have subconcious racism that they are not aware of (and many have it conciously as well). It is that that made them distrust Obama and find him "other" and "Not one of us" "Kenyan" from even before he took office. His politics were not any more extreme than other Democrats yet they took to the streets with their "radical socialist fascist Kenyan" signs. Their subconscious was on display for all to see. They felt in their "gut" that Obama wasn't trustworthy or something was up with him. I am sure that many thought it was their "intuition" and did not even realize it was their own racism.

    So was the US ready for a Black President? Many were not. They called Obama divisive in his first term when he bent over backward to meet them 7/8ths of the way to their own stance. It was their own racism inside that made his Presiding while Black divisive. Any time he shows a whiff of displeasure he's "angry". It's so very odd how they even focus and report on that.

    A few generations from now this period of time is going to be studied with incredulous fascination, I'm a bit ashamed to say.

    So a very thought provoking diary. Thanks for it!

    •  Thank YOU for your insightful comment... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      I was just adding a few late comments of my own.

      Re: your statement about the US being "ready"...

      In light of what's transpired since the Prez's election, and re-election, I'd venture to speculate that in 2007, Obama MIGHT have been 1 of perhaps 10 people who believed at that time that America was "ready" for a Black president.

      Pretty smart guy...

      Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

      by ceebee7 on Mon May 27, 2013 at 01:58:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A late comment on some of the later (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne

    comments (in a hat tip to the folks who came later to this thread, which is MY usual practice):

    I am indeed appreciative of the attention and many thoughtful comments this diary has received, as well as its inclusion on the rec list, even at this late hour (must have been a slow news day!).  There have been many more people than I expected who have personally experienced their otherwise "normal" friends coming out of the woodwork as having long harbored deep-seated racist beliefs, kept quiet for a long time in a nod to political correctness, but not having given them up, as we're finding out.  Millions self-servingly call America a "great" country, ignoring the evidence that it is still heavily racist.  

    I'll never forget the comment I read right here during the 2008 election campaign, posted by an Obama canvasser somewhere in the midwest:  She and her partner approached a house in a middle-class neighborhood, rang the bell, and a woman answered.  The canvasser asked if they might inquire as to whom the occupants would be voting for.  The woman hesitated, then called over her shoulder, "Honey, who are we voting for?"  The response came in a normal, every day tone in a man's voice, unseen, further inside the house: "We're votin' for the ni**er."  

    To those who speak of the elderly moving to fear-based positions late in life, it is my experience that getting older often results in greater clinging to "things just the way they are right now, it's not perfect, but I can deal with it -- just don't CHANGE anything, I can't handle its getting any worse..."  So FoxNews becomes a friend and a shelter in the storm.

    To others, I remind them of Lt. Cable in "South Pacific," who sang "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught," lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, referring to the racism depicted in that universally loved musical, which enjoyed success throughout the 40s and 50s, when it became a movie.  Hammerstein was pressured to remove that song from the movie, thinking it would provoke too much of the audience.  He refused.  I don't remember hearing much about that song at that time, but I was quite young, so there may have been some back lash... but racism was accepted and largely ignored as "the way things are" through the 50s.  Most people did not even realize how strong the theme of racial segregation was in the story.

    Re: reparations.  Certainly no amount of reparations can remedy harm already done.  But, as the civil rights attorney in a "West Wing" episode told Josh Lyman discussing this problem, "We know you don't have $3.3 trillion [referring to the dollars in lost wages calculated by a fictitious analyst]...  We'll take it in scholarships, other kinds of benefits, etc."  The difficulty in making reparations at this late date SHOULD NOT de-rail discussions of them.  The longer this is put off, the more costly it will ultimately be, and the longer the resentment will fester, and the longer the period before healing can take place.  Obviously, it will be an enormous political football.  Well, maybe this will be the kick-off.  IT MUST HAPPEN, if America is ever to find the pathway back to its pursuit of a more perfect nation.

    And lastly, another paean to President Obama, who has remained largely above this particular fray... having experienced as well as observed racism all his life, I believe his performance in this area is precisely the correct balance between subtle but telling comments and letting things lie...  As he said early in his first term, "Michele and I thought long and hard" about the consequences he and his family would endure if he were elected.

    Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

    by ceebee7 on Mon May 27, 2013 at 01:50:51 AM PDT

  •  wealth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ceebee7

    Anyone who doesn't understand white supremacy and and the disparity for opportunity for minorities is living under a rock. Brilliantly written diary. Thank you from a 67yr old white guy.....moonbat666

    •  Indeed... Thanks for your comment. (0+ / 0-)

      (From another 67 yr old white guy.)

      Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

      by ceebee7 on Mon May 27, 2013 at 07:02:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Because it helps some maintain power (0+ / 0-)

    A buddy who worked in Qatar years ago once explained that rich people there were using religion to maintain poor workers (who'd come from other countries) subservient and...poor.

    There are some people on BOTH sides that benefit from the  Israel-Palestine continuous fighting, and who would lose quite a bit from real peace there, hence they stir it up.

    In the US, some are using religion in similar ways to maintain power over a significant portion of the voters. They stir it up, use straw men, create bs issues, and try to escalate anything in the hope that SOMETHING will get traction, have a snowball effect, and help them maintain their power.

  •  Can't agree with you on reparations (0+ / 0-)

    At least if you are referring to financial reparations:

    We shall not be rid of our national guilt from the practice of slavery and the genocide of Native Americans until we actively address them and make reparations.  And until then, in my opinion, the nation as a whole will continue to suffer the guilt of a(n enormous) debt not paid, an amends due and owing and not made.
    Who would pay?  who would receive?  If we make a decision-rule that all those descended from people who actually owned slaves must pay, and all those descended from those who actually were slaves should receive, we would wind up with many Americans who both had to pay and receive, and many Americans would be uninvolved with the entire process because their ancestors were not in America before 1865 or did not participate in slavery.  And, beyond these theoretical concerns, there are significant practical concerns of determining genealogy that affects significant financial transfers from a time when records were not clearly kept.  I don't see any of this process helping healing in any particular way.
    •  Thanks for your comment. (0+ / 0-)

      I've pasted part of my late comment below, which may be of interest.

      Re: reparations.  Certainly no amount of reparations can remedy harm already done.  But, as the civil rights attorney in a "West Wing" episode told Josh Lyman discussing this problem, "We know you don't have $3.3 trillion [referring to the dollars in lost wages calculated by a fictitious analyst]...  We'll take it in scholarships, other kinds of benefits, etc."  The difficulty in making reparations at this late date SHOULD NOT de-rail discussions of them.  The longer this is put off, the more costly it will ultimately be, and the longer the resentment will fester, and the longer the period before healing can take place.  Obviously, it will be an enormous political football.  Well, maybe this will be the kick-off.  IT MUST HAPPEN, if America is ever to find the pathway back to its pursuit of a more perfect nation.
      I would never advocate any kind of direct reparations from citizens.  Whatever their ancestry, no living citizen can be held responsible for slavery -- even those who might actively advocate racism.  Reparations would have to be a government program, propelled by government policy which recognized the necessity of reparations as a national healing perogative.

      Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

      by ceebee7 on Mon May 27, 2013 at 07:00:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

    Now I understand more fully the "beasts" from the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild. I love that movie so much.

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by ricklewsive on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:45:47 AM PDT

  •  As I have, it is "believers" that is the problem. (0+ / 0-)

    Their ideology is so ingrained in their psyche that they fear it would destroy them if proven wrong.

    As some one quote Dune above, an one of the novels led the hero to doom because he would destroy himself before he would become something he was not.

    "Drudge: soundslike sludge, islike sewage."
    (-7.25, -6.72)

    by gougef on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:57:18 AM PDT

  •  Also, my common response lately to all (0+ / 0-)

    the underhanded innuendo and sly racist remarks is "Why don't you just say you hate the black guy?"

    "Drudge: soundslike sludge, islike sewage."
    (-7.25, -6.72)

    by gougef on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:59:42 AM PDT

  •  Could the surge of visible racism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    not this time

    be also linked to the usage of social media?  I learned sometime ago that what people write and what they are willing to say face to face can dramatically differ.  At the same time I am shocked at the ulgy name calling,  the lack of respect and the blatant use of raw language that now seems to be publically acceptable more so in the past five years.  There seems to be a total disregard for respect and actual self control in what is said or what type of unacceptable behavior in public is almost applauded.  We seem to have lost touch with common sense, and any type of sensitivity to our fellow human beings.  Somewhere along the line our public figures have demonstrated a need to throw racism out there, and it has given permission for these prejudices to be flaunted with no shame.

    memasmar "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" Gandhi

    by memasmar on Mon May 27, 2013 at 11:16:51 AM PDT

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