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White Hot Rage From The New Minority

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The rage over the recent health care legislation is as Frank Rich wrote in last Sunday’s New York Times must-read op-ed, “disproportionate…to its proximate cause.” His is the first article I’ve seen that addresses the underlying issues driving what some might call an hysterical overreaction to what The Wall Street Journal noted is legislation based on Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts bill and contains what used to be considered Republican ideas (sorry, you have to be a subscriber to get the full Journal editorial so you’ll have to take Rich’s word for it).

The reality behind the outrage, the wild accusations, and the violence is difficult, controversial, and perhaps even unpleasant. Accepting the premise requires that one step back from strongly-held convictions on the left and the right. While objectivity and rationality are myths, still it is possible to recognize one’s own biases and attempt to keep them in check.

Rich argues that the last time we saw this kind of reaction to legislation was the 1964 Civil Rights Act. More than social security or Medicare or Medicaid, “it was the one that signaled an inexorable and immutable change in the very identity of America, not just its governance.” But the Civil Rights Act was only the beginning of the creation of a new American identity. In the twelve months ending in July 2008, 48 percent of babies born in the United States were Asian, black or Hispanic; by 2012, that figure will pass one-half, which means that white babies will be in the minority.

Whites as the new minority? How could this happen? This country was founded as a white, Christian nation. Even the Constitution makes that clear. Despite the WASP disgust and dismay over the hordes of Irish, Germans, Jews, and others flooding into their country in the 19th and early 20th centuries, at least those people were white; they assimilated, and the changes they made to the identity of America were, in the long run, tolerable.

No longer. For decades, whites have watched as our vision of America has been slowly replaced by themes and cultures many of us neither understand nor appreciate. Until recently, white people rarely thought of themselves as white; we just were. Blacks, on the other hand, could never escape the ever-present reminder of their difference from the majority, ruling class. But when we white people are the in the minority, what then?

At some point in the future, there will be more Members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, lobbyists and lawyers, doctors, chefs, police officers, members of the Armed Forces…you get the point…who are not white people. When you see the mobs roiled by the pitiful Palin or the large Limbaugh or the babbling Beck or the frenetic Foxettes, what’s really going on is that they’re terrified about losing their country. The one reliable constant about human beings is that we hate change—for all our rhetorical flourishes about embracing it. Our brains are wired from the old cave days to see change as dangerous, and we haven’t come that far in terms of our biological evolution to overcome that bias.

Any white person who claims not to be a little unnerved by all this is either denying or lying. As a good liberal, I accept this new vision of America, whatever it will be, as inevitable and probably even good. But I hate fusion food, and I’ll never learn to like rap or hip-hop which is o.k. because I’ve never been able to understand modern, atonal classical music either. And while I don’t condone the current language or behavior of the right wing, I think I understand them better, and, to quote an infamous former president, I feel their pain.  Of course, if the violence continues and escalates, we'll all be feeling pain.

Now if you’re not white, you’re probably weeping great crocodile tears through your ridiculing laughter. “These silly white people. Whatever happens serves them right. You can always move back to Europe from whence you came. I’m sure they’ll welcome you with open arms.” While a fair point of view given American history, it misses one minor possibility: That the extreme right-wing won’t go down, whatever that means, without a fight, that a cultural change of this magnitude is rarely smooth and painless for any of the participants.

It's not his fault, but Obama cannot be the president who rises above partisanship to bring us all together; he is the future some people fear above all else, and one discounts the extent of that fear at one’s peril. The current debate about whether the new health care law is a harbinger of some socialist plot is a smoke screen. We’ll hear the same hysterical overreactions from all sides on the financial reform and immigration issues.

What we probably won’t hear is a discussion about what’s really going on—many white Americans see the future, and they’re afraid it won’t include them. Are they wrong? Beats me. The only thing I’m sure of is…

In Jameson Veritas

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About Mark Schannon

Retired crisis & risk manager/communications expert; extensive public relations experience in most areas over 30 years. Still available for extraordinary opportunities of mind-numbing complexity. Life-long liberal agnostic...or is that agnostic liberal.
  • STM

    Cannon: “Or ethnic groups shooting at one another in the streets”.

    I agree with the rest of it cannon, but you DO have that, and so do we.

    Sadly …

  • cannonshop

    #142 You want civilized, you’ll have to go to Europe or Japan. The U.S. is made of all the crazies that nobody else could (or wanted) to deal with. We’re really fortunate that we don’t have a really destructive riot a week, or ethnic groups shooting at one another in the streets, or political parties with militants doing the dirty work with car-bombs and semtex-vests.

  • Great, Cannon. I’m glad to hear we’re such a civilized people.

  • cannonshop

    My horizon is as far back as I can dig, Roger. Given a large public library about two blocks away, access to various databases, etc. it’s pretty far, and extends beyond my own lifetime.

    But as far as the ‘climate’ goes-it’s made of individuals, Roger, but even beyond that, the real problem, is that even the words people use in political discussions, don’t mean the same thing depending on which side of the right/left divide you’re sitting on-and it is a deeper divide than the “English-English/American-English” divide.

    The words don’t mean the same, so, in a typical american reaction as seen in a thousand movies, the volume goes up instead.

    But, Vitriol is nothing new-you can start worrying when congressmen are beating the crap out of each other during debate-as in literally beating the crap out of each other.

  • Ain’t talking about select individuals, Cannon, the overall climate, period.

    Check our Victor’s Lana’s remark on another thread, #26,, as per Tip O’Neill.

    Besides, your appeal to history books leaves me cold. I’m going by my exposure to US politics since 1961 – a fifty-year span; that’s my horizon and my time-frame.

    What’s yours?

  • cannonshop

    #133 Roger, did you, like MOST Americans, sleep through American History class? The vitriol of politics from Washington right through Buchanan makes today’s worst critics look positively nice, and there’s the later examples (T.R. being shot right before a speech, for instance, when he was running on the Progressive platform.)

    Today’s vitriol is postively civil compared to American politics of the past-it’s just that we’re leaving an age of…well, honestly an age of politics-by-wuss stretching from the feel-good second Roosevelt into the early Clinton years. Pundits and Pols being nice to each other is the ‘freak’ the default is hostility.

  • Hi, Mark.

    True enough. It’s the old Socratic method – asking the right questions is more important than providing answers.

  • Mark Schannon

    LOL, Roger. Confusion is a state greatly to be desired as it is the only way to generate strange, wondrous new ideas. Confidence secures one’s beliefs–right or wrong–in concrete. I have always seen my humble mission as snatching chaos from the jaws of order.


    But I do have confidence in one thing, of course:

    In Jameson Veritas

  • NJ


  • Feels right to me, too, Mark.

    BTW, I wouldn’t say to Baronius that I’m confused in any way.

    I understand exactly what you mean: in fact, I can’t imagine any thinking person not being confused by the present. But he’s only liable to turn it against you and therefore discount what you have to say.

  • Mark Schannon

    Roger, the theory just “feels” right to me. Obviously, it would take more than a simple article & a bunch of comments to lay out a more comprehensive theory that could then be critically examined.

    Perhaps when I get a burst of energy, I’ll try to write a follow-up piece and even do some research ahead of time.

    Odd that it’s so rarely talked about. Aha! It’s the dog that didn’t bark in the night.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • At any rate, Mark, the kind of vitriol and hatred that’s being generated against anything this president does or fails to do is something quite unprecedented in the history of American politics; and indeed, it does make one wonder as to its true, psychological source.

    So perhaps “the entire premise of the article is flawed,” as Doug had said. Nevertheless, it’s a hypothesis that is definitely worth considering – especially since it doesn’t reduce the nature of the explanation to the simple theme of racism but couches it in far more comprehensive terms.

  • Mark Schannon

    Doug, you realize you sound like a recording–every Republican sound bite is there. This is not a liberal or conservative issue. You may reject that whites no longer being the dominant ethnic/racial group in America is a profound and disturbing event, but then you have to explain the phenomenon going on–the absurd accusations about Obama that began during the campaign; the extent of the anger and outrage towards a health care bill that was based in large part on a Republican bill in Mass; the frequent calls to “get our country back,” etc.

    One can disagree with the bill without going to the extreme that it’s some government takeover. And as for the nonsense that people will be required to buy health insurance, I have two reactions: you’re required to pay social security, medicare, and unemployment taxes. What’s the difference?

    My second reaction is one my bride tells me never to say: You don’t want insurance, fine? If you get sick, die. Don’t even think of going to a hospital to get free care that I have to pay for. On the other hand, if you need help to pay for insurance, that to me is a societal obligation.

    Bush did more to destroy our personal freedoms than perhaps any other president, and, thankfully, the courts are beginning to overturn some of the more egregious threats–while that socialist Obama supports the Bush positions! Bush also left us with the highest deficit in American history.

    And self-regulation??? Tell that to the miners in West Virginia who just died. Or to the thousands who died from mesothelioma from asbestos exposure when the companies knew asbestos was a killer.

    By the way, I spent 35 years working for corporate America–specializing in crisis management & one of my specialties was the chemical industry. I may be a liberal but my knees don’t jerk.

    On the other hand, my mouth does runneth over.

    The point, my dear friends is, forget the specific issues for a moment and just ask yourself if the looming issue of whites as a minority doesn’t have some salience.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • While i do believe you hit an important point, i think white people need not worry whether the future will include them or not, in everything from decision making etc.

    Even if they were to be a super minority of 25% some day, when comes election time, all people seeking office need every vote they can have. So you can be white people will never be excluded, even in a wild imaginative scenario where we were to presuppose that people of color would have for intention of wanting to exclude us.

  • Doug Hunter

    I believe the entire premise of the article is flawed. It’a simply a rehash of the progressive left worldview where everything is predicated on race.

    Perhaps a shave with Occam’s razor is in order. Maybe some people are upset about a big government takeover of healthcare because they don’t want a big government takeover of healthcare. I know I don’t.

    Why the extra frustration on the right? Why don’t you ask somebody instead of adlibbing with whatever suits your liberal purposes? I suspect there is extra anger becuase whenever the left wins they use the force and might of the government to compel, regulate, mandate, and take from people who are powerless to oppose it. My ideas of freedom, on the rare occasions they win, do none of these by definition. When my ideas succeed you are not compelled to do anything, you are free to self regulate and support any causes you see fit. I know you’re mature adults that are capable of making your own decisions, I only wish you’d extend to me the same courtesy.

  • Vijai

    I read the article completely. No, I did not intend to convey that was your point of view- simply stating that people who want to actually protect themselves by isolating their culture actually end up destroying themselves.

  • Mark Schannon

    Vigai, read the article again. First, the over-reactions to Obama began during the campaign; second, I never claimed that people who oppose the legislation are bigots. And if you intend your last line to represent my point of view, well, read the article again.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Vijai

    While I agree that the idea of becoming a minority in the US may have made many white people anxious, I wonder if that is the reason behind the furore over healthcare.

    From what I’ve seen, there is both information and misinformation about choices that we get under the reform act, what the government covers and what it doesn’t, quality of care that we will get and fiscal prudence of the bill in the long term. There is also a pertinent question about further reform that will somehow reduce healthcare costs by making pricing outcome-based or performance-based rather than based on the number of procedures.

    Add to all of this pretty crass rhetoric about Nazism, baby-killing and so on. I’m skeptical about the author’s claim that somehow the people who rant against the legislation are mostly bigots.

    But your basic premise that there is angst among whites (or for that matter, the ‘deemed whites’- colored immigrants who are relatively well off) about the rising immigration. This is nothing new- you see it in the form of gated communities, safe suburbs, inner city ghettoes, inequality in education, and on and on. I think the surest way to self-destruct is to actually build these walls around you and think you are safe there.

  • Roger, while pondering (your comment #112), you might want to ponder this obviously racist rant as well.


  • STM

    Yeah Cannon, I actually love the fact that people from all over the world are banging on the door of this country to get in, and since WWII especially, we’ve seen people from every conceivable part of the globe … whereas before, it was just white folks from Europe.

    It’s made it a more interesting place. I love hearing Korean- or Croatian- or Lebanese- or South African-Australian kids saying “fair dinkum”, or “bob’s yer uncle” (slang meaning: OK, let’s go, or that’s that, then) and arguing at my kitchen table after spending the night here with my youngest kid about who gets the last smear of Vegemite out of the near-empty jar at breakfast.

    I love what they and their families have brought to us … their own cultural contribution, and a willingness to embrace our way of life.

    All good. That’s obviously why 90 per cent of immigrants and refugees busted their arses to come here. But I don’t understand those few others who’ve come here and want to change it, or worse, destroy it (yes, we have those ones too).

    The thing I don’t like is people taking advantage of the situation, of a way of life we’ve built over 200 years that gives us both stability and freedom.

    To all those who whinge and moan and complain about that way of life and who want to impose their will on us: Well, the door’s always open the other way.

    No one made you come; no one’s going to stop you leaving, either.

  • cannonshop

    124 HUH?? Okay, I’m going to have to read back to understand THAT reference…

    We’ll see in November. I expect by then, that the media saturation will be so deep, and at least ONE manufactured event will foul up any risk of the Democrats losing much power (if any). THAT, and the disconnect between the “Leadership” of the Republican Party and its base tells me that November’s not going to be all that spectacular.

  • cannonshop

    #122 I’ve been saying that for Years, STM. If you want European welfare state, go to Europe and live in one. If you want everyone to bow and scrape to El Jefe (or your term of choice) go live somewhere where that’s already required. The people where I grew up didn’t have much interest in or use for, that kind of situation, as many of them were first or second generation getting-out-of-such-places, with no interest in importing the things that drove them FROM those places, nor emulating those things, nor building them anew now that they had escaped such places.

    Whether from Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Columbia, Honduras, El Salvador, or Nicaragua, or (more recently) Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Pakistan…they come by fair means and foul to El Norte, North America, the United States-because they don’t want to live in paternalistic hell-holes anymore, where the officials are both corrupt, and high-handed and the common people are used, abused, and treated like shit with no recourse.

    I understand from your posts that Australia gets the same kind of immigrants, with the same kind of motivations, just like OUR ancestors had-it’s worth fighting to preserve that, it’s worth protecting, or nobody would want it-nobody would subject themselves to the dangers of the desert or the dangers of the Coyotes (men, not animals) if it wasn’t worth protecting and preserving.

    In grade-school, my best friend’s mom was studying to become a citizen-and studying HARD. You learn to appreciate it, especially after moving to a place where that is not as common. I sometimes get a creeping suspicion that the only people who really understand what it’s all about, are the ones that had to struggle to get it.

  • STM

    “It seems to me, that the folks that WANT that situation tend to envy Europe.”

    Good, let them move to Europe then.

  • STM

    On the tea-party issue.

    Apparently Liz puts on a great tea party every now and then at Buck House.

    They also have nibbly things, although all the regulars KNOW that the only thing to lift off the plates are the white-bread cucumber or watercress finger sandwiches (crists cut off).

    I know someone who was invited to one, but Liz was away and she only got to meet Phil the Greek.

    She’s her own woman and promised me she wouldn’t curtsey, but in the end, as Phil came around for a chat, she couldn’t help herself.

    This is what Obama should do. He should have tea parties on the lawns of the White House, and invite all those nice Tea Party folks along for a free sandwich and a cuppa.

    That’d quiet everyone down for a while.

  • cannonshop

    #115 I guess it’s sudden for people living in the northeastern quadrant of the country-you know, all those blue states in New England.

    For the rest of us, it’s been a…”rainbow?” for a long time. I grew up in an area where I was one of very few who got actual sunburn and didn’t speak spanish at home. That was my definition of “normal” until I was about fourteen and moved to the Seattle area.

    I suspect (though I can’t say for certain) that my experience growing up is probably more common than white-upper-middle-class people want to admit to themselves, especially the ones that bother about with trying to show how “Sensitive” they are to “Other Cultures”.

    People come to El Norte because they want a life that their native land can’t provide them-they want to live without fear, free from squalor, and keep what they earn instead of giving most of it to El Jefe, (or whatever the asian language of your choice uses as slang for ‘the big man’ or ‘the man in charge’).

    It seems to me, that the folks that WANT that situation tend to envy Europe-which most of their ancestors LEFT for a REASON.

  • STM

    Or madder than a two-bob watch.

  • STM

    Or, as we say here, each and every one of them is mad as a cut snake.

  • STM

    I DO like the idea of a Tea Party though. There’s nothing better than a nice cup of tea to calm you down when you’re feeling a bit uppity.

    I believe this is partly the problem with America. After dumping all that perfectly good tea in Boston Harbour, they’ve never been lovers of the delicious leaf.

    And coffee, of course, has the opposite effect … it makes everyone hyper, which might be the reason the rest of us always come away from our dealings with Americans feeling like they might all have at least one wire loose between brain and mouth.

  • STM

    On the money Mark.

    Health care is the least of your problems.

    In the end, it won’t even BE a problem.

    It’s not here, and the same tired old arguments were raised when universal health care was introduced.

    More pressing is the changing nature of what we have, and how to hold it.

    And that has less to do with colour or race than cultural differences.

    My example regarding Asian immigration. People from democratic (or near-democratic) countries assimilate more readily (Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan), as do those who’ve really suffered under totalitarian regimes (Vietnam or Burma, for instance).

    China’s wealthy, who are moving to the west en masse, have not suffered. They’ve been able to make the squillions required to move to the West and live comfortable lives but there is little assimilation until they hit the 2nd generation, and even then …

  • Mark Schannon

    STM, you’re one of the few who’ll address the underlying issue of what does it mean for a white society to suddenly become a rainbow of minorities. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing; I’m just trying to generate discussion.

    Here’s an analogy that’ll piss a lot of people off: The Tea Party folks are like the canaries in the mines. They’re squawking about death panels but underneath that is this gnawing sense that today’s America doesn’t feel like Ozzie & Harriet.

    I’d read about some of the issues Down Under. I’m not surprised you’re struggling with the same questions. Now if we can only stop arguing solely about health care, which is important, and start talking about what’s driving the hysteria, we might actually get somewhere.

    Nah…silly fellow.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • and here is some more. us ilaterat teabugers maybe is gettin to be, I mean, yu no, manestreme!

    fo thos who ain’t done learn’t to write englis real goood, here are a gud toul four doin soo. It are called the “crapola translator” and have gobs o optiones.

    damnation! soon it won’t be no fun no mo.


  • Perceptions may be changing, as they bloody well should be.


  • I appreciate your links. Get back to you shortly.

  • Roger, I understand. If you would like to broaden your perspective a bit, here is an eight minute address by one of the congressional candidates much favored by many in the tea party movement. I like him a lot, and he expresses more good ideas on Afghanistan than I had previously heard. Here is an article, with which I generally agree. It deals with, among other things, the racist nature of the tea party movement.


  • Not really, DM. It was a caricature, only going by the placards and the most vocal exponents.

    I plea guilty, just inciting a counter-revolution.

  • in re #94: Roger, you say,

    Most of the teapartiers couldn’t construct a single English sentence.

    Never having been to a tea party, and not knowing “most of” them, I have no factual basis to refute this. I must assume, however, that you have some factual support for your thesis and would greatly appreciate it were you to share it with those of us who haven’t had the pleasure.


  • STM

    This is something that is not confined to the US.

    The thing is, we in the anglosphere and in some parts of Europe have created societies that are stable and based on rule of law, free-market capitalism – with the main focus on personal rights guaranteeing freedoms.

    Lots of people from places that don’t have that are banging down the door hoping to get a slice of that.

    Can’t blame them really. recently went to visit my in-laws in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, the big north-eastern state of Australia above where I live.

    At a shopping nall, it felt like the shopping centres I remember from the early 70s … I couldn’t put my finger on it what the difference was up there, apart from the fact that it was bloody hot and humid and everyone is always half undressed for the heat.

    When we left and were getting the train home from Sydney airport, I realised: most of the poeple on the subway were of Asian or Indian sub-continent background.

    Sydney has become a melting pot. Asian immigration to this country is huge. The suburb we used to live in had a huge influx of wealthy Chinese buying up properties.

    I said to my wife once that every second person walking past our house seemed to be of Asian or Indian background. She was on the money: She said: “More … not every second person. It’s eight out of 10”.

    We didn’t notice that in Brisbane, which seems to have held its “white” character (not completely correct as there are a lot of people in Queensland with some aboriginal background, but there has certainly been a cultural assimilation on that score”.

    So of course, many white Australians of a Right-wing bent believe we are giving our country away to the many people from all over the world who are banging down the dorr to get in.

    I don’t subscribe to that view yet, and the influx of migrants has made this mostly a good thing, but there is potential for problems and I do think we need to balance our immigration policies.

    That is not based on race, either. Many mainland Chinese, for instance, come here to make money, not because they want a better life. Plenty are already millionaires. I’d prefer to see people from parts of Asia that DO understand the democratic process and how those values underpin what we have and are the reason for what we have … people from Malaysia, Hong Kong. Many, many Vietnamese have come here and embraced our way of life fully because of what they have suffered.

    I’d also point to our neighbours in New Zealand, which now has a huge population of people from the Pacific Islands for much the same reasons, and has had huge problems as a result. Here, our open immigration policy has led to many problems around people of middle-eastern background (a few lunatics spoiling it for the rest, most of whom are rapt to be in a new country).

    Somewhere, the open-door policy has to end, with some new2 checks and balances applied, before the nature of what we have is changed forever, and not neccessarily for the better.

    I’m with Mark on this, even though I’m not in the US …

  • cannonshop

    I went to a small one a few weeks ago (before I got the flu that whupped my ass for two weeks), the mood wasn’t what I expected-maybe it was the presence of pre-school age kids, or the predominantly female makeup of the crowd, (leavened with a few out-of-work blokes and some retirees), but on the whole, people carried signs and chanted slogans (without much real enthusiasm), talked politics, economics, bills-paying and professional sports, and weren’t nearly as colourful or entertaining as, say, WTO Seattle was.

    Then again, were I single and unmarried…’cause a lot of those gals are divorced, self-supporting, and not a small number of them own microscopic businesses (we’re talking “roadside coffee stand” level businesses.) I’d say there were more people who are more articulate, cultured and educated than I am organizing and attending these functions (not hard, I’ve got, well, about two years of community college with about ten credits left for the associates’ degree… finding people with more education than me isn’t hard to do.)

    Oddly enough was what I did NOT find-which, if MSNBC, Frank Rich, and other Media outlets of similar stature claim, I should’ve.

    There weren’t any skin-heads, there weren’t very many “Religious” conservatives or foamy anti-abortion and anti-women types, and even the hardcore Libertarian/Anti-Government types were less present, and less radicalized, than I honestly expected to see there-I felt kind of out of place, and wasn’t certain I hadn’t walked into the democrat counter-demonstration by mistake.

  • Irene Wagner

    Interestingly, the leftist “Progressive” magazine has a pretty balanced article describing the wide spectrum of people involved with the Tea Parties and other rightist groups.

    The author recognizes that not only are a rather significant number of these people NOT morons, they also have at least a few fears and dreams for America in common with Progressives. Any common ground that might be found would be a fairly narrow strip of real estate at first, but it would be good to see a DMZ in the midst of an increasingly polarized and uncivil America.

    I’ve not been to a Tea Party myself–I started getting interested in other things around the time the Neocons started infiltrating the “Liberty” movement. A lot of the anti-war activists who had been involved in the Ron Paul campaign got the same vibe, and their influence, which might have been a mellowing one–who knows?–was withdrawn.

  • Mark Schannon

    I don’t like tea. Often when we’re traveling, instead of stopping for high tea, we stop for high wine.

    So the whole Tea Party thing just isn’t my thing…now if it were a Jameson Party, well, that’d be different.

  • The one in Alice in Wonderland looks kinda fun.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Most critics of the “Tea Parties” have never been to one, or seen one in person

    I can honestly attest to never having see a tea party of any kind in person. What’s it like?

  • Clavos

    I’d bet on that neighbourhood being neither particularly sunny, nor on an island, nor possessing a beach.

    Actually, Doc, believe it or not, it’s all three.

  • I’d like to call everyone’s attention to a little-noticed aspect of the individual mandate: it’s not going to be enforced!

    Thanks to Lawrence O’Donnell on the Keith Olbemann show tonight for pointing this out. Here is the actual text of the enforcement part of the bill [it’s on page 336]:

    In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.

    So now can you please shut up? LOL

  • Ours live not far from my neighborhood, in an area called Sunny Isles Beach.

    We humans do have a penchant for giving places odd names. If it weren’t for the fact that you live in Miami, Clav, I’d bet on that neighbourhood being neither particularly sunny, nor on an island, nor possessing a beach. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’ll drink to that, Mark Schannon. Since I’m out of champagne, bourbon will have to do.

    But yes, no pain no gain. America just ain’t the pinnacle we’ve all thought it to be. In due time, we’ll transcend her and forge an even better future.

  • Mark Schannon

    Ah Roger, I didn’t realize that optimistic streak in you, lol!

    Baronius, nor did I realize how glum you can be. Uh oh, I feel a Pollyanna moment coming on…I’d better go get me a glass of truth & think about this. Because, as you know,

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Welcome to the club, Baronius, for this is precisely what we’re witnessing.

    By way of consolation, even the Roman Empire didn’t last forever.

  • Baronius

    “What if they say “fuck your common principles, you’re not in charge anymore.” What then?”

    Collapse of the government within 25 years.

  • I realize, Mark Schannon, the alley is dark and foggy, but with a little bit of light . . . who knows?

  • “The real root of the ‘anger’ is tied to a bunch of issues that have very little to do with such surface concerns as the skin colour of the president . . .”

    You’re projecting, Cannon. Most of the teapartiers couldn’t construct a single English sentence. You’re giving your brothers-in-arms way too much credit.

    Remember Mencken’s dictum that you can’t go wrong underestimating the intelligence of the average man.

  • “Reasoning” such as Cannon’s #92 doesn’t clear anything up. It just piles up a list of grievances, not all related to each other.

    I’m not sure how many would agree with you about the ‘insolvency’ of Social Security, but the need to do something about entitlement spending [SS and Medicare and Medicaid] is at the heart of the health care bill. It’s also at the center of the president’s request for a bipartisan deficit reduction commission — like health reform, an idea rejected by the GOP.

    The health bill directly addresses the cost of Medicare and incorporates Tom Coburn’s idea about reducing fraud. You may not agree with these approaches, but the president is not hiding his head in the sand and refusing to acknowledge the problem.

    TARP’s final price tag will be in the single-digit billions, after much heavy breathing about the original outlay and estimates. Most of the money is being paid back. Just this week, the govt announced it is likely to sell its Citibank shares at a $9 billion profit.

    The USA Patriot Act is a GOP creation. The caution of the current administration in dismantling it is regrettable but understandable, because they see themselves as politically vulnerable on security issues. If they abuse their authority, point it out, please. But offer some evidence, not just vitriol.

    And…No one has called you a racist. Find a sentence in Rich’s article that makes that assertion in such a way that it would apply to you…or to Baronius, or to Dave Nalle.

    You yourself put forth a lot of loud assertions, with very little supporting evidence. What’s the purpose of that?

  • cannonshop

    #91 I did consider it, Mark, and found it to be deficient largely because of the same kind of “Dehumanize, then engage” thinking that the Left’s been using for more than twenty years.

    The only part he got right (and it’s probably an accident) is in the title- it’s NOT all about Health-Care, the Health Care thing is just…well, you’ve heard of the straw that broke the camel’s back, right? One of the main reasons we’re not talking about a Republican President over-reaching with the aid of a Republican Congress, is the failure of Republicans to rein in spending, control the urge by government agents to abuse their positions, and the government’s record of poor policy decisions-a record unbroken in SPITE of the 1994 elections’ termination of one-party control of the Legislature (which lasted for over fifty years at that point).

    It’s a series of small inputs, Mark. I believe the term is ‘gradualism’, though I am probably mistaken, and yes, the reaction is, taken in isolation, more drastic than the input (Obamacare Law) would indicate…in ISOLATION.

    Stacked with a soon-to-be-insolvent Social Security, and broadly known (at least, to non-Democrats) fraud problem in Medicare, along with large scale dissatisfaction with V.A., and TriCare among military families (also well known, thanks in large part to the army hospitals scandal and MilBlogging), add in TARP (Which actually STARTED the Tea-Party movement during the waning days of the Bush era), AND the PATRIOT act’s less-than-ethical provisions to sidestep Constitutional protections (which stacks with Omnibus crime bills going back to the eighties that started our Law-Enforcement culture’s fascination with Asset Seizure), Kelo, and a thousand other minor insults besides (okay, exaggerating here, I just can’t remember ALL of them, plus must get to work soon…)

    It makes up a total package. When that package is then tarred with the ‘Racist’ brush unjustly (and it HAS been unjustly, Mark), it creates an environment where Radicals in previously-quiescent groups like the “Militia” movement have a natural environment to grow in-because the conditions PROMOTE that kind of paranoia-and that’s just the inputs FROM the left and the Party of Government.

  • Mark Schannon

    Roger, re: 76, welcome to my “alley.” You’ll find it dark, confusing, and enormously entertaining. I was going to install lights but there’s no electricity; candles blow out because of the constant wind.

    Cannon, I’ll try again. Forget racism as the reason for all criticism of Obama. Hell, I criticize him all the time for not being liberal enough & everyone knows liberals can’t be racists.

    The issue in some ways predates Obama, but he’s a symbol of unwelcome change. Anyway I’ve said it before…

    And of course Rich is offering a hypothesis, but at least consider the reasoning behind it and the implications before rejecting it out of hand.

    Baronius: Oh, what you said. “In America, we’ve been united by our principles, not our ancestry.” Yeah, our ancestry until recently was mostly white, European. And this one: “We’ll be able to handle the demographic shift a lot easier – if the newcomers accept our common principles.” What if they say “fuck your common principles, you’re not in charge anymore.” What then?

    All you’ll have to fall back on is,

    In Jameson Veritas,

  • cannonshop

    #79 Exactly-unless the march is sponsored by our Utopian Overlords, in which case, nobody who wasn’t there, is ever going to know about the sign’s existence.

    I was pretty scattered when I posted my last reply (lack of sleep, sorry guys, sometimes I have trouble staying on target when I’m running on hour 36 or so…)

    So it didn’t come out clear or crisp, but the gist of it, is that while Mr. Rich has HIS Hypothesis as to the source of the anger, that hypothesis is full of it. The real root of the ‘anger’ is tied to a bunch of issues that have very little to do with such surface concerns as the skin colour of the president (a thing which, truth be told, is probably more important to said president’s supporters, than his detractors.)

  • Wow, she’d duped me then. Or shall I say, set up a tender trap.

  • #86 Secret Agent Woman is Irene. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • #85 LES IS BACK!!!! YAY! I saw that! Happened to show up a few minutes after he posted. A sight for sore eyes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • #83

    Did you mean a fumbler?

  • Hey, Cindy

    Les is back.

  • If you only had feelings, Baronius, we would be on another plateau.

  • Dearest Secret Agent Woman,

    Thank you for the hilarious interchange. After you came out, I couldn’t help but imagine Roger speaking with the voice of Inspector Clouseau…


  • Baronius

    Roger, you hurt my feelings.

  • #78 is no response to the kind of issues that are being addressed by Mark Schannon – having to do with a major demographic shift and the perception accompanying it.

    What you’re saying sounds like an excerpt from Politics 101 textbook. It’s totally oblivious of the underlying realities.

  • “Whose policies are these, whose Justice Department started the practice of blank-warrants?

    Yeah, all of these are Democrat projects.”

    Why would you say that? Substantiation?

  • Baronius

    Cannon, the accusation of racism is McCarthyism. You never know who might be a secret racist. Once you’re accused, you can’t ever clear your name. If you attend a march, and there’s one racist sign in the crowd, you’re guilty by association.

  • Baronius

    Mark, the countries in Europe identify themselves racially. Europe has no common belief system or principles (any more). In America, we’ve been united by our principles, not our ancestry. We’ll be able to handle the demographic shift a lot easier – if the newcomers accept our common principles. Let’s be honest, the most monolithic racial voting bloc is black, and most of them have been here 150 years.

    The Democratic Party tends to segment the population and promise gifts on a quota system. The Republican Party tends to favor assimilation. To the extent that newcomers affiliate with the Democratic Party, they’ll end up in the same state of semi-permanent underclass as the descendents of slaves. (Now that statement should stir things up.) To the extent that they learn English and don’t fall into the Balkanization trap, they blend in fine and no one cares.

  • cannonshop

    #66 I’ll agree we have rules of engagement Overseas, but I’ll have to point to the nineties and the present, and say that those rules are more restrictive than the ROE being used right here at home-at least, in the high profile cases.

    If an American Soldier shot a woman holding a baby in Afghanistan today, he’d be up on charges by monday at the latest. An FBI agent shoots a woman holding a baby in Idaho, he gets a citation, and his boss who gave the ‘go’ order gets promoted.

    Do the math. There is something seriously wrong when that’s the case, and it’s a wrong that comes from the top levels downward.

    The loss of civility in our civil discourse can be traced right back to a Government that feels more empathy for foreign enemies, than for its own citizens-where do Police shootings happen? What states favour warrantless searches, and Civil Seizures (which neatly sidesteps the need to convict someone before their property is sold and the proceeds given to the department…)

    Whose policies are these, whose Justice Department started the practice of blank-warrants?

    Yeah, all of these are Democrat projects. Now, we’ve got a Health-care bill that criminalizes people for not buying insurance from an approved provider-sure, it’s tax-law, which means no Due Process or Habeas Corpus applies, nor does Presumption of Innocence, and if you don’t pay the fine?

    Well, Ya go to JAIL, your civil rights are suspended-because you didn’t buy insurance at insurance company rates.

    As for the statement about fear: What is the most common refrain directed at ANYBODY who criticizes Obama?

    Yeah, Racism, because it’s an evil, and it’s easy to stoke those fears when you invoke it. What’s funny to me, is that I think Dave’s right-it’s a form of fascism, one that’s been ‘cleaned’ of all the usual terms of creepiness, but functionally the same, and it relies largely on appeals to old national nightmares, vilification of anyone who criticizes the Movement, and the use of media blitz techniques to hammer it home.

    Most critics of the “Tea Parties” have never been to one, or seen one in person-they repeat what they have been told by people that agree wiht them, and largely haven’t been to one or witnessed one in person EITHER. This practice, incidentally, furthers the divide, and permits all sorts of ideas on the left that, if they saw their opponents as being as human as the people overseas, they’d be appalled.

    It’s actually quite similar to the psychology of a skinhead, only the targeted group is different.

  • Tribal mentality, Mark.

    See, I went down your alley.

  • Mark Schannon

    Roger, just give Baronius a chocolate chip cookie & he’ll forgive all. Oh wait, that’s me. I have no idea what to give him. But chocolate is always good.

    The problem is that it’s too easy to do a mental default to one’s current position rather than question the whole construct, particularly when the new construct may be unsettling. Oh well, we humans are odd creatures.

    Great Ruvy. Even I’m afraid of earthquakes. Maybe we’ll just visit.

  • Maybe the bride & I will move to your neck of the woods–but you gotta promise her they’ll be no violence. She’s terrified of axe murderers. It’s why we can’t move to the country, fofl.

    Mark, if your bride can handle missiles, fire-bomb attacks, rock assaults and stabbings, I think I can promise her no axe-murderers.

    Oh – I forgot earthquakes. This is earthquake country and we’re due for a big one….

  • I was going to make a similar retort to Baronius, Mark, but I’m glad you beat me to the punch.

    I’m on his bad side, so he’d be more prone to dismiss it. At least you’ve got a fighting chance.

  • Mark Schannon

    Baronius: “skin color isn’t societal change. The internet is. Unemployment is. If you think you see more rage than usual, remember that millions of people have less money, more free time, and internet access.”

    Agree with all but the first point. Whites going from the dominant majority status to a minority within the next few decades will be the most traumatic societal adjustment this country has ever had to face.

    What Europe is struggling over with the massive influx of Arabs & Africans is a walk in the park compared to what’s in store for Americans.

    The right wing nuts speak the loudest but are you so willing to give away your place as one of the big dogs? If you answer yes right away, then you didn’t plumb your soul to find the answer. Neener, neener.

    And yes, Ruvy, my friend, an armed conflict is in some ways easier to tolerate than social angst that can’t even be discussed. Maybe the bride & I will move to your neck of the woods–but you gotta promise her they’ll be no violence. She’s terrified of axe murderers. It’s why we can’t move to the country, fofl.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • “Spare me the mellow merde liberalism and the paternalistic arrogance, Roger.”

    Neither liberalism nor “paternalistic arrogance” were implicit in my remark. I was speaking on a spiritual plane.

    Must be odd hearing it from a non-Jew.

  • I didn’t say you condoned anything, Roger. Unlike you, I have no need to force words into your mouth that you didn’t say.

    I merely pointed out that if whites do become a minority in your country, you have the problem of hoping that the newly-empowered minorities do not treat you the way whites treated them.

    …the well-being of the world ought to be everyone’s concern. We are interconnected.

    Spare me the mellow merde liberalism and the paternalistic arrogance, Roger.

  • I’m not condoning white supremacy, Ruvy. Why would you even think that? But the well-being of the world ought to be everyone’s concern. We are interconnected.

  • Roger,

    I do not have a dog in this race. You, stuck in America, do. And I’m not ranting away at all. You are. Race relations and possibly being a minority in America is your problem, not mine.

    As for me, I get along fine with most white Israelis (Frenchmen being the exception – all they ever do is bitch and moan, far more than other Israelis), with Arabs when I have contact with them, with Ethiopian Jews, who are blacks but who do not have the hate stares American blacks do because they have not been enslaved here or persecuted here.

    In addition, I get along with the Pashtuns I reach out to – and that is important, because they are going to be a big part of our future.

    But read Mark’s article and the subsequent comments to see how you guys do not get along. And that is why I fear for you.

    It would really be refreshing if at least once in a while you came up with something constructive to say….

    Constructive? Come on – get real. White people in North America murdered off the Indians, enslaved blacks, and kicked dirt in the face of every single racial minority they dealt with. If it actually comes to you being a minority, you better hope that blacks, Indians, Mexicans and Asians treat you more generously than you (not you personally, Roger) whites treated them. If they do, you won’t deserve it; they will be showing far more humanity than you have.

  • Ruvy,

    It would really be refreshing if at least once in a while you came up with something constructive to say rather than the same old rant.

    You do know that the very frequency with which you do this only desensitizes everyone from your message.

  • Cannon, that’s as cockeyed a theory I’ve heard in a long time, especially from you. I agree about short-term kind of thinking in general – across the isle (and yes, especially in corporate America). I’ll give you that, though: getting into war takes planning, extensive and long-range planning, so in that sense you’re right – the Reps are much better at that.

    But come on, now! “Democrats are ruled more by their fears …” What the hell does that mean? And you do know we’ve got rules of engagement, don’t you? And these rules have been in effect for quite some time now. But you suppose of course that since ours is a “War on Terror,” that anything goes.


  • There is something very relaxing about reading the comments to this thread. We may find ourselves in the middle of a hot war over here in not too long, complete with missile bombardments and all – but we at least understand each other.

    You Americans are filled with fear for the future. Between the “son-of-survivalists” on one side, the neo-Nazi types on another, the disappointed liberals who really wanted “hope and change” and who are not seeing it – are a whole pack of people who are stuck. And there is no savior for you. There are no beacons in the night, just noisy flashlights whose holders holler “I got the answer! Get your answers here!”

    My gut tells me that as scary as it is here in Israel, it will be a lot scarier in the States.

  • cannonshop

    #63 No, Jordan, if things were that simple, there wouldn’t be much to discuss. I think a big part of it, is that Democrats are ruled more by their fears, so they’re less restrained about how they use power domestically, and spend less energy considering the consequences of their use of force…domestically.

    Domestically is the important term here-Dems that howled to the moon and stars over the war in the Middle East don’t give half a thought to the use of questionable methods at home-methods they’d rake a Soldier over the coals for using on a foreign enemy. They just don’t think it through- a short term kind of thinking that also pervades much of Corporate America, and led to the recent economic instability.

  • Jordan Richardson

    For some reason, this becomes more obvious in years where we have a Democrat in office…wonder why.

    Let me guess: Because they’re trying to take away your liberty? Because they favour big government by force and want your tax dollars at the barrel of a gun? Because they hate your freedoms? Because they want to kill you and your dog?

    All of the above?

  • cannonshop

    Just to expand your knowledge-base a bit more…

    the Militia movement as it’s commonly termed started in the nineties after FBI and ATF agents killed a dog, teenager, and woman holding a loaded baby under rules of engagement that would get an Army Leutenant in Afghanistan court-martialled, the agents in question were rewarded with promotions and never saw a second of jail-time in spite of the suspect’s acquittal and successful lawsuit against the U.S. government. (Ruby Ridge, if you were curious), followed by the misuse of a hundered man strike team to bust one religious lunatic on a class B misdemeanour that resulted in a fifty day seige and all the evidence destroyed and the witnesses dead-what makes that one special, is that during the opening phase, the people in the building called 911 (the police, in other words), which is kind of a golden indicator that Federal authorities violated their own lawful rules of engagement in a rush to serve a warrant set to expire at noon that day.

    Two agents with a sherriff’s escort could probably have managed the stated intent without bloodshed, instead we the people paid for fifty-some-odd days of media drama that ended the lives of a whole bunch of people who would still be alive right now if the government had followed its own rules.

    (I watched the hearings on C-span, and came to somewhat different conclusions than Mr. Rangel and his fellows on Capitol Hill did. The best defense the agencies could give was a Mrs. O’Leary’s cow defense with regards to the fire.)

    The psychology here, is a concern that the Government would rather use violent, paramilitary force against U.S. citizens on flimsy grounds, than use force on foreign threats that really ARE doing damage. For some reason, this becomes more obvious in years where we have a Democrat in office…wonder why.

  • cannonshop

    #60 They’re no more dangerous than a certain professor at the U. of Chicago. (actually less dangerous-Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn actually killed people, rather than just jawing about it-they’re free not because of an acquittal, but because the FBI screwed up and broke the law building their case…)

    The problem I have, Bicho, is that I KNOW people involved in these groups, and they’re basically all-hat-no-cattle urban cowboys: they talk a lot, and sure, they fetishize weapons-but when it comes to cases, they don’t have the stomach to act on their own claims, because the bulk of them actually have something to lose…and they know it.

    Having something to lose stops more people than having a cop standing outside the door does, and you have to also remember that Americans (especially the very political ones) are essentially rather lazy beasts who talk a lot bigger than they’re actually ever going to manage (especially white people, Bluster from white folks is more prevalent than urban trash-talk.)

    Which is all to the good. What isn’t, is playing to their paranoid fantasies. There’s no way a half dozen guys with half-assed training armed with surplus junk firearms are EVER going to pose a serious threat to the Government. (Can’t believe I’m paraphrasing Glenn here…) The “plan to kill cops” is no different, materially, from some rapper’s song about killing cops-it’s all talk until someone does it-then they get to find out just how efficiently local LEO’s and prosecutors can impoverish, imprison, and execute them (assuming a death-penalty state.)

    Frankly, I think our federal LEO’s are better used going after existing, EFFECTIVE threats-like gangs and organized criminals who work across state lines (or, in the case of groups like MS-13, international lines), doing damage to citizens and making a mockery of fedeeral authorities on a regular basis.

    (also: Look at La Raza’s objectives-separating the southwestern states from the U.S. somehow is NOT a conspiracy against the United States?)

    During my own radical period, I found out a few salient points:

    1. McVey was tossed out of a Militia for advocating violence-in particular, for advocating a form of violence most often advocated by informants to the FBI-because most of those informants need to have SOMETHING to sell, they try to push groups to actions that can and do result in arrests and headlines. Most informants are criminals who got caught-they only remain ‘free’ as long as they can turn over useful info. There’s a vested interest in setting up something for their handlers to bust-Waco was a perfect example of this in action.

    2. The serious ones aren’t boldly looking to start a war, they’re terrified that a ‘war’ is coming-the Militia movement’s roots aren’t in the KKK or other ‘activist’ groups, it’s in the Survivalist movements dating back to the old “Minutemen” groups of the fifties and sixties. IT’s the difference between wanting to start something (which would be your Stormfront, KKK, or Weather Underground types) and being afraid something is GOING to happen-and as a result, wanting to be prepared for it.

    This usually includes contingencies that aren’t pleasant to contemplate for the people contemplating them. Hence, the fat old guys playing rambo on the weekend. Most of them are too old or too bad a shape to actually DO any of the things they’re loudly talking about doing.

    Most importantly, they’re not organized, not even in a cell structure (Unlike the Radical Left of the sixties), there’s no “Leadership” and no agenda, just frustrated middle-aged and old guys (and a few kids who want to be ‘different’) ranting about things they haven’t got the ability, or desire, to actually do.

    (and, of course, the Feds and Lunatics who’re attracted, want to actually do these things or have the others get caught doing them…which you find in any underground or gray community.)

    Hell, “Militia of Montana” turned into a frikking Business-they’ve got something to LOSE now, if things drop in the pot, and unlike the REAL criminals, they don’t have the ability to just steal their way back into operation, nor do they have the ability to purchase Law Enforcement Officials the way that organized crime outfits do.

    YOu also might consider that the Radical Racists tried to steal the “Militia” title for their own-as a means of appearing more legitimate-this is important to consider, because the press jumped right into the bag with these turds, and awarded it to them out of willful ignorance because it sells copy and makes Democrats and some Republicans happy-grouping ALL the fringes under one heading makes it easier to attack the ones that AREN’T criminals, nor have any inclination to BECOME criminals.

  • “black and tan elitists who have grown up with EVERY social advantage”

    what dreamland is that? they may have many, even more than some whites, but every social advantage? do you use a crystal ball to get such insight into all their lives?

    Mark, I am sure you are right about many white folks, but “all” seemed rather presumptuous. A few people live in multicultural settings and for years some around here have believed that Southern CA was going to be annexed by Mexico

    “We’ve got FBI worrying about overweight middle-aged men who wanna play rambo in the woods”

    Yeah, because their plans to kill cops had nothing to do with it, but if you support that kinda thing, cannonshop, glad it’s out in the open now

  • I don’t buy your list Cannon. Most of those “gangs” are just that, gangs. Most have no agenda larger than protecting some limited turf in an urban community, or are bent on making tons of money selling and distributing drugs around the country.
    Few, if any, have as their ultimate goal, the bringing down of the Federal government.

    Now many so called “militia” members may be overweight, middle aged white guys, but that doesn’t belie the fact that many of them are armed to the teeth and are moving closer and closer to taking some action as they become more and more embolden by the likes of the Hutari group, the approbation given the abortion doctor murderer, and the purposely provocative language used by the likes of Sarah Palin and even congressional Republicans. Think of how many people look upon Tim McVeigh as some kind of hero. It’s not an accident that the proposed armed marches on Washington are scheduled to coincide with McViegh’s bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal building. And you’re going to tell me that they are ALL just fringe nutballs? Give me a break.


  • Baronius

    Mark, skin color isn’t societal change. The internet is. Unemployment is. If you think you see more rage than usual, remember that millions of people have less money, more free time, and internet access.

  • #55

    I understand it perfectly.

  • Mark Schannon

    Roger, 26-28, is raising exactly the questions I’m pondering. I don’t want to generate another discussion about the power of the unconscious and whether or not we can access it directly but there are some, at least, who argue we cannot truly know ourselves. “On Being Certain,” by Robert Burton, M.D.

    At least by looking at our behavior and how others react to us, we can get some sense of how we’re really acting & talking–in the sense of how it’s perceived, not intended.

    So, long way to get to El Bicho’s road apples comment (34) about my not projecting onto others. You may be right…you may be wrong.

    Baronius, RE: “my side is better than your side.” I suppose my article can be read that way, but IF IF IF IF Rich & moi are right, then everyone in this country is going to have to cope with a societal change that dwarfs the ’64 Civil Rights Act.

    That a relatively small fringe reacts with rage should not be a surprise. I shouldn’t have used the word “conservatives” in the subtitle or article–too broad a brush & I apologize for that. I think a lot of moderates and liberals are going to be shaken to their core as well. Gonna be an interesting ride.

    Cannonshop, I agree that the groups you’ve named deserve careful watching. Only thing I’d ask is the motivation behind each of them. Some are simply thugs looking to prey on others. But some, again I’m hypothesizing, are acting out of a sense of loss–of wondering what happened to the America they grew up believing in. They’re acting to take their country back, so I look at them differently than the triads & other gangs.

    I may condemn the violence, wish there was a way to help them deal with their fears, but I wouldn’t combine them with the thugs…or at least some of them. Great, now I’m an apologist for the looney right (note the adjective, please.)

    En fin, the opposition to Obama. I used to think it was pure racism, sorry, but I now think it’s more subtle and complex.
    As I wrote, he’s a powerful symbol of what some people fear–an America that no longer “belongs” to them. Labeling opposition as racially motivated is not only simplistic but misses the more important issues underlying that opposition–or so I’m suggesting.

    A man who can see all sides of an argument is blind.


    In Jameson Veritas

  • Clavos

    Noblesse oblige, Roger.

  • OK, Clavos. It’s good to know you rub elbows with the hoi polloi.

  • Baronius

    Handy, was Frank Rich so delicate and sensitive when he was comparing Bush to Hitler?

  • Clavos

    Your comment still leaves open the question.

    Yes, I mix — very eagerly and well.

  • cannonshop

    #22 Baritone, if you’re going to count “White Militia Groups” as evidence, you’d better start counting the interstate “Minority” groups like MS-13, Gangsta Disciples, Crips, Bloods, Yakuza, Triads, and LCN affiliates, Black Panthers, El Centro La Raza, Latin Kings…

    Get the picture?

    We’ve got FBI worrying about overweight middle-aged men who wanna play rambo in the woods mainly because they’re easy targets-unlike established gangs with ‘racial’ themes, these guys don’t tend to be dangerous to arresting officers.

    (Oh, and douchebags come in all colours of the racial rainbow, Baritone.)

    As for our President, guess what?

    ALL opposition to his policies has been characterized as Racially-motivated since the middle of 2008 *(when he was just Candidate Obama, during the Primaries), the cries of ‘wolf’ are getting ludicrous.

  • It’s almost as though the article had struck a chord, Handy, precisely because it contains an elements of truth. Which is the only way how I can understand such a vehement reaction on the part of some commenters.

    The logical thing to do would be to disavow oneself from the kind of thinking Rich alludes to, or better yet, for the teapartiers themselves to do so if they seriously entertain the ambition of being a viable movement. But it would seem that neither the organizers nor the politicians are particularly keen on dissociating themselves from this insanity.

    And in light of this, I must conclude that thus far, it is in their political interest to have the country divided.

  • Irene Wagner

    …there ALWAYS is, of course, but I’m out of time. Happy Easter to you, too Roger. Et al.

  • Irene Wagner

    Well, Roger, there’s a different peace-making facet of Gandhi—and of course, Jesus Christ, who was his inspiration–for EVERY single person to emulate so as to bring change to his little corner of the world.

    You should look up a you tube on Johnny Lee Clary, the former KKK leader in the video in #36 whom Rev. Wade Watts befriended. Johhny had had a pretty cruddy little life for an eleven year old, kicked out on the streets, and that’s how he was embraced by the Klan. I’m thinking some of the “white trash” needs as much compassion and respect (NOT for what they’ve done–heavens NO, but because they are created in the image of God, and have been beaten up by the world) from the elite whites who make THEM feel inferior.

    It’s harder for me to muster compassion for white and black and tan elitists who have grown up with EVERY social advantage, and make life miserable for all THEIR “inferiors.”
    But of course, being brought up affluently does not mean one was ever shown love and compassion. A very impoverished childhood.

    Well best get going…unless there’s something else to say.

  • Maybe all opinion articles, left or right, are likely to seem unfair and annoying to people who disagree.

    But I just re-read Frank Rich’s column. And calling it “deceptive” or claiming that it brands Republicans as racist seems to me all in the eye of the beholder.

    He says the reaction in some quarters — not all quarters — seems disproportionate to the health care bill’s actual contents.

    And he’s right.

    He points out the similarities in this angry reaction to the emotions in some crowds at McCain-Palin rallies in fall 2008.

    And he’s right. A lot of other people, including myself, noticed this similarity as soon as the tea party movement became visible and audible, first last April and again in the August town halls. Same people, same slogans, same irrational anger.

    So it’s logical to ask what this is about. And the demographic answer Rich proposes makes some sense.

    It doesn’t explain all opposition to Obama. And it doesn’t apply to each and every individual in the tea party or the GOP.

    But Baronius and Nalle and others have reacted as if they believe that is the intention.

    Maybe it’s because Rich is such a good, persuasive writer. If he were less talented, the article wouldn’t be worth so much discussion.

  • Hey, Secret Agent Women. I’m not a saintly man yet. Just live my life, and within my limited interaction with people, I’ve always been a peacemaker. (Well, not always, because you got to stir an individual sometimes to make ’em think; and then you can work with them.)

  • And Happy Easter, BTW.

  • Thanks for coming out of hibernation for a second. The reason this occurred to me, just re-watched the Gandhi movie yesterday, and it made a great impression.

    We certainly could use someone like that today.

  • Irene Wagner

    There, I’ll come out now, it’s getting personal.

    You’re right, to a certain extent. There’s not a whole lot of quelling going on in THESE quarters.

  • Secret Agent Woman

    What are you doing to quell White Rage, Roger?

  • They try to talk around it or pretend it doesn’t exist, but quell?

  • What Am I Chopped Liver?


  • Secret Agent Woman

    No one?

  • Except that no one seems interested in quelling the “White Rage.”

    Perhaps we need someone like Gandhi.

  • Secret Agent Woman

    …yep. Johnny Lee Cary was pretty much of a fringe element, and unfortunately, so is Reverend Watts, amongst people of ALL races.

    But that could always change. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Secret Agent Woman

    Baronius#33…and by way of comparison, Reverend Wade Watts was more effective in quelling White Hot Rage than…a lot of others have been.

    Here’s his former nemesis, pretty funny for a former KKK leader.

  • Baronius,

    It’s doesn’t have to degenerate into that kind of argument if we just admit there is passion and objectionable behavior aplenty on both sides of the divide.

    And I don’t see why you keep on referring to Rich’s column as deceptive if the object of Rich’s criticism was the fringe. If we agree on that, then what was deceptive about it?

  • “Any white person who claims not to be a little unnerved by all this is either denying or lying.”

    That’s a bunch of road apples. Please don’t project onto others.

  • Baronius

    Bar, you know what I hate? I hate being dragged into another “my side is better than your side” argument. But sure enough, I started rattling off examples to counter Mark’s article, and after your reply, I went online and looked up more examples. The problem is, I can’t think of any other way of responding.

    The Big Lie works when it’s repeated often enough, but I don’t think it’s because people start to believe it. I think that people just get tired of refuting it. Do you remember Al Sharpton rallying people who then went and burned down Freddie’s Fashion Mart? Do I have to bring that up every time Frank Rich writes a deceptive column?

  • I don’t know Roger. I’ve never been in one of the situations to which you refer.


  • Do you enjoy it, DM, because you’re an object of natural curiosity to them? And would you equally enjoy it if, for some reason, they thought you “inferior” and you were equally conflicted about your own self-worth?

  • Yet, they were a diverse bunch. We had black drivers, an Egyptian, at least a couple of Indians (eastern) or Pakastanis, a number of Hispanics and even an Asian or two.

    When we were in San Diego last weekend we used two cabs. One driver was from Iraq and the other was from Djibouti. He made us guess where he was from. I got there by a process of elimination. He looked like he was from the Horn of Africa but wasn’t Ethiopian, Eritrean or Somalian. My wife thought that wasn’t fair. She said, “I’ve never even heard of Djibouti!”

  • We live in Panama, in a very rural area where very few speak English. Within a ten mile radius of our farm, there are probably fewer than twenty people who speak English. I speak some and my wife speaks a lot. With my halting Spanish, the place is still quite pleasant and inviting. Being in a minority here is OK with me; actually, I rather enjoy it. For those, and there are many, who speak no Spanish it is probably far less pleasant.

    This article was published today and deals with a new requirement that all applicants for other than short term tourist visas pass an oral and a written test in Spanish. The article provides a link to what it claims is the Spanish language version of the new law.

    I, at least, found the link amusing.


  • Mark makes a great point, however:

    “To date, we white folk have been the dominant group in America, so of course some of us would enjoy mingling.”

    Indeed, it may well be why some of us are more comfortable in a “mixed” environment is precisely because of our sense of superiority: we end up patronizing “the other,” a rather natural (human?) thing to do – just as the nobles of old were quite comfortable and at ease with their peasants, servants, domestics, etc.

    Turn the tables, however, and it may no longer be the same thing.

  • Actually, one can amplify your question and ask: How comfortable is a white man with blacks. I think it’s a fairer question because we Americans had a far greater experience with/exposure to/the black folk than any other ethnic group. This may be a true litmus test.

    Even here, though, we can find significant differences – e.g., black females (less threatening) versus black males (more so); law-observing blacks, solid citizens, etc (again, less threatening) versus drug dealers and “hoodlums.”

  • “”Do you readily mix?” I’d add a question that almost can’t be answered: When you do mix, are the social interactions the same, as comfortable, as when you hang around with your own kind? (Whew, does that sound ugly.)”

    Thanks, Mark, for understanding my meaning. I’d like to add, however, that once a person gets exposed to a multicultural environment – I like the way zing had put it – a “post-cultural” environment – they can grow to be quite comfortable with it. After all, people are people. And it’s not exactly like all the “whites” are going to disappear to cause a great deal of angst.

    Lots depends of course on the individual psychology.

  • My question wasn’t about Miami, Clavos, it was about you.

    Your comment still leaves open the question.

  • Mark Schannon

    Ah Ruvela, I can always count on you to pull the pin…and run. But we do see a very different fellow sitting up there in the White House. To me, he’s a typical Clinton-style moderate…about as liberal as Arch Con, fofl…sorry Arch. Witness his admin’s support of the Bush wiretap extravaganzas which thankfully got clobbered today by a federal judge. (That way, we can keep bashing him without fear of being followed by black helicopters.)

    However, ladies & gents, particularly those who are “comfortable” with multiculturalism. A question: Would you be as comfortable if you were black or Hispanic or Indonesian? To date, we white folk have been the dominant group in America, so of course some of us would enjoy mingling.

    And Roger asks a very important question: “Do you readily mix?” I’d add a question that almost can’t be answered: When you do mix, are the social interactions the same, as comfortable, as when you hang around with your own kind? (Whew, does that sound ugly.)

    But what will it be like when we’re no longer dominant?

    These aren’t rhetorical questions & Ruvy’s right that they’re potentially upsetting. Thought experiment–if even possible: Imagine you’re of a minority ethnic/racial background. (I’ve been on and off wondering about this for years & I’m not sure I can do it.) Then put yourself in an all white setting. Or imagine a white person coming into a group of your folk.

    Zing, I don’t agree that people are uncomfortable because they’re ignorant. I’d argue that it’s a much deeper, unconscious fear reaction to what they perceive as a threatening situation. These kind of reactions are not consciously based & therefore can’t easily, if at all, be addressed by “education” or discussion.

    And despite Ruvy’s attempt to take over my lone truth,

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Clavos

    That’s nice and dandy, Clavos, but the question is – do you readily mix?

    Apparently you haven’t been paying attention, Roger (why am I surprised? You usually listen only to yourself) Miami has become so varied precisely because the overall attitude here is welcoming and inclusive — far more so than most American urban areas.

    Miami is IN the USA, but not OF it.

  • Let’s count the # of right wing militia groups.

    Then, let’s count the left wing militia groups.

    Let’s determine the # of guns in the average conservative household.

    Now let’s do the same for the average progressive home.

    I don’t know the answer to either comparison, but I can guess.

  • Baronius

    Yeah, white-hot rage. Like the guy who brought Molotov cocktails to the Republican Convention? Or the SEIU worker who beat up a reporter while calling him a “nigger”? Or the guy who bit someone’s pinky off at a health care rally? When Alec Baldwin said that we should drag Henry Hyde and his family out of his house and kill them, did anyone ask the head of the DNC to apologize for it?

  • “Interestingly, another aspect of Miami’s multiculturalism is that . . .”

    That’s nice and dandy, Clavos, but the question is – do you readily mix?

  • “So I don’t know if the increasingly cosmopolitan nature of American and (where I come from) European society bothers most white folks – it certainly doesn’t bother me – as much as it seems to bother just about everyone in general.”

    You’re not like “most folks,” Dreadful. Where did you ever get that idea?

  • “Since, I am basically a mutt . . .”

    You underestimate, Christine, the heights of Anglo-Saxon arrogance, American version, especially on the part of the uneducated and poor. They’ve been led to believe they own this country, that it has been given them as their rightful inheritance.

  • “this place is almost post-cultural . . .”

    I like that, zing. A very apt expression.

  • Clavos

    Clav, I imagine that you would perhaps be less “comfortable” if you lived in a largely African community or even in say a heavily Russian or Arab enclave.

    Perhaps so, B-tone, but probably still less so than most Americans, in large part because I’m not solely an American.

    Interestingly, another aspect of Miami’s multiculturalism is that we are host to the second largest colony of Russians in the US. Only New York’s Brighton Beach has more Russian residents. Ours live not far from my neighborhood, in an area called Sunny Isles Beach.

  • Boeke

    Good article. Looks like the old Silent Majority has become the Noisy Minority.

    It even provoked an amusing comment from Ruvy.

  • Mark,

    I’m not even touching the content of this one. It’s like as damned grenade. If you don’t handle it carefully, it’ll blow up in your hands.

    Let’s pull the pin anyway. I love (some) explosions.

    Take that symbol of change who presides over you. He is a mutt in many ways. He’s a true African-American – his daddy is from the Luo tribe in Kenya. His mom was white. For all of his “left-wing” ideological training under Saul Alinsky, he has the mind of a white Harvard elitist, and has bought into representing the banking and insurance establishment in your country.

    In other words, he is screwing you all over because you, in his eyes, are not his social or intellectual equals. And he has solidified the fascist economic order his white Protestant Anglo-Saxon predecessor established in September 2008 to prevent the collapse of the established order that has so benefited Yalies (like Bush) and Harvard men (like Obama) for over two centuries.

    And now, having thrown the grenade – I GOTTA RUN!!!!

    In gunpowder veritaaaaas!

  • I may be wrong, but it seems to me that there is less racial divisiveness in large metropolitan areas having large and varied cultural/racial histories as discussed above than in less integrated areas of the country. The “melting pot” has not been evenly stirred.

    My wife and I spent about 5 days in NYC over Christmas. Zing is correct that NYC maybe the most multi-cultural city in the US. We used a # of car services and a few cabs during our stay, and I don’t believe we had one “white” driver. Yet, they were a diverse bunch. We had black drivers, an Egyptian, at least a couple of Indians (eastern) or Pakastanis, a number of Hispanics and even an Asian or two. I can’t remember seeing any whites working in a service capacity anywhere – at restaurants, at the MOMA, at Rock Center, at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, groceries, drug stores, etc. Virtually all were people of color and/or of obviously varied ethnic backgrounds. I should add, too, that all of our drivers were men.

    Here in Indy, I don’t know the numbers, but whites still reign in the majority, yet there has been a definite shift with many areas of the city becoming strongly hispanic.

    Clav, I imagine that you would perhaps be less “comfortable” if you lived in a largely African community or even in say a heavily Russian or Arab enclave. Your particular cultural duality is a perfect fit for Miami.

    I think Mark has hit the nail on the head. What is driving much of the heated discourse in this country is not so much racial hatred per se, than simply the fear of the unknown and the fear of change, of which Obama is a markedly visible symbol.

    I doubt that humans will ever fully overcome their racial and cultural fears unless and until all races and cultures are assimilated into one, indiscernible “mutt.”


  • zingzing

    jesus. the reason why people are UNCOMFORTABLE living in a multicultural milieu is because they’re ignorant. don’t be patting yourself on the back for being cosmopolitan. it’s just the modern world. it’s the way life is in america. everyone here has to live in multiple cultures, except if you’re a backwards hick who never leaves home.

  • Clavos


    I think the shared experience of having lived in more than one culture is unquestionably why we’re both comfortable in a multicultural milieu.

    Miami IS not only one of the largest cities in LatAm, it is also the financial center of the region. Most of the prominent Latin American banks now have substantial branches (in many cases multiple ones) here, and much of Latin America’s money is deposited here.

    We are also the pre-eminent airline hub for Latin America; people literally do fly here to connect to other LatAm cities.

  • Clavos (@ #1):

    I already live in a city of minorities. Fresno is about 40% Latino, 37% white, 8% African-American and the rest is a hodge-podge of others. Then there are the Hispanic people who are also Native American, the black people who are also Polynesian, etc etc etc.

    Unlike Miami, however, which is – what? – the third-largest city in Latin America, Fresno is rather ghettoized, with each ‘race’ tending to live in its own district. So you’ll rarely see a non-white face in the north of the city, you’ll rarely see a non-Latino face downtown, and you’ll rarely see a non-black face in parts of the west side.

    So I don’t know if the increasingly cosmopolitan nature of American and (where I come from) European society bothers most white folks – it certainly doesn’t bother me – as much as it seems to bother just about everyone in general.

  • zingzing

    “BTW, 51% of the people in this county were born in another country.”

    i’ve often maintained that american culture isn’t deep (compared to that of other countries), but it is wide. it’s got girth. whatever you think of american culture, there’s some part of it you’ve never experienced.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “You forget I was born and raised in Mexico, zing. I am most definitely bicultural…”

    i’m not questioning the fact that you’re bicultural. i’m questioning that it’s your bicultural-ness that leads you to enjoy multicultural life. although, from what you say, it’s the proximity of your bicultural experience to your bicultural living situation that leads you to enjoy it, which is the opposite of what i thought you were saying. so forgive me for that.

    i’d say that my being born in the south to midwestern parents and living in multicultural new york is a product of the schizophrenic upbringing i enjoyed. i was never quite in place in the south in a way, but i wasn’t in place when i lived in seattle either. but in new york, no one is quite in place. so it feels like home to me (or at least, it’s beginning to feel that way.)

    i think it’s because of the mix of cultures in america that we enjoy the culture that we have. it changes drastically from place to place. other than a common language (and even that is suspect), “american” culture in the south is completely different from the midwest or the southwest or the northwest or the northeast, etc, etc.

    the only “culture” that pervades across america is hick culture. that doesn’t seem to change much. if there’s any majority in the united states of america, it’s the hick. it crosses the racial divide. now that’s something to think about.

  • In fact IMO, they should have added a new category to the Census (all other forms for that matter)….MUTT!

  • Since, I am basically a mutt (Spanish – Delgado, Greek – Lakatos, and French – Gurule, mixed in with a few other things), I am not quite sure where we mutts (which I am sure there are many) fit into your equation.

  • Clavos

    it’s not because you’re bicultural, clavos. you just live there.

    You forget I was born and raised in Mexico, zing. I am most definitely bicultural, and I think that’s why I like it here, where the Latino culture is definitely dominant.

    BTW, 51% of the people in this county were born in another country.

  • icarus

    “Any white person who claims not to be a little unnerved by all this is either denying or lying.”

    Not true – Many white people aren’t unnerved at all about becoming a minority. I’m white, and not bothered a bit. White people are still everywhere. Big whoop.

  • zingzing

    it’s not because you’re bicultural, clavos. you just live there. the demographic makeup of brooklyn is 36% white, 36% black, 8% latino (i think that’s a bit of a low estimate, but i do live in a latino neighborhood), and a smattering of shitloads of other cultures. still, there are no monolingual areas, because this place is almost post-cultural. one of the biggest reasons for this is that 37% of the population is foreign-born. and they come from all over. there really is no dominant culture in brooklyn. it changes block to block. that’s why so many people move here.

    “One thing I’ve read is that when whites are no longer the majority, there actually won’t be a single group (race?) of people who will be a majority; we will be a nation of minorities.”

    if there’s no majority, there’s no minority! say goodbye to minorities!

  • Mark

    Ban intra-racial procreation. People of color — Fuck Whitey…literally.

  • Clavos

    Interesting, well written article, Mark.

    One thing I’ve read is that when whites are no longer the majority, there actually won’t be a single group (race?) of people who will be a majority; we will be a nation of minorities.

    Interestingly, we whites who live in Miami-Dade county already know what it’s like to be a minority; Latinos comprise 65% of the population (and growing – rapidly, from immigration), while whites are only 20%. Only American-born blacks are a smaller group, at 12%.

    Our political class is overwhelmingly Spanish-surnamed, and entire swaths of the city are monolingual – in Spanish, not English. Spanish language TV stations outnumber those broadcasting in English (excluding cable stations).

    Perhaps it’s because I’m bicultural, but it doesn’t bother me, I rather like it, it results in a much less “American” culture here, and the net result is a much more laid back attitude, with much less attention being paid to such aspects of Americanism as political correctness, patriotism, and American Exceptionalism — it’s all very refreshing.