Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"Great" Means "White"

As the Republican Convention unfolds, certain loudmouths are given the stage. One of them is Steve King, a member of the House of Representatives from Iowa. Consider the following story from the New York Daily News:

One Iowa congressman may not know history, but he’ll go down in it for his ignorance.
Rep. Steve King, known for his racially charged remarks, said Monday that non-white “subgroups” have not contributed to civilization.

Responding to writer Charlie Pierce’s MSNBC panel comments about “old white people” running the Republican Party, King preached his own race’s supremacy.

“I would ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?” the Republican said.

“Than white people?” moderator Chris Hayes interjected.

“Than Western civilization itself that's rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America, and every place where Christianity settled the world," King replied.

And, as a corollary to that thought, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan sent out a picture of himself yesterday, with what he figured were "the most number of Capitol Hill interns in a single selfie." You'll notice that there is not one person of colour in the photograph.

When Donald Trump proclaims that he will make America great again, there is a clear subtext. Great means white. He'll build walls to keep non-whites out. It's those folks who drive Republicans crazy -- because they know that white people are well on their way to minority status in the United States.

Trump and modern Republicans forget that it was their hero, Ronald Reagan, who urged that The Wall be torn down. And it was another Republican president -- Dwight Eisenhower -- who said, "Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him."

Image: theguardian.com


The Mound of Sound said...

The Republicans have overtly doubled down on the white vote, Owen. They still see their constituency as a oneness completely overlooking the growing generational divide. The young, white vote is being bled off to the Left, hopefully laying the foundation for some progressive restoration. The Republicans, now having embraced "the wall" as official GOP policy, are distancing themselves from the regenerative demographic, young people. I can sense a frustration at knowing they simply cannot connect with large segments of the electorate and choosing, instead, to reinforce their shrinking base.

Owen Gray said...

That's the same strategy Stephen Harper followed in the last election, Mound. The mindset crosses borders.

Dana said...

I think it highly likely that Trump will be potus but will have a split Congress.

In 2012 voter turnout was 53.6% of eligibles. This year distaste for either major party candidate could push that number lower which would benefit Trump because his voters are more motivated than Clinton's. If the disillusioned Bernie kids follow through with their threat to vote Trump or stay home that would have an effect too. Disillusioned Republicans will probably not amount to much of anything because if there's one thing Republicans excel at it's holding fast to their illusions.

We'll see come November but right now I'm anticipating President Trump and an international shiver of horror accompanied by a warm congratulatory call from Putin.

Buckle up.

Owen Gray said...

I fear you may be right, Dana. Given what's happening in Europe and the Middle East, a President Trump would be confirmation that we have entered a New Dark Age.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

It was the Greeks Owen who were responsible for creating the intellectual foundation that became western civilization, not as Kings says white christians. Western Civilization rooted in The United States of America? Give me a break! The USA is the most anti-intellectual culture in the world. I like the way he refers to non-whites as "these other categories of people." Only an ignorant buffoon like King, in 21st century America would be given a platform to spew his racist rhetoric and try to pass this rhetoric off as knowledge. I see the ignorance and hostility toward serious thought, the intellectual bankruptcy of America, as communicated by the GOP, as a prelude to a new dark age.

Steve said...

I am a white people and I am ashamed that we are not doing the white thing on climate change and almost every file that exists. White people have been giving white people a bad name for alt least 2000 years.

Owen Gray said...

If Dana's prediction is right, Pam, we will have, indeed, entered a New Dark Age.

Owen Gray said...

No race has cornered the market on virtue, Steve. And no race has done the same for barbarism. But people like Mr. King wallow happily in their ignorance.

Steve said...

The race thing is a poodle. No one says its bad to choose a German Shepard to guard your house instead of a poodle.

Owen Gray said...

It can also be a junk yard dog, Steve.