March 18, 2016

"Are you white?"

That's from the NYT, which seems to be forefronting whiteness these days. (I wonder why. Trying to get the jump on Trump? Isn't this unhealthily racial? Trump never mentions white people, does he? It's the people who are worried about Trump who talk about white people. Should they be doing that? I know they must feel it's okay because they're known to be so solidly liberal, but there's something wrong with that feeling, in my book.) 

Here's the article, "'Bro'-liferation," which begins:
Are you a young or youngish man who prefers the company of other men? Platonically, platonically. (For the most part.) Are you currently wearing — or have you ever worn — baggy shorts? A baseball cap? A polo shirt? White sneakers? Sunglasses on your head? All at the same time? Are you white? And these other men whose company you enjoy, do you guys drink and watch sports together? Are they white, too?...
Then there's "As Hillary Clinton Sweeps States, One Group Resists: White Men," by Patrick Healy. The article is illustrated with a photograph of what I assume is the NYT's idea of a typical Hillary-resistant white man. Is he old? Is he sitting at a bar? Is he alone? Is he drinking a beer? Is he wondering where's his America? I inferred the last question. The answer to all the other questions is, naturally, yes.
In dozens of interviews in diners, offices and neighborhoods across the country, many white male Democrats expressed an array of misgivings, with some former supporters turning away from her now.... [M]ost said they simply did not think Mrs. Clinton cared about people like them.

“She’s talking to minorities now, not really to white people, and that’s a mistake,” said Dennis Bertko, 66, a construction project manager in Youngstown, Ohio, as he sipped a draft beer at the Golden Dawn Restaurant in a downtrodden part of town. “She could have a broader message. We would have listened. Instead, she’s talking a lot about continuing Obama’s policies,” he said. “I just don’t necessarily agree with all of the liberal ideas of Obama.”
I can't tell if Bertko brought up whiteness or if he said "white people" because he was asked. It seems as though he's saying he doesn't like racial politics, the appeals to subgroups, and would prefer a "broader," inclusive message that grouped everyone together, not that he wanted special attention for white people.
Mr. Bertko said that he rarely crossed party lines but that he voted for Donald J. Trump, who is making a strong pitch to disaffected white men by assailing free-trade agreements that Mrs. Clinton once supported. “I know a lot of guys who are open to Trump,” he said.
Again, see my point? Did Bertko bring up a "strong pitch to disaffected white men," or did the NYT insert that amplification into the center of what Bertko did say, which is that he and guys he knows are "open to Trump"? I'm guessing it's the latter, and that's unfair to Bertko, and it feels to me like intentional anti-Trump propaganda.
[S]ome Democratic leaders say the party needs white male voters to win the presidency, raise large sums of money and, like it or not, maintain credibility as a broad-based national coalition. To win a general election, Mrs. Clinton would rely most heavily on strong turnout from blacks, Hispanics, women and older voters. Though she won among white men in Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee, and tied in Texas, some Democratic officials and pollsters say they fear that without a stronger strategy, Mrs. Clinton could perform as poorly among white men as Walter Mondale, who drew just 32 percent in 1984, or even George McGovern, who took 31 percent in 1972.

“Her most serious relationship problem is with white men, on a policy issue front but also stylistically, and she is at real risk for running worse than the average Democrat with white males,” said Peter Hart, a veteran Democratic pollster.
So, the analysts speak frankly and openly about the need to win over white people. Somehow that's still socially acceptable. How different the commentators would sound if they didn't feel free to talk about everyone's race!

Do the candidates ever openly talk about white people? I think that's not socially acceptable. Even Donald Trump, who flouts "political correctness," doesn't say "white people." He may brag "Muslims love me" or "The Hispanic people love me," but I don't think he ever says "White people love me." I mean, if he did, a huge deal would be made of it.

Anyway, apparently, Hillary's people know she needs to get white men, and the NYT wants to help her. Lord knows what will get written in this effort. Let's notice.

104 comments:

mikee said...

Hillary, the bitter, angry, lying and crazy ex-wife in the campaign and the vengeance-seeking enabler of her own shame in real life, has the primary and the election sewn up, with enough bought, coerced or, hell, even some actual, supporters to win in the reliably Dem states, and enough corrupt vote counters in the other states to guarantee her win.

Picking on white heterosexual men is the only PC racism allowed anymore. Don't chide the media for engaging in their only allowed sport.

Quaestor said...

Just a special case of Left-Liberal antianerism. This time coupled with racism.

Parr for the course at the NYT.

Terry said...

This is BS that goes back to the "old" democrat party created by Jackson to preserve the Southern institution of slavery. The NYT simply cannot conceive of policies that are equally good for men and women, and minorities and whites. Any policy must favor one group by disfavoring another group.

Owen said...

This will be very interesting. I just opened Shelby Steele's 2015 book "Shame: How America's Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country" in which he explores the White Liberal Guilt phenomenon and how it has crippled both the "guilty" white liberals and the blacks whom they seek to help. The former are so terrified of being labeled racists that they must find it on every street corner (very like hunting witches, I expect: be the first to denounce the rest!). And they must demonstrate their freedom from racism by constantly discriminating on the basis of race, defending set-asides and quotas whether openly or under the rubric of "diversity." Meanwhile those that they claim to help are seduced to play the same game, claim victimhood, begin to see racism in every rock and tree. Even those who resist the game will suffer because their credentials are seen as inflated.

So that's the game as Steele sees it, and it's been going on for nigh on 50 years. I don't know how it ends.

bgates said...

Democratic leaders say the party needs white male voters...like it or not

Not for much longer, comrades. Not for much longer.

n.n said...

Shame on you. Vote for me. Yeah, that will work.

Liberal retains its logical meaning: variable or selective.

Oh, well. Choose your corruption.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I used to be white but the broken capillaries on my face now make me a sort of angry-looking pink with tinges of purple.

damikesc said...

I hope Trump campaigns on the viciously anti-male stance of the Dems. It needs to be brought up. The constant "War on Women" meme. The college rape nonsense. Mention the racism as well. Blaming all of society's faults on whites is quite bigoted.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The NYT, lead example of what is wrong with this Country today.

The Drill SGT said...

FWIW Obama got 35% of the White Male vote in 2012

Left Bank of the Charles said...

This article is really about who Hillary should pick as VP. It's message is don't pick Sanders, Warren, or one of the Castro brothers.

bgates said...

have you ever worn — baggy shorts? A baseball cap? A polo shirt? White sneakers? Sunglasses on your head? All at the same time

Like this guy?

You know, now that you mention it, he seems to prefers the company of other men. Platonically, platonically. (For the most part.)

bgates said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Owen said...

bates said "have you ever worn…Like this guy?"

Threadwinner!

Birkel said...

The party of the KKK, Woodrow Wilson, FDRs internment camps, Jim Crow and all the current rationalist arguments might get a pass because they are sufficiently "liberal" -AND- Althouse annotate surmise the problem?

Althouse, the problem is anybody who gives progressive, illiberal Democrats a pass on their constant racism. Hollywood confessed its racism. Universities are claiming their own racism.

Acknowledge what is plain.

Fernandinande said...

Are you a young or youngish man who prefers the company of other men?
"And the boys they would much rather be with the boys
Than with girls like Billary"


Are you currently wearing [blah blah]
N,N,N,N,N,N,Y,N,Y.

Rick said...

as he sipped a draft beer at the Golden Dawn Restaurant in a downtrodden part of town.

How interesting the reporter went looking for the story in this particular restaurant. Golden Dawn is the Greek anti-immigration party commonly referred to as neo-Nazi by left wing critics (maybe they actually are - I have no idea). The NYT has reported on them many times, are they using the association to advance their message white men against Hillary are neo-Nazis? Slimy.

madAsHell said...

She doesn't even have the vote of her husband.

Paul said...

"Any policy must favor one group by disfavoring another group."

Of course. The foundational principal of Marxist ideology is the struggle between the oppressor and the oppressed. Everything is seen through that prism by Marxists and the left is fundamentally Marxist and thus anti-American by definition.

Meade said...

White Lies Matter.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Rick said...

How interesting the reporter went looking for the story in this particular restaurant. Golden Dawn is the Greek anti-immigration party...

Yeah, I was just going to comment on that. The choice of restaurant was not a coincidence.

traditionalguy said...

Trump is a Frank-Saxon mongrel. Using his pink skin and reddish hair color is an easy ID trick, but what gets people's attention is his intelligence and his stubbornness. Subjugating that type of man worries opponents assigned the impossible task.

Like another Frank-Saxon mongrel, called William the Conqueror, Trump's type has unified his worried conquered opponents.

Did you see McCain's trainee, Graham, suddenly go all in for Lying Ted that last month he said every Senator wanted to see dead. Now that is a miracle.

mezzrow said...

Reading this makes me wonder how the NYT will progress through the stages of grief that are currently passing through the Republican party. If Trump looks as though he might actually win, somebody's going to have to go out there and do something about it, eh?

It'll be white people's fault when it happens too, so I'm getting ready to feel guilty about that, I guess. I happen to be white, but there's never been much I could do about that. Until recently, I hadn't noticed how important and significant this fact seems to be to lots of people whom I've never met. I wonder if other older white males (Meade and I are contemporaries) who voted for Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton (twice), and Al Gore are feeling this way. November is still a long way away, and a lot can happen in eight months, though.

Are you reading Scott Adams' blog? The professor and I are.

AprilApple said...

The NYT is full of wealthy white corruption supporting liberals.


next....

YoungHegelian said...

Though she won among white men in Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee....

Wait! She won white men in those states when? In the 2008 Democratic primaries? In the 2012 primaries? She may have won the few white males registered as Democrats in those states, but that's a really, really small subset of the white men, since Southern males overwhelmingly register Republican.

It just isn't clear from the article.

dbp said...

When Republicans fail to get a majority of women to vote for them, this is a Republican problem. When Men fail to vote for Democrats, this is a problem with men--well, white men.

holdfast said...

You know, now that you mention it, he seems to prefers the company of other men. Platonically, platonically. (For the most part.)"

Don't worry Reggie Love, he said "for the most part".

Ann Althouse said...

"This will be very interesting. I just opened Shelby Steele's 2015 book "Shame: How America's Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country" in which he explores the White Liberal Guilt phenomenon and how it has crippled both the "guilty" white liberals and the blacks whom they seek to help. The former are so terrified of being labeled racists that they must find it on every street corner (very like hunting witches, I expect: be the first to denounce the rest!). And they must demonstrate their freedom from racism by constantly discriminating on the basis of race, defending set-asides and quotas whether openly or under the rubric of "diversity." Meanwhile those that they claim to help are seduced to play the same game, claim victimhood, begin to see racism in every rock and tree. Even those who resist the game will suffer because their credentials are seen as inflated."

I think part of Trump's appeal is that he had the courage to say things that got him called racist and he didn't back down. That's an appeal that depends -- for most (not all) — on his not actually being racist.

I don't think he is a racist, unless you pick an expansive meaning of the term. Under one definition, we're all unavoidably racist. But I suspect the NYT would choose the definition that makes Republicans but not Democrats racist. If that's what's going on, then Trump deserves credit for showing that the terrible label, racist, isn't as effective as the people who are excessively afraid of it think.

But what if Trump really is a racist? Well, that's the fear they'd like you to nurture. Worry enough that he's not worth the risk (even if you are inclined to like whatever else he seems to be offering).

HoodlumDoodlum said...

So what these (anti-Hillary) men are saying, in essence, is that they think the President out to believe that "All Lives Matter?"

Troubling!

holdfast said...

Playing with the Boys Lyrics by Kenny Logins


I'd say it was the right time
To walk away
When dreaming takes you nowhere
It's time to play
Bodies working overtime
Your money don't matter
The clock keeps ticking
When someone's on your mind

I'm moving in slow motion
Feels so good
It's a strange anticipation
Knock, knock, knocking on wood
Bodies working overtime
Man against man
And all that ever matters
Is baby who's ahead in the game
Funny but it's always the same

[Chorus]
Playing, playing with the boys
Playing, playing with the boys
After chasing sunsets
One of life's simple joys
Is playing with the boys

Said it was the wrong thing
For me to do
I said it's just a boys' game
Girls play too
My heart is working overtime
In this kind of game
Someone gets hurt
I'm afraid that someone is me
If you want to find me, I'll be
Playing with the boys

I don't want to be the moth around your fire
I don't want to be obsessed by your desire
I'm ready, I'm leaving
I've seen enough
I've got to go
You play too rough

Michael K said...

"it feels to me like intentional anti-Trump propaganda. "

OMG! In the NY Times ? Could;t be.

Nonapod said...

Guilt is perhaps the most important tool of the Progressive. If you've been successful in life and are wanting for very little materially speaking, what can motivate you to support a larger, more expansive government? If you believe that a large part of your success had nothing to do with you but was a factor of "winning the genetic lottery" so to speak, then you're more amenable to supporting ideas that level the playing field so to speak.

The problem for Democrats is that that sort of thing doesn't work on blue collar white dudes who have been struggling lately. You can't go around (implicitly or explicitly) blaming white men for everything that's wrong with the world then expect them to line up to support you when they've been suffering too.

Skeptical Voter said...

What in God's name does the combo of baggy shorts, baseball cap on backwards, sun glasses on head (the idiot's delight uniform) have to do with anything?

If Trump wins in November (and that's a big "if"), I want to own the travel agency that will book tickets for the entire New York Times staff as they move to Canada. Heckfire, I would do the country a public service and buy give them their tickets for free.

holdfast said...

I feel like this should be the song thread. I won't post another full set of lyrics, but Ann's comment above reminded me of "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" from Avenue Q, and "Living on a Prayer" and "It's My Life", both by Bon Jovi. Actually, I think the last would be a good song for the Trump campaign:

This is for the ones who stood their ground
For Tommy and Gina who never backed down
Tomorrow's getting harder make no mistake
Luck ain't even lucky
Got to make your own breaks

http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/rockstar/livingonaprayer.htm

"http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/avenueq/everyonesalittlebitracist.htm

http://www.stlyrics.com/songs/b/bonjovijonbonjovi612/itsmylife28424.html

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...If that's what's going on, then Trump deserves credit for showing that the terrible label, racist, isn't as effective as the people who are excessively afraid of it think.

YEEEESSSS! Yes.
Trump seems to get that the right way to respond to a false accusation of racism isn't the one we normally see. The same is true for false accusations of sexism, homophobia, and any other bigotries, too. I don't know if it's a calculated strategy on his part of if it's just his instinctive reaction, but if his candidacy does nothing else positive for the Right (and it very well may not!) then they ought to at least benefit from his lesson.

The proper response to someone falsely accusing you of racism isn't "oh no, no, I'm not racist, here's all the proof I'm not, here's why you should change you opinion of me, I'm so sorry I did something that made you get the wrong impression since you're obviously judging me objectively and in good faith--please, please, please forgive me!"
The proper response is "Screw you, you mendacious asshole. I'm not racist and I don't accept your characterization, you're a lying manipulative jerk attempting to use a false accusation to shut down debate. I don't apologize since I didn't do anything wrong and I don't care if you claim to be offended. Fuck off."

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

All this BLM protests and racist talk is for the Dems and their supporters to poison the well for Trump and black voters.The anxiety the white working class is feeling is much worse in the black community. Illegal have taken much more from blacks than whites.

Trump has a unique ability to break off a substantial chunk of the black working (or want to work) class.

That prospect must terrify the Dems.

Fernandinande said...

AprilApple said...
The NYT is full of wealthy white corruption supporting liberals.


Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim Becomes Top Owner of New York Times

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Skeptical Voter said...
What in God's name does the combo of baggy shorts, baseball cap on backwards, sun glasses on head (the idiot's delight uniform) have to do with anything?


Imagine for a moment that a different group of people (Latino women, say) had been identified by their stereotypical dress or mannerisms in this way. Would the NYTimes have allowed it? Of course not, that'd be racist.

"Those people all dress alike/look alike" is only ok for certain values of "those people." Funny, that.

Sebastian said...

"I wonder why" Faux wonderment, right? I appreciate you "noticing" things and all, but . . .

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Are you currently wearing — or have you ever worn - ...Sunglasses on your head?

Well where the hell else are you going to wear them?

Birkel said...

Illiberal racists, like those employed at the NYT, attempt to control the past in order to control the current narrative and therefore the future.

The racism of Democrats stretching back 200 years must be denied. Andrew Jackson marching Native Americans on The Trail of Tears. Chief Justice Robert Taney. Woodrow Wilson. FDR. Jim Crow laws. LBJ.

Democrats have always been racists.

campy said...

"Hillary, the bitter, angry, lying and crazy ex-wife in the campaign and the vengeance-seeking enabler of her own shame in real life, has the primary and the election sewn up, with enough bought, coerced or, hell, even some actual, supporters to win in the reliably Dem states, and enough corrupt vote counters in the other states to guarantee her win."

Yep. Sadly.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Like President Obama, I reject your racist profiling of me as "part white", because as everyone knows I have long identified with my indigenous Celtic roots. Indigenous for the win.

YoungHegelian said...

Okay, here's my brilliant idea, as suggested by The Prof. & Hoodlum above:

The pundits are all trying to figure out who Trump is like, historically speaking. Some say George Wallace, some William Jennings Bryant, some say Andrew Jackson, some Hitler.

Well, I've got another historical figure to suggest: Pope John Paul II, with his "Don't not be afraid" campaign in Eastern Europe under the Soviets. JPII stood up & said what everyone thought to themselves -- this is an awful & fucked-up regime. He told the people of Eastern Europe "We in the west know you live in utter misery. You know you live in misery. Get together & do something about it. There's a lot more of you than there is of them."

Trump, too, is running a "The Emperor has no Clothes/Do not be afraid" campaign. "You know you're not a racist, you know that the reason the minorities are a mess is because anyone who behaves like that is a mess, you know that if we don't close the borders we'll all be campesinos living on beans & tortillas. There, I've said it, and I'm still here, rich & successful. You, too, can tell the chattering classes to fuck off."

I think there's something to this analogy, but then I would because it's mine.

You'll excuse me now. I have to get some of my liberal Catholic friends to the emergency room since they're going into cardiac arrest.

rhhardin said...

White means white male. Women are minorities.

rhhardin said...

The Emperor Has No Clothes is a story with a hidden meaning about the hidden.

rehajm said...

This morning perpetual Clinton shill Roger Altman was making the argument that because of racial demographics the Democratic candidate starts with 242 electoral votes. while the Republican starts with 108. Somewhere deep in the Clinton skunkworks there's a data set arguing some part of those 28 votes is locked within white males and needs to be extracted.

rhhardin said...

Trump is favored by candid males.

Paul said...

"Guilt is perhaps the most important tool of the Progressive."

Which goes hand in hand with self loathing.

Imagine the American white male progressive. He ticks all the boxes for the evil oppressor class...American (capitalist, imperialist, racist), white (racist slave holder), male (misogynist, patriarchist), but he's PROGRESSIVE so he projects all his self loathing onto the hated pro American, pro Western Civilization conservatives.

It's a psychological shitstorm. Progressives cannot possibly be healthy, normal human beings. This is deliberate result of the Soviet propaganda campaign to weaken America as described by Yuri Besmenov, the highest ranking KGB defector.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX3EZCVj2XA

Everyone should watch his interviews on YouTube.

Hagar said...

The Democrats' incessant emphasis on voting blocs is a silent admission that they are not going to win on policies.

If a spaceship from the planet Gallifrey landed on earth, Donald Trump would ask if they might be interested in investing in a casino he happens to have for sale to the right party.

rcocean said...

The worst vote for Hillary is YOUNG white men. Not old guys sitting in bars in a bad part of town.

I don't know a single white guy under 30 that would vote for Hillary. They're all Bernie Bros, and most will sit out the election rather than vote for her.

rcocean said...

Basically whites are supposed to not think of themselves as a voting block or have group interests. We're not supposed to vote on the basis of "Is it good for white people?" Meanwhile, jews, blacks, hispanics, etc. are not not criticized for voting on the basis of ethnic solidarity, they are praised for it.

This is what happens in multi-cultural societies. People start voting based on tribal loyalty rather than policy or "what's good for the country?" Its why the power elite loves it. Divide and conquer.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Thank God for all this racial healing of the past 8 years!

sydney said...

You, too, can tell the chattering classes to fuck off

This is the root of Trump's appeal.

YoungHegelian said...

@rcocean,

Basically whites are supposed to not think of themselves as a voting block or have group interests

The ultimate result of identity politics is a resurgence of white power.

Classical liberalism thought that all judgements on groups was flawed. Judgements had to be based on individuals & their individual behavior as free moral agents, see MLK, "content of their character...". But, identity politics takes judgements about groups and makes it the center of their political analysis. Thus, a judgement such as "All white people are necessarily racist", which classical liberalism would reject as formally & factually invalid, is seen as not only formally permissible, but necessary by modern identity politics.

Thus, with the categorical judgement freed to wreak its havoc, the whites turn on the minorities & say "You say that white culture is all fucked up, but, really, it's you guys' cultures which are all fucked up. If you guys are so freakin' wonderful, then why have we been able to oppress you for hundreds of years?"

Identity politics, unlike classical liberalism, ultimately presents whites with two choices -- cut your own throat or develop a racial identity. Guess which one will win out if we don't get rid of identity politics?

Carol said...

White liberals loathe black culture...who attends Celtic, "Americana" and "roots" music concerts? SWPL. Right out of Portlandia. How many of these silly bluegrass festivals are held every year in this country?

Poor Ken Burns, did so much to stoke a renewed interest in jazz, convince people it was a black art form, and then what do they do? Escape. And everyone hates rap of course.

A friend was starting up (yet another) bluegrass group, and I told her they should call it White Flight. Heh.

chickelit said...

Althouse wrote: Anyway, apparently, Hillary's people know she needs to get white men, and the NYT wants to help her. Lord knows what will get written in this effort. Let's notice.

Apparent to whom? I don't see any knowledge on Hillary's part (let alone "efforts" you anticipate). She's oblivious to it all.

Fernandinande said...

I almost never read any of the bird-cage liner the NYT cranks out, but read the comments:

"Oh stop this please! I've got to leave to go to my drum circle now...bro!"

chickelit said...

Rodham appeals more the pro-state than to the prostate.

Anthony said...

Because they're racist.

AllenS said...

That was brilliant, chick. @ 11:25

Owen said...

Young Hegelian: you're doing some good work here.

What IS the sexy in identity politics? My guess: it seduces individuals who need an excuse. Most of us do, or are tempted to seek one, at one time or another. But once we succumb, and tell ourselves it's the system that screwed us, it gets easier to do it again, harder to regain the original ground.

This pathology is universal, but at any given time certain people are more susceptible. And since the whole program of identity politics is based on specious attributes such as color, gender, origin, etc., it picks off people who can use those attributes as the (often false) causality of their misery.

And since it is a one-way function, here we are.

Terry said...

Blogger AprilApple said...
The NYT is full of wealthy white corruption supporting liberals.

I dunno, AprilApple. I can't find the link now, but I once read an essay by an NYT writer who mentioned going to a meeting where a person was exasperated by the POV of an editorial. This person asked "is there anyone at this table who is not female, or Black, or Jewish, or gay?" and no one raised a hand.

YoungHegelian said...

@Owen,

Thanks for the compliment. As I've said before, it's often hard to tell the difference between having a new & good idea & a need to up one's medication.

My guess: it seduces individuals who need an excuse. Most of us do, or are tempted to seek one, at one time or another.

Yep, & if you want to absolutely destroy a human being's moral agency, tell him every day of his life since birth, that everything that's wrong with him is someone else's fault.

Meade said...

"Rodham appeals more the pro-state than to the prostate."

No Country for Old Prostates
.

The Cracker Emcee said...

The problem with the whole White guilt thing is that White people don't care. Not in any essential way. Not so long as they're getting theirs. Yes, they'll make the noises, cast the vote, attend the rally but even the most ardent white middle-class SJW doesn't really care. Crack was right about that.

chickelit said...

Meade wrote...No Country for Old Prostates

Meade, I think you've got it bass ackwards: No prostates for old country.

Real American said...

leftists hate white men. if you're a white man then you're a fool to vote for them.

Sebastian said...

@Owen & YH: "What IS the sexy in identity politics? My guess: it seduces individuals who need an excuse . . . This pathology is universal, but at any given time certain people are more susceptible. And since the whole program of identity politics is based on specious attributes such as color, gender, origin, etc., it picks off people who can use those attributes as the (often false) causality of their misery" Just to add to the General Theory emerging here: identity politics is the safety valve or meritocracy. In meritocracy, people rise or fall on their ability, skill, and performance. Therefore, your failure is YOUR failure. Therefore, more people need more excuses to soften the blows. Therefore, demand for identity politics rises, even as actual mobility of previously excluded groups also rises. And demand from previously "privileged" groups also rises. Corollary: the more specious the characteristic, the more effective the identity politicking, since it "proves" that it is NOT ABOUT YOU. (Not saying society is fully meritocratic etc. etc.)

Hagar said...

It is a thought that struck me that black slaves were dependent on the plantation owners to take care of them, then as sharecroppers, the landowners, and after the "great migration" the big city ward bosses. Black people would be better off if they could break through that, quit responding to politicians promising to "fight for them," and rather tell the politicians to get out of the way so that they can fight for themselves.

Van Wallach said...

The Times is helping Hillary to bear the white man's burden -- or, perhaps more aptly, the burden of white men.

Owen said...

Sebastian: "Corollary: the more specious the characteristic, the more effective the identity politicking,…"

Interesting and maybe important. I had not considered undertaking a dose-ranging study of the drug.

Anglelyne said...

HoodlumDoodlum: The proper response is "Screw you, you mendacious asshole. I'm not racist and I don't accept your characterization, you're a lying manipulative jerk attempting to use a false accusation to shut down debate. I don't apologize since I didn't do anything wrong and I don't care if you claim to be offended. Fuck off."

A simple "fuck off" works better. The above is still half-way buried in defensive mode.

People really, really need to break themselves of succumbing to that impulse. "Fuck off", and an immediate move to offense. Only way to go.

Jonathan Graehl said...

"Democratic leaders say the party needs white male voters...like it or not". Immigration is the solution.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Angelyne said...A simple "fuck off" works better. The above is still half-way buried in defensive mode.

Maybe in the interest of manners (and with an appeal to cosmopolitanism) "Sod off, swampy!" might work.

Adam Carolla had a bit in one of his audiobooks where he recommends keeping a fuck off "in the chamber" at all times--he related an instance where someone made a snide comment and his immediate retort of "fuck off!" shut the interaction down. I've read advice for people moving to a city that's similar, I guess, that you should always default to a curt "no" when people you don't know approach or ask you for something/attempt to engage you.

For false accusations of racism and sexism I think we're beyond the "polite but firm" phase for correct responses.

fivewheels said...

Clinton is unpopular with white males in much the same way I suppose Trump is unpopular with muslim illegal immigrants.

mccullough said...

Trump's campaign is bordering on a movement. That's what worries many folks.

A movement of blue collar men (mostly white)would drawf the Red Front of MoveOn, OWS, and BLM.

You can see signs of it in the way police officers in big cities are now doing their bare minimum duty. Watch for blue collar young men to stop signing up for combat positions in the military soon. Of course, men have not been going to college and graduate school in any where near the percentages women have and that will continue.

There are other levers to pull. A lot of goods are still moved by truck and rail in this country.

Marc Puckett said...

Sorry not to have gotten to the rest of the comments yet, but there is a "downtrodden" part of Youngstown? Who is doing the downtreading, I wonder? Gosh. As someone remarked earlier today, "the cultural Marxists are the establishment".

Owen said...

McCullough: "Trump's campaign is bordering on a movement...

Who is John Galt?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Like this guy?

It's Brobama!

Anglelyne said...

Owen: What IS the sexy in identity politics?

Um, identity?

My guess: it seduces individuals who need an excuse. Most of us do, or are tempted to seek one, at one time or another. But once we succumb, and tell ourselves it's the system that screwed us...

Sometimes people are looking for scapegoats, sometimes the system really is screwing you. (Do you think that the growth of, say, identitarian movements in Europe is merely due to people "looking for an excuse" for their own failures, not to anything else going on in their environment these days?)

You appear to be positing the individual - a deracinated, sovereign atom moving in a meritocratic, universalist void - as the default mode for a human existence, and that any departure from that mode to any form of "groupishness" is pathological. I'd say that's the bass-ackward way of approaching the issue.

This pathology is universal...

The drive for identity and belonging is not pathological per se (unless you want to define being human as pathological). It's a fundamental human characteristic. (Though it's funny how many if not most of us start furrowing our brows about the "root causes" of identity politics only when "white men" are the identitarians in question.)

...but at any given time certain people are more susceptible. And since the whole program of identity politics is based on specious attributes such as color, gender, origin, etc., it picks off people who can use those attributes as the (often false) causality of their misery.

Yes, it's true (don't we know it!) that people can incorrectly blame their miseries on race or sex discrimination. But that doesn't make these attributes...well, I think you meant "spurious" here, not "specious", but no matter. There's nothing spurious or specious or artificial about sex or kinship or cultural affiliation. Those things are real, and they matter. If you want to be able to think clearly about the pathologies and distortions of "identity", you can't pretend otherwise.

If you really want to avoid the nastier manifestations of the human need for "identity", it's a good idea not to go around heedlessly disrupting functioning and benign systems of identity in the name of *any* ideology. (For that matter, heedlessly disrupting even less-than-benign and relatively dysfunctional systems of identity is not necessarily a good idea, either.)

Anglelyne said...

HoodlumDoodlum: Maybe in the interest of manners (and with an appeal to cosmopolitanism) "Sod off, swampy!" might work.

This is one area where I'm all for the cosmopolitan, the multicultural, and the multilingual.

EMD said...

"downtrodden" part of Youngstown? "

Youngstown = downtrodden.

There's a bit of downtown revitalization going on, and YSU is buying up terrible housing and tearing it down to expand, however, the larger Mahoning Valley is as rust belt as one can get. People are still waiting for the same jobs that went away 25+ years ago. A lot of the economic malaise of the area is self-inflicted. Mindsets need to change for growth to really occur.

EMD said...

And yes, they keep electing the same party there, expecting different results.

buwaya said...

An interesting model here is Malaysia.
It has been dominated since independence, more or less, by the UMNO, an explicitly Malay (or Bumiputra) ethnic coalition. It seeks to protect and advance the interests of Malaysia's Malay ethnicity vis-a-vis Malaysia's Chinese and Indian minorities. This is not an uncommon situation in many countries - a European equivalent is Belgium, with an explicitly Flemish party, and similar ones in Spain and Italy.
This certainly isn't an impossible or unworkable outcome in the US. Open competition and negotiation of inter-ethnic issues may be more productive than the suppression of these.

Matt said...

According to an article in Politico, Trump's best chance to win is only if he gets 70% of white male votes. Romney got 62% in 2012 and lost by a lot. Four years later the white male is getting to be a smaller demographic. This means Trump has to find crossover appeal with non-white voters. I don't see that happening in numbers greater than Romney got.

mccullough said...

Trump will likely get more white male voters than Romney. His problems lie elsewhere. He needs to get some blue collar blacks and latinos and needs to get more women than the polls suggest he can get.

Gusty Winds said...

BTW...just for modern clarification; are Italians still white or did they get traded?

Hu Flung Poo said...

I'm White. Of German, Austrian and Czech ancestry. I'm wearing baggy shorts and a polo shirt, right now. But, of course, I live in FL and it is more than 80 degrees at present.

virgil xenophon said...

@Anglelyne/Hoodlum Doodlum...

I prefer an initial "Piss Off!" followed by a "Fuck You.."

virgil xenophon said...

Young Hegelian@ 1O:38am/

Re: "Be not afraid" mottos: The masthead of the award-winning Eastern Illinois Daily News runs the motto "Tell the Truth And Don't be Afraid." (PS: EIU is one of the few college newspapers that prints its own paper)

mccullough said...

Here's a somewhat recent breakdown of ethnicity/race in the U.S.

There's some obvious overlap that the article doesn't show. For example, if someone is of half Irish/half German ancestry, they will be included in each of the categories. Same with someone who is half Mexican and half Puerto Rican.

Interesting that almost 20,000,000 identify as "American." If your ancestry is multi-ethnic, this makes sense. My kids are part Irish, part Italian, part German, and part Swedish. It's comical to call them anything other than American even though one looks more Irish and the other looks more Italian.

mccullough said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

"almost 20,000,000 identify as "American.""

I wouldn't know how else to classify myself. About an even mix of British Isles and German ancestry, via both paternal and maternal lineages, from back before the Civil War.

Hagar said...

It is hard to put into words, but "American" is a distinct term.
This country is different, and it makes you recognizable as "American" whether you are a New York Jew, a Navajo, or an Iowa corn farmer born to parents from Hardanger.

mccullough said...

Obama identifies as African-American although he is also part English and part Irish. Tallying up the numbers from that article, although people could pick more than one ethnicity to identify with, it looks like the vast majority of people probably picked what they feel is the predominant one like Obama does.

The sum of the listed ethnicities is about 310 million. And it doesn't include ethnicities with less than 1 million, such as the Finnish-Americans, who number about 700,000, or others). Since there are about 320 million in the U.S., it looks like a very small percentage identify with more than 1 ethnicity, other than the 20,000,000 "Americans."

Hagar said...

Obama is trying to identify as an African-American, and trying very hard. Too hard says his half-brother, who took another way out and went to Shanghai where he married a Chinese woman. The half-brother says he has his own problems, but he does appear more at ease with himself than Obama.

mccullough said...

Obama acknowledges his white ancestry. But being born when he was, it's understandable that he had to pick one race/ethnicity and identified as black. And he married a black woman.

Until 2000, the Census form didn't allow us to pick more than one race (white, black, native American/Alaskan, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and other). Since then, people can check as many boxes as apply from these six categories.

n 2010, when Obama filled out the census form, he only checked black. Obviously, he could have picked multi-racial, but maybe for political reasons or symbolic reasons he wanted to still identify as only black. 9 million people (2.9% of U.S. population)identified as multi-racial in the 2010 census by checking two or more of the racial category boxes (although 92% picked just two races). Since this isn't a sizeable percentage, there wasn't much to gain for him from as a political or symbolic statement, I guess.

But he's definitely multi-racial and multi-ethnic. Probably in 25 years as more people identify as bi-racial or multi-racial and as multi-ethnic, Obama will probably be viewed as a pioneering symbol of what an American is.

Jack Wayne said...

Althouse says "But what if Trump really is a racist? Well, that's the fear they'd like you to nurture. Worry enough that he's not worth the risk (even if you are inclined to like whatever else he seems to be offering)." This is the argument that always leaves me cold with Althouse. The fact is that people have the Natural Right to be racist. Government does not. If a voter chooses not to vote for someone because that voter sees the candidate as a racist, fine and dandy. The ugly truth here though is that Althouse does not believe people should have the freedom to be free. In her world, government MUST make people conform to the right behavior. I wonder if she really believes in a John Lennin world which is likely to turn out to be the most horrific world anyone can imagine.

Hagar said...

Has nothing to do with filling in boxes.

JamesB.BKK said...

It turns out that one running for political office needs votes from one of the largest pluralities in the population to win a majority of those voting? Time to trick them into thinking you care about them or just working to demonize, or insult, or intimidate them so they stay away. Whatever it takes! What self-respecting person would not want a scold who views herself from the central (formerly federal) government as treating adults as if they are so many third graders - or kindergartners - all the while intending to take much of their property and opportunities using threats of violence.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Obama didn't identify as black+white because it's hard to identify as the enemy.

Trump only has good people. He makes sure of it. I don't know and don't care what races they are, and while I'm sure he knows, I doubt he "it's the current year!" cares. That's non-racist in my book. If you're investing a lot into researching the character of the people you trust, group judgments mean nothing. Everyone knows there's tremendous overlap+compatibility between races in the US, when you look at the same intellectual+achievement+social strata (orthogonal dimensions really). Class is more of a divider. Trump's not playing economic class war, but he is appealing to even the "not so very well educated people" [who don't already identify themselves w/ one of the many D client groups].

Jonathan Graehl said...

The enemy within. Perhaps Obama is moved by true-believer white liberal self-loathing.

Char Char Binks said...

I am white.