I’m about to get all Yoda up in here. Remember in Star Wars Episode I (the last one I watched because it sucked so badly I didn’t want to see the rest of my childhood ruined by viewing Episodes II & III) when Yoda said he sensed much fear in Anakin Skywalker, and that fear lead to anger and thus to the darkside? Well, that’s as deep as the movie got but it was also fairly accurate. If I am emotionally hurt my PTSD transmutes it almost instantly into implacable rage, which sucks for my loved ones and means that I live in terror I might snap cruelly at one of the girls some day. But even people without PTSD respond to things that make them afraid by getting angry. Anger is much easier to deal with. Anger gives you a foe other than your own weakness and feels more productive.
I think it is obvious that it the fear of the loss of privilege and patriarchal authority that is driving the far-right political groups into such a slavering frenzy.
Occasionally this fear becomes voiced in a less subtle way than railing about the “urban entitlement culture”. Sometimes the code (urban entitlement culture = Black Welfare Queen) drops away and leaves the bullshit all raw and exposed. For example, an evangelical nutcase named Jason Rapert, who is a Republican State Representative from Arkansas, was speaking to a crowd of far-right Teabagging twatwaffles and during his stump speech he assured his knuckle-dragging audience that he was going to storm right up to Barack Obama and tell him:
“You don’t represent the country that I grew up with. And your values is not going to save us. We’re going to take this country back for the Lord. We’re going to try to take this country back for conservatism. And we’re not going to allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in!”
Golly gee. It’s like Rapert thinks that President Obama isn’t as “real” an American as he is because Obama is not pristine and pure White. It’s as if Rapert is afraid his hidebound religious dogma and extremist political beliefs no longer dominate the cultural landscape and he thinks this is just an awful thing to happen. Imagine expecting him to live in a world where his lifestyle/race/gender/sexuality/worldviews are NOT held up as the standard of “normal” which all others deviate from (making them QED abnormal deviants)! He should never have to endure that! His kind is no longer guaranteed power simply because they want it! Barack Obama winning the presidency is a clear example of “minorities” running “roughshod” over him by demanding a feasible share of autonomy and opportunity! “Real” Americans didn’t elect that Kenyan Socialist! Minorities (AKA unreal Americans) did that! They used their voting rights and superior numbers to bully their way into not being powerless and that is so unfair!
Wah Wah Wah! I want the pre-civil rights and pre-women’s liberation movement decades to come back when people like me dominated everyone who was unlike me! Wah Wah Wah!
This garbage rhetoric is happening all over the country (dream on if you think there are no dumbass racist shit-kickers north of the Mason-Dixon line) but it is exacerbated in the South. Michael Lind wrote an excellent article explaining why for Salon. In a nutshell the South is having some serious issues because 1) it got the shit kicked out of it during the Civil War 2) it didn’t get a lot of European immigration like the Northeast did so the ideology of WASP superiority didn’t die out via Polish/Italian/Catholic/Serbian grandparents as it did in the North and 3) now the WASPs are being outnumbered by non-WASPs whom they don’t believe are as “American” as they and “going from the status of local Herrenvolk to local minority in only a generation or two is causing much of the white South to freak out”. The North used to gerrymander to give the “white ethnics” less voting power and now the South is going through the same gerrymandering lunacy.
I know WHY the right-wing is acting this way, but I don’t have much sympathy for them. After all, they have INSISTED that being non-white is a non-issue and that “others” are just too lazy to make it by pulling up their own bootstraps and thus the fact that they are terrified of being a minority (and therefore subject to systemic discrimination) means that even they know they are talking out of their ass when they bleat about “color blindness”. If being the WASP majority doesn’t give you inherent advantages and privileges then why are you so afraid of losing WASP majority?
Afraid the minorities will run “roughshod” over you, like you have done to them? Does the outlook suck from the other end of the seesaw, sunshine?