As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Demographic Futility Of The Birther Argument

It's true that Republicans have circled the wagons on the Birthers, and have begun to smack down on those questioning the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate and the whereabouts of his birth. But that doesn't really matter by now. It's "out there" and it's a powerful tool to designate the President as alien, the other, somehow unfit for the office of the Presidency, without the credentials to serve. That's the undercurrent to this, and I can quote The Poor Man Institute on this:

Lee Atwater on the crushing weight of political correctness and how it put a crimp in Republican Party messaging efforts:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

As always, necessity is the mother of invention. And hate springs eternal. And so on.

So in 2009, you say stuff like “where’s your birth certificate”? to the black guy with the funny name – no surprise that Andrew “Bell Curve” Sullivan and Lou “Dirty Meckscuns” Dobbs* are all over it. Pure coincidence, I’m sure. Though to be fair to Andy, he usually shows the same zeal if there’s misogyny* to partake in.

That's really it. And it is really done to reinforce this notion that the alien and the other are taking your money and using it for themselves. Conservatives think this is the way they can win the day, through tribal identification. And it works in the short-term. But the long-term demographic trends cut hard against their success in this matter. Right now we have an economic problem which will determine the course for Democrats in the near term. In the long-term, tribal appeals to racial solidarity will fall flat on their face.

...for those who want to believe that the fact we elected a biracial man to the Presidency means that racism has ended as a concern in the United States, I submit:

IT MAY BE the ultimate indignity.

Lawrence "Lonnie" Powell, 58, a semiskilled laborer at the city's Northwest Transfer Station, in Roxborough, said that since he began working at the trash-handling plant in 2003 he has had to seek the superintendent's permission to go to the bathroom — then descend five flights of stairs to use it.

Powell, who is black, said that white employees have been permitted to use a bathroom just 25 feet from his work station.

"On several occasions I've actually defecated on myself, trying to get down to the bathroom," said Powell, who operates a machine that packs trash into tractor-trailers to be taken to landfills.

Powell is one of five current and former employees, all in their 50s, who allege, in legal documents and interviews with the Daily News, that the station's white superintendent has discriminated against them because they are black.

This is in the same city where black children were asked to leave a white country club swimming pool a few weeks back.

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