Friday, August 27, 2010

Beck to Where You Once Belonged

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
I Have a Scheme
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Glenn Beck's upcoming rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, expertly eviscerated by Jon Stewart above, is a scary illustration of something that Hua Hsu talks about in his fine essay "The End of White America?"


... a racial pride that dares not speak its name and that defines itself through cultural cues instead—a suspicion of intellectual elites and city dwellers, a preference for folksiness and plainness of speech (whether real or feigned), and the association of a working-class white minority with "the real America" .... Arguably, this white identity politics helped swing the 2000 and 2004 elecitons, serving as the powerful counterpunch to urban white liberals, and the McCain-Palin campaign relied on it almost to the point of absurdity (as when a McCain surrogate dismissed Northern Virginia as somehow not part of "the real Virginia") as a bulwark against the threatening multiculturalism of Barack Obama. Their strategy failed, of course, but it's possible to imagine white identity politics growing more potent and more forthright in its racial identifications in the future, as "the real America" becomes an ever-smaller portion of, well, the real America, and as the soon-to-be white minority's sense of being besieged and disdained by a multicultural majority grows apace.

No comments: