Re: Haha Republicans.

1

We've just come from a cool pool.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:16 AM
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Honestly, I find this kind of crowing a little obnoxious, as it would be if any other ethnic, racial, or religious group was plugged in for 'white'. Well, maybe scientologists would be OK.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:20 AM
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Well, obviously, ever since we let the Catholics in.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:23 AM
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Easy solution - white-ify some ethnic group or other. I vote for Hispanics.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:30 AM
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I think it's the "You can call your own sister a slut (but no one else can)" phenomenon. You can celebrate the decrease in power of a group of which you are a member.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:32 AM
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The decrease was offset by 188,000 white immigrants, most from Canada and Germany but also from Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Wait a minute. Ay-rabs are white now? I am very confused.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:34 AM
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Canadians are allowed to immigrate? I thought that after the Howie Mandel fiasco, we sealed the border.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:35 AM
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6: Racists were differently racist when these things were codified.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:39 AM
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I'm okay with mocking the Republicans for depending on the white population.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:56 AM
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Unsurprisingly, the median age of 42 years for whites is the same as that for the Pittsburgh metro area which is the oldest in the country. (Salt Lake City was the youngest at 30, the next youngest six are all Texas or California.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:56 AM
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@4

yes. It's easy to forget how not "white" the Irish and Italians and East Europeans were back in the day, but when the power establishment decided it was convenient to co-opt them, it was extremely easy.

I suspect inviting a significant portion of the hispanic population into the club won't be a problem.

On the other hand the current GOP has shown itself to be surprisingly unwilling to give up anti-hispanic race baiting even when they know it's hurting them.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:59 AM
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4. Nah. Koreans, then Japanese.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 7:17 AM
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12: Should I tell the woman in the next office? Is there a ceremony?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 7:18 AM
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I sometimes wonder how Texas is still so solidly republican with like a 35% Latino population.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 7:29 AM
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14: Gerrymandering and that you can't vote until naturalization.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 7:32 AM
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Ah, figures. The gerrymandering in Texas is completely insane, one recalls.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 7:33 AM
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Unsurprisingly, the median age of 42 years for whites is the same as that for the Pittsburgh metro area which is the oldest in the country. (Salt Lake City was the youngest at 30,

The Salt Lake City metro area, the very exemplar of our multiracial future!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 7:35 AM
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Also, quite a lot of the Hispanic population is still under 18. Give it another decade and it is said that it will become a toss-up state.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 7:36 AM
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15 -- Yes, but also very low turnout rates amongst Texas Latinos and considerable attempts by the Texas GOP to coopt a large chunk of that vote. Which is basically the GOP's viable strategy for the future, and not one that's implausibly successful politically for the medium term.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 7:38 AM
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4, 11, 12: This is purely impressionistic -- I don't have any data. But I hear people saying that the definition of 'white' is going to spread over other ethnic groups, and implicitly that our current white-dominant racial politics is going to change because of it, and I have some doubts.

The thing is, people I know in ethnic groups that people bring up as soon going to be assimilated into 'whiteness' don't seem to generally perceive themselves as being treated as 'white'. If I were working from firsthand perception, I'd say there's very, very little anti-East Asian racism in the US, at least if you're talking about second generation or later immigrants; anyone who grew up here with unaccented English. So you'd expect Asian Americans to be part of this 'white' ethnic coalition. But I'm pretty sure I'm wrong about that: Asian American friends talk about being treated as non-white -- not necessarily in an aggressively racist manner, but at least in an exclusionary way -- all the time.

I kind of doubt that expansion of the concept of 'whiteness' is likely to happen anytime soon. I would say that the borders are certainly less tightly policed than they were; there's no socially enforced one-drop rule for Latinos and Asians the way there sort of still is for African Americans. But for someone who's easily visually identifiable as Latino or Asian American, I don't think our current ethnic politics are going to change all that much in the very near future.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 7:55 AM
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implicitly that our current white-dominant racial politics is going to change because of it

s/b 'not going to change' -- that is, I understand people to be saying that this is going to remain a 'white' majority/dominated country by expanding the definition of 'white', and I think that's mistaken.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 7:56 AM
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Setback for nativism at the SC today. Arizona's requirement that people show proof of citizenship when they register to vote struck down. 7-2, Scalia for the majority.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 7:59 AM
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Does that mean that Voter ID laws are also illegal? Once you're registered, you can't be re-carded at the voting booth, right?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:04 AM
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Because the fig leaf argument for Voter ID laws is slightly different than the argument for requiring proof of citizenship at registration.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:06 AM
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It's true that there's not much racism against Asian Americans in ordinary life, e.g., no getting hassled by the police. And interracial marriage is a lot more common among Asian Americans than among other groups. On the other hand, in my experience there's a lot of "glass ceiling" racism -- the stereotype is that Asian Americans are good workers, but you need a real American to make important decisions and talk to upper management. So it's a long road to assimilation.


Posted by: torrey pine (YK) | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:19 AM
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2 is wrong, and 5 is incomplete.

"White," as a socially constructed ethnic group, consists of people who are assholes. What notable accomplishments do white people - as white people - have that don't involve some kind of crime?

The Irish became white when they became assholes. The Jews and Asians are only white to the extent that they are assholes.

The prediction that LB rebuts in 20 - that certain ethnics will become more white - is a prediction that ethnics will become bigger assholes. I'm agnostic on LB's rebuttal.

I am nearly as white as white can be, but I would be more white if I were more of an asshole.

It would be going to far to say that Clarence Thomas is a de facto white guy, but I don't think it goes to far to say he aspires to be one.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:23 AM
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The Irish became white when they became assholes.

That's obviously wrong. There's no way my ancestors were assholes before 1950 or whatever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:25 AM
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"were" s/b "weren't"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:30 AM
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"White," as a socially constructed ethnic group, consists of people who are assholes.

So, to connect this with the thread above, that means that Harvard economists are the whitest of all?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:32 AM
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And then there's the whole complicated mess about discrimination in college admissions. I think the main take-away was that rich donors have the final say on the demographics of the student body. (Plus, if you scroll down, there's a vicious piece by the American Conservative, that starts out pro-Asian American and then turns anti-Semitic.)


Posted by: torrey pine (YK) | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:33 AM
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23 -- Nope, sorry. It's not about the fig leaf, but the statutory scheme. Federal law says that states have to accept the federal registration form, which has an attestation of citizenship, but requires no further proof. AZ wanted elections officials to reject the federal form when not accompanied by proof of citizenship. Fed law trumps, so the states have to accept the federal registration form as is.

SFAIK, the states are still free to impose ID requirements at the polling place. Congress can fix that, though . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:33 AM
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I am nearly as white as white can be, but I would be more white if I were more of an asshole.

This is going to be one of those interactions like when we were all arguing about who was more upset about SWPL, but this really is nonsense. I could be the biggest asshole on the planet, or more enlightened than Mahatma Gandhi, and either way other people in the US are going to treat me as dead-center white. If I were consoling myself by thinking I'm not really contemptibly white, because I'm not an asshole, I'd be delusional even if I were right about not being an asshole (which, of course, I'm not the right person to judge). And if I were beating myself up over being an asshole, no matter how hard I try not to be, because the fact that I'm still being treated as white proves I must be an asshole, that'd be just as silly.

I mean, you're clearly being hyperbolic or satirical or something, but I don't think there's a way to understand what you're saying that makes it true.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:38 AM
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but I don't think there's a way to understand what you're saying that makes it true.

But I love how hard you're trying.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:41 AM
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31: Hmm, thanks. Oh well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:41 AM
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32: I suppose you could think of it in terms of the difference between forming a Ukranian American or Italian American students union vs forming a white American students union.

There are legitimate reasons to form various X-American student organizations, but the only reason to start a white students union is to broadcast "I'm an asshole".


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:47 AM
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Ugh, now that I mentioned 30.last, I feel like I need to clarify that it is not in agreement with my views, but more to show that even when discussing minorities who aren't suffering from obvious discrimination, there can be some nasty racism lurking beneath the surface.


Posted by: torrey pine (YK) | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:50 AM
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35: That, absolutely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:55 AM
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"White," as a socially constructed ethnic group, consists of people who are assholes. What notable accomplishments do white people - as white people - have that don't involve some kind of crime?

I wrote a long comment that tried to get at this same point but really this expresses my feelings pretty well. "Whiteness" is an artifact of a brutal and unequal system - the things that constitute being "white", as I observe them in fellow white people and myself, are pretty much about being able to live at the top of a violent, racialized hierarchy without rebelling in an effective way or hating yourself, and thus you get behaviorally whiter the more power you have in the hierarchy.

I will actually be ecstatic with glee if "whiteness" turns out to be linked to being of Western European descent - like, if the whole "cold-hearted, lazy, self-centering, authoritarian and emotionally immature"* thing is actually limited to pinkish pale people of W. European descent, whether through mere historical accident or through some exceedingly improbable kind of Sun People/Ice People biological thing, because then it will fade out as white people become fewer. But I suspect that this is wishful thinking.

I could be the biggest asshole on the planet, or more enlightened than Mahatma Gandhi, and either way other people in the US are going to treat me as dead-center white.

Whiteness is a system, not an individual trait. We are "white" because there's a complex system of power, culture and money which sustains our whiteness. If all the nominally "white" people on the planet were raptured away except for, like, three or four of us, we wouldn't be "white" anymore. If we maintained the traits we've learned in order to be "white", we wouldn't be white, we'd just be assholes.

*No, really, I think those are the traits that constitute "whiteness". I don't think those are traits that all phenotypically white people display, or that any phenotypically white people display all the time, or that people of color are never authoritarian or self-centered; I think those are are cluster of traits that are necessary for "whiteness" to exist, that enable us to "be white" without crippling self-hatred, meaningful integration or dismantling of the racist hierarchy - they are the traits we learn so that we can ignore the suffering of others and take advantage of their labor. So yes, in these respects I think that "whiteness" is similar to "masculinity" and "being upper class". And yes, I feel like I grew into "whiteness" by being taught in a thousand unspoken ways to harden my heart.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:58 AM
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38: Without actually disagreeing with that, come the revolution when the hegemony of whiteness has been overthrown and we all live in harmony with each other, it seems likely that the concept of ethnicity will still exist. At which point the pinkish-pale among us will be regarded by the non-racist society in which they live as belonging to some ethnicity, which will probably have a name -- might not be 'white', but it'll be something, and if we could see that society, we'd understand it to mean roughly what 'white' does now.

It has to be possible to disaggregate 'whiteness' as an ethnic descriptor that would exist even in the absence of a society not built on a system of racial domination, from 'whiteness' as the name of the group at the apex of the system of racial domination that now exists.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:11 AM
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There are people using every ethnicity to be just as big a bag of shitheads as whitey.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:15 AM
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But I suspect that this is wishful thinking.

It reads like racist thinking.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:20 AM
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And to expand on why 39 is not just quibbling: I accept and agree with the statement that there is "a complex system of power, culture and money which sustains our whiteness". But it's self-evidently true that 'whiteness' is, while a name for that system (which is a bad thing that we are all responsible for working to dismantle) also a name for a morally neutral ethnicity: pale people of European ancestry are still going to be here whether or not society becomes more racially just, and there's going to be a name for them.

Talking, as 38 appears to me to do, as if 'whiteness' only refers to the system of racial domination, seems to me to really risk failing to communicate to anyone not already very very strongly predisposed to agree with you about everything -- not because you'll offend people, but because people will think you're confused and incoherent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:21 AM
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. At which point the pinkish-pale among us will be regarded by the non-racist society in which they live as belonging to some ethnicity, which will probably have a name -- might not be 'white', but it'll be something, and if we could see that society, we'd understand it to mean roughly what 'white' does now.

But that seems (assuming that "whiteness" ever goes away) kind of inconsequential.

I suppose the best way to speculate about that might be to look at societies where there's been relatively little inequality among people of different racial and cultural backgrounds. Are there regions of the world where different indigenous groups remained fairly distinct but didn't brutalize each other?

I mean, I don't care if people are all, "There goes Frowner, a Pink Person - there sure aren't a lot of Pink People around here, look at their unusual hair and how red they turn in the sun". That seems unconcerning, except that I wish I did not turn so red in the sun.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:21 AM
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Are there regions of the world where different indigenous groups remained fairly distinct but didn't brutalize each other?

I'm pretty sure that when you have a homogenous group, it spontaneously splits into distinct groups with the sole purpose of brutalizing each other.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:31 AM
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Apparently there was a big (last-minute and poorly organized) push among the Iranian-American community during the census to get everyone to write "Other--Iranian/Persian" instead of the usual "White (Caucasian)." The people who fled the revolution are generally exactly the sort of people who would say things like "you can't get much more Caucasian!" It was sort of a fascinating thing to watch this assertion of privilege. Anyway, the drive to get people to write "Other-Iranian/Persian" was also fairly clearly an attempt to augment the community's power as a bloc.


Posted by: jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:32 AM
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The decrease was offset by 188,000 white immigrants, most from Canada and Germany but also from Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Wait a minute. Ay-rabs are white now? I am very confused.

Technically, Arabs have always been 'white,' according to European racial theories,* as have South Asians, who pushed successfully to be reclassified from white to Asian at some point in the 20th century, as it better reflected lived experience. Conversely, Finns were classified as Asian until 1910, when they a court ruling declared them white.

I would say religion has as much to do with racial classifications as anything else, since there is a more or less implicit association of Europe with 'Christendom.' People who are historically Christian are generally more likely to be white in the contemporary US, while culturally or phenotypically similar non-Christians are not, particularly if they are Muslim. So, e.g., Armenians and Georgians are white in the US, while Azeris, Chechens,** or Iranians are not. Likewise, Serbs and Croats are more clearly white than Bosnians. (In the American imaginary, obviously.)

*White people technically include almost all people in Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia who speak Indo-European, Semitic, or Hamitic languages. Finns, Basques, and Hungarians are not technically white, nor are Turks or Central Asians. Obviously, this doesn't match up to the reality of how race is or has been perceived or how racial discrimination plays out, even in societies firmly committed to scientific racism.

**The recent bombing is a great example people being reclassified from average white dudes to scary hook-nosed brown Muslim terrorists in the media once it came out they were Chechen, instead of, say, Italian-American. Likewise, I have Jewish and Italian friends who get treated as completely white when they are clean cut looking, but get hassled by TSA and more side eye in general if they grow out a long beard.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:34 AM
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argh, html fail. the second sentence should also be Italicized


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:36 AM
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Apparently there was a big (last-minute and poorly organized) push among the Iranian-American community during the census to get everyone to write "Other--Iranian/Persian" instead of the usual "White (Caucasian)."

What's wrong with "Hispanic-Mexican"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:37 AM
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Re: 20 - I think we may be thinking on very different timescales. I'm thinking about at least a generation if not more before the thing we are calling whiteness expands to include people of non-European descent, by which time it will presumably have another name.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:38 AM
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by which time it will presumably have another name.

"Articulateness".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:48 AM
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But I love how hard you're trying.

Me too! 39 is also a very serious effort to grapple with my/Frowner's point, and I think it does a great job of isolating where we disagree.

At which point the pinkish-pale among us will be regarded by the non-racist society in which they live as belonging to some ethnicity, which will probably have a name -- might not be 'white', but it'll be something, and if we could see that society, we'd understand it to mean roughly what 'white' does now.

As I see it, no. Whiteness, as it is constructed, falls apart once we arrive at that non-racist society. AcademicL gets at this in 35.

Frowner understands me completely, and uses as her jumping off point what I regard as the key quote from 26:

What notable accomplishments do white people - as white people - have that don't involve some kind of crime?



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:49 AM
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Talking, as 38 appears to me to do, as if 'whiteness' only refers to the system of racial domination, seems to me to really risk failing to communicate to anyone not already very very strongly predisposed to agree with you about everything -- not because you'll offend people, but because people will think you're confused and incoherent.

Well, yes, but I am confident that the Unfoggetariat is more discerning than the hoi polloi, and am more interested in pondering what's going on in the world than persuading anyone that I'm right.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:53 AM
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Whiteness, as it is constructed, falls apart once we arrive at that non-racist society.

I don't understand this sentence. If what you mean by 'whiteness' is 'the position at the top of the racial hierarchy', sure -- if there isn't a hierarchy, there isn't a position at the top of it. But if the concept of ethnicity survives the death of racism -- Latinos still think of themselves as distinct in some way from East Asians -- there's going to be something left of the concept of whiteness.

And this:

What notable accomplishments do white people - as white people - have that don't involve some kind of crime?

What does that even mean? The best I can do with it is "White people are at the apex of this racial hierarchy, which means that they all 'criminally' benefit from its operation. [This far, I can follow] Therefore anything done by any white person 'involves' that crime. Therefore white people have no accomplishments that don't involve crime."

I suppose that's not incoherent, but if those are your assumptions, there's no point in asking the question as if it were possible for a white person to have an accomplishment untainted by crime.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:01 AM
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"It's easy to forget how not "white" the Irish and Italians and East Europeans were back in the day"

This is wrong. The irish were always considered to be white.

Irish immigrants became democrats in pre-civil war america. The republicans were abolitionists but they were also the party of the northern industrial elite and not really looking out for the white working class. There was also fears of additional competition if slaves were freed to become workers in the north. Plus, racism.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:09 AM
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as if it were possible for a white person to have an accomplishment untainted by crime.

Does Unfogged count?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:10 AM
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53:

What notable accomplishments do white people - as white people - have that don't involve some kind of crime?
What does that even mean? The best I can do with it is "White people are at the apex of this racial hierarchy, which means that they all 'criminally' benefit from its operation. [This far, I can follow] Therefore anything done by any white person 'involves' that crime. Therefore white people have no accomplishments that don't involve crime."

Maybe when we do good things, we don't do them "as a white person." John Bardeen was an accomplished scientist, not an accomplished white person. Elie Wiesel is a renowned jew, not a renowned white person. George Wallace, on the other hand, did what he did as a white person.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:10 AM
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54: Is this bullshit, then?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:13 AM
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Whoops, here's the link:

http://academic.udayton.edu/race/01race/white13.htm


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:13 AM
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58: Written by a Scotsman. They try to keep us down.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:15 AM
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Okay, but then how does that work for anyone who isn't white? Is there a principle, or just a tautology that any untainted accomplishment by a white person isn't as a white person because whiteness is tainted?

You could think that way, but I don't see where it gets you, meaningfully.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:16 AM
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"White," as a socially constructed ethnic group, consists of people who are assholes. What notable accomplishments do white people - as white people - have that don't involve some kind of crime?

what accomplishment does *any* ethnic or racial group have qua that ethnic or racial group? If you want to go fully down the identity politics road, then all accomplishments of a racial or ethnic group are somehow group possessions, if you want to go down an egalitarian road then they are human accomplishments (or crimes) inflected by a particular history, tradition, and culture. It should be obvious that there are many human accomplishments within European history and tradition, just as there are many crimes. The crimes in the European tradition are not unique to some arbitrarily/socially defined racial group -- there are examples of imperialism, slavery, genocide, and hierarchical oppression across numerous large-scale empires and states through human history, on all continents and across all ethnic groups. The Indian caste system is certainly one of the most degrading and thoroughly destructive systems of hierarchical oppression and enslavement ever created, the Mongols wiped out entire nations, etc. Furthermore, the achievements of European peoples include many liberation struggles against hierarchical oppression which helped to inspire liberation struggles by many peoples around the globe.

"Whiteness" is an artifact of a brutal and unequal system - the things that constitute being "white", as I observe them in fellow white people and myself, are pretty much about being able to live at the top of a violent, racialized hierarchy without rebelling in an effective way or hating yourself, and thus you get behaviorally whiter the more power you have in the hierarchy.

Our hierarchy is 'racialized' in the general sense that race is still correlated with position in the hierarchy, but I would argue it is no longer 'racialized' in any essential sense. Racism no longer seems essential to the justification or maintenance of our thoroughly globalized systems of inequality and violence. This is true even if you get one political party using old racial tropes as part of a 'divide and conquer' strategy to distract the increasingly disenfranchised proles from the reality of their loss of privilege. (A divide and conquer strategy that is BTW aided by dumb racist comments from white progressives).

Here is an interesting list of U.S. household income by self-identified racial and ethnic group. Asian Americans are at the top of the race ordering, and Indian Americans (obviously and identifiably not white; usually migrants from higher-caste Indian groups) are at the top of the ethnicity list. Mexican and African Americans are near the bottom of the list, for contingent reasons that are rooted in the specifics of American history and not in a generalized strategy to advantage 'whiteness' (although they reflect the historical impact of such a strategy when it was pursued in our past).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:16 AM
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white people have done a lot of things. We even have a half white president now.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:17 AM
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Sorry, pwned by LB and others. That's what happens when you leave your comment box sitting open for a while.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:19 AM
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"54: Is this bullshit, then?"

No. I just summarized that book in 54. At no point does he give any evidence that people did not think Irish people were white.

The title is bullshit.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:22 AM
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While I'd agree that "whiteness as it has functioned throughout the world and throughout history and how it may function in the future" is rather complex, I think that "whiteness as it functions in the U.S. in 2013" is pretty simple.

I can't think of many non-assholish reasons that a contemporary American would choose to identify primarily as "white" as opposed to Irish-American, or Lawyer or nerd or Redsocks fan or unfogged commenter & etc.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:26 AM
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I can't think of many non-assholish reasons that a contemporary American would choose to identify primarily as "white" as opposed to Irish-American, or Lawyer or nerd or Redsocks fan or unfogged commenter & etc.

An acknowledgement that this is how people percieve me?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:35 AM
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I can't think of many non-assholish reasons that a contemporary American would choose to identify primarily as "white"

Sure.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:35 AM
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Not identifying as white when you're white gets close to "Tra-la-la, I'm colorblind!" territory. I agree with LB's emphasis on "primarily".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:37 AM
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60, 61: I think it's meaningful to say that Martin Luther King, Jr. accomplished what he did as a black person.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:38 AM
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68: Yes, I was thinking of a couple of Jews I've known that claim not to be white. They lookwhite, when they apply for jobs they are treated like a white person, and I don't think they object.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:42 AM
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I don't know that "whiteness" is a category that the GOP can meaningfully expand, but they may be able to build a broader coalition on the basis of "not black."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:45 AM
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You shouldn't call yourself "white" unless you could get work playing villains in '70s blaxploitaton movies.

"That private detective is making too much trouble for my golf club buddies. Make sure he doesn't leave this building alive!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:47 AM
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pale people of European ancestry are still going to be here whether or not society becomes more racially just

This seems highly contestable.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:47 AM
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68: True. I wasn't advocating some kind of "I don't even see race" position.

By "primarily identify" I was referring White Student Union type of stuff. I think making your primary locus of solidarity "whiteness" is very likely to indicate some fucked up thinking.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:52 AM
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71 - That's mostly what the term has meant historically (in the US, at least).


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:54 AM
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"I can't think of many non-assholish reasons that a contemporary American would choose to identify primarily as "white" as opposed to Irish-American, or Lawyer or nerd or Redsocks fan or unfogged commenter & etc."

In the town that my dad grew up in, the irish americans and italian americans didn't mix much. They were both catholics but went to different churches. They seldom married one another. I would be surprised if it is that way now. I lot of these distinctions within whiteness have faded.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:57 AM
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It's context in a binary world. When I was in law school, I lived in NE DC, and would frequently be the only person of discolor in the Safeway.

It's not that Irish, Italians, and Jews became 'white' it's that they became less 'othered' wrt WASPs as the 20th century progressed. This was a result of a bunch of things happening, including intermarriage, economic success, and northern migration of African-Americans.

When I was in high school -- mid-1970s --my grandmother (born 1910) remarked on the fact that I was dating an Irish-American girl. (Not negative -- she liked the girl -- just that times had changed). I think it's fair to say that I'd been dating an African-American girl her reaction would have been a 10, a Jewish girl might have been a 7, and an Irish-American girl maybe a 4. A Baptist Okie girl probably would have been a 6 or 7. Another boy would have been a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 10:59 AM
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75 -- yes, agreed. But that particular use of the term may have met its match (I'm skeptical that Indian Americans or wealthy latinos will simply be identified as "white," plus, let's face it, even among the yahoos it's no longer that acceptable to OPENLY identify as having politics based upon your whiteness) so the coming conservative coalition will need some other designation for its not-blackness.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:00 AM
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75: I don't agree -- I think Asians and Latinos have been consistently perceived as neither white nor black, and in a way that's important for this sort of political thinking.

78: the coming conservative coalition will need some other designation for its not-blackness.

It'll be interesting, in that horrific kind of interesting, sense, to see if the right can carry off politics that's usefully racially charged for them, organized about 'not blackness' rather than 'whiteness'. I think it's going to be very difficult for them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:16 AM
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But that particular use of the term may have met its match (I'm skeptical that Indian Americans or wealthy latinos will simply be identified as "white," plus, let's face it, even among the yahoos it's no longer that acceptable to OPENLY identify as having politics based upon your whiteness) so the coming conservative coalition will need some other designation for its not-blackness.

It seems more realistic to me that the racist segments of the GOP will slowly fade into irrelevence and will be replaced with a more socially tolerant party (as the demographics will damn near demand). The GOP's primary mission is serving the plutocrats--the racism just brings votes along for the ride. In a post-Citizen's United world, it's not obvious that sort of populism will be needed much longer.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:19 AM
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It is also likely that republicans will pick up a growing share of the white vote as the numbers of non-whites increases. There hasn't been a democratic mayor of nyc since 1993.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:24 AM
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It seems more realistic to me that the racist segments of the GOP will slowly fade into irrelevence and will be replaced with a more socially tolerant party (as the demographics will damn near demand).

I hope this is going to happen, and I kind of think it's likely to -- I agree that racial politics organized around not-blackness rather than whiteness is going to be hard for them to pull off. (For one thing, they have to be much more explicitly negative. If you're trying to appeal to a diverse racial coalition with their joint interest in oppressing African Americans, you've got a real problem with plausible deniability.)

At which point I hope (and think it's possible that) our politics drift back into line with the norm in other developed countries. While I agree about the GOP's primary mission, I think the racists are an essential votegetting tool for them, and without racial politics they'd have to move back closer to the center.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:28 AM
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It'll be interesting, in that horrific kind of interesting, sense, to see if the right can carry off politics that's usefully racially charged for them, organized about 'not blackness' rather than 'whiteness'. I think it's going to be very difficult for them.

I assume that "makers versus takers" was meant to provide exactly that template. Striving, hardworking *legal* immigrants who abjure public assistance and embrace America to the exclusion of their native traditions / religion / language / given names = OK. See "Jindal, Bobby" and "Haley, Nikki"


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:31 AM
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I know they're trying, I'm just thinking it'll be hard to get much emotional force behind it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:34 AM
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If you're trying to appeal to a diverse racial coalition with their joint interest in oppressing African Americans, you've got

basically the politics of the Democratic Party, for much of its nineteenth and early 20th century career, or the politics of big-city conservatives like Al D'Amato or Sam Yorty in the mid-late 20th century. True, you need to replace "racial" with "ethnic" but I don't know that this is all that significant a change.

I think there's a good chance of the GOP pulling it off. One element will be splitting off wealthier, more assimilated, and middle class latinos from poorer and more recently-immigrated latinos. The GOP has had some considerable success with this in Texas. Also IME there are many wealthy asian/south asian/hispanic americans who are superduper anti-black racist.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:35 AM
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"Bobby" and "Nikki" are useful but haven't had to actually try to get members of their own ethnic group to vote for them.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:36 AM
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78, 79 - True, but the space remains open for South Indians or (non-black) Latinos to be perceived as white-enough, racially unmarked and allowed hegemonic privilege, in a way that will never be open to African-Americans or non-American blacks. This is textbook Ted Allen, right?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:37 AM
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87 -- right, I totally agree.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:40 AM
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Certainly Chinese were not seen as white by Populists or union members in the west in say 1880, with extreme hostility and complete lack of respect or empathy as far as I can tell. Maybe this example of racism in the US that's mostly been shed is a useful guide for what will happen next.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:41 AM
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I don't know who Ted Allen is, but I think the rigid idea in 87 where we have this white-to-black continuum is weird. Even aside from Native Americans, there have been many populations in the US, recognized by everybody as neither white nor black, since the 19th century. Why insist that "you are now allowed hegemonic privilege" means "you have now become white"?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:42 AM
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True, but the space remains open for South Indians or (non-black) Latinos to be perceived as white-enough, racially unmarked and allowed hegemonic privilege, in a way that will never be open to African-Americans or non-American blacks.

We'll know that day has arrived when the first South Asian with a combined total of more than eight syllables in the first and last name is elected to public office in a Republican majority district.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:43 AM
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87 - This Ted Allen.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:43 AM
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The longer response to 90 is that, yes, of course that's the case, and in the past that group ("neither white nor black") has included such groups as Greeks, Finns, Italians, the Irish, and the Jews.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:50 AM
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89, 90 -- What Snarkout (I think) and I are arguing is not that there haven't been populations seen as neither white nor black. It's that there's continually been in America a move to legitimize one's own racial or ethnic group as by distancing it from black people. That's been a useful thing to exploit for conservative parties, who have a need to build support for reactionary policies in an ethnically and racially diverse America. Reactionaries can engage in ethnic coalition politics so long as they can persuade the coalition that they as a whole are different than, and under threat from, someone lower than themselves, and for basically all of US history this has been black people. Thus, a useful political move for the GOP of the future may be to appeal to the non-blackness of certain non "white" groups (like Asians or Latinos), allowing them to feel that they are the insiders with interests to protect from the black people who will remain at the bottom of the ladder.

*The Chinese are certainly an interesting case, since they went from being even-lower-than-black-people in the estimation of 19th century Californians, to being close to honorary white people.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:51 AM
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85, 87: I could be wrong about this, and I probably am because I'm being hopeful. But I think to pull off that trick you have to be able to be more explicitly racist than is possible these days. That is, if your racial politics is about whiteness, you can do soft, positive appeals about our kind of (blond) people who built America in the sweat of their (pinkly sunburned) brows and so on, and leave the racial Other unspecified. Once you're trying to build a racial coalition that's still racist, you have to make your positive imagery diverse, and be explicit about who the outsiders are. That's going to be a hard trick to pull off.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 11:52 AM
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Quick anecdata before I head to work. Last night a hispanic girl started to climb over the rail on an overpass to chuck herself off of it and her hispanic girlfriend dragged her back onto the walkway and called us.

Suicidal girl, as we're cuffing her up because she's totally non compliant and trying to leave. "You can't detain me you racists. Damn white racists!" Girlfriend shouts at her "bitch, who you calling white? Look at you, you're as pale as they are!'


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:03 PM
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95: White pioneers and other voluntary immigrants does seem like a natural class. People who chose to leave their old worlds to build a better life.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:05 PM
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We'll know that day has arrived when the first South Asian with a combined total of more than eight syllables in the first and last name is elected to public office in a Republican majority district.

The '8 syllable rule' seems like an awfully arbitrary way to dismiss Bobby Jindal.

"bitch, who you calling white? Look at you, you're as pale as they are!'

You should have informed her that Hispanic is an ethnic and not a racial designation, the ride back to the station would have offered plenty of opportunity for a detailed explanation.



Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:07 PM
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Perhaps in the utopian post-racism future the concept of whiteness will be replaced swpl-ness.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:09 PM
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So they're going to be selling a racial politics that includes Nigerian immigrants as insiders but excludes African Americans as lazy moochers? I think that's going to be the attempt, but once you go there, you've lost all the emotional force of racism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:10 PM
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by swpl-ness.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:10 PM
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The claims that it will be impossible for the GOP to build a not-black coalition ignores the fact that there are lots of racists from all kinds of countries, including non-white countries. E.g. the Chinese are notoriously racist re Africans. I'm pretty sure Indian Brahmins wouldn't appreciate being confused with African-descended people. So an appeal to certain non-white households that you're the responsible job creators, not like those black welfare moochers, might not be so misplaced.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:16 PM
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But if the concept of ethnicity survives the death of racism -- Latinos still think of themselves as distinct in some way from East Asians -- there's going to be something left of the concept of whiteness.

This seems too quick for me. Isn't it possible that after the death of racism, the Anglo-Saxon Protestants will discover that they no longer have any fellow feeling toward French Catholics at all, and it only seemed as if they belonged to one group—the whites—while there was some social role for honkies as such to play?

I didn't like this review as a review, but some of the paragraphs on Brazil and the US seemed interesting:

In the United States, Atkin links the rise of concept of race to the "massive importation of (African) slave labor into the Americas" (52), even before the nation's founding. "Imported along with these slaves," writes Atkin, "was the attitude that the division of people into races was both natural and scientifically endorsable" as well as the view that "races could be seen hierarchically with the white race considered superior to the black race" (52). Then, once present in the United States, racial concepts changed over time in response to changing social conditions. Atkins points out that "as the categories [of race] became harder to police in antebellum USA, new categories were introduced, removed, reclassified and legislated for" (53). Thus, for example, as the population of Hispanic Americans grew in the 1970s and as multiracial identity became more popular, the new racial categories of Latino/Hispanic and bi-racial or multi-racial were added to the United States census.

The development of the concept of race in Brazil has been different than in the United States, according to Atkin, primarily owing to a crucial difference in the relative numbers of blacks and whites, to the existing infrastructures, and to the needs and interests of the ruling white elite in both countries. While in the United States (where 80% of the population was white), there were plenty of white candidates available for "intermediate social groupings" between the ruling and slave classes (such as military personnel, forepersons of guards for slave plantations, farmers, or any of the jobs and tasks forbidden to slaves), in Brazil this was not the case. Instead, according to Atkin, when Brazil gained independence from Portugal in 1822 it is estimated that as many as three million of its population of four million were of African (or mixed African) descent. What sprang up in Brazil as a result was "an elaborate color based system of racial classification" that has included as many as twenty-eight different racial categories. The intermediate social groups took on the various roles that whites were too few to fill and blacks were too socially restricted to be permitted to fill. In other words, since such a large majority of the Brazilian population was of African descent, both the "one drop rule" (also known as the rule of "hypodescent," according to which someone is considered "black" in virtue of having even one distant African ancestor) so prevalent in the United States and the white privilege the "one drop rule" was designed to preserve were socially useless phenomena in Brazil; and hence did not exist there.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:23 PM
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Again, I'm repeating myself, but I haven't seen an acknowledgment of my point. To appeal to whites as normal Americans who are better than everyone else, you can be reasonably subtle and positive. To get a racist cross-ethnic appeal going, you either have to be really explicit about the racism, which I think isn't practical these days, or you have to abstract it enough that you lose the visceral benefit of the racism (the 83/97 sort of makers/takers appeal might be an attempt at racial politics, but I don't think it'll pull in the Sons of the Confederacy, at which point they may start voting their class interests).

It's not that you can't find non-white racists, but I think it's going to be really hard for the GOP to craft an appeal to them without showing their hand.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:27 PM
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100: Haven't you ever heard someone rant about how recent African immigrants do just fine, so obviously African-Americans don't suffer from racism?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:45 PM
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104: You can use coded language about 'thugs' and 'welfare queens' just as effectively with non-whites as with whites, as long as everyone knows that the language refers to African Americans. The history of dog whistle politics is not particularly positive, playing instead to either fear or jealousy (and contempt, I guess).


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:48 PM
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105 continued: And that therefore there must be something wrong with the old kind of African-American, they must just be lazy or criminal, etc.?

Seriously, this is already a thing.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:50 PM
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I talk about myself as white all the time, though generally when talking to people who are not white. But I also identify with my Irish-American Catholic background as my primary cultural heritage, whereas in our foster training class when we were supposed to say what our culture was, I think every single other white person in the class said, "I don't have a cultural background, just regular American." Lee is almost surely farther removed timewise from her immigrant ancestors than they are, but she is definitely aware of the culture she grew up in than they seem to be.

I do think one thing the racist Republicans will have to contend with is the number of white Republicans who will no longer be part of all-white families as interracial relationships and, more pertinently, multiracial children become more common and more visible. I have certainly seen on facebook and in interactions with neighbors and professionals here that having a grandchild with some black heritage isn't enough to radicalize a conservative grandparent or even push that grandparent to get rid of a blackface lawn jockey, but I do think flat-out racist rhetoric would be a problem for them.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:54 PM
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You can use coded language about 'thugs' and 'welfare queens' just as effectively with non-whites as with whites, as long as everyone knows that the language refers to African Americans

This is where I'm unsure, and I'm probably wrong because I'm being hopeful. But I think you're wrong about that being practical to do effectively on a broad scale -- in practice, Latinos, e.g., seem to interpret that sort of code language as expressing anti-Latino sentiment as much as anti-black sentiment.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:55 PM
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105, 107: It's already a thing -- they're trying. I just don't think it's a thing that works successfully.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 12:57 PM
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110 -- The Texas GOP already gets around 30-40% of the Latino vote, based at least in part on strivers vs. takers rhetoric. If the national GOP can get those kinds of numbers out of various non-black minority groups, plus maintain (or, as pointed out above, likely increase) their share of the white vote, they'll do just fine. They don't need to get even a majority of the Latino or Asian vote, just enough of it to build a dominant majority.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:00 PM
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or even push that grandparent to get rid of a blackface lawn jockey

Ugh.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:01 PM
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109: Could be, and I hope you're right. I suspect that Latinos are a special case among the potential candidates for assimilation into the privileged class. I doubt that a South Asian for example would consider themselves to potentially be included as 'thug' or 'welfare queen' when used to slur some unnamed-but-hinted-at group of people.

Anyway, I hope you're right.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:06 PM
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You have not seen visceral, overt, street-level racial hatred until you have seen some of the interactions between Somalis and Native people here. It is really depressing. There is a deep (though recently dug) well of bitterness there. Just saw an incident on Saturday on the bus that really came to nothing, but the anger and brutality of the mutual disregard on display was very upsetting.

Also, I didn't read the whole thread yet, but aren't there quite a few people in Tejas and the Southwest who have pretty strong Spanish/Mexican genetic heritage, but are completely assimilated into white society? To the point that they totally mispronounce there own surnames? I've met a couple of them.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:07 PM
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The other thing is that it's easier said than done if your core constituency relies heavily on racism as part of their self definition. I can't speak to the American situation, but in Britain we have the edifying spectacle of fascist organisations attempting to recruit black British (ie. people whose recent ancestors came from the Caribbean) to the anti-Islamic struggle, on the basis that the black British community is the most assimilated minority around (true).

The problem is that they keep forgetting that they're supposed to be making nice to them because they've been well trained in hating them and in believing that mixed race relationships are evil (in Britain black/white relationships are by far the commonest mixed race relationships). So, since the black community aren't daft, this little "outreach" gets nowhere, black people understanding very well what the reachers-out are.

How are the Republican strategists going to persuade their base that this or that non-white community are their new best friends?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:12 PM
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109: The parties' actual policies are relevant here. If the Republican party keeps advocating harrassment of immigrants from south of the border, then of course hispanics will rightly assume that when Republicans are talking about the "wrong kind of people," they are talking about hispanics.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:13 PM
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If the national GOP can get those kinds of numbers out of various non-black minority groups, plus maintain (or, as pointed out above, likely increase) their share of the white vote, they'll do just fine.

I don't think this math works out -- they'd need to either do better than that among non-black minorities, or really increase their share of the white vote. And I think increasing their share of the white vote is unrealistic -- they've already got all the white voters they can get with racist dogwhistles, and whites aren't getting more racist.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:16 PM
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The Texas GOP already gets around 30-40% of the Latino vote

That's really depressing.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:17 PM
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100, 105:

There's been some work by sociologists (or possibly social psychologists; desultory googling is failing to turn up the studies I'm thinking of) on this question. The finding was that people who hold negatively stereotypical views of African-Americans often have less negative views of people of African or Caribbean origin.


Posted by: lambchop | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:18 PM
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110: Are you saying that African or West Indian immigrants who have negative attitudes towards African-Americans primarily acquire them by absorbing Republican messaging?

I think the psychology of believing there are shiftless others who are free-riders and who threaten your in-group's way of life is pretty universal. How that gets cashed out in racial/ethnic beliefs is pretty flexible situationally. Cuban-Americans who came in the 1960s, for example, were very quick to distinguish themselves from "Marielitos" when Miami became full-on shit show in the early 80s.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:18 PM
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120: No, I'm saying that while African immigrants may have negative views of African-Americans, they're likely to also have negative views of the GOP making what they perceive to be a racist appeal, because they (the African immigrants) lack faith that the GOP core racists really believe in the distinction between the two groups.

(And to the extent the GOP can convincingly sell that they do really believe in a distinction between the two groups, they risk losing their core white racists, who they need.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:31 PM
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115: In the U.S., Republicans outreach to minorities is similarly ludicrous because it is geared toward reassuring Republicans rather than drawing in actual minorities.

Republicans think they are trying to engage in a dialog when they claim that the modern Democratic Party is, on racial issues, unchanged from the Jim Crow past. These Republicans have no grasp of the fact that they are, in effect, mocking the modern history of African Americans.

(Why won't black people understand that Democrats are trying to enslave them? Because they're too stupid!)

For this reason, I think I share LB's belief that the Republicans, as currently constituted, are going to have trouble playing on racial tropes with actual racial minorities. Sure, you'll always have your APAC Likudniks and your Cubans, but Republicans have no idea how to talk to people who don't already buy into their bullshit.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:33 PM
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122 was me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:33 PM
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or even push that grandparent to get rid of a blackface lawn jockey

I saw a number of lawn jockeys this weekend out on Long Island. Most of them had whitewashed faces (some of them looked weirdly "tan"), but I still just don't get the appeal, at all.

Garden gnomes I can kinda understand.


Posted by: jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:52 PM
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Garden gnomes I can kinda understand.

Racist.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GNOMES | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:54 PM
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Ah yes, my gnome. I'm very fond of my gnome.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 1:54 PM
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I think the appeal is to make your house look old; that is, weren't lawn-jockeys originally functional hitching posts, that hung around as ornaments to make it look like someone might conceivably have ever wanted to tie up a horse by your front door?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 2:01 PM
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In 2012, Ted Cruz, as right wing an asshole as they come, but also a Latino, got 35% of the Texas Latino vote and won 56% of the total vote in a majority-minority state. Romney got about 29% of the Latino vote. That's actually probably pretty low for what the GOP could pull in total. Even in California, GOP candidates can draw 25% or so of the Latino vote, sometimes more. There's clearly an audience there and not everyone is turned off by the current Republicans. I think it's reasonable for the GOP to bet on their vote share among Latinos increasing as Latinos get richer.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 2:01 PM
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Along the lines of 77, I had a girlfriend who was South Asian, and quite dark skinned. For my racist great aunt, this was an uncomfortable fact that was borne in silence. I had another (platonic) friend who was a black woman. When my aunt found out, she told me that if I ever dated her, she would never speak to me again. You could tell she was physically nauseated by the idea. People are capable of very specific ethnic hatreds.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 2:26 PM
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I have heard the hitching-post idea, but the actual old-timey hitching posts are generally more functional. The lawn jockeys just seem like midcentury racist kitsch.


Posted by: jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 2:56 PM
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I suppose I really have no idea -- never knew anyone with a house that had one, as far I remember.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 3:16 PM
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The hitching-post thing sounds like the obvious explanation for the lawn-jockey tradition. They sort of resemble other decorative hitching posts. Just do google image search for "lawn jockey hitching post" and you'll see a bunch of them with rings in their hands.

Of course, this is not to say that even the majority of people with lawn jockeys nowadays realize that it used to be a type of hitching post. For one thing, the lawn jockeys I've seen are not high enough to even be vaguely feasible for this purpose.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 3:23 PM
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128: Yeah, but "Ted Cruz" has only seven letters total. What if his name was "Carlos María Eduardo García de la Cal Fernández Leal Luna Delgado Galván Sanz"?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 3:25 PM
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There should be a "most of" somewhere in there.

Anyway, here in actual hitching-post territory I can observe that they need to have a ring or other thing a rope can be tied to, 3 to 4 feet off the ground. So keep this in mind if you have a lawn jockey and want to be able to maintain deniability as a non-racist kitschy horse lover. If it is shorter than that, put it on a pedestal.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 3:27 PM
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Huh. Googling 'lawn jockey' surprised me -- I don't think I'd ever seen the explicit racial caricature type. I'd only seen the kind that looks like this, and I think I'd only ever seen them painted black all over like you'd paint a cast-iron fence. I kind of wondered why they were regarded as quite as offensive as all that -- they looked fairly harmless, and plausibly originally functional.

Google image makes it clear that there are much more offensive lawn jockeys out there. I had no idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 3:40 PM
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LB is the Pauline Kael of lawn jockeys.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 4:00 PM
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Oh, I'm the Pauline Kael of everything except actually reviewing movies. I like my bubble.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 4:05 PM
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LB is the Muhammad Ali of being the Pauline Kael of lawn jockeys.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 4:09 PM
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LB is the Pauline Kael of lawn jockeys.

I had never heard of lawn jockeys until this thread.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 4:10 PM
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Y'all should really be listening to more Nato Green.

MC: When's the last time you really offended someone-on stage and off?
NG: I offend people offstage constantly, to such a degree that my loved ones have begun telling people that I have intermittent Asperger's Syndrome. Fortunately, I'm very good at apologizing. Unfortunately, I'm not good at not being an asshole. If I could figure that out, I wouldn't have to be so good at apologizing. Onstage: hard to say. People usually step to me after shows to quibble about something esoteric. "You uncritically accepted the notion of Jewish whiteness." Once I had a week of shows with Paul Mooney, who opened his set every night with "give it up for the Jew who thinks he's white. You're not white. Ask the Klan how white you are." And then the audience would applaud uproariously. First of all, it was confusing to interpret what it means to have a room full of middle-aged black people applauding my non-whiteness. Second, I thought, "Yes, Mooney, that may be true. But let's also ask the police how white I am. I live in San Francisco where I have to deal with the police a lot more than the Klan."

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 4:12 PM
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Video - which is about potty training more than critical race studies but wevs.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 4:14 PM
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I can imagine the GOP putting together a multi-racial coalition, because many of their positions (e.g., cutting social services, harsh treatment of illegal immigrants) have more to do with class divisions and xenophobia than race.


Posted by: torrey pine (YK) | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 4:20 PM
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Also, I think the political leanings of immigrants and first-generation Americans are much more fluid than you might expect, because they are coming from a background that doesn't necessarily align with either major party in the US, and they often have a desire to create a new identity as an American.


Posted by: torrey pine (YK) | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 4:33 PM
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142 -- Or so it seems, until you get non-affluent white Republicans talking about either issue, and then it becomes quite clear that race is a bigger deal than class. This is the ultimate problem for the Hatred Party, just as they can't talk about punishing sluts (a category that involves, apparently, victims of violent crime) without seeming to engage in a war on women.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 4:47 PM
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involves should be includes.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 4:48 PM
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I guess where I come down on these issues is that it's very, very dangerous, at least in anything more than the absolute immediate short term, to blindly count on Republicans doing stupid racist things to put off minorities. At some point, the GOP will begin working harder to attract more Latinos and Asians, because it has to. Some of this is already starting, and, as I say, they are starting even now with about 30% of the Latino vote, 40% of the Asian-American group. As both of these demographics grow more assimilated, prosperous, and dominant (and they will do so) they will also be more Republican, and there's not much reason why small business owners who happen to be Asian and Latino should vote for Teabaggers like Ted Cruz, in the same way that white small business owners do. The result will be a Republican party that is in some ways less explicitly "racist" but still roundly devoted to screwing over the poor.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 4:56 PM
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I don't think anyone should be blindly counting on anything, certainly.

But the GOP is going to have a real problem making the transition, made worse by the gerrymandering that is its current salvation. For every Christie who understands you have to broaden the appeal, there's a dozen Akin-like House members who have to worry about being called a RINO and face a primary opponent. And the Christie types still get stuck with the public utterances of the Akin types.

There's poor white people willing to sign one to a screw the poor agenda, on the understanding that what's really intended is to screw them. Get more explicit that it's not about skin color but really just screwing the poor, and you're going to have to be vulnerable to losing some enthusiasm. Which, because of Citizens United doesn't kill you until election day . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 5:08 PM
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My next door neighbors finally got rid of their blackface lawn jockeys a couple years ago.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 5:22 PM
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The elderly black couple a few doors down from us has a crazy explicit-racial-caricature-type lawn jockey out front. On a block/in a neighborhood that is overwhelmingly black. It's just mind-boggling, still catches me off-guard sometimes it's so awful. I've been trying for over three years now to figure out how to work up from inane neighborly chitchat to asking them what they fuck they're thinking. I mean, I suppose this could be an "it's okay if you're ___" situation, but why?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 5:28 PM
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I have a lawn economist. He stands with holding a set of assumptions that don't fit any existing society.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 5:32 PM
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143 gets the unpredictability of recent immigrants right. Arab-Americans (especially Syrians and Lebanese) used to vote Republican because they identified as small (or largish) business-owners; (many) Iranians voted R because of some insane theory that Jimmy Carter was to blame for the fall of the Shah and everything was so nice under Nixon. Those groups have voted D recently, but I wouldn't necessarily count on retaining them--and I was surprised when I first learned about those blocs' historic voting patterns.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 5:54 PM
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147 is exactly my thinking, better phrased.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:00 PM
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I don't get it myself, but there are black people for whom collecting racist kitsch is a thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:03 PM
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I had a lawn physicist but it kept rolling into the street.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 6:07 PM
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Once you're trying to build a racial coalition that's still racist, you have to make your positive imagery diverse, and be explicit about who the outsiders are. That's going to be a hard trick to pull off.

Dinesh D'Sousa has tried. In the future, the way to dog whistle to non-whites about black racism is going to be "it's not race it's culture." This will, according to the GOP, attract the 'good' minorities (Asians, certain segments of the Latino population), but not the 'bad' minorities. Of course, if you look at Asian voting patterns, this method is already failing miserably, and I'm pretty sure cranking it up will only backfire more.

On the leanings of recent immigrants, South and East Asians have been pretty solidly Democratic, despite economic and behavioral profiles which might suggest more willingness to swing Republican. My guess would be that religion/moral issues are a big part of this. Fundamentalist Christianity is a huge turn off to non Christians, even ones who might be fairly conservative on social issues. Also, Asians are overwhelmingly pro-choice, even Christian Koreans.* Finally, economically conservative refugees from Statist countries often have a strong libertarian streak, and government intervention into personal lives makes them nervous. I know Chinese immigrants who think homosexuality is a mental illness and people should be abstinent until marriage, except they're Atheists who think it's not the government's business to regulate personal lives. Finally, many Asians get that the reason the Republican Party is embracing them is because they're not-black, and find it insulting and the GOP's racism directed at anyone off-putting.

*Only Catholic Vietnamese and Filipinos are more likely to pro-life than pro-choice, and they're the only groups of Asians who vote Republican in any large numbers. IIRC, Filipinos swing slightly Republican, and Vietnamese are about 50/50.

Also, various anecdotes on race:

I have a Chinese friend who lives in Arizona, and he is treated basically as 'foreign, other' by the cops & border patrol, as are his European friends. He refuses to carry 'his papers' on principle, gives lip about it every time he goes through border patrol, and no one gives him any trouble about it.

My Italian boyfriend has on occasion been identified as non-white, but only by African Americans. My favorite story is once he was walking through Harold Washington Park, and a man offered him a blunt. My boyfriend accepted, and smoked a bit with this guy. They started chatting, and it came up that he was Italian. The guy responded, "Italians! Thems n*ggas too!"


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 7:45 PM
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Oh, also, this:

http://www.salon.com/2013/06/17/gop_plan_to_appeal_to_millennials_make_abortion_funny/


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:39 PM
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149 is just crazy nuts man. If they lived near me I'd be trying to supress the near irresistible urge to knock on the door point to the damn thing and ask what gives.

I once lived in a famous horse racing town upstate NY across the street from the elderly widow of a once celebrated jockey. Her house was falling into disrepair, her roof was half covered in moss and the cops used to look in on her regularly. She had a lawn jockey in front of her house that was painted in her late husband's racing colors. That was the only lawn jockey I've ever seen that I didn't think was tacky or creep me out.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:41 PM
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http://thinkprogress.org/immigration/2013/06/17/2170721/marchant-latinos-immigration/


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:42 PM
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(The stats in that link are quite something. House Republicans don't have many Latino constituents. I wonder what a similar analysis of Asian-Americans would turn up.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 8:54 PM
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Hm, I'm only just now seeing this thread, and have to get to bed. Before, I do, though:

1. I'm on Team Cynic here. I have absolutely no doubt that conservatives can and will cobble together a coalition based around hating black people and being "achievers". It's already happening, just not at the national level.

2. To that end, torrey pine's 143 is very important. Immigrants are not monolithic, and immigrant political identity is definitely neither monolithic nor necessarily stable (in US political-party terms). I've met way, way more Vietnamese Republicans than Democrats, for example.

3. Benquo is unfortunately entirely right that there is a large, well-developed set of ugly rationalizations around differences between African immigrants and African Americans.

4. Perhaps most important (or at least most amusing to me) -- as best I can tell, this entire brouhaha is starting from a semi-false premise, because Census data only shows the race/ethnicity of the mother. So it's virtually guaranteed that the number of "white people" being born has already started to drop BEFORE this year -- because obviously not every white woman who has a baby is doing so with a same-race partner!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-17-13 9:27 PM
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I'm pretty sure that when you have a homogenous group, it spontaneously splits into distinct groups with the sole purpose of brutalizing each other.

A Highland Scot writes: oh, indeed.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-18-13 1:38 AM
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Oh, hey, Henry Louis Gates just wrote about why he collects racist memorabilia, so I guess there's that.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 10:54 AM
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The Republicans can blend several of their resentments into a finest mixture labeled `urban'. It's a dog whistle for `black' already, especially longterm African Americans, and any other immigrants who haven't gotten rich and moved to the suburbs; and conveniently it picks up educated liberals, and Europeans, and almost anyone willing to live near any of the above. I don't know if the hatred of `Agenda 21' visible along I-5 is more driven by fear of mixing or love of the internal combustion engine, but it's already promising armed rebellion.

Other: the Irish, White, Jewish races in n-grams. I'd say that before 1900 pop fiction doesn't describe the Irish as the same race as the English or Germans, and the descriptions aren't flattering. On the other hand, some Irish-Boston-Catholic connections of mine described themselves as WASPs a year or so ago. It may come with the Har\/ard degrees, to be sure.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06-19-13 1:46 PM
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