Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fearing the Future

One of my suspicions over the past year has been that the rage in the US, at least as the media portrays it, is not just due to a poor economy, but also due to an increasing realization by some groups of white folks that the country's demography has been and will continue to be changing.  This has and will reduce the power of white folks.  In today's NYT, Charles Blow makes essentially the same argument, but actually provides some facts.  He cites "a report entitled “Rage on the Right: The Year in Hate and Extremism” recently released by the Southern Poverty Law Center" that documents increases in hate groups.  Again, much of this is likely a result of the economy, but still the dynamics seem to point to some people being worried about living in a multiethnic country but without the dominance they have come to expect.

So, who are these people:
A Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday took a look at the Tea Party members and found them to be just as anachronistic to the direction of the country’s demographics as the Republican Party. For instance, they were disproportionately white, evangelical Christian and “less educated ... than the average Joe and Jane Six-Pack.” This at a time when the country is becoming more diverse (some demographers believe that 2010 could be the first year that most children born in the country will be nonwhite), less doctrinally dogmatic, and college enrollment is through the roof. The Tea Party, my friends, is not the future.
And I love Blow's conclusion:
You may want “your country back,” but you can’t have it. That sound you hear is the relentless, irrepressible march of change. Welcome to America: The Remix.
Diversity is America's strength, not its weakness.

1 comment:

Chris C. said...

"Instead of jettisoning the radical language, rabid bigotry and rising violence, the Republicans justify it." This statement by Blow is over the top. It's a classic political-theater tactic by which people try to deflect legitimate policy criticism and tar all opponents because they're not "opposing" something enough. Republicans are guilty of using it too, but in this case Blow and co. (Frank Rich had a similar column today; makes me wonder why they employ two people who write pretty much the same thing, along with Bob Herbert. At least Dowd/Collins/Krugman are distinguishable from each other) go beyond the pale.
In this case, the logic seems to be thus: if a few people who oppose a cause seem to have some racial overtones, then opposing that cause is a racist thing to do and the majority of people associated with that cause must fine with racism as well because they didn't denounce racism loud enough. That doesn't hold up very well, except in the land of political media.