March 14, 2005

"It Ain't Easy Being White"

'Hang around the working class places very long and you'll see that they almost never talk about current events. They never mention politics except in an election year. They never mention any larger issues than sports, movies, and where to get good ribs and seafood and why GM just can't seem to build a decent engine. They put up flags and patriotic symbols because it seems like the right thing to do because everybody else does. But no conscious analysis takes place. Most working whites, blue collar, technical, service or whatever, are nonpolitical. And to the extent that they hold beliefs, they hold the beliefs they think they are expected to hold. Just like they hold little flags, and ribbons for the troops. That's to tell you who they believe they are, Americans and Americans only. Plain Americans, cut from the rest of the world by a self isolating belief that it's better to be American than anything else, even if they really can't prove why. Ignorance is bliss and, somehow, America is where everyone supposedly dreams to be. No depth of thought and consciousness involved or required. There is the American on top and the rest of the world who is envious and plotting to steal their freedom.

'In the end maybe we cannot count on white Americans to change. An African American friend writes me that, "As long as Americans have that belief, Bush is safe and the world is in trouble. For all I know, the liberals and the suburbanites, even the progressives and leftists are a bunch of know it alls with the same supremacist tendencies in sheep clothing. They just can't shed this hubris of the curse of being better than the rest of the world for no good reason. There is something pathetic about this world view. So I'll just work with people of color because they don't seem to have this illusion and actually like other cultures and the world. They are the future and they need to be in power because they will change the status quo. I don't believe that white people in general want to change anything at all."

'... Let's be honest. The liberal elite is not entirely a Republican myth. This generation of white liberals is not involved in class issues, and have become more about trendiness. To the average working American Friends and Sex and the City is the face of modern liberal culture. They are not wrong. The very fact that most elite celebrities call themselves "liberal" and don't receive any heat tells you something is very wrong. A real class warrior would spit on the celebrities and materialistic, narcissistic celebrity itself.

'... The United States no longer has citizens. It has consumers. So middle class liberals delude themselves into thinking they are so different from people like Pooty, Dink and the others who break wind and pool sticks down here at Burt's Tavern based upon their consumer choices. Most liberals are not in a much higher income bracket, but their consumer choices -- paid for on credit -- allow them to mimic the ruling class. Starbucks vs Sanka, Mother Jones vs George Jones. Mark Twain vs Shania Twain. . . . There is little hope for us until we realize these ultimately meaningless consumer choices are not representative of any competing or compelling values, but merely distractions that stimulate and keep alive class divisions and hatreds.

'... Liberals hate Bush because he is a traitor to the white classes. Bush revealed the true face of American power and exposed it as the corrupt hoax it really is. He is a "cowboy" imperialist as opposed to the more acceptable kind -- the Kennedy, Carter, Clinton type who conducted their dark little murders at the edge of the empire in secrecy while Americans wasted most of the worlds resources. The Anybody But Bush crowd would have approved the use of force against Iraq if it had been presented by a senator from a Blue State with a bullshit UN resolution, as opposed to a simple 'Yeeee-ha' from a retard frat-boy from Texas and overwhelming international revulsion. Either way, the ruling political and corporate elites still maintain their privileges and status. The ABB movement was not about stripping anyone of those; it was simply about keeping self-serving appearances to preserve our Jabba the Hutt worldview and lifestyle.'

-- Joe Bageant