Who is full-blooded?
This post crosses a couple of topics that have been on my mind lately. Little things, you know, like pervasive racism and the second-class status of GLBT folks in this country.
Jack and Jill Politics wrote on a particularly heinous op-ed in the Chicago Tribune last week. The article embodies a lot of the problems I’ve had with Clinton’s campaign–which has used racist sentiment…actually, let’s be honest…it’s used white supremacist sentiment to rally rural and older white voters. Obama is too uppity for his own good, know what I mean?
Anyway, Kathleen Parker’s nasty piece dwells on the concept of “full-blooded” Americanness.
Full-bloodedness is an old coin that’s gaining currency in the new American realm. Meaning: Politics may no longer be so much about race and gender as about heritage, core values, and made-in-America. Just as we once and still have a cultural divide in this country, we now have a patriot divide.
Now, I understand that Parker may think her own audience is blind to their own motivations, but how is something about “heritage” and “made in America” and not about race?
She’s hardly masking her
racist white supremacist sentiment:
It’s about blood equity, heritage and commitment to hard-won American values. And roots.
Man, you really can’t get much more KKK than that.
Here’s the thing, it’s all code. She’s not talking about my background. Fuck all that Mayflower and Daughters of the American Revolution bullshit. The WASPs never did think much of the Irish or the Slavs. But when she talks about full-blooded Americans, she’s also not using that code to slur me. It’s not about the old immigrants who are now neatly rolled up into whiteness, it’s the new immigrants…like Obama’s dad.
Now, where this does become about me is when the issue of…
Yet, white Americans primarily—and Southerners, rural and small-town folks especially—have been put on the defensive for their concerns with “guns, God and gays.”
And the justification for both their racism and their general hatred of anything not like them is:
What they know is that their forefathers fought and died for an America that has worked pretty well for more than 200 years. What they sense is that their heritage is being swept under the carpet while multiculturalism becomes the new national narrative. And they fear what else might get lost in the remodeling of America.
Today, Governor Pawlenty vetoed the SF 960 bill that the Minnesota House and Senate passed. It would have allowed local governments in Minnesota to provide domestic partner benefits. I realize that “teh gayz” are a big selling point for the Republicans in a time when their economic and international policies are being shown for the shams that they are, but damn if it doesn’t break my heart every time they try to make life harder for us.
We’re part of this “multiculturalism” that Parker and her allies are scared of. (Or, rather, that she exploits this line of thinking to advance her name and get a book deal at some point. Controversy sells!)
And why are they scared of it? Because their heritage is being swept under the carpet? Bullshit. It’s the time-honored tradition of: if you’re doing better, it must be at some cost to me, so I don’t want your lot to improve.
Does it actually hurt heterosexual couples if I got Megan health insurance through my job or vice versa? I mean, unlike y’all, we have to pay taxes on the amount paid (FYI: that’s approximately $100 a month in taxes for health care at the U. On top of the normal cost of adding someone to your insurance.).
In order to be against gay marriage or domestic partner benefits or civil unions or black people becoming president or women becoming president or whatever, you have to believe that if any of these things occurs, you will have lost something.
And, you know what? If you think that people don’t deserve the same rights and privileges that you have because you’re afraid of a level playing field, you need to really think about what that means. It means you don’t think you’re good enough, it means you’re insecure about your position in the world, and it means you are petty and exploitative and just plain mean.
Congrats to Californians, by the way, whose largely Republican (I believe 6 of the 7 judges were Republican appointments) court said that not allowing gay marriages in CA was unconstitutional. It’s going to kick off a firestorm, but if marriage is going to remain a thing in this country (um, that’s a definite), then it needs to be across the board. Knock it down like miscegenation was knocked down.