Look, it’s easy to dismiss the guy at this rally as a crank. But the larger context here is important. The McCain campaign — with public statements and ads suggesting Obama is linked to terrorists and many other tactics — is very deliberately trying to whip up mass fear and loathing about the prospect of an Obama presidency.
When they stood up and started I was lightweight reminded of a
lynchmob. Before you dismiss me consider this. Black men were
lynched under the auspices of protecting the sexual well being
of the southern bell, however there was an more stealth agenda
operating as well. Black men were also lynched as an act of voter
suppression and as an act of economic oppression. According to
There were often three motives for lynchings in the United States. The first was the social aspect: punishing some social wrong or perceived social wrong (such as a violation of Jim Crow) to restore social order.
Another motive was the economic aspect. For example, upon successful lynching of an African American farmer or immigrant merchant, the land would be available and the market opened for white Americans. In much of the Deep South lynchings peaked in the late 19th century, as whites turned to terrorism to dissuade blacks from voting and to enforce Jim Crow laws. In the Mississippi Delta lynchings of blacks increased in the early 20th century as white planters tried to enforce control of labor when more blacks became sharecroppers and laborers.
Lynchings occurred in frontier areas where legal recourse was distant. In the West cattle barons took the law into their own hands by hanging those they perceived as cattle thieves.
Journalist and anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells wrote in the 1890s that black lynching victims were accused of rape or attempted rape only about one-third of the time. The most prevalent accusation was murder or attempted murder, followed by a list of infractions that included verbal and physical aggression, spirited business competition and independence of mind. White lynch mobs formed to restore the perceived social order.
How can working class whites identify with affluent whites over
other working class Black folks, Latino folks and Asian folks?
It goes back to our history. Irish indentured servants chose
to identify with the affluent white owner class, rather than the Black
folks they were working alongside. Many white folks choose to
identify with whiteness over class then, and many are choosing
whiteness over class now. It is important to note that many or not,
which gives us Obama’s multiracial, multiclass coalition.
This choice is why some working class whites can blame the
loss of their factory jobs on Affirmative Action, not on the fact
that Clinton’s NAFTA gave companies an incentive to move
their jobs to China, Mexico and India.
With the union jobs that have historically created the American middle
class are in China, we are a nation full of service workers (employed
at restaurants and retail jobs as opposed to factories that make
things) earning low wages, and little to no health insurance and
very little job security. Blame Affirmative Action?
Simply, whiteness is a currency. The fact that some white folks choose
race over class is indicative of this. Remember when Chris Rock said,
I love Black people, but I can’t stand N-ggas”. There is something
very similar operating here. Didn’t Chris stop performing
that joke because white folks were laughing too hard?