Discover more from Nothing New Under the Sun
I've tweeted a lot about the GOP's racist incentive structures for a good, historical reason.
NIGHT TOUR, LINCOLN MEMORIAL, FROM THE TOP OF THE STEPS, April 1982, Pentax K-1000, Asahi Pentax-M 50mm prime lens, Takumar 300mm telephoto lens, teenagers, high school, band geeks, marching band, Herbert Hoover High School of Fresno Central California, Washington DC, Wikimedia Commons
This is a new version that adds the Crash Course video on Reaganism. Enjoy.
Republicans Walk Out as Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed:
President Donald J. Trump’s administration, and its explicit use of tribal demagoguery with a negative racial tinge, created the conditions for a more extensive national debate about the Republican Party’s legacy regarding race in “post-racial America.” Recently, I tweeted about the connection between the rise of Marjorie Taylor Greene (and the ability of George Santos to be an open fraud with no consequences) within Kevin McCarthy’s Republican House conference and a legacy of racial demagoguery that has made much of “the conservative movement” ring hollow.
Marjorie Taylor Greene claims Democrats weaponize Black Lives Matter protestors and that no one calls attention to what she views as a fact, but may be more of her tribal truth about people of color in inner cities and their allies:
First, it must be unpacked that racism is tribalism and it is a natural human condition as we have adapted in this manner to survive in the wider world - from the Ice Age into contemporary times. Compared to today, America was a very different nation in the immediate years following the events of the 1960s rights revolutions around race, sex, class, religion, immigration, labor, and gender. It was a much Whiter place, less populated (though still a populous nation by 70s standards), and the power dynamics in financial, cultural, and social society exponentially favored White people over anyone else.
Even though White Americans warmed to the idea of equal voting rights and desegregation (for some only in lands outside of their purview): social pathways, relationships, and communal traditions still reflect the scars of segregation. But it’s not the people’s fault, rather, blame the legacy of industrial policy that reflected white nationalist fever dreams and designs for racial power at the time. This policy throughline can be seen in sectors like education and housing, as well as with human rights indicators such as maternal mortality rates.
It was natural for a backlash to occur after the civil rights reforms of the mid-1960s since America had organized its society around de facto and de jure racial segregation that subliminally agreed with subhuman tropes regarding the worth of African Americans.
These systemically racist structures demanded a backlash.
However, the American people have done an okay job integrating its society. I am a Marylander and experience the gifts of a diverse, integrated portion of this state each and every day.
It is true that the nation’s people, for the most part, overwhelmingly welcome diversity, even if it's for superficial social desirability (as the manufactured critical race theory moral panic exposed). Still, I personally connect the Republicans to modern anti-Black racism, and also bigotry towards other traditionally otherized American groups, because they have made an explicit choice to ignore the true history of their older Black coalition, who had been within the party due to its history in abolitionism. But also, many Black landowners and business owners benefitted from federal and industrial growth policies within their own segregated worlds.
The choice to ignore the moral and ancestral power of the National Civil Rights Movement, for both Democrat and Republican Black Americans, was a feature of the Southern Strategy GOP and also with the way it crystallized into a political machine during the Reagan years. This was the original sin of the GOP and I always like to use the example of Reagan visiting the site of a modern lynching to send a signal to some White voters.
Reagan attacks welfare and fetishized state’s rights in his speech at a place where civil rights workers were lynched. This is demagoguing an inevitable federal bureaucracy so it can be captured by moneyed interest while racist working-class voters think it is secretly taking their jobs and giving them to minorities :
Now America has open white nationalists in House committees with major policy influence.
There is a fake person walking around with no one (that he will listen to) able to tell him he is wrong.
The reason Critical Race Theory, which is not taught to children or intended to make White children feel bad about themselves, is so popular in GOP intellectual spaces is that it is a thought field that they have not reckoned with in their musings about the American government. (Outside of notable good faith attempts from thinkers at the Bulwark.)
Actually, taking in Critical Race Theory in good faith and empathy for the brutalization of people of color in this country may make myopic and somewhat tribal theories of limited government far less morally potent.
America had a Republican president that created a new “Lost Cause” and also paraded an environment that facilitated Confederate flags attempting to seize the Capitol building to stop a peaceful transfer of power. The way the Republicans used neo-segregationist and reactions to Civil Rights by racist Americans for short-term political capital has arguably cost or expedited the end of the nation’s golden age. That is the cosmos laughing as America never faces the consequences of its original sins of racial apartheid, ripping the histories from people, and genociding Indigenous populations.
The result is a portion of the citizenry utterly unable to integrate and will make an influential death cult over it.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
Nothing New Under the Sun with Steward Beckham is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.