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Republican Race Rage Not Tied to Health Care

(NNPA) Several people have contacted me about the similarities between Paul Krugman's recent New York Times article and my own idea that the Republican base in motivated by a rage that is, in part, racial.

I can still hear one of the protesters shouting at the top of her lungs at one of the recent townhall meetings shown on TV, "I want my country back."

Like many of her co-conspirators, she believes that in the election of 2008 she lost what she came to believe as the appropriate model for the country -preeminent White rule. Krugman suggests that this is reminiscent of the Nixon Southern strategy that relied on White racial fears of Blacks and their potential advantages won in the Civil Rights movement. But as I tried to show in White Nationalism, Black Interests, this is the soul of the Republican base, larded with Southerners and others who fear Black advantage and the coming of a country that has a more diverse racial population in which Whites are not the majority.

So, while social transformation for many White Americans was so necessary at this juncture in history to right a sinking ship that they elected a Black president to do it, the Republican crazies who are tearing up the town hall meetings fear "Transformation" as threatening to White political and cultural hegemony.

The fear is of a non-racial political democracy and with the coming of Black governors, presidents and an Hispanic added to the Supreme Court, who knows what could come from a mob that has deep racial fears.

As long as conservatives were in the White House who put the lid on social transformation and privileged subtle notions of White supremacy the Republican base was satisfied, but now that they have lost power, they are enraged and afraid of policies of transformation.

The use of Nazi symbolism to chastise Barack Obama and his policies by them is misplaced. Rather, they should remember that in constructing his racially xenophobic movement, socialism was not the most important thing, it was the idea of a master White race.

In fact, Hitler was most persuasive in his own "Southern strategy," convincing his followers that they had lost power because of certain groups, making these groups scapegoats for their fears, and devising a radical notion of achieving power through racial violence.

This is the real face of so much of the Republican Party's base and for too long, the media and other institutional leaders have looked the other way and accepted this radicalism by Whites because it was cloaked in the garments of a major political party. When Colin Powell was booed off the stage by the radicals when he declared that he supported Affirmative Action that was a key not only to their rejection of that policy, but to his role as a leader in their party. This insensitivity has been supported and abated by the right wing nuts in talk radio. But their behavior has also been abided by leaders in the Congress.

Where are the institutional voices that have come out with Congressional resolutions or public statements against, Malcolm X, Khalid Muhammad, Minister Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and others of our leaders? I see a double standard here. This double standard could blow the country apart.

The rage of the radical right must be disciplined and its legitimacy taken away. But rather than criticism, major media has placed in the category of First Amendment Rights and sought to devise some fictitious neutral standard between them and labor union organizing.

If these were Black people acting ugly, the media and other opinion leaders would be all over it; there would be no protection, no temporizing, but much criticism and condemnation and perhaps even a show of police action.
Now that the radicals do not have White House cover, they are bringing their rage out in the open and while today, it is focused against Whites where will it turn tomorrow?

The state must use its power to declare that there are limits to the extent to which some people can disrupt civil gatherings. That is not free speech, it is mob action.

I remember coming out of my apartment one day in 1968 and a soldier with fixed bayonet said that I must go back. They had established Marshall Law to control the rebellions taking place because of the response to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Will the state have the courage to curb White violence? How far will they let them go? We will see.

[Dr. Ron Walters is Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland. One of his latest books is: White Nationalism, Black.

 

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