The South’s “Lost Cause” Addiction
I watched a Chris Hayes’ panel on Thursday, October 9, 2013. They were discussing the government shut down and the debt ceiling. No one mentioned that the faction standing on the ledge and threatening to jump if it doesn’t get its way was sent to Washington by people who hate blacks. Hate Muslims. Hate Mexican Americans. Hate Gays. Hate themselves. But hate blacks mostly.
So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do.
The patriarchs who own the media have decided that a discussion of white racism is a real market turn-off for those whom they want to buy the gas guzzlers they advertise. These whites, who belong to political lonely hearts clubs like the Tea Party, have been dazzled by the propaganda promoted by billionaires and their hired mouths that the “gummitt” is taking their money and turning it over to blacks. But the racist line that somehow the government is using the money of whites to finance blacks who, in the words of Eric Cantor, who Earl Shorris might call a Jew without mercy, are using “the safety net as a hammock,” was there from the beginning. Rick Santelli, who is called “the lightning rod” of the Tea Party, during his famous stock exchange rant, implied that whites were paying the mortgages of black deadbeats. During the recent presidential primary, Rick Santorum said he didn’t want to take white people’s money and give it to blacks. During the same campaign, Newt Gingrich, who supports the view held by Dinesh D’Souza, who had to resign recently from a flat earth Christian “college” over a family-values scandal, that the president was indoctrinated by Jomo Kenyatta. Gingrich, a serial hypocrite called Obama “the food stamps president” and “entertainer-in-chief,” conjuring an image of the president as a white-lipped minstrel adorned with white gloves, which is probably why Gingrich was hired by CNN’s Jeff Zucker, who created an atmosphere at NBC for women described by Ann Curry as “cruel.”
The three haven’t studied the history of the capitalist system’s attitude toward blacks from the 1860s Reconstruction Freedman’s bank, which went bust, losing the assets of the “emancipated” slaves, even though the government at the time guaranteed their deposits–the government reneged–to now, when Bank of America and Wells Fargo have been charged with systematically sending toxic loans into black and Hispanic neighborhoods.
When I moved into an Oakland inner city neighborhood in 1979, it was 95 percent black. As a result of these sub prime loans, which led to foreclosures, blacks have vanished from North Oakland; they’ve been replaced by young whites arriving from San Francisco, where the rents and mortgages are high. Before World War II, countries like Germany and the Soviet Union decided which undesirable ethnic groups had to be replaced with those whom they favored. Now the banks, with the complicity of the federal government, make those decisions. The bankers are the new Feudal Lords.
Santelli and his Tea Party allies are ignorant of the fact that the banks, while encouraging the development of assets by whites, have expressed hostility toward economic opportunities for blacks, historically. For decades whites have received low interest loans from the FHA; its attitude toward blacks has been one of red-lining. The public sector, while coddling whites, has shared the bank’s attitude toward black development. FDR saved his class, threatened by a communist take over, by admitting millions of white ethnics to the middle class and whiteness, which until now staved off a revolution. But the crazies in the Tea Party and other groups don’t care about this agreement and so the one percent is threatened by the white grass roots more than at any time since the 1940s, when thousands marched in May Day parades. FDR made a deal with the Dixiecrats that denied these benefits for blacks. Currently, the same southern states are refusing to expand Medicaid based on the propaganda point that it’s another black giveaway, which has been accepted by white Tea Party members many of whom depend upon Medicaid.
As a result of this vindictive action by southern governors, millions will remain impoverished and lack health insurance. Show off public intellectuals are always quoting de Tocqueville’s take on America. Here’s the observation of another foreigner. D.H. Lawrence. He said “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer. It has never yet melted.” He could have had Ronald Reagan, Eric Cantor, The Koch brothers, Newt Gingrich, the A.E.I. and Manhattan Institute in mind.
Here’s a profile of the Tea Party from the NYT:
“A University of Washington survey has found that Southerners and conservatives are more likely to support the Tea Party.
“What’s more, the director of the survey says his data show that the Tea Party might also be about race. Those who think the government has done too much to help African Americans are 36 more likely to support the Tea Party.
“While it’s clear that the Tea Party in one sense about limited government, it’s also clear from the data that people who want limited government don’t want certain services for certain kinds of people. Those services include health care,” said Christopher Parker, the assistant professor of political science at the UW who directed the survey.”
Communists joining a common front with FDR led to many blacks abandoning the communist party, one of the many united fronts that have caused a rift between the white and black left, historically. (This pattern continues. Currently, progressive whites are praising Rand Paul. MSNBC Progressive Joan Walsh, who calls me “pernicious” in her new book, says of Rand Paul, who opposes a woman’s right to choose,” that she admires his “consistency,” and “integrity.” Given Rand Paul’s position on Civil Rights under a Paul presidency blacks might have to integrate lunch counters again.)
Even though the black president “has leaned over backwards” to please whites, to the consternation of black critics like Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, those who will go to any extreme to delegitimize a black president will not let up. Their hatred is inexhaustible. Approaching the psychotic, which is why I subtitled my book, Going Too Far essays about America’s Nervous Breakdown. Carl Bernstein, Lawrence O’Donnell and Bill Maher and a few other white commentators get it, but not only are these extremists holding the government hostage but the media as well. They’re scared to say that white racists are threatening the survival of American civilization. CNN even entered into a business deal with the Tea Party Express. Jeff Zucker, the new CNN chief, whose market driven memo about the government shutdown is that both parties are to be blamed, a line repeated nightly by hacker Piers Morgan nightly, caters to this element by hiring Mark O’Mara, an attorney who got Zimmerman off by putting out pre trial lies about Trayvon Martin, and Newt Gingrich, who has made comments about the president of a racist nature.
On Saturday, October 12, CNN cited the eugenics-minded Manhattan Institute in an effort to undermine the Affordable Care Act. The press also aides the enemies of blacks by using photos of blacks to buttress the argument of people like Santelli and Cantor. The Times ran a front page photo of a black person receiving advice about The Affordable Care Act, which conveys the idea that it’s a black program. The media do the same with food stamps, and other government programs. I’d say that ninety five percent of the photos accompanying crime, dysfunction and dependency are photos of blacks, which must have surprised those who happened to view a photo of whites, appearing on MSNBC on Oct.10, seeking food supplies, which had been depleted as a result of the Dixiecrat government shut down. These whites must have been shocked to find that they’ve been fed a line, that the only “useless food eaters,” a term employed by the Nazis, were black, even according to top public intellectuals like David Brooks, who congratulated “whites with high fertility rates” for voting for George Bush.
Maybe we can determine the attitude of the Republican Party by examining what Paul Ryan is reading. He was inspired by Ayn Rand, the hypocrite who advocated selfishness while receiving Medicare and Social Security. He wows the beltway media so that they ignore his reading list. Now he’s reading, The Bell Curve, by Charles Murray.
Murray’s “research” was financed by the Pioneer Fund, whose Nazi ties have been well documented. To support his argument about black intellectual inferiority, Murray, a Scots Irish individual, a group that Benjamin Franklin called “white savages,” uses the kind of evidence that is deployed by mediums in seances. But his “research,” which was hailed by the mainstream media has influenced public policy. This would explain why schools are being closed in black districts. Using Murray’s “theories” which were embraced by the New Aryans at Commentary, the New Republic and the New York Times Book Review, black kids are uneducable. Why waste money on educating them?
Another Republican philosopher is Raymond Canttell, who, like the Pioneer Fund, has fantasies of the Master Race. But in an age of television gas ovens are uncool and so he advocates “Genthanasia”– a term that he coined to mean the “nonviolent intentional phasing out of a culture or group” Genthanasia, the non-violent elimination of undesirables. This would explain the GOP’s attitude about food stamps, which might mean forty million people might not be able to feed their families in November. Genthanasia includes the whimsical incarceration of blacks and Hispanics. Bonding them over to private prisons (a solution offered by Neo Liberal Gov. Jerry Brown, who dazzles the Northeast media even though he presides over one of the most barbaric prison systems in the world), which gross about five billion dollars per year in profits. It would explain ethnic removal, which is happening to blacks throughout the nation.
Millions of whites have been suckered into a collaboration with the one percent in exchange for modest concessions. They apparently aren’t aware of the U.S. Census report that forty percent of those living in poverty are white! A large segment of the Tea Party is government dependent. Now, the latest word from Charles Murray, the courier from the one percent Big House to the rest of us, is that whites are also entangled in pathologies and so even these concessions might be withdrawn.
The communist party in the United States failed because these white millions will always choose race over class and the majority of women among them, like the white women jurors in the Zimmerman case, and the majority who vote for Republicans, will always choose race over gender. Fifty years after the advent of the modern feminist movement, white women still vote in the majority for men who wish to limit their choices, perhaps because their media appointed leader is Gloria Steinem, who slimes black men, while dating people like Henry Kissinger. These are facts that progressives continue to ignore as they cling to their class trumps race argument, a fairy tale that ranks with Jack and the Beanstalk.
So how far will white supremacists go? I wasn’t surprised to learn from Luke Russert, reporting on Oct.10th, that while some Northern, midwestern and coastal Republicans wanted to ease up on their demands, the southerners were willing to go off the ledge and take the country with them. They are tempted to inch toward the ledge’s edge as Koch pawns, these wretched Tea Party members, like those who threatened to harm the president Sunday, after listing to a ugly speech by Ted Cruz, look up from below, shouting jump! JUMP! Or other speakers who are creating the kind of atmosphere of hate that greeted JFK when he landed in Dallas. The southern death cult that Mark Twain wrote about is alive and well.
One report describes the typical Tea Party member as an over fifty year-old white man. These are people who have such a rage against a black president that they jeopardized their retirement funds by sending representatives to Washington whose reckless actions caused a downgrading of the country’s credit rating. Washington journalists, who are gagged by their owner’s advertisers, who play golf and do lunch with those whom they cover, have forgotten that Standard and Poors blamed the downgrade on Republican actions.
How far will they go? Anybody who takes a glance at the Civil War might discover how far. I recently saw an exhibit on the Civil War at the Metropolitan Museum. I checked out the photos captured by George Barnard, Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner and Timothy O’Sullivan. Photo after photo showed bodies stacked up, being prepared for burial in common graves, limbs piled up in wheelbarrows. One of the most gripping was black gravediggers posing with three skulls.
Though pro South historians for whom Stonewall Jackson fought for “ an honorable cause,” and a southern senator who recently called the it “the war of Northern aggression,” all of the states that left the union gave slavery as the reason. Others say that the war was fought over states’ rights, a scheme that Thomas Jefferson cooked up. He feared that his slaves would be federalized. Rarely mentioned is that the war was fought to uphold white supremacy, the way that millions of whites, insecure in their own lives, can achieve their daily dopamine boost.
The confederate army could have recruited thousands of native American allies, the Chickasaw were more enthusiastic about killing blacks than the southern whites were, but felt that they were too good to fight alongside them. When it was proposed that blacks be recruited after the horrific defeat at Gettysburg, the confederate soldiers said the same thing. Too stuck up to fight alongside blacks. What was the outcome of the war for white supremacy? Six hundred forty thousand killed and hundreds of thousands of casualties. The question becomes how many more trillions of dollars and millions of lives lost in wars launched against the “inferiors” of the white supremacists will the rest of us, blacks, whites, yellows, reds and browns have to support, underwriting this psychological meth called white supremacy. Which personal sacrifices will millions of us have to make as we are ensnared in their latest lost cause, their long twilight struggle against diversity. The Civil War was their sacred “Lost Cause.” Their fight against integration was a further “Lost Cause.” The Civil War Lost Cause threatened the survival of the Union. Now they threaten the survival of the world economy.
Ishmael Reed’s new play, “ The Final Version” will premiere on Dec.12,2013 at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe on 236 East Third Street in New York, between B&C. 212-780-9386 .firstname.lastname@example.org. His magazine is at http://konchmagazine.localon.com
1 “Crashing the Tea Party,” David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam, New York Times, Aug.17, 2012.
2 Jews without mercy: a lament by Earl Shorris (1982), New York.
3 Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America Christopher Parker, 2013 Princeton, New Jersey
4 “Ryan then said that in Congress, ‘people like me have a role to play, which is to reduce the dependence state,’ in order to get ‘from becoming a society of takers to becoming a society of makers.’ Ryan also name-checked ‘a great speech’ by The Bell Curve co-author Charles Murray. Salon.com Oct.1,2013
5 The Nazi Connection, Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism, Stephen Kuhl, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), pg. 74.
THE PIONEER FUND: THE NAZI CONNECTION
“The Pioneer Fund was established as a charitable trust on February 27, 1937 in New York City. Harry H. Laughlin, Frederick Osborn and textile magnate Wickliffe Draper were the principle founders. The Fund’s stated purpose was to ‘improve the character of the American people’ by encouraging the procreation of descendants of ‘white persons’ and to provide aid in conducting research on “race betterment with special reference to the people of the United States.’ The current president of the Pioneer Fund is a shadowy figure named Harry F. Weyher, a financier and corporate lawyer who eschews interviews and runs the Fund without pay or staff from his offices in New York; he is assisted in his work by four other ‘Trustees’ – one of whom has been Tom Ellis, a close associate of Pat Robertson and Tim LaHaye in the Council on National Policy (CNP), the principle coordinating agency in bringing together various members of the religious right with the business right and the political right. All serve without pay and staff.
“The Pioneer Fund has assets of about $5-million and gives away most of its $1-million in annual income to a dozen or more scholars from Northern Ireland to California who study IQ and genetics. The Pioneer Fund supported a significant portion of the research cited in the recent best-selling book on race and intelligence, The Bell Curve, by Richard J. Herrnstein, a Harvard University psychologist who died in September 1994, and Charles Murray, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute. In the billion dollar world of philanthropy, the money doled out by the Pioneer Fund may seem paltry. But the numbers don’t tell the real story of the Fund’s influence. ‘The Pioneer Fund has been able to direct its resources like a laser-beam,’ says one critic, Barry Mehler, a historian at Ferris State University who has been gathering information on it since the 1970s. ‘I credit the Fund for being a major factor in the present resurgence of the biological-determinism movement – a factor that is far out of proportion to the amount of funds it has.’” (Reprinted with permission of the author.)