Yesterday I linked an excerpt from a book, about white male rage, and in that excerpt was the following:
They’re every white guy who believed that this land was his land, was made for you and me. They’re every down-on-his-luck guy who just wanted to live a decent life but got stepped on, every character in a Bruce Springsteen or Merle Haggard song, every cop, soldier, auto mechanic, steelworker, and construction worker in America’s small towns who can’t make ends meet and wonders why everyone else is getting a break except him. But instead of becoming Tom Joad, a left-leaning populist, they take a hard right turn, ultimately supporting the very people who have dispossessed them.
They’re America’s Everymen, whose pain at downward mobility and whose anger at what they see as an indifferent government have become twisted by a hate that tells them they are better than others, disfigured by a resentment so deep that there are no more bridges to be built, no more ladders of upward mobility to be climbed, a howl of pain mangled into the scream of a warrior. Their rage is as sad as it is frightening, as impotent as it is shrill.***
Second, the extreme Right is extremely patriotic. They love their country, their flag, and everything it stands for. These are the guys who get teary at the playing of the national anthem, who choke up when they hear the word America. They have bumper stickers on their pick ups that show the flag with the slogan “These colors don’t run.”
The problem is that the America they love doesn’t happen to be the America in which they live. They love America—but they hate its government. They believe that the government has become so un-American that it has joined in global institutions that undermine and threaten the American way of life.
Just read this on facebook from a guy I know from the military:
“After having to spend almost $200 on work boots,the hell happened to the America I grew up with. Are people and ceo’s that stupid. We are selling out at an alarming rate. Try finding american made anything without paying arm an leg.We need to make a stand an take our country back/ I use to wear only Levis’s. After buying some that ripped in 2 weeks I bought something else.The country we have sent our manufactoring jobs to also owns most of out debt.I remember when made in USA meant something. I remember when I joined military an heard star spangled banner, it had a whole differnt meaning. I also think you need to be a citizen to own a buisness. Take a look who owns motels,subways,gas stations and even kfc. This is America or it was. There should be no second langauge. People use to think it was honor to come here. Now we hand money out at airport.There should be a limit to time in office. Also no trust fund babies.”
This guy isn’t a white supremacist, but there are a whole lot of people who feel that way.
Herbal Infusion Bagger
Note the last sentence though, after the resentment of the furreigners, there’s a dig at the overclass as well.
No trust fund babies? Does he want to take money away from the children of the job creators? Paris Hilton weeps.
what’s left of the indigenous population wishes he would go back to where he came from. and he needs to take the rest of his “patriots” with him.
Rob in CT
I think “incoherent” is a charitable evaluation.
Cry me a river. I suppose he is also a Tea Bagger.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Who owns our subways? Also, too, do you think the anti-trust fund guy voted for Romney?
I missed that line. Is it before or after baggage claim?
Maybe he should have spent more time studying English. Or history. Or economics. Maybe he can ask himself what it is about immigrants that motivate them to become so successful, instead of concocting fabulous tales about being met with cash when they arrive here.
This attitude is what bugs me the most about the populist right. I just can’t square the whining about moochers combined with the resentment of people who came here with so little but managed to do so much. It just doesn’t make sense.
@spencer neal: He likely doesn’t want to be a teabilly “but they make a lot of sense” so he’s totes conflicted.
I wonder if he realizes that it is the “citizens” who sent all the jobs oversees, or who refuse to pay a decent wage or oppose every type of improvement for workers. I also don’t get the complaining about gas stations and motels or subways. I wish someone would explain to me why white American males are not running these franchises. What’s stopping them?
Those attitudes don’t sound much different from Romney’s. The poor join militias, and the rich join country clubs. Hate is universal.
you want everyone to write in english? you first, jackass.
Are you sure he isn’t a white supremacist? He’s assuming they aren’t American’s because they aren’t white.
Rob in CT
It’s almost like somebody created a contest to write a post that contained the maximum number of contradictions in a short paragraph. Things cost too much, but we should buy american but the quality sucks…
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
it right at gate. it at desk.
God, why can’t our schools teach critical thinking????
And even kfc!!! OMfuckingG!
Davis X. Machina
Motels? Indians, mostly. Gas stations? Iranians. At least around here….
Gin & Tonic
And I remember an America where a guy born and raised here who graduated high school would be able to put together three or four coherent English sentences in a row.
Davis X. Machina
@wenchacha: Thinking comes first, then critical thinking. Let’s take things as they come, and in order.
@jrg: It makes perfect sense.
Which immigrants do you suppose he resents? Do you think he resents Irish, English, Canadian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish and other white/Christian immigrants? Or do you think it’s reserved for those other immigrants? I’d bet dollars to donuts that it’s focused on browner and less-European individuals.
Also the tacit presumption that anybody who doesn’t look whitey-white-white isn’t a citizen.
@cat: caught that didn’t you. I did too. But naww he can’t be a white supremacist.
I wonder though at what point does other white people consider some to be a supremicist? I’d really like to know where u guys draw that line.
As yall know I’m Black, so I’m guessing my line is a little closer than yall.
I’m beginning to think for a lot of people the line is cross burning and white hoods, but my line is Def much shorter.
So he’s mad at having to pay $200 for work boots (understandable), and somehow twists that into a rant against hard-working immigrants who own their own small businesses (completely irrational).
Yup, he sounds like a perfect example of white rage.
@Davis X. Machina:
I get that, but why resent it other than for reasons of race. It’s not like citizens are precluded from owning a motel or a Subway. Anyone who opens a business at a place is presumably helping the local economy, so the citizen argument (if that’s what it is) is pretty weak.
And they think that black people get first dibs at any job over the poor white guy, even if they test lower.
He complains about spending almost $200 for boots and they aren’t made in the US, but if they were made in this country he would spend a lot more.
Tone in DC
“Hand out money at an airport” to new arrivals?
What kind of LaRouche bizarro world does this guy live in?
I dunno John. I’ll defer to your knowledge of this person that he’s not a white supremacist, but he sure seems like he may be one, although one that lacks the courage of his convictions.
And I remember an America where a guy wouldn’t piss on his immigrant ancestors who came over and worked their way up to owning something because this was the land of opportunity and not the land of entitled, entailed rights passed down through older families. That America never quite lived up to the whole Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses motto, granted. White boys can’t think.
As others have noted, a little remedial English might not be amiss. My first thought after reading “Now we hand out money at airport” was “In Russia, money hand out airport at us.” No, that doesn’t make sense either.
This guy is a perfect example of why dealing with resentful white dudes is so goddamned frustrating. It’s like, they know there’s a problem, they know they’re getting screwed (and they’re right), but they’re aiming their anger in the wrong direction and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do to get it aimed in the correct direction.
As was pointed out in the article yesterday, even the resentment of the “overclass” has prejudiced tones since the underlying assumption is that the “overclass” is really the fabled Jewish bankers pulling the strings.
Just as racists insist they aren’t racist, so goes the white supremacist.
@John Cole: Your acquaintance may not be a dues-paying klansman, but he’s parroting plenty of white-supremecist bullshit.
Davis X. Machina
I think you’re being charitable — and perhaps overly charitable — to the OP when you’re looking for those reasons besides race.
Access to capital from informal networks and a willingness to work killing hours have often made certain niche markets esp. franchises the province of immigrants. Korean grocers in NYC for example.
he’s right about the Levi’s. they used to last a while. now they’re thin, cheap crap.
Bill E Pilgrim
Funnily enough, one person who isn’t a character in “a Merle Haggard song” is Merle Haggard:
Speaking only for me, the dude is not only over the line but jumped the shark. I grew up in the South under Jim Crow. I can hear the sub-texts.
perfect. just bring out a charismatic leader that promises to restore him to his “rightful” [position at the top of society, one who promises to end the evil influence and economic power of “them”, those that don’t belong, and this guy will be goose-stepping and proudly wearing a Brownshirt..
John’s white privilege is on display again.
His acquaintance sounds pretty racist, but, he didn’t shoot Medgar Evers or anything, so his anti-immigrant hostility is totes understandable.
@elm: OK, it makes sense if you view it through the prism of racism (or, maybe more charitably, ethnocentrism)… But from if you really believe that moochers are a problem, it doesn’t make sense at all. In fact, it’s counterproductive, because it conflates racism with concern about reliance on the public dole.
I think the bottom line is that the right spends so much time whining… About everything… That they cannot articulate anything anymore. It’s all “argle bargle! Shoes cost too much! Get off my lawn!” all the time.
He’s right about this. I recently lost some weight and pulled out of storage some Levi’s I bought 15 years ago. The quality of the denim and detailing on today’s Levi’s was significantly worse. They used to be made in the US, needless to say that is not the case now.
Davis X. Machina
@Woodrowfan: The brown shirt will be labeled “Made in the USA, but sewn in sub-sweatshop conditions in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas…
I disagree with the categorization, even in the book. They don’t think they’re better than anyone else, they feel like they’ve been lied to. People once believed in a social contract — if you worked full time, you could provide for a family. Granted most people have long ago stopped believing this, but the majority of them are responsible and hard-working and can’t understand why they’re not making it. They feel they’ve lived up to their end of the bargain, they work 40, 50, 60+ hours and can’t figure out why they’re still so broke. You’ll only feel like a failure for so long before you externalize the cause. Years of right-wing propaganda kept telling them it couldn’t be their bosses — it had to be the foreigns that came for their jobs, the foreigns that got them after they exported them.
Thing is, if all anyone is going to do is demonize them then don’t ever expect anything to change. I pity them, and think they’re blaming the wrong folks. I don’t disagree, though, that the social contract should still hold. I still hold that as a worthy goal to pursue.
@Davis X. Machina: There was a piece on NPR a while back talking about how Gujaratis came to dominate the motel business. Short version: chance, plus tight-knit families, plus european-descented owners cashing out, equals Indian motels everywhere.
The cool part was (as if that wasn’t cool enough) that the kids of these immigrants are staying in the hotel business, BUT moving up a notch, to nicer hotels. It’s the American dream in action.
Davis X. Machina
How can you call it ‘counterproductive’ when an entire national political party is based on it. It’s productive of something, that’s for shit-sure.
@cleek: He’s wrong about the root cause of any such quality-decline. The sweatshop workers don’t source materials and they don’t benefit from profit margins either. Executives at the manufacturer and distributors are the culprits there.
@Cacti: Yup. As a son/brother of immigrants, I too have an extra special insight into what it means to be an American. I sorta feel like an ‘uber-American’ if you will, because they ached to be here and never looked back. Hell, my mom even ran for local office! I learned more about political science in that instance than from 12 years of grade school.
IMO it’s deliberate, intentional self-induced ignorance, what seems to ailing our ‘average’ Americans.
Sounds like ‘clinging to the Whiteness’ to me.
Believed that Mad Man world bullshyt.
You were never big fish in a big pond.
You were fish in a pond where 95% of the rest of the fish were shoved into sardine cans. Now, the cans are open the other 95% are swimming in the pond, and have no interest in kissing your ass.
@Mnemosyne: Go look at everyone’s reaction to him. I can’t imagine why he doesn’t want to hear what everyone has to say. Also, which party is trying to bring manufacturing/semi- or low- skilled jobs back home? Unfortunately it’s not like the democrats have much better of a track record in this regard.
Davis X. Machina
@pacem appellant: I saw something similar with Lebanese in a couple of retail niches in my childhood. Too often though, the third native generation is the last.
Pushcart -> storefront -> chain -> cocaine.
Rob in CT
I knew this reminded me of something.
Also, the America they love never existed. Not ever.
Here’s my definition of white supremacist: Someone who believes the white race (as they define it) is superior to other races and therefore should be the dominant political / societal power holders.
John’s acquaintance seems to assume that people who aren’t white aren’t Americans, which would make me suspect him of being a white supremacist, even if he doesn’t consciously identify himself as such, or at the very least a jingoistic bigot.
Dollars to donuts if you confronted the dude with this, he’s say you’re misunderstanding him, that the people who own his local KFC really are green card holders as opposed to foreign born American citizens, and he would claim to have nothing against the latter.
@Davis X. Machina: Immigrants figure out how to set up informal money pooling arrangements and have been doing so for a long time. Early book I read on that (Ethnic Enterprise in America) was written in 1972. And similar things are littered around the world for large and small purposes. So, just what is it that stops ‘mercan born to find and create similar workarounds? An ethos of every man for himself and Rand fetishism?
well a lot of his rant could be covered by one simple premise….. pay attention in school jackass! You want to own a business, learn how to balance your fucking checkbook or hire a goddamn accountant. I think the problem is that these guys expect a risk free pass at life. Well guess what, we all have problems and they vary from person to person, damned immature whiny ass numbnuts.
Apu will have you know he became a citizen back in Season 7
Thick study denim is more expensive to buy, work, and ship. The old copper rivets are more expensive to buy, work, and ship. The up front selling price of the good is thus more expensive. The old Levi’s would last ten to fifteen years of hard use. The new jeans may last two or three years, with luck. So actually, over time, the Levi’s are cheaper.
People say they want quality but they buy on price and they do not consider long term costs.
Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
Well as the excerpt said the white supremacist movement isn’t inventing racism so much as it is taking advantage of an already existing undercurrent. And it’s harder for white people to see (myself included). Not so different from sexism, I guess. I’ve had many a conversation with supposedly liberal males who wouldn’t know it if it walked up and slapped them in the face. IMHO repeated exposure to “isms” and its affects plus first hand experience (i.e., having daughters who experience sexism, or mixed race grandchildren who experience racism) are the only ways that white males truly learn how to spot the more “subtle” forms.
@jrg: Lower economic-class whites never had any genuine concern about “reliance on the public dole”.
When his (white) neighbor collects unemployment, his neighbor isn’t a moocher, he’s a good man who is down on his luck.
When his (white) sister-in-law collects SSI, she isn’t a moocher, she’s a good real American who deserves the help.
Moochers are, by definition, non-white. White people don’t mooch. White people are good people who need some help sometimes. They’re not like the lazy browns.
i don’t think he says anything about a ‘root cause’. he’s complaining that they’re cheap foreign-made crap. and they are all three: cheap, foreign-made and crap.
right. he knows that. that’s why he wrote: “The country we have sent our manufactoring jobs to [China, presumably, who] also owns most of out debt.”
You want to know what patriotic is?
Believing in a country that has, in its laws, YOU are officially second class citizens.
I think about my father…
A man who would have been FORTY-TWO YEARS OLD before he would have freely been able to cast a ballot in the country of his and his ancestor’s birth – if he had stayed in the state in which he was born.
And this was AFTER he put on the uniform of this country to fight for it and put his life on the line.
Do you realize that Gulf War I was the first war, in which the Black soldiers of this country, were officially 1st class citizens in this country. ..all the other Black veterans put their lives on a line for a country that officially had them on the books as 2nd class citizens.
Black folk have had to find reason to believe in the ideals of this country.
Fuck some White boy whining wrapping their asses in the flag.
You say this guy isn’t a white supremacist.
I think you are wrong. He’s obviously seething with stupid racist hate, and blaming everyone else for his inability to get along in this world.
I read that article in Salon the other day
I have to say for the thirty-to-fifty-something white male in America: if you all feel like because the family farm is being foreclosed on and you are upset that your family business isn’t waiting for you: FUCK YOU. I didn’t have a family farm to look forward to, so I went and got a motherfucking job in the modern world. I am not LAZILY expecting a living to be handed to me just because. In short, see them boots you’re wearing? Grab the FUCKING strap, whiny bitches, and pull hard. That is what YOU MOTHER FUCKERS have been sneering down at everyone else your whole lives, so it is time to eat your own dog-food and quit your pathetic, lazy bitching.
The picture of the confederate-flag truck with “mad as hell” on the license plate made me want to get something to slash its tires, you understand. These fuckers have been preaching at us their whole lives about personal responsibility and bootstraps. I understand their living has been cut out from under them. THAT IS CAPITALISM YOU STUPID FUCKS. If you didn’t understand that when you stood at the last Teabagger rally and hoarsely shouted at everyone else about how lazy we all are, man . . . I just could go on for hours. My utter, total, complete lack of sympathy for the plight of the Teabagging white rural racist dickface is going down to levels only measurable in particle accelerators, it’s so small.
–rant mode off
Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
They’ve had it relatively easy for about 200 years (compared to African Americans, women, etc) so of course they expect it to be easier than it is. They’re just now getting a taste of how much it sucks to be a minority. My only response is “Welcome to my world bitches.”
Unfortunately, unless shipping costs increase dramatically, the only manufacturing jobs that will be coming back to the U.S. are the ones done by robots.
“Some booth called ‘Bureau de Change Cambio’. Sounds like one o’ them welfare programs for Messicans. I saw a bunch of brown people lining up, then walking away with wads of Obamacash.”
Disagree. The “angry white males” do think they’re better than others. Seeing females or non-whites get even with or ahead of them, goes against everything they were ever taught to believe about themselves.
Davis X. Machina
It’s the American state religion, a toxic brew of mudsill democracy, bastard Calvinism and Samuel Smiles.
Immigrants haven’t been steeped in it long enough, and sometimes have their own myths to boot. As long as you cling to those other, alien, gods, it’s still possible to believe in solidarity.
I am trying to figure out is he is a white supremacist or just xenophopic. Is it all people of color he looks at as unAmerican or just those who he believes are immigrants? (of course judging someone as an immigrant based on looks is bigoted in itself, but I am not sure it rises to the level of white supremacy) Would he have had the same negative opinion about Irish or Italian immigrants a century ago that he has about Arab, Indian or Hispanic immigrants today?
Suppose the real news is that there are 15-year-olds enlisted in the military.
@Davis X. Machina: It’s not sustainable. If the right really wants to continue influencing public opinion in this area, they have to drop the hate against immigrants. Otherwise, it all gets chalked up to racism. Or maybe I’m just naive.
@scav: Yep. I had a long conversation with a wealthy Indian guy a couple of months ago. His advice? Pool your money. Get the rest from the bank. Keep your existing job. Work long hours until you don’t have to anymore.
It was very interesting listening to his rags-to-riches story.
in general, everybody thinks they’re better than others. as far as i can tell, nobody here is excepted.
and they likely love their country the way they love their wives. Know when it’s time to turn on the teardrops in public and drag home roses to the ball and chain, but they won’t actually work at the relationship, let alone vacuum and it’s only right to knock her around a bit when she doesn’t do what he tells her to. Foam Finger Patriotism. They only love it they own it and control it.
i’m pretty sure it’s been decided that this guy is a white supremacist racist asshole who hates all foreigners and people who aren’t white, and that he dropped out of high school with a silver spoon in his mouth. … because he ( and people like him ) always pre-judges people he doesn’t actually know.
@Kyle: I was amused by that. Also, too.
Who doesn’t get angry at the towel-head behind the 7-11 counter when their work boots cost $200?
Bob In Portland
I’m at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. Could someone direct me to the booth where they hand out money?
i have a Gujarati friend who’s parents immigrated from India, and then did very well in the hotel business.
but he wants nothing to do with it, as far as i can tell. he wants to build his own business.
If stuff were made in America by Americans paid a living wage, said stuff would cost more. This guy doesn’t even understand what the problem is. If what you want is shoes, you can have cheap, trashy, and foreign-produced or pricy, quality, and domestic-produced. You don’t get cheap and quality and domestic together, any more than you get buttery and organic and healthy together.
@Cacti: Hey, it’s deeply unfair to draw conclusions about somebody based on his stated political views, which he posted for public consumption.
Does anyone else think that “no trust fund babies” reads like ” no fatties” in a personal ad?
So… if I’m reading this correctly, KFC which is a subsidiary of Yum! Brand foods headquartered and in Louiseville, Kentucky is owned by the notorious foreigners at Berkshire Hathaway because the United States has an official second language?
Did he mean “anchor babies”? Having trouble parsing this one.
The implicit bargain for these guys was that they showed loyalty to the system with bombastic flag-waving and would be taken care of by the guys running things who were the same race and gender as them. They didn’t care, or even liked the fact that the system was screwing members of other groups (to which they would never belong) because it reinforced their privilege.
It’s the age-old delusion of the working-class Republican — they like that there’s a club that runs things and is ruthless to everyone outside, but they’re too stupid to realize they’re not part of the club.
Ha ha, it’s funny because he’s being “pre-judged” based on his public writings, which is the same as blaming your problems on all the people who own “motels,subways,gas stations and even kfc”.
Funny, I never hear complaints about all the Irish and Polish folks taking all the construction and small business and retail jobs around my neck of the woods. I wonder why that is.
When I worked at a bank, I used to get a lot of people being all indignant and yelling at me because the bank opened accounts and gave mortgages to non-citizens. They simply did not understand that neither being a citizen, nor, in fact, living in this country at all, were requirements for opening a checking account or applying for a mortgage or buying property in the US. They really believed that the banks were getting around some sort of law that prohibited non-citizens from owning a business or a house or a car in the US. When I pointed out to them that many, many Canadians, for example, who lived in Canada had US bank accounts and owned property or businesses in the US, and that anyone from any country could do the same, they didn’t believe me. They were also mad that we accepted a Mexican passport for ID. Ummm, if they had ever left the country they would know that a passport is good for ID anywhere in the world.
@Bill Arnold: Worst thing about anchor babies is deciding where to attach the chain.
Sorry, I’ll show myself out.
@Davis X. Machina: Just learned about mudsill, so am rather smug with my luck on that. It’s odd the things immigrants drop sometimes — first / early generations tend to cook better and that’s almost a heuristic for me shopping anymore: find the little ones full of languages you don’t speak and cans you don’t recognize. later generations get fat too. Funny old melting pot.
@Anoniminous: Me too. I am beginning to wonder how many dog whistles have to go off before we can call it what it is – are we talking about all the neighborhood pounds being emptied out into one street?
But I keep forgetting whose prism it has to pass before we can call it that. After all, nobody’s been lynched, right?
about the boots (and Levi’s), he’s angry at the CEOs who sold out American manufacturing. a pretty common complaint, even here.
and “towel-head” is all you: you brought that phrase into this.
And all those Mohawks working high iron.
This thread makes me sad, because a lot of you are calling John’s Facebook friend a racist and an idiot.
I see a frustrated guy, maybe even a former idealist, who was not expecting his life to be so shabby, and is wondering why he didn’t get ahead.
Yes, he is griping about the Patel Hotel Motel Cartel, but are you so sure he wouldn’t listen to them if he met some of these newer and browner entrepreneurs? I would not assume that.
I wish we could build bridges with this guy. And that’s why the GOP is so bent on polarization. They don’t want him realizing that he’s got common ground with Democrats and with new citizens/newly arrived folk and people of many colors and backgrounds. With wimmens too.
Answer to John’s guy: yeah, most people and CEOs are that stupid. Think on that a bit longer. There’s a lot of evidence for it, and it does not have to be that way. It’s the MBA mentality, and short term results, and go with the cheapest.
Amuses me he’s envious of the newly emerging business owners, who have to be pragmatic and adaptive and take a long term view, or they won’t be business owners very long.
Of course, your mileage varies if you get to the top of a business, particularly one you did not build.
We could have a better society if we expected basic fairness and decency.
And that is what John’s friend is really crabbing about.
Instead of bashing these people, maybe we could make them understand that the people they are lashing out (immigrants, for example) are NOT the people responsible for their plight.
Some of them are beyond reaching, no doubt, but isn’t it worth a shot?
it is funny! i agree.
Roll back the clock to the 19th century, and Cole’s friend would have been complaining about all the damned coolies and micks taking the jobs with the railroad.
Something tells me this ‘principle’ didn’t stop this tool from pulling the lever for Chimp Bush or Rmoney.
Well that, and fewer furriners taking away the gas stations, motels, and KFCs from hard-workin’ Murricans like himself.
Doesn’t make me sad in the least, because I’m tired of folks coddling these folks.
They continue to vote against their own economic interests.
Shyt isn’t made in America anymore because the GOP Overlords are all about the American worker competing with the Chinese worker.
They continue to vote for people who put these policies in place and finds all sort of explanations as to why they should vote for them.
This is a guy who probably pulled the lever for Willard Romney and Paul Ryan in 2012.
Remember, the American Social Safety Net was saved by the Non-White population of this country.
If it had been up to White folks, they would have turned the American Social Safety Net over to this pair of sociopaths that had vowed to shred it.
All so that they could poke in the eye the Black Man in the White House, who is the only one who gives two shyts about them and their families and wants them to have the chances that they romanticize about.
ANd I’m supposed to feel bad about folks calling this guy out?
I’m waiting for them to take up what should be their fight song.
They totally get what it’s like.
@Bill Arnold: Yeah, I bet he voted for Romney. WTH is handing money at the airports mean anyway? Also too, why does he assume that people who own motels and such are not citizens? Is it because they don’t look like him.
Legally you are correct, Green Card holder’s aren’t American citizens even though they pay taxes and are eligible for the draft.
But after 5 years they can become citizens through naturalization and I have a strong feeling he doesn’t think they are Real Americans.
“You want to speak English? Then go back to England” — An Anonymous Navajo
Hm, “trust fund babies” are a real thing. Hard to see how to get rid of them though without extremely extreme measures.
18 years ago, I bought in San Diego a pair of Levi’s that are still in great shape. They were made in Mexico.
Hard to build bridges with guys holding guns and matches guarding them from other people crossing them. Ideally, sure, but at some point I’m tired of looking at the same whiney football. Especially from someone who either can’t or won’t think it through to a logically coherent basis for beginning a dialog over.
Rob in CT
Well, I guess I’m a bad person, because I read what I deem an incoherent mess of a post full of suggestions/hints/clues that the writer don’t like them thar furriners and suchlike and I pointed this out.
If you think you can reach this guy, great. Reach him. I know well enough to know that I cannot. ‘Tis but one of many reasons I’m not a politician.
I wear an uncommon shoe size (12.5 EEEE), but hardly anyone makes that size, so I buy 13’s.
For years I wore New Balance SR-USA approved postal shoes until they changed the design and flattened the arch support.
They were and still are US made and run about $80/pr.
Rocky used to (and may still do, but I’m not sure) make postal/service shoes here in the US as well.
Now what you won’t find US made are the overpriced crap athletic shoes that Nike and others crank out by the ton in Indonesia and Vietnam.
I’d sooner take a shot to the nards than pay $100+ for a pair of any Nikes.
And for Bush in 2004, because Kerry was a wussy Frenchman who wanted the terrorists to win.
i believe it.
but the stuff that’s being made today, wherever they’re made these days, is completely different. it’s very thin, and wears out very quickly.
Yeah, he certainly doesn’t come across as proud to be an American, where at least he knows he free.
(Bad taste in mouth just from typing that.)
But I’d guess he knows all the words to that nauseating piece of tripe.
@cleek: I think its the stretch they are adding to everything, that makes the fibers weak. I still like Levis though!
Sorry, this guy’s a fucking dumbass from the same category of dumbass as the Archie Bunkers in Nixon’s Silent Majority forty years ago. The difference now is that there is a more sophisticated niche marketing apparatus aimed at exploiting their idiocy and venues like facebook for putting it on display.
@Herbal Infusion Bagger: The resentment of “browns” is a symptom. The disquiet at foreign-made Levis–or more specifically, why they’re now made in China–is the disease.
And we on the left have to do a better job of linking the latter phenomenon to the likes of the Haas family (owners of Levi Strauss and Co at the time production was offshored), who decided that quarterly earnings are more important than having a stake in this nation’s well being–and that this decision was in part precipitated by the Walton Family, who, as major stakeholders in Walmart, place profits above all other concerns.
The Bangladeshi who owns the Motel 6 is not the enemy; she or he is a continuation of a hallowed American tradition. What’s fucking things up is the profit-at-all-costs ethos of America’s business leaders. This is well-known to some, but it’s a message that has to be translated into the wingnut vulgate and broadcast. Times were, a top-5 show like “Roseanne” could elevate the values of working-class strivers and dignify the struggles of the unlucky. Now, nobody wants to hear it; people who look and act like that are just waiting to be instant millionaires, like Mama June’s family, or the Duck Dynasty clan.
Not sure how to solve this puzzle, but blaming low-information voters like the guy profiled in this excerpt solves very little. As a nation, we need to find a way to get Americans to face their problems without shaming them–and this goal is made harder to reach by the finely-tuned white outrage machine fueled by the likes of Glenn Beck, St. Sarah of the Yukon, and others paid to demagogue about the “Murican Way.”
Whoever mentioned risk avoidance (?) upthread is onto something.
A lot of the resentful males didn’t really learn how to grapple with the economy and opportunities we have. They assumed, maybe, they’d get the chances their fathers (and maybe even mothers) had, without understanding what ensured their parents shot at the middle class.
Lot of magical thinking in this country.
I would love to give this guy a gubmint job with the WPA, but y’know communism is eevul.
I think the scales are falling off this guy’s eyes.
Be patient. He might be ready to listen, finally.
A lot of people cannot learn through others’ examples. It has to happen to them. It’s happening.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
@cathyx: I call bullshit on that. Thorogood work boots cost less than $200 a pair and they’re union made in Wisconsin. Also, if owning a gas station or Subway is such a good gig, what’s stopping him from doing it? I’m pretty sure they still give out small business loans to white people. Actually I’d put money on white people getting better terms on said loans than those with darker skin pigments.
He longs for the days when unions were strong, but probably hates unions. He thinks the blacks and foreigners have it so easy despite the fact that most of them are poorer, on average, than whites. That’s what confuses me most most about these types. Look around buddy – those brown folks you think have it so good, don’t. But, it’s easier to blame them for your problems than the race baiters who are selling you out.
I know a few of these types. (Hazard of having family and friends in central Virginia.)
I know one who voted for Obama in 2008, then for Romney in 2012 because Obama had not made things happen fast enough. (Yeah, not up on current events. Oh well.)
Most of those reactions are from people who are African-American, Latino/a, or Asian-American. Do you really expect the people who’ve been directly injured by the previous system to sympathize with him? That’s asking for way more saintliness than 90 percent of the human race has.
It’s easy for me to empathize with him, because I’m white. I have guys like this in my family, and I know they’re getting screwed. But I also know that they’re misplacing their anger and don’t want to hear that it’s the Republicans who have been fucking them over for 30 years — you know, their fellow WASPs — and not “minorities” or “foreigners” or “multinational corporations,” which is the new code for “Jewish bankers.”
These guys remind me of my sister-in-law, who’s been with an abusive drug user for 20 years. I feel sorry for her because of the abuse she’s had to put up with, but I want to scream at her and shake her to make her understand that she’s enabling the abuse. Not that it will do any good — she’s so brainwashed at this point that she refuses to do what’s best for herself.
Elizabeth Warren could reach this guy, if he would listen. Sherrod Brown, too.
Feel your pain.
Dunno where you’re at, but if ever in the vicinity of Reading, Pa., there are several shoe factory outlets there among the hundreds of factory outlet stores* clustered there .
Apparently that’s where nearly ALL the odd sizes go. I too take a size not readily found in shoe stores/departments, and was astounded to find a choice of dozens and dozens of types and styles in my size at the outlet stores.
Although these days it must be easier to find out of the ordinary sizes online, I still prefer to slip them on and walk around in them a bit before purchase.
*No idea if it still exists, but there really was a store with the sign “Tropical Fish Factory Outlet” out front. The mind still boggles at the concept of factory second fish.
@Ms. D. Ranged in AZ: I can’t agree with that at all. I think “white people” are plenty aware of white supremacist talk and white racism. I certainly did not need to have biracial children (which I don’t) or even AA friends to realize whats going on in this country or what people actually mean when they say stuff like the poster about immigrants. Maybe some people in this country are good at ignoring reality or hiding from their own baser instincts or their own political narcissism but they know what they are doing. They wouldn’t react so harshly to charges of racism and be so hysterical about the shit they are hysterical about if they didn’t, on some level, know exactly what they are doing and saying.
@Elizabelle: You and cleek can go build a bridge with him, I am tired of coddling myopic “back in the day when a white guy owned Arnold’s Drive In and Fonzie was king” whinging about America, complete with digs about little foreign people owning some small businesses.
How are you supposed to approach this bunch of self-pitying nonsense? Oh, yes…your boots’ cost and Levi’s jean issues remind me of the good old days when my Dad, having finished his tour of duty in World War II was verbally abused and spit on by some white guy on a train…while in uniform? Or golly, did your angst begin around the time of, oh, say, 2009? Or , I feel ya, having Patel politely thank me for my purchase of a slurpie just makes me have a sad for this country?
He resents immigrants, the ones who came with nothing but a suitcase or two and their hopes and dreams and the belief in the promise of America. Doesn’t sound very patriotic to me, I can think of another word that is more descriptive.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?:
But you can’t buy Thorogoods at Walmart.
Thank God, otherwise they’d be turned into crap quality wise within a year.
Especially when the baiters make every effort to conflate every social ill with economic progressivism and successfully convincing people to vote against their own self interest.
After all, Liberal=Socialist=Communist=UNAMERICAN.
Davis X. Machina
Hey, I’ve got kids whose parents work in that plant!
Last one around.
Sebago closed years ago – supermarket there now. Cole-Hahn, ditto. Acorn — gone.
@Davis X. Machina:
When I worked as a cook, those shoes were my best friends.
Comfortable, long lasting, and extremely slip resistant even in puddles of fryer oil.
If my flat feet didn’t force me to buy shoes with arch support, I’d still be wearing them.
None of these things describe or define what it means to be patriotic. Its a HUGE problem in the US that the meaning of patriotism has been so perverted. These clowns described in the quote are violent imbeciles that are violently afraid of, and consequently hate everyone not-like-them; that blame everyone not-like-them for their horrific failures as human beings, for their chosen stupidity; and are so damn stupid they are easily, easily manipulated to supporting against their own interests plutocrats that are destroying every opportunity for a way out of their dystopian nightmare.
@Davis X. Machina
Still have a perfectly serviceable pair of steel-toed Red Wing work boots bought in 1977.
Would be happy to sell them to someone who needs them for like 25 bucks.
They only ever love(d) the America where whites were in charge. That is a very, very narrow view of patriotism. And some of them are neo-nazis who I would never ever consider patriotic Americans in any way shape or form no matter how loose the definition as patriotic.
These bigots and losers were always on the bottom rung of the latter – the white latter at least. However, no matter how low they were this still put them in a better position than the browns which is all they ever cared about.
I really disagree with this:
He’s explicitly not advocating for “basic fairness and decency.” He’s asking for a return to a fantasy in which people like him–and only people like him–opened businesses, owned stuff, bought stuff, and controlled this country. What’s “unfair” and “indecent” about brown skinned people owning franchises? Does he think they don’t do any work for the money they earn? What’s unfair and indecent about the cost of his workboots? Does he think that his wages have stagnated and corporations have stolen the value of his productivity? He’s not making that argument all. He could make that argument, but he’s not and if you pointed it out to him he’d probably still prefer to imagine that “Government regulation” and all that “money”handed out to foreigners at airports is costing the job creators too much.
Even his patriotism makes me gag–you know why? There are plenty of non citizens serving as soldiers in the US who fought in the Iraq war. And the privatization of military services and support pioneered by the Bush regime has meant that plenty of former soldiers have turned mercenary, working for blackwater, and I’m not sure why I’m supposed to get choked up over their patriotism.
I feel sorry for this guy, sure. But he’s not a child. He doesn’t have the right to be so embittered and stupid and ignorant of the political and economic forces around him. My immigrant ancestors arrived here with a whole lot less than he was given at birth and they fought damned hard to figure out which end was up and how to survive–going back and forth between earning enough to open a store to being knocked back down to peddler with a horse drawn wagon during the depression. And then their kids climbed back up and out through education. Lets see him show half that grit. And if he admits that it takes more than grit: that the system is rigged against all working class stiffs and former middle class people, let him figure out who his friends are. He’ll never believe anything we say.
You liberals should make less fun of this American Patriot’s english skills. Not everyone gets to go some highfalutin liberal arts college, study Urdu poetry and drink lattes all day. We made a lot of fun of John Cole way back when, but we didn’t berate him for his pooors english.
@Anoniminous: in my experience pants don’t fit the same way they used too 15 years ago.
@pluege: Their focus is on external trappings, just like religion. Going to church is easier, then trying to live like Jesus did. Waving a flag is easier than being a good citizen.
@Bill E Pilgrim: Haggard supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 but not Obama. They are both moderate pragmatists, and Obama war against the war while Hilary voted for it. I wonder what would have made him support Hillary but not Barack? Maybe there is something dark and sisnister about him…..
Uh, I think you’re misremembering “Happy Days.” The white guy took over later on.
And Fonzie was Jewish.
Pale as one gets one here, just currently spending a lot of time studying the immigrants in my family lines, ranging between 1700s to 1900s, plus just living in this country and having a few redneck relatives, including one who stiffed his lawyer just before going on the lam, another living at home playing video games on his second wife’s earnings, both of them showing up on Dad’s doorstop asking for money. Dad has had MS for decades. You’ll find in the markets with the exotic cans, I’ve run out of patience with them.
thank you for this
you acknowledge that he is a real person with real concerns but that his attempts to explain his situation aren’t always as accurate as they could be.
i meet people like this all the time – i’m sure everybody does. they tend to show up at holiday parties. but when they start with the misplaced blame, do you spit and walk away, or do you try to nudge them into reality ?
if the soldier wants made in America, then he and his buddies ought to stop falling for empty phony patriotism and start supporting true progressive politicians and unions. Instead of being lazy and accepting at face value whatever crap corporate media puts out there, QUESTION what they see on tv – IT ISN’T REAL!
Always figured the elder Cunningham brother must have been gay and out, as he was never spoken of again.
And yet Donald Trump is a big hero to these guys. If cognitive dissonance is a fuel, the Bitter Working Class White Male movement still has a long ways to go…
Also, an immigrant running a hotel or fast food franchise affects you…how?
@rikyrah: Thank you. I am so tired of hearing about these white guys who scream Don’t Tread on Me! while they want to tread on ME as a woman. Not paying me as much as a man, trying to take away my reproductive rights because they “care about the babies.” They don’t give a shit about the babies. Enough. Either they pull their heads out of their asses and realize who the real enemies are or they fall by the wayside.
well, Henry Winkler was. Arthur Fonzarelli was most definitely Italian.
@ellie: Exactly. His resentment is precious and must be catered to, unlike those other peoples’.
Karen in GA
You can’t talk sense into someone like that. You try, and you automatically become an honorary member of “them,” or in the very least, too stupid/naive to see what they just know it obvious. The hate is strong with these people. They need it to help them feel superior, even if it’s just the moral superiority of the horribly wronged.
(It’s a good chunk of my fucking family. Ironically, my adoption means I’m the only person of northern European ancestry in my family — so I’m “different” too. I’ve already cut off a good number of them — life’s too short for me to waste time wondering what they say about me when I’m not around.)
Bill Keller of the NYT gives the GOP scheme of creating an underclass that can never ever become citizens an able assist in his column this morning.
In all the discussion on how immigrants is taking mah job, why no resentment against the employers from these sons of the soil. Why direct all your ire towards the day laborer or H1-B worker but not at the employers who are screwing you both.
@cleek: It should be obvious that an internet discussion of a FB post is not at all the same as a meeting at a holiday party. I can’t speak for anyone else here but I, for one, have spent hours talking sympathetically and educationally to racists and republicans whenever I encounter them.
But I’m not sure why my human empathy for a person who is suffering–and who, moroever, is suffering delusionally–has to include making a huge fuss about them and their feelings in the abstract. The biggest problem this guy has is that he entirely lacks empathy for other people, can’t get enough distance on his political and social situation to grasp what is going on, and is a perpetual, whining, victim in a narcissistic drama about himself and his loss of power in his own country. The guy has climbed up on a cross and he’s not going to come down until everyone holds up their hands and says “here, let me help you you poor suffering fellow.” Well: a fuckton of other people are suffering in this country and instead of looking around for someone else to kick, lower down on the ladder, they are doing their damndest to help everyone else. Why should this guy get all the attention? What if he can’t be helped by the women or the blacks or the jewish eggheads because–well? because he resents them too much? What if he prefers to wallow in being a dittohead than to light a single candle? That is at least as likely.
@srv: and you proud to be stupid conservatives someday need learn that no one learns intelligence at college.
@cleek: I may start out trying to nudge but it is more like I just plain confront them. If I don’t get invited to another party, no big deal.
Haven’t you ever heard of Sephardic Jews? ;-)
Verdict, “Sadly, not a Jew”. Despite having Grandma Nussbaum, the Fonz was baptized.
Well, the President is left handed.
@Herbal Infusion Bagger:
But when push comes to shove, he’ll always side with the “moochers” over the overclass.
Like I said in yesterday’s thread. This is where fascism, and every right wing populist movement, finds its ground zero – in the lower middle class, among the people who totally believe in the notion of a hierarchical society but they’re think being screwed because they’re not the ones on top.
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
People who vote really should pay more attention to what the idiots they vote for actually do. Also immigrants have owned small businesses here since the Pilgrims.
Verdict: Sadly, not a Jew.
Tone in DC
Bill, just in case you hadn’t heard this story yet…
Just thought I’d mention it.
@Tone in DC: That’s from 2012. Everyone laughed at her.
GHayduke (formerly lojasmo)
Levis are no longer made in America. They used to be, though.
John, you let Tim Ott’s scribblings onto your timeline?
Even if it isn’t Ott, your friend is a moron.
Resentful patriot needs a course in ESL, since his first language is definitely Moron. So many grammatical and spelling errors. Those damn foreigners (according to Cole’s friend anyway) have been winning the National Spelling Bees, last six years in a row according to Wikipedia, perhaps he could learn a thing or two from them.
Tone in DC
Thing is, old story or no, that derisive laughter might not dissuade her from her path of unmitigated destruction.
Actors from the west coast gaining political power… (shudder)
@Tone in DC: Yup, I heard about it. A couple of problems, OK there are more than a couple. She doesn’t live in the city and we don’t have an elected mayor. It’s a rotating title among the city councilpersons.
there’s no ‘has to’ about it, obvs.
this seems like a bit of a stretch, given that you’ve never actually met him. that’s the kind of thing even doctors need to put in some face-time to figure out.
@Tone in DC: fair enough. The good citizens of Glendale dissuaded her of the notion that she could win (or even run).
The problem is that in order to aim his anger in the right direction, he’d have to admit that his entire ideology’s been fucked up. That the version of “the American Dream” he’s believed in all this time, with the if-it-feels-good-do-it economy Reagan sold him, is exactly what’s been fucking him over, that those dirty fucking hippies and those dour and colorless bureaucrats and union men he’s been blaming are actually all that was holding up that precious American economy he wants to go back to. He’d have to admit that he was wrong and the people he hates were right. Much more comfortable to believe that he was right and that the system’s just been corrupted (somehow) by the people he hates.
He could buy from American Apparel, but then he’d be a hipster. And everybody hates hipsters.
@ranchandsyrup: Her name and heritage would be helpful in Glendale, ~25% of the city is Armenian. But again, she’d have to be elected to the city council and we actually expect them to do some real work.
Death Panel Truck
Then he’s doing a pretty goddamned good imitation of one.
@Mnemosyne: “Born to an Italian-American family in the fictional town of East Meadow, as a child he and his mother were abandoned by his father. The only advice Fonz remembered his father giving was, “Don’t go out in the rain in your socks.”
I am talking about the character, not the actor. And what “Happy Days” represents – those happy halycon days that we couldn’t sit at a counter and experience, m’kay?
@cleek: I don’t spit a people- I was raised better than that. If someone can look into my brown face and say shit like that, then that someone gets to look at my back. At some point, they know better and I am not going to waste time explaining that non-whites are people too.
@BillinGlendaleCA: Yeah I remember that was one of her pretend reasons for pretending to run — to take care of her father’s people. But it was all just a way to keep her name in the papers. Gotta balance out those staged paparazzi photos with some ginned up “news”.
He may not be a white supremacist, but he’s a racist and a moron.
Fuck him and his feelings.
Tone in DC
Got it. Thanks.
The thought of her pretty much doing a figurative Godzilla all over Southern California/Tokyo…
DO NOT WANT.
And yet the character had a Grandma Nussbaum on his mother’s side who spoke Yiddish on the show. Just sayin’.
What’s funny, though, is that we misremember “Happy Days.” You remembered Al, but not Arnold, the Japanese-American who was the owner of Arnold’s Diner. Take a look at the summary of the third episode on this list of the first season. It wasn’t quite as white bread as we misremember it, though it became more so as the show entered the Reagan 80s.
Not a lot of love for John’s friend on this thread. Quite frankly, I am surprised by the hardening I see here. As an old working class liberal, i am very sympathetic to his concerns, although I completely disagree with who he implies is to blame for what he sees.
@Mnemosyne: Remember those characters on Happy Days are now glued to the radio listening to Rush Limbaugh every day, while collecting their Social Security. Ah the Silent Generation.
Again, though, keep in mind that the least sympathetic people here are some of those African-Americans, Latino/as and Asian-Americans he’s busy blaming for his plight. It’s hard to be sympathetic towards someone who’s spluttering that you are the cause of all of his problems.
@Mnemosyne: If I let you be the smartest guy in the room, will you let it go? Jesus Christ on toast, I was only using that show to make a point about romantizing the good ole days, not to get into some fucking “Dr. Who” like fan battle about episodes of “Happy Days”.
The Thin Black Duke
@Mnemosyne: Exactly. This distasteful and offensive manifestation of White Privilege doesn’t ask for forgiveness; it demands it, and I’m goddamned tired of it.
@negative 1: Thank you. Some sensible thought, other than bitching about the construction of the guys message.
@Mnemosyne: Also, hardening of positions is exactly what one expects during periods of economic strife and uncertainty. It’s not all everybody come to my house and we’ll all have tea.
:Maybe there is something dark and sinister
Well, the President is left handed.
Well played, sir!
Around here people like to nitpick the heck out of each other’s pop-culture references. It’s just how we roll. You must know that by now.
@Doofus: I’m sympathetic to his plight, though not his views. The greatest bamboozle the plutocrats ever pulled over on the working class was to exploit racial and ethnic hatreds. If the dude could get that through his head, he might be an ally. But people are spending billions of dollars to make sure he never does, and he’s complicit in his own pawn-hood through sheer ignorance.
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
RFT. And let me add my father and my uncles to that list.
@Amir Khalid: Do sports count as pop culture? Because the different Doctors fans do rather operate as team followers and we’ve nearly enough for league play.
A whole lot of that sweat equity goes to franchise fees and locked in supply deals. Much better to be the franchisor than the franchisee.
You’ll meet them all again on their long journey to the middle.
The $200 shoe bit is just more Grandpa goldbuggery grousing. I guarantee the cost of a fucking work boot is no different today than in 1982 relative to everything else. They piss and moan about this stuff because they don’t like seeing the others getting a fiscal leg up on them. Ya’ll can be obtuse all you want about whether it’s racism or xenophobia or whatever, for me, it’s covered in commandment #10.
Non-White folks just don’t have the assumption that things are gonna work out.
When you have studies done that White men WITH PRISON RECORDS get called back before Black men WHO HAVE NO CRIMINAL RECORDS
WHAT, in the world would make anyone Black assume that they should just get anything?
I won’t even get into the FACT that it was Government Programs that built the White middle class..
and, Blacks just ‘ happened’ to be shut out of the same opportunities.
@Zifnab25: Well he can’t write in one language without making mistakes, imagine what will happen if he has to master two.
@Tripod: work boots are probably a little cheaper today, but maybe not quite as nice as a few decades ago.
The main thing I resent is that it’s hard to buy quality if price isn’t your first consideration. The overclass has decided that actually running a factory requires work, and they’ve never really been to excited about that. Even if they could hire people to do it for them. Rather import crap from overseas and sell it. I think this will eventually catch up with a lot of them,but it’s taking a while.
Hmmm… what seminal event in recent history, say the last 50 years or so, caused the white working class to start voting Republican? What event started them on the road to always voting against their own interests? Why would this event make them have such cognitive dissonance for the last 50 years?
I happen to know that decent work boots can be had in America for much, much less than US$200. What kind of boots did this person buy?
I’d be happy to build a bridge to him, if I didn’t think he’d goosestep his way across it to curb-stomp me for being a “liebral traitor” or a “Demoncrat” or some such.
Anna in PDX
@Mike G: For those of you who are bummed about modern Levi’s, if you go to an outdoor store or a store that sells horse riding supplies and stuff you can still find old fashioned jeans that are really really sturdy just like when we are kids. They are also way stiff, and take a while and several washings to break in. Also they come in longer sizes which was important to my son who is 6’2″ and hates low riding jeans and has had the devil of a time finding the right size. In Portland we found them in the Portland Outdoor Store downtown but probably a lot of the towns you all live in have similar places.
The Thin Black Duke
@Amir Khalid: At the Applebee’s salad bar. Tom Friedman’s taxi driver told him to go there.
And the day a resentful white male does that, his testicles fall off.
@Doofus: I’m very sympathetic to his concerns. Hell, I even voted twice for a man who got this moron health care when he probably couldn’t afford it or had preexisting conditions which prevented him from accessing it. Why are some people all “hair on fire” that we aren’t standing around holding a hankie and patting himon the back and saying “there there there…poor baby…aw… that must really have hurt?” For fuck’s sake he is wailing like a baby about no one treating him like a manly man. I definitely can’t and won’t speak for people of color on this thread but let me say from the bottom of my heart as a woman and the descendant of immigrants that he can suck it the fuck up and figure out how to pull himself up with his own bootstraps, or align with other people in the same boat, just as well as I can.
These complaints that we are so hard and mean read like a parody of liberal thought where we are too nice even to take our own side in the argument. This man is making an argument: here are his problems and here are the people he blames for them. Is there anyone making him make these arguments? Are no better arguments available? Is he living under a rock? People believe the shit they want to believe because they prefer it to the cold, hard, truth or they prefer it to having to align with foreigners, non whites, women, etc…
You really don’t have to have gone to an Ivy to have read some history and some politics, or opened your eyes during the last few elections. He’s not a child. Why do you insist on treating him like one?
@rikyrah: Oh, rikyrah got there first. Faster. Righter.
@Betty Cracker: Yeah, I am cool with the lack of sympathy from our POC commenters. They are right on target with their anger. But even Archie Bunker got more human over time, and the comments posted by the OC do point to a real (although very tangled) set of grievances. Grievances currently owned by Palin, Limbaugh, and only a couple of dems (Sherrod Brown and Warren come to mind). I don’t want to give the portion of the middle class that is declining over to the troglodites.
@Amir Khalid: he probably needed some kind of safety toe boots. But it looks like you are right, I see ANSI boots for $60. So who knows?
I can’t sympathize with someone who begs for a helping hand out of one corner of his mouth while singling out the people he thinks are unworthy of that same helping hand out of the other corner. It’s that simple.
Yes, he should still get that helping hand. But it’s impossible to discuss how fucked he and so many others are right now and how to get out of it without discussing the fact that it’s precisely that “I don’t want other people to be entitled to the services I want for myself” mentality that’s brought us all (including him) this low. And that’s why I can’t feel sorry for him.
Anyone who, consciously or subconsciously and whether or not they admit it out loud (fuck this “you can’t see into my heart so don’t you call me a racist!” mewling) applies different standards to people who aren’t white from the one he uses for those who are.
This includes the many many people who claim “it’s not all black/Hispanic/Middle-Eastern people I hate, only those who [have the wrong religion, the wrong immigration status, are terrorists, whatever]” but in practice make assumptions based on appearance that these people are guilty of being in the wrong category until proven otherwise.
@Doofus: But its not like we haven’t been trying to reach this guy for fucking ever. Its really not. Obama and all the dems have been searching for the holy grail of the angry white male voter since the dawn of the republic. Thats literally all we talk about every four years, and all democratic policies are crafted with his interests in mind. The economy sucks and it has since Reagan. Nixon and Reagan won over the angry, sad, unhappy, white male vote by demonizing exactly the kinds of people he thinks are at fault–does he not like the pudding they served up to him now?
Of course people are being pulverized by the economy. Of course people are unhappy about it. Of course this generation–specifically this generation of white men (and women) are doing less well than their parents generation or than they expected. But whose fault is that? And who voted for the people whose fault it is? And who knocks away the hand of friendship every time its offered because its the wrong color or its a woman’s hand or its socialism or doesn’t come with enough submissive and abusive double talk.
To me all this talk about how we must be sympathetic and we must be in dialogue is weird–like, dude, I’ve been in dialogue with these guys. They are often very confused, angry, sad, unhappy, and ill informed. When I’m talking to them I gently lead them towards a better place politically and I often find that you can talk them around, at least on some points, to being quite a bit more leftist than they ever dreamed. Or starting to shave down the number and type of people they like to hate on (“Oh, I didn’t mean that black guy, I meant some other black guy…not those immigrants, some other immigrants, not those people on food stamps–hell, my cousin is on food stamps and she’s the biggest thief ever! etc..etc…etc…”).
Its like one of my lesbian friends used to say. “Its not like I haven’t tried guys. I’ve tried a lot of guys before I came out and decided it wasn’t for me.”
Its not like we haven’t all had these conversations over and over and over again–we have. And we will again. But what makes this guy such a special snowflake that you think you can convert him and show him the way? He won’t thank you for your sympathy, probably. He likes the mantle of victim and loser *and* the mantle of manly patriot and ex army.
@Doofus: I’m with you, though I’m afraid they’ve given themselves over to the troglodytes. But we need to peel them off when we can. This is what Howard Dean was talking about all those years ago when he said Democrats need to also speak to voters with a Confederate flag sticker on their pickup. It’s a controversial view, but true, I think.
Yeah, same old story. Still feels shitty to let go. If we didn’t believe that redemption was possible then we wouldn’t be commenting on a blog hosted by someone who voted for W. twice.
Yeah, same old story. Still feels wrong to let go. If we didn’t believe that redemption was possible then we wouldn’t be commenting on a blog hosted by someone who voted for W. twice.
@Betty Cracker: More likely to do that effectively one by one (for us I mean, not the dems writ large), and it’s always easier to do when faced with a specific individual — even then there are some one just has to walk away from. Going off here almost more on the breed of white boy, seems well within reason and the original exemplar cited at top certainly had all the spots. Or, christ, do white boys get to expect full-on sympathy and abject respect even when they’re not in the room unlike women:lockerooms and POC:everywhere?
@Mnemosyne: This. Even the contempt for the upper class is translated into cultural terms for most of these guys. Which is frankly exactly how fascism operated, with cultural others being assumed to be parasitic forces whether from the above (the aforementioned mythology of a Jewish banking cartel) and below (the Romani peoples in classical European Fascism).
Sorry to Godwin but that’s what this stuff is. That’s what the result when you hijack class resentment and recast it into racist and ethnic terms.
Yep, that’s what I said yesterday too.
As long as you admit the 11th Doctor is the best one … oh, crap, I mean the 12th Doctor. Who was known as the 11th Doctor until last weekend. I’m so confused now. Damn you, Stephen Moffatt!
I do have a slight crusade about 1970s and early 1980s TV though — it’s a little shocking to watch old reruns and realize how far backwards we’ve fallen from that time as far as equal portrayals go. My husband is addicted to “Emergency!” and you can see that the casting directors had very specific instructions to cast as many minorities as possible in as diverse roles as they could. So you have all kinds of black and Latino and Asian actors wandering around in the background, appearing in minor roles, etc. On the original “Battlestar Galactica,” the second-in-command was black, as were at least half of the pilots, etc.
We project today’s media problems onto the past, but in a lot of ways today’s shows are worse than they were 30 years ago, diversity-wise.
@Doofus and @Betty Cracker:
I’ve tried since 1968 and I’ll try again next year. I have zero anticipation of any success. Their egos are too wrapped up in anger and being a victim and hatred of Them.
The designated hitter rule?
@Betty Cracker: Of course Howard Dean did try to speak to those guys and got slammed for it from both left and right. The right will defend its right to speak for and to these guys to the death. What do you think the continuous cries of “communist” “moocher” and race traitor are all about? It is Rush Limbaugh and the white right policing its boundaries and refusing to allow communists, jews, civil rights activists,and now health care navigators anywhere near their prey. I mean their voters.
No one is saying we shouldn’t keep talking to these guys. But a whole lot of us are saying we’ve been talking and its far from clear that this person, or people like him, are good candidates for doofus’s conversion and redemption.
I’d also like to point out that John Cole used to be a Republican, sure, but he himself moved over. He wanted to change and he did. Thats not “redemption” and I for sure wouldn’t call people who comment here some kind of reward or salvation. We are just people who respect JC for who he is and how far he’s come. If this dude ever wrings out his hankie of bitter, bitter, tears and decides to get himself some education and come on over and join the party he’ll be more than welcome. But I’m not holding my breath. He’s made his philosophical and political choices and he is quite satisfied with their explanatory power. He isn’t showing any signs of wanting to change, and like any addict if he doesn’t want to change he won’t. Charm we never so wisely.
My work boots, top of the line 5.11, are waterproof, way to lace, and easy to take off and on. Cost me less than $200 at Gander Miuntain. Where’s this knucklehead shopping?
@Chris: Ah, sorry, I hadn’t gotten all the way through the thread yet. #hivemind
@aimai: Exactly. When it comes to privilege, it’s not really addressed until people who are socially valued above others are willing to put in the effort. If people with less power are expected to “teach” and “enlighten” those with power over them, we’d just be recreating a new set of expectations for people at the margins.
Instead of talking about how people devalued on the basis of their gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, religion, so on and so forth should help this guy learn, the conversation should be about how they should get out of this rut where they expect the world to cater to them.
(Sorry this post is phrased really strangely because I’m a cis White guy, so I’m at the forefront of a lot of conversations like this, but I’m also queer so I get similar but-help-us-learn attitudes thrown at me a lot too.)
So, what’s your point?
Another Holocene Human
@Cacti: $200 for work boots is not ridiculous. It’s typical. Now, getting paid so poorly that $200 every other year hurts (in between you resole) is the real scandal here. Not one word about his own scabbing and the boss man refusing to match union rates.
“Also no trust fund babies” This is definitely something we can work with for the estate tax. I know these poeple, and I tell them
“I think more of what people make of themselves, not what they inherit”, they go hmmmmm. They may catch on as they slowly (verrry sloooowly) realize they are not going to get or have an estate, and the game is rigged in favor of those who do.
@Cassidy: and where were they made..?
@PhilbertDesanex: China. When it comes to boots, you get what you pay for. I end up wearing my about 14-18 hours and I only trust my feet to certain brands.
That last sentence is key. The “them”, the “other” that has been fucking him and all of us over is the rich. They have not been paying their fair share. This guy could be an Occupy guy eventually.
On FB, post that quick video of income inequality, this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTj9AcwkaKM
To be properly Obot about it though: there’s a place in this country for both rich and poor, but for all of us to prosper together, even to survive, we need a strong middle class. The middle class is the source of the rich’s profits, and it’s the place for the poor to go to escape poverty. In order for us to have a strong middle class, the rich MUST pay their fair share in taxes. They’re not, and haven’t been for decades now.
This is why I’m so enthusiastic about Elizabeth Warren: nobody yet has made that point, and conveyed that message, so clearly. That’s why I think she– or someone with a similar understanding– is what this country needs most right now. She’s been a champion of the middle class her whole career. She gets it.
Your buddy is reachable, Cole. Point him to the above video, for starters, and maybe to Senator Warren’s work.
Yes. Remember, KKK = “no kikes, koloreds or katholics.”
@NotMax: What size?
@Mnemosyne: My ex-husband, who has an Italian surname, also had a Jewish grandmother. There are Italian Jews, and there have been since oh, let’s see, the Renaissance?
Who was it, upthread, who said that this fellow we’re all talking about might say rude things about immigrants and persons not as reflective as himself, but “he’d probably be willing to talk to them” ? He might very well be willing to talk to them, but that doesn’t make him not a bigot.
Many years ago my hippie self and my hippie husband, and our kids, including our adopted black son, moved to a rural area. A neighbor invited us over and we chatted for quite a while.
We got to hear his opinions of “them lazy hippies” (we both had jobs) and “them lazy good-for-nothing blacks”. We wondered if they were just blind? Or did they want to say something about ethnicity and they didn’t know any nice things to say? Or was this the only way they knew to be welcoming to their neighbors? Also wondered what they would have found to say if they had known about the Jewish grandma. I guess in that case, we’d have heard about how much they didn’t like “pushy Jews”.
We didn’t visit much with them after that, but some years later, our black son dated their very white daughter.
James E. Powell
Whatever we feel about how these disaffected white males express themselves, can we at least agree that they are present in our nation in significant numbers and that despising, mocking, or ignoring them doesn’t help?
Howard Dean talked about needing to be able to talk to such people about health care. Of course he got slammed for it, but Democrats and progressives have to work harder to connect with people like this or they will continue to be the key to Republican electoral success.
Immigrants. How many people here either are or don’t have to go back but a very few generations to find immigrants? Me? 2 generations on mom’s side, 3 on dad’s side. And my great grandmother on dad’s side is supposed to be Native American. I wonder how many generations this dude has to go back to find people not born here.
He’s a ass because he doesn’t think at all rationally about any of his complaints. It’s talking points and hate. And the talking points he’s fucked up. The only thing he’s got going for him is hate of anyone seemingly farther up the ladder, but no more than one rung, than him.
I also don’t get the flag waving patriotism either. Is that supposed to be all there is is a flag pin/decal and putting out the flag on political holidays? To me he is anything but patriotic because he doesn’t even seemingly try to see how the country really works and be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
I’ve read most of the comments and I have to say I agree with those of you that I know are minorities. Why the fuck should this ass get a break? He’s unwilling to give anyone else a break till he gets one. He’s especially unwilling to give minorities a break until he gets what he feels he is entitled to. He doesn’t care that he is only on the first rung of the ladder as long as “others” aren’t on the ladder at all. Fuck him.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Most likely this guy cheered it on because he hated union workers.
As for US manufacturing I suppose pointing out its all automated now and only employes high skilled workers would be pointless.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
As for US manufacturing I suppose pointing out its all automated now and only employes high skilled workers would be pointless.
There for sure are fewer mfg companies than there used to be 30-40 yrs ago and more automation, but I work in a mfg plant that has 3 times more manual machines than automated and of the 6 employees, I am the highest skilled, with about 50 yrs exp. Of the 6, 2 are basically unskilled. We mfg tooling for the healthcare industry and other industrial needs. There are thousands of small companies that are even less automated and skilled. It is not all robots and computers although there is a lot of that. But that is what manufacturing looks like around the world. China does not compete with only unskilled labor and manual machines, any more than we do. Nor do they only have automation and robots. What has been shipped offshore is the crap mfg because low/stagnate wages mean low purchasing power and so cheap crap is all the majority can afford. It’s catch 22
My great-grandfather was an immigrant who owned a mom ‘n’ pop corner grocery, after having been an officer in a European army, and never became a citizen because he died of overwork before he could take the citizenship test. His children worked as peddlers and cooks, and his grandchildren as teachers and lawyers and doctors. Meanwhile, I assume, this seething caldron of butthurt’s great-grandfather was the king of the universe to whom everyone bowed down and whose descendants should still be ruling over the rest of us. Oh, wait….
@aimai: I don’t disagree. There are plenty of issues we’ll never convert this guy on — ever — and I can understand why some folks say, “fuck him.” I have to live next door to these bastards, though, and under the state government they elect, so I’ll keep trying to turn them.And I’ve seen it happen on some issues. They’ll never vote for Obama, but I bet come next year, a lot of them won’t fall for Rick Scott again.
@Older: italian jews go back to the roman empire.
Paul in KY
@Davis X. Machina: There’s a song in there somewhere…
Paul in KY
@Mike G: Good point.
How selfish of me to work on feminist issues when there are Male and Pale Real Amurrican Semi-Literate Resentful Patriots and Dittoheads whose fee-fees are hurt because dusky-hued others work hard and run successful businesses. Jesus, my priorities are really fucked.
Put me in the column that says these guys can evolve or they can die out. I’m already voting and working for candidates who are doing things that are trying not to fuck them over as hard as the GOP AND working to fix the damage that years of Angry White Male voting has done with reproductive rights, environmental issues, etc. But these fuckers feel like we’re not kissing up to them enough?
Let them find another Mommy to kiss their White Resentment Boo-Boos.
Paul in KY
@Mnemosyne: I think the character ‘Fonzie’ was supposed to be Italian.
The creepiest part to me is that I don’t think anyone here even pointed out that the majority of our debt isn’t foreign-owned. Although Cole seems to be well aware of it, much to his credit, it didn’t even come up here except when people tacitly acknowledged that falsehood as true – which went unchallenged by people (supposedly) on the other side of the argument.
Basic economic facts, people. You need them. Get it together. This is one of those things where conservatives say it and liberals just stand there with their jaws hanging open.
I’ve been hearing how we need to placate the boo-ya vote to make it 1932 again in Democratic Party circles for 20 years. It’s fucking stupid, regressive, racist, misogynistic, hasn’t worked, and won’t work. But keep beating your heads against that wall.
I remember when American nativists could at least speak English correctly.