Topics: Commentary, Civics, Civil Rights, History, Human Rights, Politics
The Southern Strategy
The Southern strategy was Richard Nixon's strategy to *whiteify* the electorate so Republicans could hold onto power in light of demographic changes. It began as a grab for southern states during the 1968 and 1972 elections: a combination of dog-whistle politics as well as a deliberately racist agenda, effectively throwing any social clout the GOP had right out the window.
It resulted in a total party realignment over issues of civil rights and racism. Democrats went from being the party who opposed civil rights to being the party that passed them, and Southerners who were formerly Democrats voted Republican instead, because Republicans opposed progress in those areas to various extents. This was the most significant political realignment in the US since the "New Deal Coalition," and one that still continues to this day. Source: Rational Wiki
The link at Rational Wiki is instructive in its historical context. We're still reeling from the last election that did a lot of digital *whiteification* via social media threads, Russian troll farms and election meddling.
Our US republican senators are meeting with Russian spy Lavrov (one of the same spies this president* revealed classified information to in a meeting not covered by the US press) ahead of the Trump-Putin summit where no one else, press or otherwise is allowed in the meeting, which should probably go as well as his "summit" with Kim Jung Un. Their fidelity to "denuclearize" was laughable, but our possible retreat from the world stage could be actionable by a dim bulb going into a closed door battle-of-wits meeting with a Master KGB spy not even half-armed. That would be at least a 10% improvement from where he currently is: somewhere above amoeba, desperately trying not to drool.
This is an instance of pure, naked guile of what demonic goal they are trying to achieve.
It has always been about the mythological stratification of race: I say myth, because there is no scientific basis for the demarcations. Yet, whole rallies like the tragedy at Charlottesville and one year later (because Heather Hyer's vehicular murder was such a "winner" for "fine people"), a so-called "white" Civil Rights rally at the Washington Mall is approved and being organized. They might as well have a parade over pixie dust; a Loch Ness Monster square dance; a ritual sacrifice for UFOs and a pagan solstice observance for Bigfoot! It has been proven over and again to not exist, yet there are the Alt-Right, Aryan Nation, KKK, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists that insist on it being a "thing," because racism and its kissing, incestuous twin fascism have no basis in rationality.
"Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority," by anti-racist author and activist Tim Wise was an entertaining read, written not in chapters, but as a very long, book-length letter. It is a consoling tome about the eventual majority of this country being people of color, and the numerical minorities so-called "whites." (I detest the term "majority-minority country" as oxymoronic, and insistent of the mythological separation of humanity.)
In the book description on the website:
In America, being white has long meant never having to think about race. Whites have been able to assume that the culture, political leadership and their own neighborhoods would “look like them,” and the economy would work for them, so long as they played by the rules. Now, facing chronic economic insecurity, a multicultural pop culture, a black president and a future in which they will no longer be the majority, whites are growing anxious. This anxiety has helped create the Tea Party phenomenon and is characterized by the call to “take the country back” to a mythologized past. Using racialized nostalgia, the right seeks to enlist fearful whites in a movement for reactionary social and economic policies. But as Tim Wise explains, such an agenda will only further harm the nation’s people, including most whites. Only by embracing a progressive, multicultural future, can the hope of American democracy survive.
This moribund "strategy" has petered out, nearing the end of its eventual shelf life. It was to fetch disgruntled, southern constituents from the Democratic Party - the original slave-trading defender and predominate in confederate states versus the newer, Civil Rights focused Republican Party of that era led by Abraham Lincoln. It was a change in demographics, then as now that caused a seismic shift in focus. The philosophical focus of each party flip-flopped sides after the '64 Civil Rights Act, '65 Voting Rights Act and the '68 Fair Housing Act. "Fear of a Black Planet" by the Hip Hop group Public Enemy might as well have been a political Punnett Square. The people who still want to "take their country back" fear black, brown, Asian, Native and LGBT. In their calculus, if you're not making white babies - as feckless college dropout and congressman Steve King alluded in a racist tweet and public comments, you are of no value. The decline in white birth rates are explained by simply existing in Western nations with better access to birth control, family planning, women deciding to delay childbirth for career advancement and some individuals/couples choosing to go childless. It's not the existential crisis screeds like "white" genocide conclude. But of course, screeds are generally not rational.
This was begun as the Reagan Revolution in Philadelphia, Mississippi where he started his presidential campaign with a "state's rights" speech near the site James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner - three Civil Rights workers, an African American and two Jewish men, registering black voters - had been murdered by the Ku Klux Klan, August 4, 1964. It was a "wink-and-nod" to southern Dixiecrats that soon became "Reagan Democrats." This is the tail-end of dog whistle politics and polite "wink-and-nod" verbal Jui-Jitsu advocated by political operative Lee Atwater. It is comical to hear conservative pundits now aghast at this president* and his rhetoric - at his fourth-grade level of vocabulary, purely unsophisticated for the fine art of subtlety. The dog whistle in his tiny fingers is a foghorn on Twitter, Pied Piper calling cockroaches, leeches and rodents from under rocks and out of anal crevices. His lies are simply the metastasis of the ones that got us into Iraq on Weapons of Mass Destruction that were not there, cost us many lives, casualties both of mortal wounds and PTSD for a nation that never attacked us on 9/11. It is not, nor should it be surprising. It is now a choice of white supremacy over national solidarity. It is now a choice being a satellite of Moscow over national sovereignty. It is now a choice of self-governance over a fascist, post-fact manipulated state.
November 6, 2018 (midterms) could decide the fate of democracy globally...of whether we are the best example, or simply another republic on its way to the dustbin of history.