2013-07-18 — Last time I talked about creating a pathway to citizenship for African-Americans that would be comparable to the pathway to citizenship being proposed in the immigration bill for undocumented aliens. I feel that the status of citizenship granted to African-Americans offered by the Civil War amendments to the Constitution have only been technical and that barriers to full participation in American society are as high for African-Americans as the border wall that (supposedly) keeps aliens from entering this country.
So that’s two groups who are frozen out.
Today I want to talk about another group: poor whites. You may call them rednecks. You may see them as evangelical Christians. Some of them were once called Reagan Democrats. They haven’t been to college or trade school. Their jobs are marginal or they’ve lost them. They are vilified by the left.
And they are called stupid. Democrats frequently bemoan the supposed “fact” that these folks inexplicably vote for Republicans against their own best interest. Democrats say they are manipulated by the right. But think about it: would you vote for a party that calls you stupid?
I actually do think that Republican policies disadvantage this group. Good grief! Republican policies disadvantage most groups.
Democrats once looked out for the economic interests of working people. Not so much anymore. Social issues predominate and the poor whites and evangelical Christians don’t have the “enlightened” attitudes of Democrats. So they are not welcome. Where else can they go?
It’s a big barrier.
It’s going to be hard to win them back. They feel besieged. And there really is no one to take on the bosses who lay them off, outsource their jobs, and manipulate government to withdraw benefits.
Racial animosity is in the best interest of those who want to perpetuate the privileges of the one percent. It’s not just blacks and Latinos who suffer these policies.
This is not a plea for political expedience. These folks are frozen out of the American Dream just like our favorite interest groups. But they offend us, ostensibly, because they are racist or sexist or pro-life or homophobic. Yet we tolerate these traits in our darling groups.
Isn’t it time to find a way to stand in solidarity . . . Together?
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