[lbo-talk] Are Conservatives Racist?

bfinger barryfinger at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 18 06:10:29 PDT 2011

No, I think what is at issue is here is a peculiar form of reasoning. We see this sort of thing mostly on the right. If, for instance, climate change is seen as fodder for liberal Democrats, then rightwingers find all sorts of reasons to be skeptical of meteorology. It is discovered that "inappropriate" statistical short cuts were employed in internal emails of scientists. Dissenters from the mainstream are found. Atmospheric blips that superficially call scientific conclusions into question are flogged over and over. Science is trashed as the handmaiden of a grand liberal agenda, if not conspiracy. It is proudly announced that dissent from the liberal mainstream is indicative of intellectual independence and bravery, not a prescription for the cardiac afflicted.

There is also a strain of anti-scientific populist skepticism. Darwinism was quickly appropriated at the turn of the 20th century by propertied classes as a justification for privlege. The challenge in teaching evolution was not just motivated by religious obscurantism, but of plebian egalitarianism. That however did not make it correct.

Where I agree with Bhaskar and Seth is in their outrage at the DP for making hay of this. It is as if the liberal collusion with the right under the guise of neoliberalism had nothing to do with the unleashing of all these reactionary and racist currents back into the mainstream of American political life.


-----Original Message-----
>From: Bhaskar Sunkara <bhaskar.sunkara at gmail.com>
>Sent: Aug 18, 2011 7:48 AM
>To: lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org
>Subject: Re: [lbo-talk] Are Conservatives Racist?
>The question is what role race places in the complex medley that motivates
>the Tea Party. The fact that mainstream liberalism focuses on race is more
>The WISER report doesn't tell me anything. "Blacks would be just as well off
>as Whites if they tried harder" is the type of statement that Seth deals
>with in his "Liberals and Racism" piece, which he already linked ot:
>To me it reflects a certain brand of capitalist ideology prevalent all
>across the U.S. ideological spectrum. The greatest proponent is that great
>"racist" admonisher of young black men, Barack Obama.
>On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 7:19 AM, Barry Finger <barryfinger at earthlink.net>wrote:
>> Material in supporting the contention of Tea Party racism are not all that
>> difficult to find. Here are links to such research that predate the Notre
>> Dame study.
>> http://depts.washington.edu/uwiser/racepolitics.html
>> http://mobile.salon.com/news/feature/2010/05/03/race_and_the_tea_party
>> Barry
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Aug 17, 2011, at 11:56 PM, SA <s11131978 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > On 8/17/2011 11:48 PM, Joanne Landy wrote:
>> >
>> >> Bhaskar, what do you make of the piece by David Campbell and Robert
>> Putnam in today's New York Times, "Crashing the Tea Party,"
>> http://nyti.ms/pFHk5r which argues that Tea Partiers "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."
>> >
>> > I read that piece with interest but was hoping for some actual data. They
>> offered no data, and none can be found on their websites. You might consult
>> a piece in the current Jacobin:
>> http://jacobinmag.com/summer-2011/liberals-and-racism/
>> >
>> > SA
>> >
>> > ___________________________________
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