Luke’s Log- Stop Dividing Americans by Race and Gender, You Divisive Demagogues
Fox&Hounds is out with a new piece on the contest for the Senate seat in California left open by the retiring Senator Barbara Boxer. The jist of it is this- former California Attorney General Kamala Harris should have the clear advantage in winning Democratic votes because she is an African-American woman, but it turns out that she likely will face stiff competition from former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa because many of those Democratic woman voters are Hispanic, and would likely vote for their ‘fellow’ Hispanic over their ‘fellow’ woman.
“Latinos and Latinas have shown a very strong propensity to support Hispanic candidates over non-Hispanic candidates of either gender over the past few decades. Ethnicity for Hispanic voters appears a stronger motivator than gender – a common attribute among voters of color. This is precisely what was driving African-American women to support Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton at extraordinary levels.”
I recently had the opportunity to watch LA City Council President Herb Wesson speak on leadership, and he made a point of noting that he endorsed Kamala Harris over his old friend Villaraigosa because he knew that ‘either way [he’d] be doing something historic; but he wanted to do something more historic.’ That is not an exact quote, by the way.
And THIS, I think, is exactly the sort of divisive racial and gender identity politics we need to be steering away from if we want to become a more inclusive and unified nation. The Civil Rights struggle ended on the side of goodness and light 40 years ago; it was almost immediately replaced with a regressive self-segregation of identity politics and multiculturalism, which does not intend to divide people, but in effect turns the nation into a morass of squabbling factions and clans.
So long as African-Americans prefer to vote for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans prefer to vote for Hispanic-Americans, so long as white-guilted bourgeois white people tend to denounce their own ‘white privilege’ loudly and publicly, so long as the mass of white Americans tend to get annoyed by minority candidates and quietly vote as a group for white candidates, then we are making no racial progress. So long as anyone views it as progress that ‘every minority has its representation in government,’ we will remain a divided and segregated nation, with each faction prone to jealousy and violence against the others. Inequality will reign, and sources of conflict will not cease, so long as voters vote by their ethnic loyalty and not by their higher convictions.
Mark my words, I’d like to see more Americans of minority descent in government. But I don’t want to see African-Americans or White-Americans or Asian-Americans or Latino-Americans; I want to see Americans. We should live in a colorblind country of relative social equity that respects, but does not worship, the backgrounds of its citizens. And here’s the interesting thing- we were once on this track. We never made it, but we were working towards it.
The history of American nationhood has been a history of the dominant American majority slowly allowing its barriers to minority entry to be broken, and by natural forces of social assimilation, mixing with minorities of various stripes and periodically remaking the social and ethnic fabric of the country. Once upon a time, Englishmen-become-Americans looked down upon the Irish Catholics, the Germans, the Jews upon our shores; by the 1940s each of those groups, once ghettoized and oppressed, was a fully American group, symbolically retaining its own heritage but owing no political loyalty to blood, only to creed.
And by the 1960s, it appeared that the way was paved for the non-European minority groups to break down formal barriers and assimilate into (and fundamentally change) the broader American culture, to be included as full-on Americans. Racist anti-Asian immigration laws were gone, discriminatory anti-Hispanic labor practices were on the run, and most significantly, the African-American people had not only escaped the chains of slavery but had fought for and won their civil rights as Americans. Had the colorblind application of the law been allowed to operate and the natural flows of culture been allowed to work their magic, we might be living in a colorblind American republic today, beset by no ethnic divides and little cross-ethnic inequality.
But the radicalization of the 60s- both by elitist, white, postmodernist and anticolonialist intellectuals, and by minority nationalist groups justly aggrieved by decades and centuries of oppression and unjustly demanding communal ethnic rights- took hold, and dominated the newly apparently-resolved racial narrative. Melting-pot nationalism never stood a chance, and racial divides remained while the social conditions of Asian-Americans and the social and economic conditions of African-Americans and Latino-Americans continued to worsen, while White America grew fat and decadent in its own right.
And so we have a decadent white overclass today that throws bones to activist minority groups and encourages them to snipe at White America and each other, while it encourages White Americans to feel resentment at the activism and frank annoyingness of minority identity-politics groups. We have a multicultural America, and it is not pretty- class-based segregation pervades our inner cities, mostly to the detriment of the black and Latino communities, while every seeming racial injustice is propped up to extreme proportions by a sensationalist media, playing on the passions of both the aggrieved minorities and the white backlash. There’s enough that divides us as a nation; but thanks to multicultural ideology and policy, we have even more fault lines.
Luke’s Log hopes we don’t stay this way. Luke’s Log would encourage Californians to consider the policies and legacies of BOTH Kamala Harris and Antonio Villaraigosa, and judge which of them is the better public servant, rather than vote simply by race and gender identity. Luke’s Log would encourage voters to vote for either candidate based not upon the color of their skin, but upon the content of their character.
But perhaps that’s too much to ask for in multicultural America today. In any case, here at Luke’s Log we will continue to formulate and advocate policies that would lead to the tearing down of our currently self-imposed racial barriers, bring current ethnic communities to relative middle-class economic parity with the white majority, and lead to a general mixing of culture that will contribute to the formulation of the next inclusive and unified American cultural nation, hopefully one which will dominate this continent for most of the 21st Century. Here’s to hoping, my fellow Americans.