These talking points and narratives are a genre of political speech. They also evolve and change over time. As readers of WARN know, I enjoy tracking the White Right's online memes because they are a useful insight into an alternate political and social reality, one that has come to dominate the Republican Party and movement conservatism.
There are several standard talking points deployed by the White Right in the Age of Obama. Some of these talking points are "old school" and are continually updated to fit a given public policy issue or controversy of the moment.
For example, one of the most common online talking points for the White Right (and conservatives, more generally) involves the dishonest use of crime statistics in order to "prove" that blacks are natural social predators.
A second white supremacist online trope involves referencing I.Q. tests to "prove" that blacks are of inferior intelligence as compared to whites (with the obligatory chaff about "Asian" I.Q. scores used as a distraction from the blatant biological racism at work in such claims).
Anti-black and brown bigotry by conservative political elites in the post civil rights era balances a public norm wherein appeals to biological racism are deemed impolitic, with the tactic of leveraging traditional white supremacist and race essentialist arguments about black inferiority through the language of "bad culture" and "colorblindness".
There is a new/old set of White Right online talking points that I would like to call your attention to.
Mirroring the spirit of Amy Chua's new book The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America and her recent editorial in The New York Times about why some groups succeed in America--and (of course) native born blacks are failures--the White Right's trolls are updating their scripts.
[There are also some serious problems of construct validity, historiography, and inference in Chua's claims about the forces driving comparative group success in the United States.]
What follows are three comments that I pulled from the responses to one of my recent essays at Alternet (the comments on Chua's New York Times essay are also illustrative of a similar tone).
Let's workshop them together. How would you rebut or complicate these claims? What tactics are being deployed and towards what goal? And how are the "data" and "statistics" being used in these claims on the truth?
- “Roithmayr’s book focuses on racial gaps in housing, education and jobs—for example, Latino and black poverty rates are between 2.5 and four times the rate for whites, and black unemployment is double that of whites.” Why don’t these “Studies” ever point out the fact that Asians and Jews, have surpassed their WASP counterparts in the same metrics that blacks and latinos have fallen behind?"
- "Good point. Keep in mind that Jews have always faced religious hatred to the point of death and Asians in America were not only hated, discriminated against and even attacked but also locked up in concentration camps for being of Asian ancestry (even if born in the USA) during World War 2. The difference is that they marry, have kids in marriage, avoid crime/gangs/getting knocked up while in school, value and encourage getting an education, don't break into the country illegally as a loser from another country here to do crap work, are well-educated and fully literate in English, don't breed like rabbits, and don't see themselves as perpetual victims."
- "Black and Hispanic intellectuals are fond of equating the disproportionate ratio of Blacks and Hispanics imprisoned as compared to their proportion of the population as being solely due to racism. But the problem with that assumption is the fact that Asians and Arabs are underrepresented in our prisons. Now where the numbers line-up perfectly is when you compare the ratio of those incarcerated by race in relation to fathers that abandon their children by race. Asian and Arab men do not abandon their children. But by the numbers I have seen, your average Black and Hispanic man thinks his responsibility to his children stops at impregnated the child’s mother. Now I am not saying that racism does play into the disproportionate numbers, but if it was solely racism Arabs would be as disproportionately over represented in prisons too because there is a lot hatred in America regarding people of Middle Eastern descent."