Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Charles Krauthammer I Feel Your Pain: White Men Once More Victims as Obama Picks Judge Sotomayor for the Supreme Court

White men are victimized once more. Again, they are excluded from another opportunity to access the corridors of power in the Obama administration. As I empathized with Pat Buchanan on the rise of a second Jim Crow in American, one now oriented against white men of the "greatest generation," I must now extend the same olive branch to noted conservative columnist and pundit Charles Krauthammer. Again, I cannot imagine how White men are feeling in this moment as President Obama has selected a Hispanic woman, Sonia Sotomayor, as his nominee to the Supreme Court. It must really hurt to go from being the presumed choice for all things, to now being one choice among many.

I imagine it must be similar to how a "gentlemen C" student feels when he is faced with an upstart professor who demands excellence. Life is indeed unfair as the rules of the game can be changed so arbitrarily and to one's detriment. Or perhaps this experience is even more akin to that of the child who is used to always being picked first for a pick-up game of dodge ball, to now being reduced to jumping up and down and yelling "pick me! pick me!" because there is a new captain in town.

Krauthammer is to be applauded for his keen acknowledgment of how identity politics are the bread and butter, the raison d'etre for the Left and the Democratic Party. Never has the Right and the Republican Party used race as a wedge issue. Nor, have they ever attempted to mobilize their base against the real and imagined "threat" posed by people of color to an unnamed and unmarked Whiteness, one that is imagined to be, and is constructed as, interchangeable with the idea of being "American."

In the same way that the Right found a crusading hero in Allan Bakke, the plaintive in the landmark anti-affirmative action case Allan Bakke versus the Regents of the University of California, Krauthammer, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and Buchanan have found a just crusader in Frank Ricci. With him, they can now craft a mythology around a set of justice claims that will fuel the second Civil Rights Movement--a White Male Freedom Struggle that will ring through all times as it fights to dramatically restructure American society.

Frank Ricci is their Rosa Parks. Instead of a kindly, exhausted, old lady who simply wanted to ride the bus and sit where she so chose, the Right has a dyslexic firefighter who studied for twelve hours a day, employed tutors to read him the textbook, and despite all of these obstacles, still scored at the top of the exam class. His reward? to be denied his rightful and earned promotion by a group of litigious, petty, underachieving, mediocre black firefighters and their white liberal enablers who claimed that the test was "unfair." This is identity politics at its worst, a politics that is squarely outside of the American tradition.

When Krauthammer stages his freedom rides, and the movement to which he belongs has its great march on Washington, I will empathize with them. For me, the veil is lifted as I now clearly see the moral righteousness and virtue of their freedom struggle. Justice will come for these aggrieved White men, and I hope it comes very soon.


Bass said...

Beautifully put. What a great blog this is.

RiPPa said...

Well said Chauncey. Being a racial non-minority is a tough place to be these days. I sure as hell wouldn't wanna trade with them. But hey, I'm open to helping them register to vote and stuff like that. I mean hell, freedom ain't free.

MilesEllison said...

Frank Ricci's case is truly sad. One question. Was he shot and killed for trying to be a fireman? Like Medgar Evers was shot and killed for registering black voters? And identity politics are pathetic. Like those southerners who still fly the confederate flag and resent people who say it's racist. Like the Republican political strategy since about 1964, which has explicitly an implicitly appealed to white racism in order to win elections. Hypocrisy is a great luxury, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

What I love is how you make an astute connection between the bigotry of these white power pundits of the moment and the early days of white male privilege that begin on the playground and continue through college with the "gentleman's C." As someone who deals with more than her fair share of such students at the elite institution where I teach colored people's history (and have been recently accused of being racist and "un-American" by said students for doing so) I know that the roots of these views run quite deep. Hence by the time such individuals arrive into positions in the public eye, claiming to be "spokespersons" for the "real" America, we the people are bombarded with ludicrous ideas like "reverse racism" where the "unqualified" coloreds are stealing their natural born right to be in charge of everything. These motherf*ckers have frustrated me for as long as I can remember having a political viewpoint, long before the age of Obama pushed colored folk to new heights of power & visibility. But one thing they never manage to do, with their knee-jerk, decades-in-the-making ideologies, is surprise me.

chaunceydevega said...

@Bass--thanks for the complement, do come back.

@Rippa--maybe we should start a local chapter dedicated to supporting justice for aggrieved white men? I do pity them.

@Miles Ellison-There has never been a history of racism in local municipal gov't, and of course White men have never benefited from legacy programs, patronage, or nepotism!

@Natasha--how dare you not acknowledge your students' greatness and intellect. Didn't you know that they are all great and brilliant and special? Oh our little snowflakes--get the inside/prof joke? I do surprise even myself with my Oscar Wilde wordplay!