Sunday, November 18, 2012

Race and the 2012 Race

I forgot there was one last meme from the 2012 election that was driven by people being wrong on the Internet. The GOP is in trouble because African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics vote Democrat in large numbers. This has always been the way that it is but is now worse cause we have more Blacks, Browns, and Yellows in 'Murica.

The problem is not that Republicans hate Black, Brown, and Yellow people. The problem is much more significant and crosses both sides of the divide on race. And I get to speak on this topic from a more informed position because of my own life changes.

But first we must take a look at race and politics through the lenses of oppression and identity. If your Black you are oppressed. Even if you are Oprah you are still feeling oppressed. If you don't feel oppression at the core of your blackness, then your more likely to be voting republican. Because key to being Black as an identity is being oppressed, you look for government to be the mediator and source of relief for your oppression.

The story for Hispanics is also largely the same. Because key to their cultural identity is being oppressed by the white man. But Hispanics also form a bridge to the second culture/identity problem the GOP has. Hispanics are also a distinct cultural group (in a way African-Americans are not) and they want to maintain their cultural distinctiveness and uniqueness.

In this regard to cultural distinctiveness we find Asians and Jews as well. They don't want to go the same route of such immigrants as: Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, etc. ethnic groups that outside of major cities are indistinguishable from the grand old American ethnic mutt white people. These groups view the GOP as the vehicle of the inevitable borg like force of homogeneity. Resistance is futile, and you will be assimilated.

So when you are a Jew, an Asian, or a Hispanic you have this urge to represent your different nature. And you find yourself confronted at every turn in your life by a world that doesn't always fully accommodate your difference. The Democratic party sells itself as the party that is all about being different. "I'm an individual just like everyone else." But it is a shallow sense of diversity. But that shallow diversity creates a buy in. "I am Jewish so I must be a Democrat, and therefore I must support the issues the Democratic party supports." And you find yourself a plethora of justifications which says your culture means you must agree with the Democratic Party and its issues.

This issue is why in the 80s and 90s we saw Union members (a distinct and oppressed cultural group) supporting the Democratic party on environmental issues that actually threatened their jobs. Its because they embraced a sense of what being a union member means that requires them to buy in to the Democratic party.

And when the Republican Party says "Us to guys" its like Carlton Banks on the fresh prince of bell-air. Dorky, unauthentic, and lame. You aren't going to convince people to go against these cultural biases because in some cases (especially for Jews and Blacks) these biases have been going on for multiple generations. You need to find a way to break the hegemony of thought that says "I am Hispanic, therefore I am Democrat." And you need to find a way to break the hegemony of thought that has Americans viewing their society as oppressive to them. That is the problem and not trying to make Black People understand we don't hate them.

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