A standard conservative meme is that feminists/blacks/gays say they want equality but they’re actually bigots: why aren’t feminists out there opposing discrimination against men, for instance?
This argument is a multipurpose one. It slams non-white, non-male, non-straight activists by painting them as hypocrites. It reinforces the idea that white people (or straights or men) are the real persecuted ones. And it puts a conveniently happy face on America’s past. Saying the civil rights movement was about “equality” sounds so much more digestible for some conservatives than saying it was about ending the Jim Crow segregation, job discrimination, housing discrimination, voting discrimination and sometimes violence imposed on blacks by white America. It was to rectify injustices imposed against blacks, not some vague equality. And a lot of injustice still exists.
This is the rationale for the kind of color-blindness that treats any measure protecting blacks as “special rights” and reverse discrimination. Or the bullshit I’ve heard from more than one conservative or libertarian (pundits Tibor Machan and John Leo, for instance) that back before we had affirmative action, jobs were given out according to merit. Which makes, I admit, perfect sense if you start from the assumption that white men are always superior, so naturally they beat out everyone else (Leo may believe that in fact: in one column he asserted the lack of white winners in one scholarship competition proved the awards were given out based on race—despite his assertions in other columns that statistics can’t prove discrimination by themselves).
Which ties into this post about why “black lives matter” isn’t some kind of racist statement. Black lives get short shrift (as the Ferguson, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner have shown) so saying this is an issue isn’t the same as saying “nobody else’s lives matter,” it’s saying (as pointed out in the post) “black lives matter too.”
In other notes:
•Corporations that work through franchises and contractors must accept joint responsibility as employers. In other words, McDonalds can’t treat employees as employees of the individual franchise alone. More on joint responsibility.
•Of course that would be moot if we get a Republican-appointed Supreme Court judge down the road who’s willing to overturn any regulation on business.
•Obama renames Mt. McKinley into Mt. Denali, which I gather is an old Alaska name. Right-wingers freak out.
•Broadcasters sue the FCC for making it harder for local governments to limit cable rates.
•A condo-owner discovers his roommate renting out the condo on Airnb.
•Under new NYC rules, police who stop-and-frisk must provide a justification. Hullabaloo looks at the response from cops, some of whom (as well as some right-wingers) are shocked, simply shocked that people won’t accept their word the person they hassled was a bad guy.
•Lawyers Guns and Money suggests Donald Trump’s appeal is because he’s giving the Republican core both right-wing social stances and support for more welfare. I’m not entirely convinced, though: the argument is that regular politicians ignore social stuff in favor of economics—lowers taxes, lower regulation—but it seems to me they’ve been doing both for years now.
New Republic argues Trump is not a populist (agreed) and that he’s really the voice of “aggrieved privilege.” That would put him in the preservatist right-wing tradition discussed in Politics of Unreason, where people are driven by fear of others. In the current case, for a lot of white voters it’s (my though) less about having property or money taken than status: as white people become just one of the many minorities in this country, they become less special. “Their” country is being taken away. As witness Obama renaming Mt. McKinley, named for a white guy, after some non-white Native crap. In one freak-out, right-winger Ben Shapiro sneers Obama will now rename the Southwest as “Aztlan” as he continues destroying “our” heritage.
And here we have right-winger Rod Dreher explaining that unlike callous liberals who never think about how much working-class whites suffer because of immigration (not just the illegal kind), Trump truly cares about their pain!