Saturday, April 30, 2011

Douthat, Really?

h/t portside:

Carl Bloice starts his blackcommentator column like this (I got it via portside):
On April 17, conservative columnist Ross Douthat wrote on the opinion page of the August New York Times:
Historically, the most successful welfare states (think Scandinavia) have depended on ethnic solidarity to sustain their tax-and-transfer programs. But the working-age America of the future will be far more diverse than the retired cohort it's laboring to support. Asking a population that's increasingly brown and beige to accept punishing tax rates while white seniors receive roughly $3 in Medicare benefits for every dollar they paid in (the projected ratio in the 2030s) promises to polarize the country along racial as well as generational lines.
I'm not a Douthat reader, and I've been trying to avoid overdoing politics again. My nerves can only take so much stupidity. But the title of Bloice's, "Beware of the Racial Demagoguery & the "Middle Ground," caught my attention. I couldn't finish his take before letting out my on aggression.

First of all, Douthat's right that the more homogonous a country is, the easier it is to pass social programs. Think of this - everything was going fine with America's social safety net, labor, and even the tax system right up until the social movements of the 60s and 70s. Then, the white South abandon the Democrats, joined, the Republicans, and have been refusing to pay for "welfare queens" every since. That is no coincidence.

Second and most importantly, isn't this country, one of the most racially and ethnically diverse in the world, already racially polarized? Nothing new is gonna happen by the 2030s. So I can't believe he had the audacity to come accusing future workers of color of racism. Like white folks ain't racist - just people of color? As though a whole bunch white folks ain't right now trying to undo the FDR's New Deal. As though white folks haven't been alleging that "taxes = white slavery."

Where has he been? I mean, is he serious with this? Aren't people of color the base of the Democratic party? The ones trying to keep and strengthen the social safety net?

I really wanna scream!

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This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

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