The Health Care Debate as Just a Continuation of the Massive Resistance Against the Civil Rights Movement
What fools these American pundits be when they try to deny the role of race and racism in the health care debate. Ever since the passage of civil rights legislation in 1964 there has been massive white resistance, especially in the south, against greater equality between whites and blacks. The era of 1964 through 2008 was dominated by racist reactionary conservatism. And yet so many pundits still deny the role of race in all this. The revolutionary switch of the south from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party was all about race and racism. And yet they still have the nerve to deny that racism is an important factor in all of this.
Racism isn't just hating black people and brown people because of the color of their skin. Racism is a system of social-political-economic-historical-cultural structures, beliefs and values that distributes the good things in life unequally between people of different skin colors. I grew up in the south. I hated its racism and still do. But it wasn't just the blatant racism I hated. It was all those conservative and racists values, attitudes and structures that I also hated. Everything in the apartheid south was tainted by racism. I went to all white schools, had to listen to "Dixie" all my youthful life being played at pep rallies, football games and virtually every other event where the band was present. I had to listen to racist versions of American history in school that were right out of the racist movie "The Birth of a Nation". I had evangelical, pro-racist religion pushed down my throat. On the television there was religious programming on all the channels and sometimes there was no other choice but to watch a religious program. And the political thinking was always pro-racism. It's all these things that are part of racism. It's the people and their attitudes and values: backward, stupid, uneducated, racist, nasty men, women and children.
I would never live in the south again. Never, ever, never! Because the system there is still blatantly racist. I would have to live in a system dominated by racist Republican spokespeople backed by racist, evangelical spokesmen. The south is in opposition to virtually everything that I believe in and support. I couldn't stand to listen to the constant groaning of their claptrap.
White conservatives and most liberals say that race is not that important of a factor because they deliberately see it only as one attitude rather than a whole way of life. And much of this ignorant, racist stance is deliberate. They choose to be deliberately dense on this subject, because they want to perpetuate the racist status quo.
I was watching a program the other night using some scenes from the town hall meetings to illustrate the incivility of these town hall protestors. One woman particularly seemed so ugly and disgusting that I thought to myself: I have seen this hatred and bigotry somewhere before. Then it dawned on me. I saw it in the white resistance to the civil rights movement. The yelling, the screaming, the sheer ugliness of these people came back to me. Yes, this is just a continuation of the massive white resistance against the civil rights movement that has been going on ever since 1964.
White racists see something like universal health care as just another attempt to help black and brown people gain greater equality with whites, even though poorer whites would also greatly benefit. They see this as just a continuation of their long struggle against racial equality.
Now racists can never say they are racists. That would de-legitimate their cause. Rather they always say it's virtually anything but racism. They are concerned about deficits, they say. (But never cared about the deficits run up by their support of multiple wars and their political support of wealthy Wall Streeters who steal the nation blind.) They say the Civil War wasn't about race. They say the apartheid regime in the south was not about race, but states' rights. Remember the racist Alabama Governor George Wallace? An obvious racist saying he was just a bit of a constitutional scholar concerned for the health of our democracy.
In the time of the virtually complete conservative dominance of American politics in the anti-civil rights era, the conservatives said no one can call any white person a racist. If you violated this edict, they would come down on you like a ton of bricks and make you sorry you ever brought up the idea of racism. Now isn't that convenient for American racism?
Like there are Holocaust deniers, there are racism deniers aplenty in the United States. And there are even more racism apologists saying its always something else besides racism, thereby, proving that they are racist. In fact, precisely because racism is such a powerful and deadly force in America, its leaders have always de-emphasized race. They have virtually always asked its citizens to follow a script of the correct political ways of dealing with and talking about race, so civil peace can be maintained.
There are nothing but apologists for racism on the Fox Network. But this racism is also on other networks. The Morning Joe program on NBC with the one-time Fox Network employee Joe Scarborough is an example of a program full of apologists for racism. And poor old Mika is like an abused wife who has to fall in line with her abusive husband Joe who verbally slaps her down whenever she expresses an opinion different from the bully. She once was a small voice of reason, but now she pretty much falls in line with Joe and Pat. Don't you remember how Pat Buchanan was always regarded as a political right-wing extremist? But now he's seen as acceptable for the network that has really great programming in the evening with spokespeople like Keith Obermann and Rachel Maddow? I remember not long ago listening to a Pat Buchanan rant that was a brilliant illustration of the argument of sociological racism, which has replaced the once popular biological racism. So MSNBC promotes racism in the morning and then tries to make up for it by anti-racism programming in the evening.
Everybody else in the advanced world knows that universal health care is the only moral option! But no, not our Republicans! They are immoral in their opposition to universal health care. How can one explain this virulent, nasty anti-universal health care movement if not by racism? I would like to interview these conservatives spokesmen and apologists to get them to explain the nature of this wicked movement. They can't do it! They can create a big smokescreen, but they can't explain it without racism, just like you can't explain the Civil War and apartheid without reference to race as the primary causal factor.
It's racism itself to keep on pretending that racially-motivated political movements are not racist in nature. These apologists should be ashamed of themselves. It's hell for some of them and purgatory for others!
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
September 16, 2009
P.S. Here's thanks and great praise to Jimmy Carter and Bill Cosby for having the courage to speak out to expose the racism behind the anti-health care debate. Most of the foolish pundits on television advise us all never to introduce race into a political discussion, because the discussion will turn to race rather than health. This attitude exposes the real danger of the passive attitudes liberals have taken since 1964. This passiveness is actually a refusal to speak truth to racism. It's as though there were a conspiracy of liberals and conservatives not to talk about racism.
We weren't afraid to call racists "racists" during the Civil Rights movement's hey-day. Theophilus Eugene "Bull" Connor was a racist from Birmingham, Alabama and not just a "concerned" citizen for his nation or his region. But you friends of civil rights now say we can't call Rush Limbaugh a racist? What nonsense! What cowardice! The new breed of racists are just more sophisticated that their spiritual heirs. The problem is that liberals refuse to be equally as sophisticated.
What is so wrong about pointing out the obvious: that much of the hatred behind the anti-health care debate comes from racism? During August the scared liberals virtually offered no resistance to the outrageous charges and behavior of the town hall debate frenzy. As a result the tide started to turn against health care reform. We cannot fight effectively against the evil of racism by being unable to use the term. The liberal pundits on television would have us stripped of using the truth, of calling a racist, a racist.
I could never get my own writings published because of the cowardice of this stance by the liberals. They argue against the statement that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
The anti-health care movement and liberal cowardice to answer back, gives these crazies legitimacy. These protestors call Barrack Obama a socialist, a communist, a fascist, Hitler, Batman's Joker, tell him to go back to Africa, proudly display the rebel flag, etc., etc. By not answering back to these ridiculous charges, we have to endure them as "legitimate" political discourse.
What does the rebel flag have to do with health care? A lot, actually. The rebel flag is a symbol of racism and a very appropriate symbol for a racist-motivated anti-health care, anti-civil rights movement. They should adopt it as their official flag. (But they won't because they want to continue their successful pretense that they are not motivated by racism and all the equally ridiculous "isms" associated with it.)
Being anti-racist is at the center of all my beliefs about God, justice, truth, etc. And being racists is at the center of all the beliefs of the racists. Racism is not just about skin color. It's associated with lots of other very unpleasant ideas, like no universal care.
September 18, 2009
Thank you Rush Limbaugh!
A week or so ago, Rush provided support for my thesis. He said that the health care reform is just an attempt to pass more civil rights legislation. Far too many whites are more concerned about keeping the blacks and browns down than they are about the 45,000 deaths a year due to the lack of health insurance. It's racism that motivates rednecks like Rush and the tea party people. And it's that racism that explains why these white supremacists are so damn angry.
And it's racism that is going to further destroy the United States. The divisions caused by racism has virtually paralyzed American government. The USA will not be able to keep up with the rest of the world, because everything it does is poisoned by so much racism and so many racists.
March 2, 2010
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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