By Rick Perlstein. U ntil Nov. It told a respectable tale. Year Zero was , when William F.
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Buckley Jr. I was one of the historians who helped forge this narrative. For better or for worse, politicians seeking to lead either party faced a new reality. But Trump won — and some conservative intellectuals embraced a man who exploited the same brutish energies that Buckley had supposedly banished. We advanced a narrative of the American right that was far too constricted to anticipate the rise of a man like Trump.
Historians, of course, are not called upon to be seers. Our professional canons warn us against presentism — we are supposed to weigh the evidence of the past on its own terms — but at the same time, the questions we ask are conditioned by the present. That is, ultimately, what we are called upon to explain.
Obama birth certificate controversy - Conservapedia
That story was in part a rejection of an older story. It betokened too a certain willful blindness toward the evidence that was already emerging of a popular backlash against liberalism. Instead of pronouncing upon conservatism from on high, as Hofstadter had, McGirr, a social historian, studied it from the ground up, attending respectfully to what activists understood themselves to be doing.
But if Hofstadter was overly dismissive of how conservatives understood themselves, the new breed of historians at times proved too credulous. I sometimes made the same mistake. As did William F. I was writing about the modern conservative movement, the one that led to Reagan, not about the brutish relics of a more gothic, ill-formed and supposedly incoherent reactionary era that preceded it. A few historians have provocatively followed a different intellectual path, avoiding both the bloodlessness of the new social historians and the psychologizing condescension of the old Hofstadter school.
Our work might have been less obtuse had we shared the instincts of a New York University professor named Kim Phillips-Fein.
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Looking back from that perspective, we can now see a history that is indeed unsettling — but also unsettlingly familiar. Consider, for example, an essay published in by Hiram Evans, the imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, in the exceedingly mainstream North American Review.
Its doctrines, for example, included support for public education, to weaken Catholic parochial schools. The Klan also put the predations of the international banking class at the center of its rhetoric. None of this history is hidden. Indeed, in the s, a rich scholarly literature emerged on the s Klan and its extraordinary, and decidedly national, influence. It's not about your jobs. It's about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology. Rather, the Kenya paranoia has been showing up in the politest society, among journalists and even high-ranking diplomats.
As Bobo points out, much post-racial rhetoric proclaims the irrelevance of the traditional black-white divide in an age when Americans are embracing hybridity and mixed ethnoracial identities This discourse has fueled paranoia and inspired the formation of various anti-immigrant and white supremacist groups.
Obama Could Debunk Some Rumors By Releasing His Birth Certificate.
Since the installation of Barack Obama, right-wing extremists have murdered six law enforcement officers. One man from Brockton, Mass. Most recently, a rash of individuals with antigovernment, survivalist or racist views have been arrested in a series of bomb cases. A racial subtext often frames speeches at Tea Party events.
It works to subvert economic and social alliances that could pose a challenge to the status quo. It was common, for example, for servants and slaves to run away together, steal hogs together, get drunk together….
Obama chummed the waters for so long, he pulled in a Great White Shark.
He rarely addressed racial inequality, and with the exception of a major speech devoted to the issue of race, focused scant attention on issues of concern to African American constituents in particular. Despite unemployment rates among African Americans almost double that of whites and an increasing wealth divide between whites and blacks during the recession, Obama has also been muted in his responses to these troublesome trends as President. This post-race political discourse bolsters calls for the elimination of race-based affirmative action programs in the US, programs that have served the interests of working class and minority populations as well as white women.
CEO recently targeted a number of universities that consider diversity one factor among others in their admissions process. The fact that blacks made up only 2. The prospect of forming coalitions that can reach across party lines and forge effective compromises seems bleak in the current political landscape:. Today, partisan division and racial alliance divisions are almost coextensive: the Republicans regularly endorse color-blind policies, while Democrats support race-conscious ones.
As a result, tangible domestic policy changes implemented as a result of the Civil Rights Movement could be repealed as a result. In the end, much will depend on the extent to which Americans allow racism to masquerade as progress. Blackwell, Ken and Klukowski,Ken.
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Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press. Bobo, Lawrence. Costa, Robert. September 11, Derrida, Jacques. The case is still winding its way through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Pundits across the political spectrum dismiss the "birthers" as nutjobs and conspiracy theorists. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank calls the theories "hysteria.
Source: Washington Post. Undeterred, the Arizona House of Representatives votes in favor of a measure that would require presidential candidates to submit documents proving they were born in the U.
Similar bills are introduced in state legislatures in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri and Texas. Of those polled, 11 percent say Obama is definitely not born in the U. Source: CNN. Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii's newly elected governor, brings the "birther" movement back into the national media spotlight by promising to produce Obama's original birth certificate. Abercrombie, a Democrat who knew Obama's parents, says the President's birth is recorded in the state's archives but no birth certificate materializes.
State Attorney General David Louie tells Abercrombie that Hawaii's privacy laws prohibit the disclosure of an individual's birth records with consent.