Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Politics of Scapegoating Latinos and Other Racialized Minorities

Dissident Voice
by Ron Schmidt / August 5th, 2010

The pundits’ mantra for the 2010 mid-term elections is that American voters are angry as hell and they’re intent on taking out their anger on those in power — and for most writers this means the Democrats who control the White House and Congress. Since they are perceived as a core part of the Democratic Party’s coalition, this party-in-power-about-to-take-its-lumps presumably includes the country’s racialized minorities, especially Blacks and Latinos.
Catching this current, Gregory Rodriguez in his August 2, 2010 Los Angeles Times column predicts that “white racial anxiety, not immigration, will be the most significant and potentially dangerous socio-demographic trend of the coming decade.” He, therefore, advises President Obama to seize his “Nixon moment” and offer up Affirmative Action to slake the dragon’s thirst for blood. Rodriguez thinks that this sacrifice is necessary “to avoid a destructive white backlash.”
On the same day, the lead front-page Los Angeles Times article described the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision as a rush by business (led by the Chamber of Commerce) and conservative political activists (led by Karl Rove’s American Crossroads) to mount the most expensive mid-term campaign in U.S. history to return power to those who will do their bidding more consistently and faithfully. Also on the same day, Paul Krugman’s New York Times column decried the trending of the country’s top leaders toward “normalizing” double-digit unemployment rates as a “structural” necessity of the new U.S. economy.
Are these three stories related? I think so.

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