The Clare Spark Blog

November 9, 2012

“Race” and the problem of “inclusion”

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Dee Dee Benkie

Amidst the varying postmortems on an election disastrous for conservatives and Republicans, one theme is debated, but poorly. On November 8, 2012, the O’Reilly show was guest hosted by Laura Ingraham, who grumbled about “bean counting” to make the Republican party more inclusive, as one guest, Dee Dee Benkie, seemed to be suggesting (though Benkie was thinking mostly about women). But adding female or black and brown faces to the optics of the Republican Party will not solve a much deeper challenge: the curriculum that teaches  children to hate our country, and to seek Democratic Party [pseudo-solutions] to achieve “social justice.” Personally, I believe in social justice, but it can only come about through a thoughtful reform of the curriculum in all our schools, and it must tell the truth about the American past, which is a mixed bag of glorious achievement and loathsome discrimination, exploitation, and oppression. We should not pretend otherwise, unless we want to look like amnesiac opportunists.

On the last three blogs (https://clarespark.com/2012/11/07/capitalism-is-on-the-line/, https://clarespark.com/2012/11/08/the-demographic-change-explanation-is-racist/, https://clarespark.com/2012/11/08/the-magical-power-of-negroes-and-other-beautiful-people/)  I developed the themes of race and racism, perhaps the most relevant problem in our political culture. The progressives (whose racism was once well known) have co-opted anti-racist forces through a version of “inclusion” that spells the end of rational politics and pushes us down the path to total disintegration as a polity:

1. Separatist Black Studies programs that mobilized even more hatred against the “white” oppressor, thus reinforcing the notion of history as above all, racial struggle; and

2. Strategic tokenism. Window dressing that gave a rainbow aura to the Democratic coalition, even as it failed to address the curriculum that should have been dispensing such tools to all students that would aid in their upward mobility, not to speak of an accurate account of U.S. history, which is more complicated than the current curricula would have it. (Where, for instance, is Charles Sumner or Ralph Bunche today?) Above all, it allowed black liberation theology to annex the integrationist approach of Martin Luther King Jr. to the cause of black supremacy. This has gone relatively unnoticed by the white majority, but black antisemitism and hatred of “Whitey” is worse than ever, with many black adherents to the Nation of Islam.

3. The progressives put forth a version of  American and European history that described the West as essentially racist, sexist, classist, and ecocidal. Their alternative was the racialist/fascist notion of pan-Africanism, reflected in the favored term of African-American for black people. Instead of defining American nationality as equality under the law for rich and poor alike, American nationality was now hyphenated along racial or ethnic categories: there are Mexican-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Asian-Americans, etc. This is not only a betrayal of the Constitution, but a route to hopeless disunity and a thoroughly racialist discourse. This move is not only bogus, but fatal to everything we hold dear as unhyphenated Americans. (For a related blog see https://clarespark.com/2010/01/02/jottings-on-the-culture-wars-both-sides-are-wrong/.)

Ralph Bunche, American

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October 26, 2009

“The Money Power” and other Ms.Conceptions

Image (76)The original comment to which this is a reply is found on About Clare Spark. Rereading my answer, I thought that this was a mercifully concise statement of my positions on numerous other blogs. I have added some sentences, here and there.
First, on “the money power.” It is not that the power of money itself that determines our prosperity or poverty, but monetary policy, as Niall Ferguson has shown in book after book, most recently The Ascent of Money, and in The War of the World and also his book on the Rothschilds. You might want to read Maynard Keynes book, The Economic Consequences of the Peace on this subject. Had different arrangements for German reparations been made during the settlement after the Great War all subsequent history would have been different, he argued, with sharp disagreement from Niall Ferguson. For those who think about mass death, this debate is crucial.

What I have said in my various blogs is that “the Jews” should be left out of it. Criticize capitalism to your heart’s content, but as long as the image of a fat Jewish plutocrat with his claws encircling the globe or, with his hypersexuality, polluting innocent Christian or Muslim womanhood inhabits the political imagination, there can be no progress, any more than a belief that this world is controlled by the Devil.

Second, the question of “material forces” as determinants of history, this could be standard Marxist boiler plate to me. To be sure, material conditions are very important, but so are the decisions made by individual leaders. Some historians argue that had Woodrow Wilson used his influence at the Versailles conference of 1919 to stop the excessively punitive ambitions of France and the U.K. [Keynes, see also Skidelsky vol.3], there might not have been a second world war with all its horrific suffering and lingering effects. In thinking about diversity in the multicultural university, administrators could have, but did not, integrate the history of women and minorities into the general curriculum. Because they chose segregated departments of Women’s Studies or Ethnic Studies, they relieved white male professors of the necessity of thinking about these movements in a rigorous way and then teaching their students appropriately. So instead of creating a new synthesis, historians could ignore the woman question or the history of various peoples if they chose, for some other course would make up for their deficiencies. The most we got was “whiteness studies” that were no more than covers for Leninist anti-imperialist orthodoxy and yet another capitulation to anti-Western cultural nationalism (see the lethal influence of black liberation theology, and its shameless annexation of Martin Luther King, Jr. I wrote about this on the History News Network www.hnn.us/articles/48809.html. My favorite novel on the subject of New Left personal politics is William Herrick’s Love and Terror.)

    As for the power of motherhood that I often mention, this is one of the great lacunae in the work of scholarship. The issue of separation from the omnipotent good/bad mother is one of the themes  urgently explored by too few theorists of the psyche, and I am going to post my talk on panic attacks today. [All the posts on sadomasochism deal with this problem.] I have thought a lot about this issue as Herman Melville is obsessed with it in his novel PIERRE, OR THE AMBIGUITIES. There is an obvious link between misogyny and antisemitism [see the two Murdered by the Mob essays]that has not gotten the attention it should. There should be a placard: Woman The Jew of the Home. I would add here that feminists do not always recognize that men feel women, especially modern women, have too much power over their lives. The skeptical male may then put cotton in his ears when feminists speak, then dream of a flight to the primitive (see Picasso image of Spanish peasants: Henry Murray had a print of this painting in his home). Meanwhile other ambitious women often use their sexual/maternal power to advance themselves at the expense of other women. It is a huge subject that I suppose a few others have explored at greater length than I can here.

Finally, it seems to me that the feminists of the 1960s and 1970s (initially mocked by many New Leftists and militant black nationalists) were acceptable to these bohemians, primitivists, and mini-sultans as long as they joined the “anti-imperialist” Left on male terms. Hence the new feminists did not generally defend “the West” but instead attacked it (along with Israel, often), notwithstanding the deplorable condition of women in non-Western societies. This gave some on the Christian Right an opportunity to attack feminism as an assault upon the family. [I understand that this latter claim about feminists and the Left is impressionistic and based upon personal experience with prominent women in the arts during the 1970s and afterwards, not comprehensive statistical research.]

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