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August 27, 2010

Comments

chris

Monte,
When I read this post my first response was “Dude!”
Please do not “Jim Wallis “ me with this analysis.
First, Beck is just an attempt to become the neo Will Rogers/Huey Long. I give him creds for besting the traditional civil rights movement in locking up the day and the Lincoln memorial. His convocation will be an attempt to appropriate the sacred symbols of time, space, and memory for a new purpose. Let’s hold him accountable for that. To invoke Hitler like Newt did around the mosque issue is not helpful.
This I agree with you. Where there is a leadership vacuum, like we presently have in Washington, it will be filled.
As to the demographic stats, these are more confirmation of the trends. I however want to be the ebony Moynihan. In the 60’s, this late senator looked within the demographic number of the Black family and saw a disturbing trend of single families. The political correct crowd of the day vilified him. Then the rate was only 25%. Today it is 72%! For Hispanic it is 53% and for Whites it is 29%. How can this bode well for our nation?
The other concerning fact I am observing is the educational profile of our recent immigrant s. If the US is to remain competitive in a knowledge-based economy, education has to be a family value. The census info is not encouraging.
I do believe the Carvel line, “It is the economy stupid”. Not red, yellow, black or white, but green.
Sure we need to continue to mature in our understanding of others, but there is no place on earth I would rather be to see this happen.

Monte

Chris, I don't know anything about Jim Wallis's analysis of this topic. What I do think history teaches us is that when there is a depression and a charismatic figure starts call for nationalistic gatherings that play adroitly on ethnic tensions it is very, very dangerous. Should we ignore the verdict of history on this kind of development?

chris

My apologies for the cryptic reference to Wallis. What I had intended to convey is a caution to prophetic voices like yours and Jim’s not to be co-opted by the era in which your social consciousness was formed.

In recent years, the stewardship of the civil right mantle has been squandered in shrillness, while the country has matured in its embrace of diversity. For goodness sake, the civil rights folks were not in the lead of the election of President Obama and actually wished his “manhood” harm around one of his most important speeches on the family.

Race is being used in melodramatic ways to score points and not develop serious policies. Black youth unemployment stands at 50% this summer! and all the NAACP could do is to attack the tea party?

More ink flowed , and pixels burnt over the Sherrod incidence and not much given to a serious proposal by Senator Webb about the policy change in affirmative action.

My perception is that class is trumping race in driving policy especially in tough economic times, and one of the outcomes of having an African American president is folks no longer feel the need to gene flex to the racial thought police anymore. Yes a paradigm shift is under way.

Monte

Chris, I agree with you that social injustice along the lines of class has become larger than race issues today. I did not intend to focus primarily on race in what I wrote. My concern is primarily about large gatherings of people around vague, nationalistic themes with a subcurrent of blame and anger toward "them," however "them" is defined. Once upon a time there were gatherings on the left of a similar character, and I was unnerved by them at the time. It has been a long time since any leftish gathering has been large enough to pay attention to it. Over the past three or four decades the right has become much, much larger in a way that has actually moved the center of American politics into what was once (in my lifetime) clearly very conservative territory. It now deserves special attention and concern when it continues to push toward more and more radical stands and bring together massive crowds around themes that have historically proved to have certain outcomes in any nation where this phenomena occurs. This may result in outcomes that are not racist, but oppress on the basis of religion or culture. Either way the mobilization of nationalism, anger and blaming is destructive of American values IMHO.

chris

It seems as if gatherings like this are a part of the wuff of our culture.
The million man march comes to mind.

The media which are our main view of movements like these at time color the optics along their political bias.

Here is my take aways from this convocation.
Folks on the right made MLK their hero and embraced a portion of his agenda.
The intertwining of God & country themes is quite evident. The idea that our prosperity is derived from thrifty, industrious habits and the fiscal drunkenness they see in Washington will be sobered in November at the ballot box.

The fundamental blame seems to assigned to the moral failing of our basic family unit and restoring that element will aggregate into a stronger nation.

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