Saturday, May 30, 2009

"New racism" vs. old racism  

Remember that time Newt Gingrich posted on his Twitter a particular pearl of wisdom regarding Sonia Sotomayor? The one that said, "Imagine a judicial nominee said 'my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman.' New racism is no better than old racism." Yeah well, he just got schooled on The Huffington Post by John Ridley:

But here's the deal, Newt, your "new racism" isn't like "old racism" 'cause "old racism" tended to involve things like shackles, and whips and the Middle Passage. Attack dogs, Billy clubs and water hoses. Burning crosses and lynch mobs. Confederate flags, liquor and screams of "Kill the (fill in pejorative here)!" "Old racism" was red lining and segregating and "whites only" drinking fountains, schools and country clubs. It was The Dred Scott Decision, Executive Order 9066, and the Trail of Tears. "Old racism" was a blind eye and "all deliberate speed" that wasn't deliberate or particularly speedy and nonsense about the sanctity of marriage which was crap when it was applied to "race laws" and is crap when applied to "one man/one woman."

"New Racism?" That's apparently a Latina openly talking about how "more often than not" she would like to avoid the "conclusions" that allowed "old racism" to thrive. That's a long way from getting your ass beat for trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge so maybe your kids might one day enjoy the right to vote.

The fact that Newt would even attempt to compare "old racism" and "new racism" only proves Sotomayor correct in saying that experience based on fact is very different than that based on perception.

Newt, seriously, anytime you want to swap racisms give me a call.

The old "he's white so he couldn't possibly understand" excuse can't even save Newt's ass or the ass of any other ignorant right-winger who dares to drop the "reverse racism" bomb. I'm white, and even without the ability to truly understand what people of color have gone through and will continue to go through, I know better than to compare a time period when photos of black people being hung from trees were put on postcards to a time when a Latina woman publicly states that despite all the racism, all the abuse, all the rejection her ancestors have faced, she is deciding to turn the negatives into a positive, and to develop a strong identity that no one can take away from her.

I guess the difference between Newt and me is that I'm willing to give up some of my power for the sake of equality. As far as Mr. Gingrich and his posse? I'm not holding my breath.

What next?

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2 comments: to “ "New racism" vs. old racism

  • May 30, 2009 at 7:08 AM  

    The last thing you said kind of bothered me. Giving people of different races doesn't "take away" the rights of white people, so you're not really losing any power. That's like when men say giving women equal rights takes away their rights. It's not the case.

  • May 30, 2009 at 12:42 PM  

    Right, I understand what you're saying. What I really meant is that by allowing people of color to hold high political positions, white people are slowly losing their place on top. I didn't mean that they will lose any "rights" - I meant that they must deal with no longer being the dominant race.