Even as we make progress on specific issues, the broader culture war seems to get uglier and uglier.
By Ann Friedman
"Real Americans are defined as much as [by] what they're not as [by] what they are," writes Amanda Marcotte on her blog, Pandagon. "The enemies list is long: racial minorities (especially non-compliant ones), immigrants, foreigners in general, feminists, liberals, poor people--yes, especially poor people, who haven't known their place in like 100 years at least--men who aren't completely wrapped up in nonstop demonstrations of proof they're Real Men, gay people, college professors, activists who try to improve people's lives, honestly you could go on."
On the one hand, they declared, they were God's chosen children. So anything they did was "in the name of God." Even if they did the opposite of what God explicitly commanded.
On the other hand, they declared, everyone else was immoral, depraved, degenerate. I.e., barbarians and savages. Creatures without God and thus not deserving Christian kindness. Fit only to be herded or hunted like animals.
Conveniently, Europeans were mostly white and everyone else was mostly brown. And so racism was born: "White-skins good, brown-skins bad."
Every cultural battle we've fought since then has basically been about the same thing: who's a real American. Who deserves to have the wealth and power--to rule the country. The battles include the Indian wars, slavery, women's suffrage, the New Deal, civil rights, environmental laws, welfare spending, and more.
These "culture wars" raged over whether white male Christians would have an unlimited ability to enrich themselves at others' expense. Or whether women, minorities, and the soft-headed liberals who supported them could force the powers-that-be to stop hoarding their ill-gotten gains. This is still the key question: whether the Euro-Americans in charge will continue to use the world for their own benefit.
For more on the subject, see:
Obama smeared as Luo tribesman
Robin Hood the socialist
Beck: God ordered Indians killed
Conservative rallies = white self-pity
Angry white Americans want country back
Sherrod incident shows conservative tactics
Didier: Stop protecting the weak
Arizona's laws = manifest insanity
Rand Paul's pro-racist libertarianism
And much, much more.
Below: "This land is our land, not your land."