Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Race, Class and Paranoia

Ross Douthat on the roots of white anxiety.
The most underrepresented groups on elite campuses often aren’t racial minorities; they’re working-class whites (and white Christians in particular) from conservative states and regions. Inevitably, the same underrepresentation persists in the elite professional ranks these campuses feed into: in law and philanthropy, finance and academia, the media and the arts.

This breeds paranoia, among elite and non-elites alike. Among the white working class, increasingly the most reliable Republican constituency, alienation from the American meritocracy fuels the kind of racially tinged conspiracy theories that Beck and others have exploited — that Barack Obama is a foreign-born Marxist hand-picked by a shadowy liberal cabal, that a Wall Street-Washington axis wants to flood the country with third world immigrants, and so forth.

Among the highly educated and liberal, meanwhile, the lack of contact with rural, working-class America generates all sorts of wild anxieties about what’s being plotted in the heartland. In the Bush years, liberals fretted about a looming evangelical theocracy. In the age of the Tea Parties, they see crypto-Klansmen and budding Timothy McVeighs everywhere they look.


Blogger /mr said...

can't imagine why anyone would be worried..


July 20, 2010 at 2:52 PM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Sounds like Parky has some anger issues that need resolving.

July 20, 2010 at 5:12 PM 
Blogger /mr said...

You'd be angry too, if you were dealt that set of hands.

July 21, 2010 at 7:40 AM 

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