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The American Way or What’s Really Going To Destroy America…

Racism, Right-Wing Rage and the Politics of White Nostalgia. Tim Wise is trying to give America a history lesson. I don’t expect that to end well. Not because his facts are bad (they are excellent) but because America seems committed to pretending that various major events and policies over the last 200 years didn’t happen whenever it looks like the bill might be coming due. Until of course something horrible happens and there is no way to avoid reality. You know what I’m expecting to shake loose the health care debate? Swine flu. Right now it’s not a pandemic, but all that scrambling for a vaccine isn’t for shits and giggles. And if it’s not swine flu it’ll be some other pandemic like the one in 1918 that highlights very quickly what can go wrong when most of your population doesn’t have access to long term quality medical care. Oh sure, there will be people in the hospitals getting treatment after it all goes to hell. But before the point when we know that it’s Killer Infection X? It’s going to get a whole lot of time to spread as people ignore symptoms and keep going to work or to school or wherever without treatment because they can’t afford it. And we’re going to see a lot of “those people” rhetoric and blaming of the victims because of course the poor will be the scapegoats instead of the real culprits.

After a good sized chunk of the population has taken ill/died and we’re struggling to keep America running? You’ll see the same people that are screaming now about death panels, and not paying for any health care for the lazy, and whatever other trigger phrases that are currently in vogue (phrases that amount to “There’s only enough for me and people like me. We’re not sharing with you.”) screaming about how the government failed them. About how “those people” ruined America with their selfish insistence on going to work and school instead of staying at home. They’ll ignore every bit of context that points to the uncomfortable parts of reality in favor of playing the blame game as long as it keeps attention off of their role. It’ll go on for weeks with pundits happily engaging in the demonization of everyone that didn’t beat them upside the head with reality enough times, and refusing to consider that all their scare mongering tactics to prevent the public option from being viable in 2009 are why things are falling apart in 2012 or 2020. The sad part is that we’ve actually already had this lesson several times, but for some reason America can’t seem to remember what happens when you let greed trump common sense, much less what happens when you let racism poison every decision.

8 thoughts on “The American Way or What’s Really Going To Destroy America…”

  1. anna says:

    awesome post by you and Tim Wise. thanks. I read the whole article. It’s not okay and kinda freaking scary…

  2. tina johns says:

    I have a very hard time following this rant, but it seems like you are saying that 1918 happened b/c ppl didn’t have insurance. Aids came on b/c people are uninsured.

    1. karnythia says:

      More like, we’ve been through all of these awful epidemics and we’re still ignoring fundamental ways to prevent the fallout.

  3. tina johns says:

    prevent the fallout? huh? in a very few years aids has gone from death sentence to chronic mgt.
    it that the fallout you mean?

    I would kindly suggest a composition course at local college before more confusing posts. This is really a jumble to follow.

    1. karnythia says:

      I could kindly suggest you spend some quality time on reading comprehension classes, but that would be a cheap shot.

  4. Foxessa says:

    AIDS is completely manageable?

    For some in some places.

    In Swaziland, for instance, 1 in 3 people is infected, particularly powerless women and girls, and they can’t get or afford any medications or treatment.

    Some people get their pleasure centers jolted by NOT seeing anything except themselves. This is difficult for those with 20/20 vision to understand, but this is a truth.

  5. america sucks for the poor says:

    I just want to say that americans need to see what is clearly in there face. We are struggling for something that as human beings should be free. What happen to compassion and common sense. We are going back to a time when human life didn’t and don’t mean much. I can say I agree with this women and understand what she is saying. I just wish the goverment citizens and any other human beings would do what is common sense right and stop doing what is right only for themselve. Whether you agree with me or not we need a real change in this country and it really don’t matter what color it comes in. Also my name is Queen and I am not ashamed of what I am saying I just think the name I put down is how we the poor people really feels.

  6. Steve Sybesma says:

    I’ll start out by identifying myself as a 47-year-old white male.

    Lower-middle income.

    I support some of what you’re saying but there seems to be a bigger picture.

    Here it is.

    Cynical big business’ goal is to foment division between people of lesser means so that the focus stays off of them. They are creating all the evil that is, by putting money above all else. Money is not in itself evil of course, but the single-minded pursuit of it to the exclusion of all else is.

    Take the current problem with illegal immigration.

    Sure, it’s true that these people are not here legally and it’s true there needs to be some kind of law that sets up who can be a citizen and who is a visitor. But the thing is that the illegals are not just coming here invading the country because they feel like it. They are being intentionally lured here by big business.

    Whenever you hear of these raids at meat-packing plants and such…know this: it’s not the Feds figuring out from some outside source that a bunch of illegals are working there…I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s ALWAYS a case of these poor people starting to stand up against their horrible working conditions, and the employers suddenly ‘discover’ they are not here legally, and then they call the authorities.

    Never do you see the big business going away in handcuffs for hiring these poor people. Not a single time.

    The greedy rich never suffer. They have got the game playing so that they can almost never lose and we can almost never win.

    This is the heart of the problem in this country, as I see it.

    Unions used to have a lot more power and things were closer to a ‘balance’ for a while.

    Now big business has all the power, all the money, and all the say and so many of us are puppets being made to fight against each other (while they laugh) when we should be joining together as brothers and sisters to throw off their heavy yokes.

    This corrupted phony capitalism has to end. Everything is set up to benefit and protect them, even when they grossly screw up as they did last year. We have no such protection at all and we are all left to twist in the wind when things go bad for us. Certainly, there’s no way to say that is fair or right. What bothers me is why so many evangelical churches are so silent, or even worse support this stuff going on.

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