Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tim Wise, time to cut the classist crap

Dear Tim,

In An Open Letter to the White Right, On the Occasion of Your Recent, Successful Temper Tantrum, you say:
And for y’all a bit lower on the economic scale, enjoy your Pabst Blue Ribbon, or whatever shitty ass beer you favor.
That should be "whatever shitty ass beer you can afford."

But you'd have to have some understanding of what life is like for hard-hit working-class folks to know that.

You're generally right that racists are falling on the dungheap of history. But you don't get that what we're facing now isn't about race. Look at who the Tea Party elected: Minorities ride GOP wave to groundbreaking wins - 2012 Elections -

It's about class now. So decide which side you want to be on.

all the best,



  1. Hard point to get across, isn't it? I guess it "helps" that the Democrats also actively propagandize labor to believe it's interests lie with oligarchs...

  2. I still like Tim Wise's essay, "What if the Tea Party were Black?"

    But this post you link to has got to be one of the most silly, puerile pieces of writing I've read in quite some time. Yeah, that's sure going to win over some people, isn't it?

    And I recall his snarl at you a while back that showed the same sort of smug, arrogant tone. I'd call it a marker of privilege.

  3. Not impressed by Wise at all, he's definitely a an upper-class class-blind snot.

    Though, Will, the Tea Party is still racist. I don't care that a couple minorities were insanely elected on their ticket, 11% of Tea Party *groups* responding to polling stated race was a serious issue for them (and not in the good "Racism is bad." way, but in the bad "Get them darkies outta here!" way).

    You can keep denying that all you want in order to insist the Baggers are somehow just about class, sweeping their racism under the rug and pretending it isn't there, but you're factually wrong.

  4. Raven, never said there were no racists in the Tea Party. Where's the 11% stat from?

    I have noted that according to Pew or Gallup, the Tea Party is 6% black. That's half of the % of the general population, so in that sense, they've got a ways to go. But I don't know the percentages of blacks in the US's middle and upper classes, so I don't know if the Tea Party is representative once you correct for class. Other polls have established that overall, the Tea Party is wealthier and "better educated" than the general population, so we shouldn't expect it to be perfectly representative of the general population if class is a major factor--it should look like the richer folks in the US and not "like America".

    Huh. It really does make sense that they're not the beer or coffee party.

  5. M, great link. In a very depressing way.

  6. I know there's a NYT poll that makes the claim in their headline...and then goes on to showcase just how ignorant and uneducated the members of the party actually are.

    It's easy to spin those numbers: 8% more graduated college...and what percentage don't have a college degree or never finished high school as compared to the general population?

    A different poll states that the majority are "...less educated but more interested in politics than the average Joe and Jane Six-Pack and are not in a traditional sense swing voters."

    If I'm reading the poll numbers right, 6% more of them than the general population have no college degree.

    Regardless, if you're going to point out the fact that an 8% difference in college graduation means they're more educated, and yet IGNORE a 24% difference in belief that "too much is being made of black people's problems" in order to claim they aren't racist then you're just being ridiculous.

    To ignore a 3x larger difference on a racial issue to say that really they're classist *instead* is nonsense. They're pretty clearly both.

    What's next? The new Tea Bagger line that because the Confederacy armed blacks to fight against the Union, the Confeds weren't a bunch of racists either? After all, that is the very same logic you keep trying to use here to make the "but they're not racists!" claim. And it is as ridiculous coming from their mouths as it is coming from yours.

  7. (Actually, I'm not reading the numbers right, there's clearly data the pollsters have that wasn't included on the page.)

  8. Raven, I'll check out that poll. If it turns out that the tea party is a mix of more-educated and less educated folks, I won't be surprised.

    But the CSA enslaved black folks and didn't enslave white ones. There's no way to spin that.

    Meanwhile, the tea party helped elect a black guy in a race against the white son of a famous racist. Ain't no way to spin that, neither.

    Remember, I'm not saying there are no racists among them. But to say they're racist ignores their policies and their black supporters, who are snobs, but not Toms.