Look at Karl Rove and so many GOP/Tea Party pundits twisting themselves into knots trying to explain the unexplainable. At first I tried to suppress the glee I felt at their angst. Then it occurred to me that I had been in their shoes – more than once.
No, I didn’t run a political campaign built on lies and race baiting. But I did feel the sting of a “majority” of people telling me they were so right and I was so wrong. I was wrong to want a place at the table of American society as an equal based on my ability, not a servant or relegated to a “separate but equal” table off to the side, like all the kids at family Thanksgiving dinners.
Our society for too long portrayed everyone but white Ward Cleaver types as the only ones who had the “God given right” to be at the big table. Their wives were only allowed to serve, then sit down and shut up – the only condition that allowed continued presence at the big table.
Years ago, during a graduate seminar where the topic of race came up (imagine that?), I told the white males in the class that as a result of institutionalized racism, the system we were all in was stacked in their favor. To the charge of racism and a “stacked deck”, one of the white males responded simply; “I didn’t do it.” To wit I replied; “No, but you are the beneficiary and I don’t see any moves on the part of the majority of white males in this society to change the system.”
Years later, after the election of a Black President and women being elected to positions commensurate with their skills and representation in the general population, the elbowing for position at the big table has gotten tougher.
Now, the common lament of the right is that now they (white men) are the minority in a country that is moving away from traditional values. They are now finding it hard to find their “place at the table”.
Traditional values - is that code for “stacked deck”?
Now that Rachel Maddow has called out the Fox News followers and others on the right for living in a bubble of lies and conative dissonance of their own creation, the first lament being heard is “we’re now the minority in our own country”, or “our country has lost its way”.
No, your country is mine too and has been here all along, waiting for you to collectively come out of your self-made caves of delusion and ignorance. Has your place at the table been altered by the new people who are beginning to belly up? Yes, but your place is still very much there. And those of us (minorities, women, LBGT – read everyone else who is NOT a white male) who’ve graduated from the kid’s table to the big one wouldn’t have it any other way.