Saturday, April 12, 2008

Uppity Dr. Baraka

The "condescending, elitist, UPPITY" Dr. Baraka had the audacity to touch and diagnose the angry and cancerous boil accumulating on the atrophying carcass of the American economy;
"But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
I wrote about this a couple years ago at Vision Circle. Baraka has spoken to and will now be compelled to fully engage around one of the most challenging bulwarks of reality evasion in America. Joe Bageant understood it and spoke to it very, very well.
I think working class anger is at a more fundamental level and that it is about this: rank and status as citizens in our society. I think it is about the daily insult working class people suffer from employers, government (national, state and local), and from their more educated fellow Americans, the doctors, lawyers, journalists, academicians, and others who quietly disdain working people and their uncultured ways. And I think working class anger is about some other things too:
Good luck and godspeed. If he can successfully engage these folks, alay their anger and mistrust, he has a better than even chance of becoming president and potentially even functioning as a catalyst for constructive change. This is easily the most interesting moment thus far in the democrat primary.


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