Glenn Beck and white self-pity

For many of my readers, the most salient trait I have is one I had nothing to do with: the color of my skin. Whether I mention race in a post is unimportant. Many of my commenters will mention it for me.
Given that, I call attention to the fact that the words I recommend to your attention in this post were written by a white man, Christopher Hitchens, who is moderately conservative. He has some interesting things to say about the weekend’s Beck rally, which he calls the “Waterworld of white self-pity”:

One crucial element of the American subconscious is about to become salient and explicit and highly volatile. It is the realization that white America is within thinkable distance of a moment when it will no longer be the majority. . .
Until recently, the tendency has been to think of this rather than to speak of it—or to speak of it very delicately, lest the hard-won ideal of diversity be imperiled. But nobody with any feeling for the zeitgeist can avoid noticing the symptoms of white unease and the additionally uneasy forms that its expression is beginning to take.

For example, so strong is the moral stature of the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement that even the white right prefers to pretend to emulate it. . . Thus, it is really quite rare to hear slurs against President Barack Obama that are based purely on the color of his skin. Even Beck himself has tried to back away from the smears of that kind that he has spread in the past. But it is increasingly common to hear allegations that Obama is either foreign-born or a Muslim. And these insinuations are perfectly emblematic of the two main fears of the old majority: that it will be submerged by an influx from beyond the borders and that it will be challenged in its traditional ways and faiths by an alien and largely Third World religion.

This summer, then, has been the perfect register of the new anxiety, beginning with the fracas over Arizona’s immigration law, gaining in intensity with the proposal by some Republicans to amend the 14th Amendment so as to de-naturalize “anchor babies,” cresting with the continuing row over the so-called “Ground Zero” mosque, and culminating, at least symbolically, with a quasi-educated Mormon broadcaster calling for a Christian religious revival from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

I think that Hitchens is on to something, and that that’s why tea-partiers often talking about “taking the country back.” Back from whom?

657 comments Add your comment

Chuck

August 30th, 2010
3:03 pm

Very glad you shared this. Thanks Cynthia.

Peadawg

August 30th, 2010
3:11 pm

“Back from whom?”

Easy, Liberals.

BTW why the heck is Beck preachin’ about Christianity and such? He’s Mormon….

Enjoy your staycation, Cynthia? My wife and I and my my parents are headed to Myrtle Beach after labor day. no college kids and rates are down…reeeaaally looking forward to it!

Aliquando

August 30th, 2010
3:12 pm

Hitchens is bitter, dying and hardly conservative.

Peadawg

August 30th, 2010
3:13 pm

“Republicans to amend the 14th Amendment so as to de-naturalize “anchor babies,””

Which I hope is done…but that’s for another blog.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 30th, 2010
3:14 pm

Martin Luther King Jr. – I have a dream…

Al Sharpton – I have a scheme….

Bruno

August 30th, 2010
3:15 pm

Back from the liberals.

I never hear anyone turning this into a racial issue other than liberals.

Bruno

August 30th, 2010
3:15 pm

Peadawg–You beat me to it ^^^^^^^

Dan H

August 30th, 2010
3:19 pm

If you want to see the America that Beck is urging on, you need only read his followers’ comments on this site http://wp.me/pNmlT-mI which is critical of Beck and his rally. They are completely blind to facts presented to them if they are contrary to their beliefs. It is scary to see the hold he has over them despite him offering so little substance or truth.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 30th, 2010
3:20 pm

White self pity? Hmmm, try these on:

Jesse Jackson

Al Sharpton

Cynthia Tucker

Jeremiah Wright

Cynthia McKinney

O.J.

Homey D. Clown

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 30th, 2010
3:21 pm

“HuffPost pulls piece offering $100,000 for Beck ’sex tape’… ”

Those classy liberals.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 30th, 2010
3:22 pm

“Obama, Dems got 88% of employee contributions from ABCCBSNBC… ”

I guess they weren’t part of the “while self-pity” group.

ctucker

August 30th, 2010
3:22 pm

Peadawg, I did enjoy my staycation. It was quite pleasant

granny godzilla

August 30th, 2010
3:24 pm

Take our country back?

It’s not from “whom”, it’s to “when”.

As if they think minorities, including we females, will go back to the fifties quietly.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 30th, 2010
3:24 pm

Wall St falls as economy worries persist…

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 30th, 2010
3:25 pm

granny godzilla
August 30th, 2010
3:24 pm

Go back to the fifties? Girl, you’re probably past 60. Who you trying to kid?

Peadawg

August 30th, 2010
3:26 pm

“It’s not from “whom”, it’s to “when”.”

Oh, is that what your crystal ball says? Like I said it’s a very easy question to answer. Liberals.

Wow, that's Pulitzer material

August 30th, 2010
3:26 pm

And I thought you were done with one copy and paste today, guess I was wrong. You never cease to amaze me with your talent. Excellent job on creating a racial tone to Beck’s event. I suppose you will tell us that white people are the devil in your next column? As to self pitty, really? You are so predictable that it’s nauseating.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 30th, 2010
3:27 pm

“EPA Surrenders; Considered banning lead bullets… ”

A classic case of liberalism out of control.

Bruno

August 30th, 2010
3:30 pm

“As if they think minorities, including we females, will go back to the fifties quietly.”

Granny G–I hope you wake up to the fact that Obama’s anti-business rhetoric/policies are hurting everyone, both liberal and conservative alike, both minority and majority alike. All boats sink with a receding tide……

The Leg Lamp is a "major award", much like Cynthia Tucker's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

August 30th, 2010
3:31 pm

Go the DrudgeReport and check out the pic of POTUS riding the girl’s bicycle. That rates right up there with “Rocky the Flying Squirrel” Dukakis riding in the tank and “Bugs Bunny” Kerry in the bunny suit. Hilarious!!

Peadawg

August 30th, 2010
3:33 pm

Granny, why do you think you’re qualified to speak for Republicans. From your comment it’s obvious you know nothing about us.

Wow, that's Pulitzer material

August 30th, 2010
3:35 pm

Ms. Tucker, Please, Please stop. I can’t take any more of your BS. I’ve been LMAO all day at your posts and bloggers trying to defend them. I’m going to suffocate from laughter soon if you don’t stop for at least one day. Please!

Mike K

August 30th, 2010
3:40 pm

“[T]hat’s why tea-partiers often talking about “taking the country back.” Back from whom?”

Back from the government – that’s who.

Hoghead

August 30th, 2010
3:41 pm

Whew, I thought blacks had a monopoly on self pity. I mean they are still using as an excuse for laziness and irresponsiblity the old saw that their great great grandparents were slaves. Whites don’t pity themselves. Whites do know however, that if the shoe were on the other foot, they wouldn’t be treated half as decently by blacks as the blacks have been by whites. When you have to keep black people on staff even when they don’t do their jobs, just because they are black, that is racist, but you won’t see blacks being as generous.

will

August 30th, 2010
3:42 pm

First I would like to say “mormons” are christian the real name is church of jesus christ of later day siants so stop hating there church. Seconed if you don’t know what he is about try learning somthing abot him and the teaparty movement before you act like the people that you making fun of. Sorry but bothsides of this debate sound like hipocrits

RGB

August 30th, 2010
3:43 pm

“….tea-partiers often talking about “taking the country back.” Back from whom?

Just look around your news room. Leftists, socialists, anti-capitalists, environmental extremists, Marxists–along with those who oppose private property rights, those who oppose the right to free speech (”fairness” doctrine), those who oppose the Second Amendment, those who believe government is too small and the private sector is too big, those who believe we are undertaxed–shall I continue? Is this really a new concept to you.

Sheesh.

Mike K

August 30th, 2010
3:43 pm

“For many of my readers, the most salient trait I have is one I had nothing to do with: the color of my skin. Whether I mention race in a post is unimportant.”

Actually, I think that most of these people feel Cynthia’s most salient trait is not her race, but her focus on race and racism as being the root cause of all political and economic events. (I would say the same about Susan Estrich and gender). Thus, even when Cynthia doesn’t mention race explicitly, people draw conclusions based on her many, previous columns on the subject.

Brutus

August 30th, 2010
3:44 pm

Since when is Hitchens moderately conservative? The left is growing more and more desperate to distract people from the real issues facing this country. Good luck with that strategy.

YJ

August 30th, 2010
3:45 pm

This is expected- your talent never ceases to amaze me and the comments to this column are always good for a chuckle.

landry

August 30th, 2010
3:46 pm

How very sad that the leadership of the once-proud Republican Party is now in the hands of a quitter governor and two radio shock-jocks.

Libertarian

August 30th, 2010
3:46 pm

I was wondering when CT would squeeze in her daily Beck bashing :-)

dougmo2

August 30th, 2010
3:46 pm

I told you in your other blog, “I Hate White People” is your Tuesday subject Cynthia. Why are you a day early?

ctucker

August 30th, 2010
3:47 pm

dougmo2, Please read before you rant.

TheWhiteMan

August 30th, 2010
3:47 pm

Maybe rather than trying to find to way to prevent political damage to your little political club, you should open your mind and realize that white people aren’t against you. Maybe your people continue to struggle because you refused to integrate. I really think Rev Martin Luther King would be very disappointed in you.

Mike K

August 30th, 2010
3:47 pm

“quasi-educated Mormon broadcaster”

Nothing elitist about that comment. By the way, why do guys like Hitchens only pick on conservatives for lacking education. How come they never say anything about guys like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, or Jeremiah Wright?

ctucker

August 30th, 2010
3:48 pm

Brutus, Since he fell out with the left when they wouldn’t support the invasion of Iraq.

landry

August 30th, 2010
3:48 pm

et tu brute,Really? Are you kidding or is this an ironic column where i don’t get the joke? Restoring Honor? From what? Platitudes on a 1950s style America that has been lost? Oh – that America… of Jim Crow and SMALL MINDS, marginalization of whole swaths of the population in the name of white-anglo decency and tradition. This is a simple refrain to the angst that middle class whites feel about the shrinking majority and a fast moving world that is quickly eclipsing their values – class politics at its worst. Redemption? From republican policies that have sold out those middle class folks to big business and outsourced multinationals, maybe….. But then these parasites would need to actually give facts and context to their drivel.

john

August 30th, 2010
3:49 pm

how can anybody find fault with the restoring honor rally? you liberals are really mentally challenged…get some professional help cynthia, your sick!

ctucker

August 30th, 2010
3:49 pm

Mike K, Since I’ve been writing columns, only about 25 percent of them have been about race. So, people ignore the 75 percent when drawing their conclusions?

Indian feller

August 30th, 2010
3:49 pm

Thanks C.T.. Time to reclaim our land…..with plans for casinos in every state.

Gordon

August 30th, 2010
3:49 pm

Back from people who believe government should have a greater role in our lives. It’s that simple. I want less government, less taxes, and fiscal sanity.

Completely independent from race. I would have voted for a minority 30 years ago if I agreed with them on the issues. I would vote for Thomas Sowell right now, in a heartbeat, over Sarah Palin or anyone else the GOP puts out there. I would not vote for Dennis Kusinich (sp?) if my life depended on it.

It’s not about race for the overwhelming majority of people who oppose Obama. Get over it.

Joe

August 30th, 2010
3:50 pm

It’s really simple who we must take the country back from Tucker. The far left. You know. People like you and other like minded lemmings who think our country must be transformed into something it certainly wasn’t founded on. Things like GOD should be at the forefront of our democracy since its inception obviously depended upon it. I was patiently waiting for your Beck bashing Tucker. I do realize that you think GOD should have no place in our nation and that Beck surely would get under your skin by invoking his name. I just wonder if you really comprehend just how stupid your rants are and that maybe a very small segment of the population actually takes you seriously…

ctucker

August 30th, 2010
3:50 pm

RGB, you must know that the taxes paid last year were the lowest since the 1950s

Jesse Jackson has a scheme for you......

August 30th, 2010
3:50 pm

Take our country back from whom?????? DUH Cynthia……….From Liberals………hopefully very soon so America isn’t completly trashed…..

Auburn Fan

August 30th, 2010
3:50 pm

Hitchens is closer to a socialist and he is anything but moderately conservative.

I would like to know what you think Cynthia. Do you think these people were trying to offend the memory of Dr. King?

They want to take the country back from the 10% of the far left liberals like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barry Obama to answer your question.

It is never about skin color, but you on the left want to turn it into a racial issue.

Herman Cain is a tea party guy, why not quote him on this if you want a conservative black perspective?

Hitchens does not speak for me but Herman does.

South Georgia Farmer

August 30th, 2010
3:50 pm

Cynthia if you had simply wrote what Mr. Hitchens wrote without applying your name to the by line would we still see the vile being pecked out and posted by the usual We Hate Cynthia Crowd? Cynthia, isn’t apparent that some of the people who regularly comment here don’t even read what you write before letting loose with a barage of mindless vehemenance. We wonder why the rest of the nation sill views the south stereotypically.

USMC DAWG

August 30th, 2010
3:51 pm

Leave it to Cynthia to pimp the race card.

Cynthia, Let that hate in your heart for “white” people go, and you will live a happier and more fulfilling life.

Read Dr. King’s message, Cynthia.

Gordon

August 30th, 2010
3:52 pm

Cynthia,

Do you consider 25% of columns about race to be low? I find it incredible that you would broach that subject 1 out of every 4 times you write a column.

Jesse Jackson has a scheme for you......

August 30th, 2010
3:53 pm

Hey Cynthia you said “RGB, you must know that the taxes paid last year were the lowest since the 1950s”….DUh…that’s because the number of people PAYING taxes went DOWN and the number of moochers on welfare went UP!!! OMG DUH!!!!!

lawzoo

August 30th, 2010
3:54 pm

Hitchens got one right for a change. That crowd has no ideas except to keep the tax cuts for people way above their pay scale . They whine because that is the only thing that is within their realm of expertise, if any. Whatever it was in D.C. on 8/28 it was damn pitiful.