The Oppression of Red State America

schoolhouse door

In a piece entitled Liberals Need to Take Their Fingers Out of Their Ears, Thomas B. Edsall has a lot of useful thoughts on the reasons why Red State America is mad as hell. Mad enough to elect a delusional incompetent. Mad enough to join with the Party of Plutocracy in attempting to impose a sort of dictatorship over Blue America—to counter the dictatorship they believe Blue America has imposed on them.

Lots of good stuff about normative threats, authoritarian mindsets, economic injury from “larger economic forces,” and so on and so on.

As I say, lots of good stuff, but nothing about race. Mr. Edsall needs to clean the wax from his own ears and hear how George Wallace framed the matter as he stood in the schoolhouse door back in in 1973:

The unwelcomed, unwanted, unwarranted and force-induced intrusion upon the campus of the University of Alabama today of the might of the Central Government offers frightful example of the oppression of the rights, privileges and sovereignty of this State by officers of the Federal Government. This intrusion results solely from force, or threat of force, undignified by any reasonable application of the principle of law, reason and justice.

So therein lies the problem. We Blue Staters either oppress the Red Staters by forcing them to let black folks attend their universities, or we lighten our oppression and let them oppress black people instead. We either oppress them by forcing them against their will to recognize the rights of gay people, or we don’t, and instead let them go on treating gay folks badly.

No, Mr. Edsall, Aardvark’s fingers are not stuffed up his ears. For decades Aardvark has heard, loud and clear, the pleas of his cousins and high school classmates to be free of Yankee oppression—an oppression made all the more onerous by being forced to accept a black man as the legitimate President of the United States.

I hear their cries of anguish and desperation. I understand that their pain is so intense as virtually to destroy reason. I fully grasp that, in their minds, the only way effectively to counteract this racial, cultural, and economic oppression is to unite with the Party of Plutocracy to impose a counter-oppression on Blue State America.

I feel their pain.