The Tea Party Tribe
(The American Conservative) -- By Patrick J. Buchanan
“Is white the new black?”
So asks Kelefa Sanneh in the subtitle of “Beyond the Pale,” his New Yorker review of several books on white America, wherein he concludes we may be witnessing “the slow birth of a people.”
Sanneh is onto something. For after a year of battering as “un-American,” “evil-doers” and racists, and praise from talk-show hosts and Sarah Palin as “the real Americans,” Tea Party America seems to be taking on a new and separate identity.
Ethnonationalism — the recognition of an embryonic people that they are different from their neighbors, and the concomitant drive to live apart — is, as Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote 20 years ago, a more powerful force than any ideology, be it communism, fascism or democracy.
Ethnonationalism is the pre-eminent force of the age we have entered, the creator and destroyer of empires and nations. Even as Schlesinger was writing his “Disuniting of America,” Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union were disintegrating into 22 new nations, along the lines of ethnicity. In Dagestan, Ingushetia, Chechnya, Ossetia and Abkhazia, the process proceeds apace.
It has happened before — and here.
In the American colonies, the evil institution of slavery, followed by a century of segregation, created out of the children of captured Africans who had little in common other than color a new people, the African-Americans, who went out and voted 24-to-one for Barack Obama...
Obama in the campaign of 2008 recognized that “out there” in Middle America existed another country, far from the one he grew up in, far from the privileged Ivy League community to which he belonged.
“You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and … the jobs have been gone now for 25 years. … So it’s not surprising then that 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.”
Palin and Tea Partiers now repeat Obama’s disparaging line about their clinging to Bibles and guns — with defiant pride.
As others have done in our multicultural and multiethnic nation, this people is beginning to assert its identity, unapologetically.
Sioux gather at Little Bighorn to celebrate the massacre of Custer’s command. Hawaiian natives demand a new ethnically based government — and receive Obama’s blessing. Hispanics march under Mexican flags in Los Angeles to demand citizenship for illegal aliens.
Now Southerners are proudly commemorating ancestors who fought and fell in the Lost Cause and demanding recognition of Confederate History Month. And state governors are acceding.
In 2004, when Howard Dean reached out to “guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks,” Shelby Steele wrote that this was “absolutely verboten. Racial identity is simply forbidden to whites in America” because of their history and white guilt.
This, Sanneh suggests, is changing. The imputation of racism to Tea Partiers has not intimidated or cowed them...
Why are the Tea Partiers not intimidated the way Republicans often are? Why is the charge of racism not working?
First, they do not feel the guilt of country-club Republicans.
Second, they know it to be untrue. While Tea Partiers are anti-Obama, they are also anti-Pelosi, anti-Martha Coakley and anti-Charlie Christ. The coming conflict is not so much racial as it is cultural, political and tribal.
Black America seems united. White America is the house divided, for it is in the womb of white America that this new people is gestating and fighting to be born...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
I have mixed emotions about this. On the one hand, you've got to hand the greatness of Western civilization and all its wonderful accomplishment to the combination of white ethnicity and Christianity. On the other, Christianity is supposed to be universal, irrespective of race. And the early genius of the American melting pot had Christian connotations as well -- that we could all be united in our common commitment to certain ideals, and a common agreement to live by them, no matter our ethnicity.
But we also have the problem of the Left and certain ethnic tribal elements encouraging multiculturalism (institutionalized tribalism) and ethnically conscious organizing and activism. And these groups have been very politically effective and hence well-rewarded by the system. So why should whites have to spurn ethnic cohesiveness and organize with one arm tied behind their backs?
My hope is that this period of white retrenchment we seem to entering will eventually allow for the reassertion of Christian moral authority which will once again render all tribalism subordinate and frowned upon by the civilization, and deconstruct a lot of these institutionalized multi-cultural and special interest apparatus’ that succeed in nothing so much as keeping us all at each others’ throats.