Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Race and Politics: Race and Politics: `Modern Day Ghost Dancers: A N...

Race and Politics: Race and Politics: `Modern Day Ghost Dancers: A N...: Race and Politics: `Modern Day Ghost Dancers: A Nativistic Revival :
By: Charlotte A. Williams

`Over the last three years, two major events have taken place in the United States, with one still unfolding.

The first one is pretty obvious. Senator Barack Hussein Obama, an African American, became the 44th President of the U.S. People from all over the world descended on Washington, D.C. for his inauguration.

Jubilant voices from near and far echoed the same refrain: “I never thought that I would ever live to see an African American as President of the United States.”

The second event is not so clear. One has to first gather and examine all the clues before coming up with - a nativistic revival.

It occurs when members of the dominant culture (White supremacy) act out consciously or unconsciously because they perceive their culture is falling apart from what they believe to be a rapid social change.

America is steeply rooted in a culture of White supremacy, in which members of marginalized groups have become acculturated.

Revivalists view President Barack Obama as an undocumented immigrant, a stranger, and an outsider, by virtue of his race and achieved status. The very thought of him possibly winning the 2008 presidential election left some reeling in shock.

Clues of a nativistic revival first appeared as unbridled, jaw-dropping racist and Islamophobic utterances during Republican challenger John McCain’s town hall meetings.

For example, there were shouts of: “He’s not one of us!” “He’s anti-American!” “He’s an Arab!” More disturbing despicable rants and signs reading: “Kill him!” “Off with his head!” just enough to have gotten anyone arrested on the spot had the candidate been White.

The onslaught of racist and religious caricatures and literature of President Obama and his family are also clues of a nativistic revival.


America’s modern-day nativistic revival spawned the Tea Party movement. Many racist and Islamophobes took shelter under its umbrella.

Other manifestations include, relentless calls to inspect the President’s birth certificate, intense fear the country is no longer recognizable, bringing unconcealed weapons to President Obama events, voting against one’s own self-interest, endorsing unqualified

politicians just to have a White face in the House, newly-elected Tea Partiers obstructing the legislative process (with a stare down and rebuke) and making law to carry a face identification to vote, are all manifestations.

During nativistic revivals it is common for charismatic characters to emerge and be warmly embraced by those longing to hold onto the only culture they know. In the

1800s, Paiute Indians looked to Native American Ghost Dance founder Chief Wovoka when Europeans invaded and began destroying their culture. The same holds true for the Iranians who looked to the Ayatollah Khomeini for revival of the old Islamic ways.

So, there is no need scratching your head over why some are attracted to Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, two women who have proven time and again when they open their mouths that they are politically inept. Just as Chief Wovoka and the Ayatollah Khomeini offered hopes of a nativistic revival, so too does Palin and Bachman.

Whites are not the only ones clamoring for one; it seems some members of marginalized groups suffering from Stockholm Syndrome are too. The President’s race doesn’t sit well with them either.

Palin and Bachmann supporters, who probably could not articulate in a clear and concise manner which of the President’s policies they take exception to without repeating a line from Rush Limbaugh, feel that desperate times call for desperate measures, so qualifications be damned.

The women are White and speak of reviving the past, those are all the qualifying factors needed. Palin and Bachmann know just what language to pitch to their audience, too. For example, “We’re going to take our country back!” And, “We’re going to reclaim our country!”

Negrophobes and other fringe lunatics longing for a revival, wrongly equate President Obama’s race and the browning of America with diminishment of the power elite. Not so. The reins on White Supremacy culture are tightly gripped.

So there is no real need for Tea Partiers who managed to superimpose themselves in Congress to put the country through a time-warp machine.

Tag lines assigned to Tea Partiers are racist, Islamophobic, rigid, and screwballs, just to name a few. This should be pause for concern for all rational, political representatives.

To set themselves apart, representatives must continue to openly denounce such absurdities like President Obama’s birth certificate being a fake.

It sure is interesting how there was no groundswell of protest back in 2004, when some rallied for a constitutional amendment for if White, foreign-born Arnold Schwarzenegger considered a presidential run.

Perhaps his Whiteness was palatable. “Reclaim our country?” Or, take us back to good ole early 19th century America? A nativistic revival is not patriotic for a group who were not America’s original inhabitants.