7.23.2009

Today in White-As-Default: Bumper Sticker Edition

So Papa Mio, always a source of conservatism in my inbox courtesy of horrid articles forwarded from the likes of the Patriot Post (Disclaimer: blogger offers no guarantee of continued good health after reading that link. Be aware of potential blood pressure spikes and spat coffee on your monitor.), sent along an email consisting of a list of pithy bumper-sticker-length slogans and phrases about Obama. It's an odd mix of the recycled-from-the-Bush-era - America: Take from the poor and give to the rich.* and If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention. - and your standard-issue whinging about taxes and such structured around Obama's campaign slogans: The audacity of hype. and Yes, we can ... destroy America!

But there's one in particular that was jarring enough to stop me as I read through, rolling my eyes the whole way. It was this:
Didn't our ancestors leave Europe to get away from this crap?


Well, sure they did.** If you're assuming that you're only speaking to the descendants of the original colonists, from Europe, who chose to emigrate to the Americas. Not so much, though, if you're taking into account the descendants of the thousands upon thousands of Africans shipped across as chattel, who make up a rather significant portion of modern society. I'm pretty sure their ancestors didn't CHOOSE to leave, nor were they coming from Europe, and sure as shit taxes didn't have fuck all to do with it.

Yet another example of privileging white history as default and relegating black history to the shadows. Sigh. Not that I expect better from a middle-aged, affluent, able-bodied, white, cisgender man - much as I love him, he's got pretty much every kind of privilege possible - who is avowedly a conservative and no ally to marginalized groups...but I can still hope. And send a snarky reply-all. ;-)



*Um...isn't this kind of a liberal's complaint about conservative policies, not the other way around? I don't get how this makes the list of conservative slogans.

**No, they didn't, actually. But that's a discussion of the historical merits of that claim, which would take more time than I have for it right now. Feel free to have at in comments, if you like.

5 comments:

CaitieCat said...

I believe the content of "Take from the poor, give to the rich", in a wingnut context, is "Take from the righteous white working poor, and give to the effete arugula-sucking latte-sipping East Coast libruls" (i.e., Income Taxes Are Always Bad). But that's much harder to fit on a bumper sticker.

WitchWords said...

Ahh, that makes sense then. But yeah, must keep it sticker-sized. Oy.

Melissa McEwan said...

Not so much, though, if you're taking into account the descendants of the thousands upon thousands of Africans shipped across as chattel

Or the descendants of anyone who came from the entire rest of the world, like South America and Asia. Gee, now what do the people from those places have in common with people from Africa...let me think...I'm sure I'll come up with it in a moment here...

*headdesk*

WitchWords said...

Definitely, those populations as well, thank you for reminding me.

I guess it all comes down to, silly PoC, thinking their history matters!

(In other news, it's awesome to see you here!)

SnowdropExplodes said...

Short version of why Europeans left Europe for the Americas (as I learned it):

1/. "To escape from this crap", where "crap" = religious persecution and hatred, perpetrated by the dominant religion;

2/. "To escape from this crap", where "crap" = poverty brought about by unrestrained market capitalism;

3/, "To perpetrate this crap on others", where "crap" = oppressive economic or physical slavery; ethnic cleansing; and greed.

Leastways, that's what I remember the history books at my (European) school saying...

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