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America’s Original Identity Politics | by Sarah Churchwell | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
The logic of exceptionalism is embedded in the American imagination: one set of rules historically applied to white American men, another set to all other people in the country, who were not recognized as full citizens—which is to say, as fully American.

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To this day, the American common man remains strongly coded in racial, classed, and religious terms. The common man is not, for example, commonly understood to be a Muslim. He is understood to be a coal miner from West Virginia, despite the fact that American Muslim men are much more common, statistically speaking, than West Virginian miners. These are the voters we’ve heard from endlessly over the last two years, the white working-class men of so-called “Trump country,” especially the white men without a college education who voted for Trump by a margin of 71 percent to 23 percent. The reasons for their choice have been hotly debated, including the erosion of perceived power, economic stagnation, cultural backlash, racial bigotry, gender bias, and evangelical social agendas. Yet Trump’s election was also widely perceived as an anti-elite insurrection, one that was treated as an anomaly, instead of as the latest in a series of populist surges in American history that have sought to “restore” a power to the common man that he perceived himself to be losing to other less-deserving groups.
USA  politics  identityPolitics  TrumpDonald  Breitbart  race  gender  BlackLivesMatter  transgender  LillaMark  FukuyamaFrancis  history  slavery  whiteSupremacism  women  exceptionalism  populism  resentment  JeffersonThomas  JacksonAndrew  nativism  nationalism  KuKluxKlan  citizenship  census  exclusion  authenticity  dctagged  dc:creator=ChurchwellSarah 
8 weeks ago by petej
From Mother Jones to Middlebury: The Problem and Promise of Political Violence in Trump’s America | Foreign Policy
If unsanctioned violence is the product of intolerable pressure, does sanctioned violence deserve to even share a name with it? There is no identifiable pressure behind nor any clear prohibition in the way of the sanctioned violence that constitutes the vast majority of the world’s political violence and which is itself the very cause of grinding pressure in individual lives. Anarchists burn limos because limo owners burn the planet. The miners strike because the company robs and breaks them. The streets of Ferguson explode because the city of Ferguson loots and kills the streets.

What is so terribly difficult to understand about the clutched pearls of our present day is how readily those most eager to condemn the incivility of burning cars and punches overlook the most basic fact about their home. This is America. We do not resolve our disagreements with debate here; we do not respect all views, settle differences at the ballot box, and live calm and dutiful in civil peace except when we are interrupted by callous and unjustifiable outbursts of violence. The continent was cleared by guns and smallpox, the nation built up by the whip. A police baton and a jail cell prop up our civil life, and this is not simply a matter of who struck first. Political violence is a violation of our status quo, even one indulged by “both sides” of some political struggle. It is the essential mechanism. We have been examining what we took to be a feature of the landscape but instead discovered a foundation, deep and essential to the stone.
USA  politics  protest  violence  BlairMountain  miners  history  exploitation  ethics  morality  tactics  Ferguson  WilsonDarren  BlackLivesMatter  ZimmermanGeorge  RoofDylann  lynching  dctagged  dc:creator=RensinEmmett 
march 2017 by petej

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