The United States is a large nation of 333 million people with a welter of regional, ethnic, racial, immigrant, urban, suburban, and rural subcultures. At the same time, there is a national culture that is dividing into “mainstream” and “white conservative” wings. Indeed, cultural division is becoming as much a feature of American life asContinue reading “The Changing Cultural Mainstream: Set-Up”
On Monday, Oct. 11, Jon Gruden resigned as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders as a result of bigoted emails sent to buddy Bruce Allen who was then president of the Washington “Redskins.” I’ve always had a soft spot for the Raiders and especially loved Jack Tatum, Willie Brown, Kenny Stabler, and the roughhousing, toughContinue reading “Culture, Not “Cancel Culture””
Trump voters are creating a “herrenvolk” political culture where white conservatism has a symbolic anchor in “simple” and “authentic” patriotic gestures like the Flag, the Pledge, and the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Like conservatives everywhere, Trump voters have a hunger for tradition as a guarantee of their moral rightness, but conservative political traditions and historical figures haveContinue reading “The Herrenvolk Right”
This is a highly condensed version of my early blackface material written for the Midwest Popular Culture Association in Minneapolis last weekend. Citations are still in development. This paper concerns developments in blackface minstrelsy from the emergence of T.D. Rice and his “Jim Crow” act in the early 1830’s to the months just before theContinue reading “Early Blackface and Discourses on Blackness”
My wife is an nurse practitioner who has been working full time at a hospital somewhat like this for the last two weeks as Kentucky deals with the Covid disaster. She’s stressed out and tired but also energized and determined as she does what she needs to do. Like people all over the country she’sContinue reading “A Certain Distance”
The U.S. has always been multicultural with an E Pluribus Unum idea that the country forms one nation out of the multiplicity of ethnicities, races, cultures, and traditions. Of course, It never really worked. Even among the white population, the white South was separate from the national culture and the legacies of the Lost Cause,Continue reading “White Conservatives and Human Sacrifice”
While I was teaching Global Studies at Morehead State University in Kentucky, one of my arguments about Trump was that he wanted the United States both to shift its alliances toward authoritarian regimes and become a “rogue super power.” And that’s largely what happened. During the Trump years, the United States tilted away from theContinue reading “The Rogue Super Power”
The Freedom to Vote Act proposed by the Dems has 60%+ super-majority support. The same was the case with Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the proposed American Jobs Plan, support for gay marriage, support for Roe v Wade, increasing taxes on the wealthy and other core elements of the Democratic world view. One way to understandContinue reading “A Gathering Democratic Super-Majority”
President Joe Biden is going through tough times and its showing up in public opinion polls. The surge in the Delta variant, withdrawal from Afghanistan, Haitian refugee situation, and problems in passing an infrastructure bill have all had a negative impact on public opinion with Biden approval sinking from 52.4% two months ago to 45.4Continue reading “Biden, Normalcy, Competence”
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