15 January 2012

On Martin Luther King's Birthday: KingCast on Mitt Romney, Kelly Ayotte and the whiteness of New Hampshire and Iowa part three.

Just a few ruminations from a former NAACP Legal Chair who grew up at an very white (but chill) prep school:

Part One:
Iowa and New Hampshire are the whitest States in the Union.

Part Two: The Matt Bieber arrest and other First Amendment abuses.
Part Three: NYTimes 25 Jan 2011 "What's Race Got to Do With It?
The simple, impolitely stated fact is that Mitt Romney is the whitest white man to run for president in recent memory.
Of course, I’m not talking about a strict count of melanin density. I’m referring to the countless subtle and not-so-subtle ways he telegraphs to a certain type of voter that he is the cultural alternative to America’s first black president. It is a whiteness grounded in a retro vision of the country, one of white picket fences and stay-at-home moms and fathers unashamed of working hard for corporate America. Rick Santorum is an Italian-American Catholic, while Jon Huntsman, though a Mormon himself, wears his cosmopolitanism too brazenly. (Does he really think it’s an asset, in the eyes of a Republican primary voter, to speak Mandarin?) And Ron Paul’s isolationist conspiracy-mongering recalls, if anything, the radical-right fringe of the ’50s and ’60s, of the John Birchers and the followers of George Wallace, a manic moment even most evangelicals would rather forget.

Contrast that with Mr. Romney’s meticulously cultivated whiteness. He is nearly always in immaculate white shirt sleeves. He is implacably polite, tossing off phrases like “oh gosh” with Stepford bonhomie. He has mastered Benjamin Franklin’s honesty as the “best policy”: a practiced insincerity, an instant sunniness that, though evidently inauthentic, provides a bland bass note that keeps everyone calm. This is the bygone world of Babbitt, of small-town Rotarians.......

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