Didn't see that coming. Nope.
Traveling some 27,000 miles, African-American journalist Rich Benjamin roamed the United States from 2007 to 2009 exploring a major demographic shift that's attracting remarkably little attention — the flight of white residents from cities and integrated suburbs into cloistered, racially homogeneous enclaves. Tidy communities such as St. George, Utah and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho — places Benjamin calls Whitopias — have grown at triple the rate of America's cities in recent years, raising troubling questions about the country's multiracial cohesion. The Stanford literature PhD chronicled his adventure in a new book, Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America, and spoke with TIME about what he found.Here's what the Wingers will be screaming about tomorrow:
What is the danger Whitopias pose to America as a whole?Poor Rich Benjamin. He has no idea what's about to happen to him for speaking truth to power. Ask Charisse Carney-Nunes about the Winger revenge squads.
You can call me old-fashioned, but I'm an integrationist. A democracy can't function at its optimum unless all members are integrated as full members.A community full of like-minded people tends to enforce their own view of the world and closes off opposing viewpoints. You can go to parties in New York City where the liberal smugness is intolerable, because they're only hearing liberal viewpoints. On the Whitopian conservative side, it's spinning out of control. Look at the teabagger movement, where people are concerned their taxes are going to be wasted on minorities and illegal immigrants. Same with the movement that says Obama is not a citizen.
Then again, maybe Rich Benjamin is fully aware of what's going to happen. If so, he's going to need some help, folks.
El Rushbo, Glennsanity and Malkinvania will direct their frothing minions to swamp Harvard with e-mails and phone calls demanding Benjamin's job and his head. He will be called a racist. He will be called much worse. I expect this TIME article to spawn some pretty serious hate here as Rich Benjamin becomes the new Skip Gates/Jeremiah Wright/Al Sharpton/Whatever Black Man the Wingers are hating as an Obama proxy this week.
It won't take long. I'm preempting the Winger meltdown here tonight, but before the end of the week, Rich Benjamin here will be a target.
Maybe in more than just the figurative sense, too.