Sunday, January 25, 2015

Last Call For Identity Theft

And here we have NYT columnist Noam Scheiber's advice to NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio on how to win back nervous white voters.

From the get-go, Mr. de Blasio’s campaign fused two distinct strands of progressivism. The first was economic populism, not least his criticism that Michael R. Bloomberg had placed the interests of Wall Street and the wealthy above those of average New Yorkers.

The second was what some have called “identity group” liberalism, which appealed to black and Latino voters as blacks and Latinos, not on the basis of economic interests they shared with whites. The centerpiece of Mr. de Blasio’s identity-group agenda was his promise to win better treatment for minorities at the hands of the police.

The problem for Mr. de Blasio is that only the first approach has widespread appeal...

If you were to rank issues by their potential to unite whites and minority voters, the most promising would be populist economic issues like raising taxes on the rich. Somewhere in the middle would be an issue like health care, which has large economic benefits for both whites and nonwhites, even if opponents can portray it as a sop to the latter. At the very bottom would be issues with little economic content, but which different racial groups view in radically different ways.

As Nancy LeTourneau notes, this is exactly the kind of thing white progressives often tell politicians when dealing with expanding the Democratic party's big tent: that is the issues of "mainstream" white America must trump that of persons of color.

What Scheiber is basically saying is that if you want to unite whites and minority voters, you have to focus on the issues that are a priority to whites. That's pretty much white supremacy in a nutshell. His big "tell" comes in what he leaves out of that last sentence. The reason racial groups view the issues he places at the bottom differently is because they affect racial groups differently. White people never had to be concerned about "stop-and-frisk" because it almost never happened to a white person. White mothers/fathers, wives, siblings don't spend much time worrying that their son, husband, brother will be harassed/beaten/killed because some police officer jumped to the conclusion that he was a "dangerous black/brown man." But that is exactly how police actions become a priority for voters of color. The fear of what can happen becomes a life-and-death issue for them - as we've seen lately.

She's completely right.

It's easy to say "Hey, deBlasio would get a greater rater of return on his efforts for concentrating on what middle class white New Yorkers want.  They're the ones that swing vote, and they're the ones that matter."  Because deBlasio said that he'd rather do the right thing, he's being punished for it by voters who don't know about and frankly, don't care about issues important to persons of color in the Big Apple.

Therefore, he should stop doing the right thing.

Let that sink in for a moment.

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