On race and politics and other links

More On Race and Politics -  My take: when the chips are down, people look for someone or something to blame.  For a good example of how xenophobia increases during economic hardship, see my post Mexican Repatriation: The Great Depression and Immigration Policy.

The Usual Fare

  1. Edward Harrison says

    For the record, I wouldn’t have linked to Jim Webb’s piece if I didn’t think it worthy of reading. I agree with the thrust of much of his comments but of course I think the piece is politically motivated given how Virginia was put in play for the Democrats in 2008. The real point, of course, has to do with the psychology of depression. When the chips are down, people take a greater interest in blaming others for problems. From a European context, this is also true. Originally, I had put in a part about the same going on in Europe regarding the Spanish, Greeks, and Germans (with some blaming the Anglo-Saxons and their financiers) but I couldn’t find a link to a previous post I was looking for.As for affirmative action, I believe there does need to be an adjustment. What exactly should that adjustment be? In education, for example, I would advocate changing affirmative action to reflect the economic status of the applicant (regardless of race). I ran a piece recently which demonstrated that poor whites are underrepresented at Ivy League colleges. This is part of the issue that Jim Webb speaks to.’Outsiders’ like ethnic and religious minorities also become xenophobic and close ranks during a poor economic climate. But I do believe what we are going to see is more anti-outsider legislation and I certainly believe the law in Arizona is in part an outgrowth of xenophobia. Whether this particular law is justified is another question. I don’t think it is. In Germany people must have an identification card at all times so there are other advanced societies where this is accepted. I oppose that law on civil libertarian grounds. Historically, it is outsiders against whom legislated xenophobia turns in economic downturns. And, if this economic downturn continues, expect to see more anti-immigrant (and anti-affirmative action) laws. Eventually, these laws will move from the justifiable to more extreme measures. Historically, that is how it has played out.

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