Thursday, August 05, 2010

What exactly does Glenn Beck mean by "white culture"?

"This president has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture, I don't know what it is." - Glenn Beck

Given yesterday's post about Glenn Beck having listed a white nationalist forum posting about "Embrac[ing] White Culture" as one of his favorites on his Twitter account, I thought it might be an excellent time to provide this excerpt from Alexander Zaitchik's Common Nonsense:

To understand what Beck means by "the white culture," a good starting point is the title of his first and most personal book, The Real America: Messages from the Heart and Heartland. The concept of an American heartland continues to animate Beck's political imagination, and it explains much about how he sees the world. For Beck and his conservative audiences, the term white culture is not really about race, or at least not just about race. It is a synonym for an entire moral, political, and cultural universe, which Beck (among others) has nicknamed the Real America.


In speaches and writings, Beck and Palin's Real America is defined by conservative political and cultural traditions. It also has strong, usually implicit, racial overtones. Real America looks much like the red-state stereotype made famous by the 2004 election map: small-town, antigovernment, religious, blue-collar, gun-toting. It just so happens that the states closest to this stereotype are also the country's last demographic bastions of whiteness. Anyone who challenges this ideal is, by definition, an enemy of the Real America - or, in Beck's bold usage, "the white culture."

The challenges can be white, black, or biracial. The important thing is that they embody the threat of "fake" America to the "real." This "fake America" is another mx of reality and myth. In the conservative mind, it is urban, socialist, godless, educated with all the wrong ideas, unable to create anything of lasting value, and tracking darker every day. By threatening to overwhelm and extinguish Real America, the fake is hostile in every way: anticapitalist, antifamily, and - the part of the triad that usually dares not speak its name - antiwhite.

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