An Hispanic Amity Shlaes
I was out of town when AOC did her latest IdPol damage, saying the New Deal was "extremely racist". But, even though its late, I felt compelled to speak to it. Here's the pertinent quote from an interview at SXSW:
'The New Deal was an extremely economically racist policy that drew little red lines around black and brown communities and it invested in white America,' the Democratic socialist said during her interview on Saturday evening.
'It allowed white Americans access to home loans that black Americans didn't have access to, giving them access to the greatest source of intergenerational wealth.'
AOC said this in a discussion of her version of the Green New Deal. To drag in racism deliberately mixes economics, environmentalism, and Identity Politics, thereby making scientific discussion of the environment more difficult and detrimentally entangling climate change, which is a scientific reality, with unreconcilable social problems.
There has already been some c99p reaction to this latest damaging stunt - a move that sets progressives fighting among themselves while simultaneously validating a reactionary trope about FDR.
As k9disc said:
I know the New Deal was designed and implemented with preferential treatment for white people, but what wasn't in America? The New Deal was no more racist than America at the time, the American Military, Local and State Governments.
To call it a "racist deal" is to completely miss the point and to sully the idea of government doing New Deal type things for ALL Americans... And there it is... the dog whistle, amirite or what?
As a leftist, you don't shit on the New Deal as racist. It's a class/race short circuit argument. I find that to be rather troubling coming from "the left". I'm sensing lots of market based solutions coming out of AOC. And don't forget the public private partnerships...
If anything, FDR (and Eleanor) advanced the cause of black civil rights during a very dark period in American racial history when Southern racists had veto power in the Democratic Party. To denounce FDR with a common epithet (racism) is a hypocritical cheapshot - a cheapshot that reactionary politicians (racists themselves) have been using for decades.
Critics of the New Deal, eager to use any method they can to discredit the idea of a government that helps the people (ultimately, in an effort to keep tax rates low on their millionaire & billionaire donors), sometimes argue that Roosevelt and the New Deal were racist. See, for example, "Why Did FDR's New Deal Harm Blacks?," by Jim Powell of the right-wing CATO Institute (an organization founded by one of the Koch brothers...of course), December 3, 2003.
I don't think it can be disputed that Roosevelt and the New Deal had some racial aspects. But is that really surprising, considering that our entire country has been immersed in racism--from the time the first English colonist set foot in the New World, until today when, for example, a Republican U.S. Senator says, "My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes"? Indeed, if Roosevelt had said, during his 1932 campaign, "If I am elected president, I will ensure that all races are treated equally, and I will, by law if necessary, ensure that segregation between the races is ended; the South will be put in it's place, once and for all," he would never have been elected president. And if he had said something like that during his presidency (and followed up with the necessary actions) he would never have been re-elected.
The fact of the matter is, FDR and the New Deal had to tread softly because much of America was not ready for racial integration and harmony. Indeed, communist and socialist parties in the United States, during the early twentieth century, pushed for racial equality...and you see how far that got them. Our nation has been so steeped in racism for so long that it is unreasonable to expect that FDR and the New Deal could have ended it in just a few years. Heck, even one of our national icons, John Wayne, a man who was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in 1979, said in 1971, "I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility" ("John Wayne vs. John Wayne," The Dallas Morning News, May 23, 2014, citing a Playboy interview).
Objectively, AOC's words support the rightwing trashing of the New Deal. Full stop. To bring up the New Deal in such a negative IdPol manner when this may be the first time that today's 20 somethings have ever heard of the New Deal is disgusting. It is scoring IdPol points by smearing FDR for being caged within the political boundaries of 1930s America and ignoring his efforts cited in the New Deal blog.
AOC is already a "reverse ace" for the progressive movement.
1. In an unforced error, she praised John Warmonger McCain
2. She instantly signed on to the Russiagate delusion.
3. She has waffled several times about the US assault on Venezuela, instead of telling the truth.
4. Her Green New Deal (GND), a half-baked pile of grandstanding, validated the rightwing trope that progressives want the government to dictate to the economy - even as the GND proposed to hand unprecedented power over to private corporations.
5. Now, she has the chutzpah to throw shade at FDR, a Democrat who singlehandedly saved this country.
That's really impressive. From nobody in June, 2018 to reverse ace just 9 months later.
This (scripted?) behavior is why she is never really assaulted at by the corporate media, except in a guaranteed-to-miss way. They don't want to shut her up, the way they want to shut up Ilhan Omar, who is actually telling the unvarnished truth about Israel and about Obama.
In fact, AOC has a lot in common with Amity Shlaes.
Amity Shlaes is a journalist who writes for far, far too many respected publications...Shlaes is hailed as an "expert" in history and economics, although she holds only a BA in English.
She is also a minor darling of conservative media, and a professional Panglossian. She...rocketed to lesser stardom with her 2007 book, The Forgotten Man, a revisionist history of the Great Depression that made her the queen of New Deal denialism. ..
Shlaes is responsible for elevating the myth that "FDR made the Depression worse" from fringe, libertarian circles to Republican dogma in the past few years. Incidentally, back in the 50s, Dwight Eisenhower actually referred to those who opposed the New Deal as "stupid."
The commonalities: they both shoot their mouths off about stuff they are unqualified to pronounce upon. They both are media darlings, despite their lack of experience or credientials. They both shat upon FDR and the New Deal.
I have long since made my mind up about AOC. She is a corporate psyop. This latest assault on the legacy of economic progressivism is completely consistent with her M.O. The media supports her by publicizing her damaging IdPol statements - thereby crowding out class based analysis - and never really going to the mat with her, the way they have done with Omar or Bernie or Tulsi. They use her to discredit progressives. The dupes who fall for this act are hammering nails into the coffin of the left in this country.