And Ta-Nehisi Coates watches and observes:
Rick Perry and the Politics of Resentment - Politics - The Atlantic: Andrew [Sullivan] correctly calls out the bigotry of Rick Perry who evidently thinks frowning upon lynching and beatings of gays qualifies as a "special right."
Perry is a nasty bigot on this. The United States has long opposed the persecution of minorities in other countries; and the appalling threats against gay people across the planet must surely count among them. We are talking here about jailing people for being gay, executing them, burying them under walls and lynching. Maybe the man who hunted at Niggerhead is untroubled by these events. Few others will be.
It's worth checking out the video Andrew links to. What strikes me is the sense of being under siege, a constant theme in conservative politics. It is as if time itself is against them. And they know it. The line "I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian" stands out. Who is ashamed of this? This is a predominantly Christian country, and one of the most religious in the West. People don't "admit" their Christianity here. They proclaim it -- as the president has done repeatedly….
[W]hite Christian men don't enjoy the kind of luxuries that their grandfathers did, particularly the luxury of knowing, outright, that there is some class of people that -- no matter what -- will always be under you. That must have given people some amount of psychological comfort. Whatever your fights, you knew that you and people like you, always had a place in America. Not so much anymore.
I think back to the great John C. Calhoun:
With us the two great divisions of society are not rich and poor, but white and black; and all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected and treated as equals.
What you had, before, was a weird kind of socialism -- exclusive rights for a mass aristocracy. Better neighborhoods, better schools, better water fountains, better rest-rooms, better pools, better everything. And now you don't. And look -- There are the Muslims in Congress. And there are the Latinos in the Unions. And there are gays shooting guns in Iraq. And there are women dying in Iraq. And there are black ladies marrying white men. And there are black men marrying white ladies. And their children are Muslims. And their children are in the White House.
And for the first time in American history, it appears that you will have to fight to not end up on the bottom.
Damn. Things just ain't the same for gangsters.
Whatever your views are, we have a Constitution and we have a Bill of Rights, and we have the law of the land, and two-thirds of the Democrats in the Senate voted for it and three-fourths of the Republicans. I signed it, and I am going to enforce it, and I am going to observe it, and I think any man that is worthy of the high office of President is going to do the same thing.
But I am not going to let them build up the hate and try to buy my people by appealing to their prejudice.
I heard a great son of Texas who came from an adjoining State, whose name I won't call, but he was expelled from the university over there and he started West, and he got to Texas as a boy and stopped to see a schoolmate of his. He liked things so well in Texas that he just decided to make it his permanent address. In 4 years he went to the Congress. After he had been in the House 2 years, he became the Democratic leader, and he served a few years as Democratic leader. And he went to the Senate and he served in the Senate 4 years and he became the Democratic leader in the Senate. He served the district that Mr. Rayburn later served.
When Mr. Rayburn came up as a young boy of the House, he went over to see the old Senator, the leader, one evening, who had come from this Southern State, and he was talking about economic problems. He was talking about how we had been at the mercy of certain economic interests, and how they had exploited us. They had worked our women for 5 cents an hour, they had worked our men for a dollar a day, they had exploited our soil, they had let our resources go to waste, they had taken everything out of the ground they could, and they had shipped it to other sections.
He was talking about the economy and what a great future we could have in the South, if we could just meet our economic problems, if we could just take a look at the resources of the South and develop them.
And he said, "Sammy, I wish I felt a little better. I would like to go back to old"-and I won't call the name of the State; it wasn't Louisiana and it wasn't Texas--"I would like to go back down there and make them one more Democratic speech. I just feel like I have one in me. The poor old State, they haven't heard a Democratic speech in 30 years. All they ever hear at election time is N-----, N-----, N-----!"
So we have the law of the land, and we are going to appeal to all Americans that fight in uniform and work in factory and on the farm to try to conduct themselves as Americans. Equal opportunity for all, special privileges for none…