Talking Cultural Diversity

a discussion board for cultural and diversity issues by Thomas Kochman and Jean Mavrelis

Manipulating Veterans is Dirty Politics

By Jean Mavrelis - 07.13.2010

There’s a distorted e-mail going around that is manipulating veterans.  In particular, it is manipulating poor white veterans, who may be predisposed to be anti-Obama, because of Obama’s race and ethnicity.

If you read Jim Webb’s book about the Scots Irish, Born Fighting, you’ll begin to better understand the culture war raging in the U.S. today that pits FOX news against MSNBC.

Webb explains that the Scotts Irish were poor whites who settled the frontier and the south.  Many came as Presbyterians, but became Baptist during the days of tent meetings.

They have always been fiercely independent and suspicious of any kind of government, since they came to this country as a result of persecution by the wealthy English establishment in Northern Ireland.

They had to fight all their lives, and continue to value guns and the military.

They also are clannish and tend to think in terms of “us” and “them”, making them vulnerable to racist and nationalistic manipulation.

It is always wise to use the cultural values of a group to persuade them.

In the link above, somebody is playing on the values of “us white” Americans to portray Obama and big government as the ultimate villain – he has been compared to Hitler!

Why doesn’t the Democratic party use the value of loyalty and patriotism to bring these folks into the tent of the party that really would help them financially?

The power that is dangerous to white populist voters is not big government; it is big business that sends jobs overseas.

It is not the immigrant picking fruit or working in slaughter houses; it is the big company that moved their labor out of the U.S.

Come on! Politicos need to use culture to promote the truth, not to promote fear of big government and those who are different.

4 Responses so far

This Blog really has me spitting nails again Jean! You begin it by totally insulting all…..Men AND Women alike
“POOR …WHITE…VETERANS”. You insinuate that they just can’t help being manipulated by some stupid cartoon e-mail because they are POOR and WHITE and RACIST,,,,but they can’t help themselves. OMG
I don’t believe that when you read Mr. Webb’s book you should have tried so hard to analyze it Jean. Yes, He was stating that the Irish and the Scots came here and were persecuted and had to fight and fight hard for all they got. Yes they were clannish and Yes most were poor. Riddle me this Jean…..how many ethnicities that were white and came over to settle in the colonies were NOT clannish, poor, or persecuted in one way or another besides the English?
Now lets talk about this at a later date in time, Jean. Lets just go as far as the Indian Wars here in the colonies. Before the UNITED STATES was born. Who was doing all the fighting? Was it only the Irish? Or only the Irish and the Scottish? Hmmmmm. Maybe some Italian a few Germans and Dutch, perhaps a Chinaman or two. I would hazard to guess just whoever was poor got inducted into the service for war.
So while it was most likely to have been mostly the strong backs of the Irish and the Scots it would have included others as well. While fighting savage Indians I would bet they didn’t bother to look at ethnicity so long as their skin was not red and their face not painted, Now hmmmm, I am thinking to outwit those savages that knew each crook and turn, each tree, bush and cave, those men would have had to be pretty quick minded wouldn’t you think? Now I would give you that most of those men had little formal schooling they were far from stupid.
Lets, just for the heck of it, go to around the time of the civil war. White southern gentleman did love having those dark black men and women to work their lands.
Now granted quite a few of those gentlemen were of Irish or Scottish decent, but they fought for the land they owned and the BIG BAD GOVERNMENT had deeded them their land for services renderd over the years. Then of couse, quite a few of those ignorant irish and Scotts had also earned government positions
So of course another war and we Know the outcome of that one where of course ALL ethnicities fought side by side again. This time even the RICHHHH MEN fought toooo~~~~well as officers of course …LOL…. MY POINT IS…..I do believe that white men and women,
rich or poor. have evolved quite a bit past the point that they are blind to the manipulation of a political cartoon.
Portraying Pres. Obama as Hitler was just a little over the top at this time. Thats why it is a cartoon Jean. To let the people know that while we can chuckle now we better keep our eyes open, as there was enough reality to the thing to keep us all from just busting out laughing at it. I have an e-mail I am going to post on my Blog Jean. Check it out. In fact I will send it to you.
I think Mr. Webb was just trying to let us all know that it was a time to get back to our roots and pull together. To find our clan as Americans not as seperate ethnicities. What do you think about that theory Jean?
As for people being afraid of the Big Bad Government…Not in this day and age. We have learned how to stand and be heard Jean. Even the Democrats that voted Obama in are ready to take the blame and see that right is done soon. His health care plan does nothing for them if they starve to death, or die from heat stroke because they don’t have power to run the AC, and if their car gets repoed they have no way to get to the drs anyway. Middle class America does NOT like to suffer!!! and soon it will be hitting the pockets of the upper middle class…..watch out thennnnn…..NO LOLING then for sure!!! Nope, Americans, not even POOR ones are afraid of the big bad government anymore.
As for Big Bad Businesses. When Americans can no longer afford to purchase their product they will have to take to selling it cheaply in the country where it is made or sell it elsewhere. But what jobs there Are here will be had by Legal American Citizens or there will be a war within the country the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the civil war. People will be willing to pick crops or do gardening or work for the wages illegals are being paid just to feed their familys.
There won’t be any choice to it Jean. This United States is in a sorry state of affairs right now and it is going to take strong Americans, no matter what ethnicity they are, to get it back to being a place we can all be proud to live in again. Right now it gets dicier by the day.

Demographics of the U.S. military show that most who enlist are NOT poor or educated. You’re right, our men and women in the military tend to come from families with higher income and more education than the general population, but that doesn’t mean that there is no correlation between poverty, access to education, and fear of “outsiders”.
To be frank, I think people with money and education just have a more subtle style of racism, and most Blacks say they prefer Southern racism to Northern racism, cause you know where you stand.
My point was, people who send these e-mails play on patriotism and fear, which may especially impact those in the military who may be most vulnerable to jumping on a “us” and “them” bandwagon. But I may be wrong on that. I think you were right to call me out on it.
That said,
I gotta say, I cringed when you used the words “chinamen”, “savage” Indians, and “dark” black men and women.

LOL Jean! Was that the sound I heard? (Your body going into cringing position?
Surely you must realize that I was speaking in terms of the times of pre-civil war and civil war times themselves. Those were terms used back then so I did take liberties to use them. It must have helped to make my point more vivid for you no matter how hard it was to hear those particular used to discribe human beings. No matter how much money I have or have not, or how much education I do or do not have…..I have enough heart and soul about me to know we are ALL human beings……and its nice to know I come from both the North and the South now! LOL I love being understood especially on where I stand.

When you say you love being understood, do you mean in terms of being understood for your open heart and soul and intellect when it comes to embracing all human beings?
I hear your earnestness and passion. In fact, you sound like the “fighting Irish” we know and love, “full of piss and vinegar” as my mom would say.
Guess what, your loyalty and passion are showing, and those are exactly the cultural values that I believe should be leveraged in this country.

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