Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Unshackle the Conservatives!

Michael Bérubé does the funny at Crooked Timber, riffing on Megan McArdle's exquisite comparison of oppressed conservatives trying to get jobs in liberal academia to "negro bank managers" trying to get, well, "negro bank manager" jobs in the 1950s.
If McArdle knew her pre-Civil Rights Era history better, perhaps, she would remember that conservatives in the armed forces were not allowed to fight alongside their moderate and liberal fellows until 1948, when President Truman issued his famous antidiscrimination order and provoked the “Dixiecrat” backlash dedicated to preserving the second-class status of conservative-Americans. Even as late as 1964, in Holly Bluff, Mississippi, school officials spent $190 for every liberal or moderate student and $1.26 for every conservative. And let’s not even get into the murders of the civil rights workers who fought for the right of American conservatives to vote—or the fact that if we go back a few generations, we will confront a dark period in US history in which conservatives were forbidden to own property. It is easy enough, today, to decry the separate schools, bathrooms, drinking fountains, hotels, recreational facilities, and railroad cars to which American conservatives were consigned. But it’s harder to realize that systemic, legal discrimination of this kind has had intergenerational effects that continue to render conservatives marginal to the cultural elite on campus and in Hollywood.
I can't wait for the conservative analog of early 1970s black power soul music!

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