Imagine a corrupt, venal, treacherous power-mad white president—doesn’t look so bad at this point, does it?
Season 3 of House of Cards is released this Friday, February 27 for all of Washington’s binge viewing pleasure. On the surface, the show seems like a typical Narrative production, with deliberately graphic displays of perverted sexuality and an utterly sociopathic white Southern protagonist in Frank Underwood. But the overwhelmingly white key characters and the almost loving portrayal of Underwood’s rise from House Majority Whip to President of the United States contains a more subversive message. The political order in the United States is still controlled by whites—and the SWPL fans of the show secretly know it and love it.
The main character, Frank Underwood, is a “moderate” white Southern Democrat, a practically nonexistent political type in today’s world. However, unlike the right wing Francis Urquhart from the original British House of Cards (both characters boast the acronym FU), Underwood’s ambiguous political position allows lead actor Kevin Spacey to portray convincingly a character utterly devoid of authentic political belief and with no end in mind except his own power. Over the course of the series, Underwood lies, manipulates, and even murders his way to the top. And his wife Claire is arguably worse.
Both members of our First Couple are portrayed as sexually depraved. Claire is an adulteress who has had three abortions. In the first season, she sexually molests a dying cancer patient. In season 2, Claire initiates a threesome with her husband, and his top (male) Secret Service agent. Needless to say, Frank Underwood is not only also an adulterer but bisexual. And both of them are comfortable not just with the usual political sins but outright murder.
Yet these immoral characters easily (some would say too easily) steamroll their political opposition. Few minority characters exist in the power-obsessed world of Underwood’s Washington, and those that do are hardly a match for the likes of FU.
The program features two major black characters, the more important being Remy Danton, a black lobbyist who is sleeping with Jackie Sharp, a white congresswoman who eventually succeeds Underwood as Majority Whip. Danton is ethically suspect because he is a lobbyist who will do anything for a buck. But in contrast to some of the other characters, the refreshingly normal Danton doesn’t do anything remarkably or irredeemably evil (as modern sex and political mores in D.C. go), and even tells Sharp that he doesn’t have sex with women he doesn’t love.
The other black character is Freddy Hayes, who runs a rib joint that Underwood frequents. In Freddy, the creators of the show painted a believable black character. He is a reformed violent thug with a kid named Darnell, an equally violent thug, and a grandson named DeShawn. Art imitates life. One sees the generational intensification of alienation in black names. But Hayes is generally a decent man, just not a very bright or powerful one.
The only other significant minority characters: Linda Vasquez, White House chief of staff, whom Underwood controls and dispatches with ease, and Xander Feng, a Chinese billionaire. The viewer meets Feng while he is engaged with two white prostitutes, one of whom is a young man who fellates Feng while he (Feng) is suffocated with a plastic bag. These are hardly edifying role models.
Of course, there is also the obligatory Jewish crusader who will serve as a moral check on the evil white protagonists, just like the leftist Abe in “Mad Men.” In this case, it’s Lucas Goodwin, a journalist who wants to take down Underwood because of his nefarious ways and also, one suspects, because Underwood was sleeping with his girlfriend Zoe Barnes. (Kate Mara, right.) Goodwin is predictably crushed by Underwood and his insider connections, perhaps one of the series’ few examples of Law & Order or Girl With the Dragon Tattoo-style inventions about white conspiracies.
Still, as with the larger point of House of Cards is undeniably true—politics is still a white man’s game. As with Mad Men, part of the appeal of the show to whites is watching and rooting for characters who look like you, even you aren’t supposed to sympathize with them.
And this is an accurate reflection of American politics. Black Run America, Barack Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus notwithstanding, whites are in charge in Washington D.C. They run Congress. They run the Supreme Court and lower federal courts. They run the federal bureaucracy. Except for some of major cities where blacks are in charge, which are without exception disaster zones, whites are on top from Salem east to Salem west.
And angry blacks are connecting the dots from the world of House of Card to the realities of political power. One Brentin Mock of Colorlines.com believes the program is haunted by “the specter of white supremacy” and that it “reveals how racism has worked and continues to work for the preservation of power in America that people of color can’t seem to penetrate.”
Thus, the Democrat Frank Underwood is really a stand in for evil whites everywhere.
The main thing that “House of Cards” wants you to know is that power, for some, must be preserved and expanded at all costs. Power in this tale, in this White House, is white privilege and supremacy. ...Yet House of Cards is not about “white supremacy.” Rather, it is one big Kinsley Gaffe. Whites largely run things because as a group, they have greater average intelligence and larger numbers than blacks. This translates into more money and power. Whites rule the federal government—Congress, the courts and the bureaucracy, including the military—because they still rule the ballot box numerically. Whites are in charge not because of the “racism” that keeps the black man down, as Mock would have us believe, but because they are generally smarter than blacks and, importantly, outnumber them. And it’s going to stay that way until minorities as a group outnumber whites.
“Choosing money over power is a mistake that almost everyone makes,” Underwood says in the first season of “House of Cards.” The second season, though, shows that many choose money because they have conceded that they can’t access power that has been passed down by birthright. This is white supremacy’s legacy, and “House of Cards” shows how it manages to live on.
[The White Supremacy of ‘House of Cards,’ by Brentin Mock, Colorlines, February 25, 2014]
Unsurprisingly, Mock begs the question of why whites are “too powerful,” as he would put it. He leaves the reader to believe they are undeserving, and doesn’t explain what’s wrong with whites being in charge other than their whiteness. But without whites, the United States of America wouldn’t be what it is today. It would simply be another Third World country like Mexico or Zimbabwe.
What House of Cards really shows is a deeper truth. Though the political system in our country is still largely run by whites, these white politicians have no sense of patriotism towards the country or loyalty towards their own people. They’re amoral sociopaths who believe in nothing except themselves. In House of Cards, politicians like Frank Underwood murder their way to the top. In our word, white politicians push Third World immigration to serve their own short term self-interest, even though it condemns our country to long term run.
Ironically, in the end, they will give the Mocks of the world what they want: a race-obsessed system with whites on the bottom.
We’ll see how the treasonous white politicians of our country like it when their own house of cards collapses.
Pádraic O'Bannon, [Email him] a writer and drinker like many of Celtic blood, thinks deep thoughts about politics, culture and religion.