Howell Raines, the elderly Southern white liberal who got fired
as head editor of the New York Times
in 2003 in the funny Jayson Blair
affirmative action scandal
(I actually don’t have anything against Blair — he was just your basic gay black screw-up), is back with a long op-ed about how Southern white conservatives are doomed, doomed
I tell you by diversity.
Even more dramatic changes in voter attitudes will shift the region’s party balance, to the detriment of the Republicans. This won’t come about because current Republican voters and their elected officials now in office will somehow be converted, but because they will be overwhelmed by new voters in the burgeoning Hispanic and Asian communities, who will join the black minority. Over half of the nation’s 40 million blacks live in the South.For the time being, however, a traveler through the South can’t help but notice that its affluent, suburban whites remain myopic about the obvious signs, like the multiracial families to be seen among Walmart shoppers on any given day in any shopping mall.Houston and Dallas are among the 11 American cities with the largest Hispanic populations. Vibrant Vietnamese communities are all along the Gulf Coast. Major cities have Spanish-language advertising, and have or soon will have sleek Latino-oriented shopping centers, like the new one on the fashionable southern side of Birmingham. The Asian presence in the medical, academic and business communities is substantial and growing, perhaps most notably in Baton Rouge, where Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana and presidential candidate (who is Asian-American, like Gov. Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina), works.Judging from the laws they are passing, Southern Republicans seem untroubled by Mitt Romney’s 17 percent of the minority vote in the last presidential election. It seems an overstatement to say that Southern Republicans are in outright denial about the fact that whites will be a minority in America around 2043. It does seem fair to say that the national Republican Party is underreacting, and Southern Republicans seem to be especially resistant to appealing to their minority neighbors. …The statistical evidence shouts otherwise. “Demography is destiny” …[The Dream World of the Southern Republicans, July 10, 2015]
This kind of spite — he wants to import a lot of immigrants to the South to vote Democratic to show those horrible Republicans who is really in charge — reminds me of Irish thinking c. 1167 A.D.:
Back then, one Irish lord, King Diarmait Mac Murchada
of Leinster, was losing a struggle with another Irish nob, High King Ruaidri mac Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair. But King Diarmait had a great idea: he’d ask King Henry II of England to send over some Norman knights to help him put that other Irishman in his place.
The Normans were Vikings who had conquered a chunk of France, learned French, then conquered England, to which they brought first names that might strike you as still rather familiar-sounding, like William and Henry
. I.e., they were super-scary guys. What could possibly go wrong if King Diarmait of the Foreigners invited some to Ireland? What? Were the English Normans going to conquer Ireland
and own it for most of a millennium? Hah! Likely story …
Was the really important thing for the Irish to hang on to this nice green island they had out in the ocean so they could squabble over it themselves? No, of course not. The truly important priority was to show High King Ruaidri mac Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair that he couldn’t push King Diarmait Mac Murchada of Leinster around. These cool new English underlings of King Diarmait’s would show High King Ruaidri who’s boss!