Sunday, November 11, 2007

The FCC Hearings in Seattle – 11/9/2007 -- and Blue Collar Conservatism

One of the things that many of the Progressive commenters at the recent FCC Hearings in Seattle (concerning media consolidation) was to blame “white men” for these problems. White men were blamed for owning more than they should, and controlling everything in America. In my humble opinion, it’s not white men per-se that they should be targeting in their verbal broadsides. It’s more a certain class of monied people and their corporate henchmen who are the real bad-guys.

I do not believe it is merely a problem of blue-collar white men misperceiving what women, minorities, and even some white men are saying about them. When I bring up this subject to Progressive women and minorities, they have always denied that it is white men in general that they are talking about.

It’s the rich white men, they explain. It’s not the “regular Joe’s” they mean.
As an experiment, I initiated some conversations that evening about the black ex-CEO of Merrill-Lynch, Stanley O’Neal, who was recently ousted for some ethically, challenged activity regarding stock manipulation. “That’s the trouble with black men,” I said. “They get into a position of real power, and immediately they abuse it. They think they can do anything they want in their safe little corporate bubble!” You can imagine the response. Liberals immediately and vociferously let you know that the color of the man is irrelevant. I then brought up the subject of white men always being blamed for problems of corporate corruption of American democracy.

They insist that they are not blaming white men in general – just the rich white men and CEO’s. Black CEO’s, it seems, are still off limits for my criticism. But in their offhand comments they DO say, quite specifically and exclusively: “white men.” I’m a Progressive Liberal, but internally I’m beginning to resist all this casual demonizing of white men. I think it’s losing us elections.

In an Affirmative Action Review of Part 9 of the Federal Procurement Policies and Practices, the review states:
“Throughout the federal government, several programs seek to increase procurement and contracting with minority- and women-owned businesses. The largest of these efforts are government-wide programs overseen by the SBA; this overall effort is supplemented in some cases by agency-specific initiatives. Under these programs taken as a whole, some procurement contracts are set aside for sole-source or sheltered competition contracting, eligibility for which is targeted to minority-owned businesses (and in some cases non-minority women-owned businesses), but by statute available more broadly to "socially and economically disadvantaged" individuals. There is also a broad, race-neutral, sheltered competition or set-aside for small businesses generally. This operates separately and has a lower priority than the more targeted efforts….”

The above quote highlights what many blue-collar white men (rightfully) believe: That is, that the Federal Government pushes the interests of women and minorities over blue-collar white men. There are any amount of excuses for this state of affairs, but if Progressives want to regain the confidence AND the votes of blue-collar white men, this favoritism must stop.

Do Progressive women and minorities want to win enough to reach out to these voters? How many more losses at the polls will it take for them to see beyond their own prejudice?