To those who believe the last deaths of the current wave of Angry Old White Men will lead to the disappearance of American Conservatism — this Sunday Smack is for you.
Let’s run with your grey hair extinction premise for a moment and imagine a United States run by Liberals in the executive and legislative branches of government. We’ll then see days of Shangri-La, no?
I’ll remind you that the top 20 racially segregated US metropolitan areas are mostly populated by Liberals.
New York City could be considered one of the most Liberal large cities in America, but it also has one of the most eye-opening manifestations of income inequality and housing segregation.
Let’s jump outside the US for a moment to look at South Africa. Many assumed that the death of the country’s racist apartheid regime would mean the introduction more progressive policies which would eliminate unfair labor practices and create new economic opportunities for Black South Africans.
But a number of ironic twists occurred subsequent to the departure of FW de Klerk, South Africa’s last apartheid president.
For starters, several leaders from the left-wing African National Congress transitioned from being anti-apartheid agitators to serve as board members of the same mining companies which exploited Black South African laborers.
These post-apartheid mine workers, as in the past, feel exploited and underpaid. In addition, some of the mining operations have expanded to displace residents, as well as harm the environment.
More broadly, a surprisingly high number of South Africans haven’t seen much progress in eliminating economic and social inequality (pdf). Income inequality is just as abysmal, at minimum, as the days of apartheid.
The Black South African mine workers went on strike at Marikana in 2012 to improve their pay and work conditions, and their actions were met with bullets — fired by Black South African law enforcement officers — which killed 34 people and brought back memories of the Soweto and Sharpeville massacres during the apartheid days.
The abbreviated collection of artifacts I just presented can make you wonder if Conservatism is a fixed demographic group waiting to die, or perhaps something else much less ephemeral.
And that thought leads me to this week’s Sunday Smack: will American Conservatism really disappear, and does the question even matter?
song currently stuck in my head: “keep love alive” – cleveland eaton