South Carolina’s nightmare of old white men
By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 6/4/10
“We already got one raghead in the White House, we don’t need a raghead in the governor’s mansion.” – South Carolina Republican Senator Jake Knotts, Lexington
Since integration, it may have been a little hard to tell the “lint heads” from the “rug heads” and the “octoroons.” Language in the tradition of Old White Men, useful again when a woman like Nikki Haley, who in South Carolina’s legal standing until the 1950s would be considered black, attempts to run for governor there.
Meanwhile, liberal New York, which before the rise of the leisure class took 258,000 Southern lives in beating the South out of the old ways, today looks away. As one influential celebrity journalist at the New York Times – a popular avatar of women’s issues - wrote yesterday, it is all mostly what you would expect from those “nullifiers” in South Carolina. This should give advanced anecdotal evidence that northern attitudes of race and sex fairness are merely strategies of political and regional dominance and airs of cultural piety.
I know it is hard to make that distinction among the Foreign Devils. Someone even scratched the “Free Tibet” bumper sticker off my truck the day after 9/11, assuming that Tibetan Buddhists were among the terrorist swine because they were not white. Nikki Haley’s family is Sikh, from the sub continent of India. She is American born, a Methodist, and runs for governor with the support of Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Jenny Sanford, wife of Governor Mark Sanford. And if Haley is knocked out of this race by political assassination, I’ll be the first to send my check to Jenny Sanford to urge her to form her own political action committee. Her new book, “Staying True,” suggests that possibly she alone has the courage and character to save the Palmetto state from its continuing nightmare; a political and moral plague of old, fat, white men who have been holding their breath since Reconstruction.
Political assassins, like real assassins such as James Earl Ray and Lee Harvey Oswald, know that they are the honored, secret ninjas for their subculture. These political assassinations know that “their people” really do not want a woman, a Tea Partier, an Indian, a “rag head” in office. Like real assassins, they provide intervention and know that beneath the public scorn, condemnation and the jail time, they have the quiet comfort of the heart in knowing they are their secret society’s silent saints.