“The Republicans haven’t had a single African-American in the Senate or the House since 2003 and have had only three in total since 1935.” (Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/opinion/28rich.html)

Wow. Astonishing. The article goes on to observe that the demographic shift in the U.S. (i.e. the increasing percentage of the population composed of “minorities”) represents a threat to those who were comfortable with a white, mostly male leadership.

If your model of America resembles Leave It to Beaver, you’re going to find each of the following a threat (individually):

  • African-American President
  • African-Americans and Latino Supreme Court justices
  • Female leadership in the House of Representatives
  • An openly gay member of Congress
  • Homosexual couples who are publicly committed to each other. Some are even married. </ul> If I felt that America was supposed to resemble Leave It to Beaver, I'd feel absolutely terrified by any of these, let alone all of them. I'd feel that my very existence was threatened. I'd feel that my world was coming to an end, and if I were on the religious right as well as the political right, I might even feel that the increasing rate of change signaled the onset of Armageddon. When they rage about 'taking back America,' remember that the America they have in mind is awfully similar to the America of the deep South of 1950. Remember also that it is fear that causes a cornered wild animal to strike. How do we get them past that fear?