On Thursday, September 15 U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold’s District Director – that is, Steve Ray (who also owns a public relations company) was a guest on Jim Lago’s conservative radio show and consented with Lago that Hispanic Studies should be done away with at the universities though out the country. As Lago hammered away with his anti-Mexican culture sentiments, Ray bubbled back with reinforcement.
What was most upsetting to many an Hispanic listening was that during Hispanic Heritage month – September – the anti-Mexican fervor was high. Radio host Lago questioned ethnic studies so as to posture himself politically and attempted to identify a clear target to lash out at: “Why do we need Mexican American studies?” Lago implicitly and explicitly insisting further that the latter seems to be an anti-Anglo curriculum. Lago reinforcing that Anglos now when from being the majority to the new victims of oppression by minorities’ quotas and special educational programs. And U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold’s District Director (so as to repeat his name) -- Steve Ray – immediately reinforced: “I agree with you we should all just be good Americans?” Racial jujitsu.
“Good Americans” – these two words opened old historical scars in many a minority person listening who had struggled to struggle to eliminate the stereotypes and somehow Hispanics and others are not “American” enough. “In Blake Farenthold’s District Director I saw an image as if he was a wild cat trying to scratch out eyes out – so we won’t see the our own sense of who we are as a people and our way of life,” Joe Molina told this publication.
Farenthold’s District Director so as to aggrandize his anti-Hispanic sentiments and remarks went on to say he had Hispanic children and even allude to something fairly wary about Afro-American culture. Ray reinforced the myth that “whites” (or “Anglos) are racially oppressed in the area.
But Steve Ray’s echo resounds louder than most think. His boss, U.S. Representative Farenthold (who has deviated from his liberal grandma, Sissy Farethold, due to political expediency it seems) has identified not only with the growing signs of this displaced racial anxiety, but with a group of regional and state and national tea party fanatics that identify discrimination against whites as being just as big as bigotry aimed at Hispanics and blacks and other minorities.
“Good Americans” or is it Ray’s and Farenthold’s view are a growing concern in most colleges – some colleges are offering courses in "Whiteness Studies" as white Americans cope with becoming what one commentator calls a "dispossessed majority group." A Texas group recently formed the "Former Majority Association for Equality" to offer college scholarships to needy white men.
U.S. Census Bureau projections that (Anglo) whites will become a minority by 2050 are fueling fears that whiteness no longer represents the norm. This fear has been compounded by the recent recession, which hit whites hard.
Here regionally Conservative talk-show host Lago argues sometimes openly and sometimes amenably in the cited radio show that Republicans are an "oppressed minority" in need of a civil rights movement because its members willingly sit in the back of the bus and are afraid of the growing Mexican-American population.
But Ray’s, Farenthold’s and Lago’s voiced sentiments are reaching new tiers in other related movements. Not too long ago Fox talk-show host Glenn Beck led a march on Washington (attended principally by white people) to "restore honor," and once called President Obama a racist with a "deep-seated hatred for “white people” and “white culture." He later said he regretted making that reference.
The notion that many white Americans feel anxious about their race is not new. Today, however here regionally, Radio commentator Lago is capitalizing on economic anxieties -- feeding those racial fears. At one time it was mostly ethnic minorities (for the most part) that felt the first big pinch on an economic recession, but this time the recession hit blue-collar, white Americans hard, financially and psychologically.
“Many white Americans have lived under the assumption that if they worked hard, they would be rewarded. Now more white Americans are sharing unemployment lines with ‘those people’ -- black and brown,” a local professor said. “ "For the first time since the Great Depression, white Americans have been confronted with a level of economic insecurity that we're not used to… It's not so new for black and brown folks, but for white folks, this is something we haven't seen since the Depression."