"White America Has Lost Its Mind" Revisited: Where Are Those Crazy White Folks Now?

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In September of 2010, the Voice published our cover story "White America Has Lost Its Mind." At the time, we thought the disease of crazy white people infecting the national zeitgeist was at its most noxious state. However, that period was before Donald Trump took birtherism to a whole new level, thrice-married adulterer Newt Gingrich took to protecting marriage (when he wasn't lecturing the "food stamp president" or hectoring black folks about food-stamps), and the entire Republican party declared war on birth-control people who have sex women. It almost makes the summer of 2010, in those early days of the Tea Party when healthcare reform passed, look like a halcyon era of first-rate mental health and civil public discourse.

We were honored when Drew Friedman illustrated the "White America" cover. But we realized, glancing at the asylum tableau last week, that the crazy white people he captured in cartoon format aren't doing so well. Let's take a look at the rough ride those five straightjacket wearing leaders of the right have had in the intervening months, especially in the past week.

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Rush Limbaugh
As we type, Rush is apologizing sincerely to Sandra Fluke covering his ass to try to stem the tide, after some nine sponsors have dropped his show. Though Rush may have said he "did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke," Daily Kos jovially points out Limbaugh attacked her some 53 times over three days.

There is nothing for Rush to be crying about here. The first two advertisers to pull out, as it were, were mattress companies, corporations whose line of business is, quite often, people having sex. They're in the business of people fucking, Rush! Sleep Train couldn't have Rush shilling for them after (despite his own Viagra use) he became the new anti-birth control scold.

And, as one brilliant tweet put it, the sponsors' departure represented everything free marketeers like Rush believe in:

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Another thing Limbaugh didn't seem to count on was what happens when you take on a college educated white woman. Rush has been saying nasty, racist things for decades, and Carbonite and ProFlowers didn't much seem to mind. But when he took on Sandra Fluke (and the 99 percent of women who have used birth control at some point), the internet hit back and the radio bully met his match. Rush has gone so insane that he didn't realize that if he'd just kept making fun of people with Parkinson's disease, black people, and the poor, he could still be shilling for AOL!

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Andrew Breitbart
Breibart died last week at the age of 43. His last piece of writing, a non-apology apology tweet in the Limbaugh style, captures the energy that he lived his life with and left the world with:
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Sarah Palin
Back in the fall of 2010, Palin was still toying with the idea of guaranteeing Barack Obama's re-election (even if unemployment was at 20 percent and Iran attacked the United States) by running for president herself. Her political popularity peaked when a painful Icarus moment sent her reeling back to the Alaskan tundra. It was the day she vehemently assailed the "blood libel" smear against her after the Gabriel Giffords shooting, just hours before President Obama spoke in Arizona and reminded the nation of why they still liked the idea of hope in dark times.

Since she announced she won't run for president, a story she didn't even bother to announce on Fox News and which even the New York Post relegated as a blurb deep inside the paper, Palin's political capital has crashed spectacularly. Even her PAC, in the age of Super PACs, doesn't seem to be giving her a seat at the table very often. (Perhaps that's also because she has a track record of backing losers.)

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Glenn Beck
Beck's time at Fox News came to an end partially because of the efforts of @StopBeck, a twitter campaign started by Angelo Carusone, the person behind @StopRush. Beck left Fox at the end of his contract to start GBTV, where he is no doubt raking it in from minions who gladly pay to hear him; still, he's left the national conversation, earning him a shared spot (with Keith Olbermann!) on the Voice's list of the "100 Most Powerless New Yorkers."

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Dr. Laura Schlessinger
After she'd quite had her fill of of berating a black woman married to white man for questioning his white friends saying "nigger" around her, Dr. Laura went into exile from her widely heard traditional radio program. She's now on Sirius, still judging callers over the phone, but toiling away in subscriberland obscurity like Howard Stern (minus the stint judging America's Got Talent.)

Click here to read the original "White America Has Lost Its Mind."

sthrasher@villagevoice.com | @steven_thrasher

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18 comments
shellymic
shellymic

Good grief.  Hypocritical much?

The GQ Orc
The GQ Orc

Now, if we could just add Ann Coulter to this mix...oh, wait, we can, can't we? Not even her own party members want to hear anything from that bit**. Too bad the doctors had to remove the wiring that held her jaw closed for those few blessedly quiet weeks...

Gakfire
Gakfire

I'd like to see Sandra Fluke have her intestines pecked out by an Andean condor. All liberals should be burned alive.

Craigley
Craigley

These folks are not White America; these folks are a different flavor of Jerry Springer.

Luv,

White in Texas

Guest
Guest

like it or not, the minute people stop hating whites is the minute whites are no longer in control...people don't talk about asains, they control nothing...only blacks talk about blacks...hispanics, well they're a new force and it has become a topic...

TJ Peterson
TJ Peterson

"Beck's time at Fox News came to an end partially because of the efforts of"

Stop it right there. I'm having a hard time finding the things I liked about the VV, just lies. Beck's cancellation wasn't partially due to ANYTHING other than his shitty ratings.

Georgie H
Georgie H

Interesting that VV's stereotype of "white folks" contains a conservative universal.  When you play this racist game, what do you call liberal white folks.  Did you ever consider that helping the bigot in the White House gin up hate for "white folks" as a successful election platform, just might  fly back into your own pale faces, like one of those proverbial chickens.

Julia-Booey Dreyfuss
Julia-Booey Dreyfuss

"Toiling away in subscriberland obscurity like Howard Stern"

Hmm, I must have missed the announcement of Schlesinger's half-a-billion-dollar deal with Sirius, whose stock value went up $315 million within hours of re-signing Stern.  (Minus the $15-20 million stint judging America's Got Talent... that's a nice little stint.)

benny
benny

It is never enough to disagree with someone when you are a REpublican. You have to hate the ones you disagree with-you have to demonize them. You have to destroy them. They are not an opponent. They are an enemy. Unions are not just a group of workers who want to have a voce in the work place-no-unions are trying to destroy capitalism and democracy. Liberals are anti american traitors. Environmentalists are trying to destroy the economy. Blacks are a financial drain on the federal government. Hispanics are destroying jobs. Gays are destroying morality as we know it. On and on. The REpublican Hate Machine continues. And it is really sad to see how many Americans approve of it. In a Democracy-dividing and conquering does not work. So- I fear the Republicans will use their power grab as a way to destroy our Democracy. Unintentionally of course. But Fascists always think the ends justify the means.

End Of An Era
End Of An Era

Karma's a bitch and she bites.

The tide is slowly but irrevocably turning against the rabid right, as their true ugliness shows through. The world is changing, and those neanderthals who refuse to change are doomed to be driven back to their caves...where they belong.

Ben
Ben

 But without liberals, we wouldn't have the California condor! Not that you seem to care, since you'd rather call in a South American to take the job of a hard-working, American scavenger.

Also, fyi, saying things like this just sort of proves liberals right when they call the opposition violent and irrational and claim that it has "lost its mind."

Ben
Ben

 I think the VV is making a distinction between "White America" as defined by these individuals (who think of "White America" as something that is under attack and seem to have no interest in an audience beyond frightened white people) and white people or Americans more generally. Obviously the VV has no interest in alienating white readers, nor does Obama want to alienate white voters.

Uh, why did you call Obama a bigot, by the way?

Cesar
Cesar

 Nonono, you don't understand, it's all white folks.  You know, because they all think alike, every last one.

Maryann Rose
Maryann Rose

Good thing those rich people have Julia to defend them.

Georgie H
Georgie H

Because Obama's election platform is "racial favoritism," just like the segregationists' election platform as well as the Nazis.  They were bigots, as are all people who support racial favoritism and its corollary racial discrimination, so it follows that Obama is also a bigot.  Why else would he claim that white skin and a history lesson "proves" that black favoritism is a protective necessity, JUST LIKE his presidential predecessors who  claimed that black skin "proved" that white favoritism was a protective necessity. The only difference between Obama and the rest,  is the color of people stereotyped as a genetically predetermined social threat.  Who else but bigots  obscure the reality of individual identity and REAL human action with the stereotypes of  "bad race/good race" so as to deceitfully present racial favoritism as protective politics, rather than  racist injustice.  The only other option is that Obama is a  political profiteer, using racial favoritism to buy a constituency; but I read his stereotype ridden book and he has completely swallowed the bogus "racial identity" propaganda. Not a surprise, since the racial identity myth is Harvard's idea of an "education."

Elena Nichol
Elena Nichol

I don't think President Obama is doing this. Perhaps pundits around him are speaking this way, but he has a diverse base and never makes race central in his messaging, as you seem to do. To become the first black president of course was an achievement to celebrate, but I imagine that he wants to be elected for his capacity as president, not for the color of his skin.

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