Definition of a liberal:
Someone who condemns “hicks” who haven’t “traveled the world” (with a backpack and daddy’s credit card, of course) “to learn about different cultures” — then condemns those same “hicks” when they matter of factly discuss… obvious cultural differences.
Notice that not even Sting has taken to singing, “The Pallies love their children too.”
A decade and a half ago, in his most famous book “The Clash Of Civilizations,” professor Huntington argued that Western elites’ view of man as homo economicuswas reductive and misleading – that cultural identity is a more profound behavioral indicator than lazy assumptions about the universal appeal of Western-style economic liberty and the benefits it brings.
Very few of us want to believe this thesis.
You don’t have to travel to the Middle East for proof of Huntington’s thesis. You don’t actually have to travel at all, and that is probably just as well, because places like Detroit and New Orleans aren’t very safe for folks of a particular hue. You can just surf the net.
And that is where you will find that even African-Americans with educations, intact homes and well paying jobs are reluctant to say outloud that OJ murdered two people or that Al Sharpton is an asshole. Because “barbershop culture” frowns upon such honesty and obviousness.
The children of these people, with all their advantages, still assure each other that “getting married/good grades” is “acting white”, (which I realize is a more complex phenomenon than many populizers imagine and is still disputed by many) and so lower class white kids still score higher on tests than middle class black kids, and are still less likely to have out of wedlock kids and more likely to have friends or relatives in jail.
And yes: there is a long tradition of trashy white people, such as
“lace curtain Irish” “shanty Irish” and the people I grew up with, putting down accomplishment as well (“Wot? Working down’t mill not good enough for yea?” “You think you’re better than us, eh?” — my deadpan response was always “yep.” That shut them up.)
However, there is also a deeply rooted, widely known culture of dissent from this loser mentality, in the form of books, plays, movies and songs.
Arguably this “how ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm after they’ve seen the frickin’ FARM” genre was THE most vital modernist genre of the 20th century, in Europe, the UK and America. There is NO such comparable genre in the Arab world, in part because the Arab world has no modern literature to speak of anyhow.)