The triumph of hyphenism

"Hyphenism" was H.L. Mencken's word for what we call "African-(hyphen)-Americans," "Latino-(hyphen)-Americans," and worst of all, "White-(hyphen)-Male-(hyphen)-Southern-(hyphen)-Americans." In the 1930s, when Mencken was writing the most brilliant political satire in American history, it was the hyphenated Irish, the Germans, the English Americans, the Jews, and so on. Hyphenism says, "Look in the mirror. If you look black, you know who you're must vote for." 

This election is an historic victory for a new kind of hyphenism, which could be called biological hyphenism. Look in the mirror with that little checklist. Woman? Check that biological hyphen. Gay? Check. Black? Check. It's all plainly visible in the mirror, making the New Hyphenism the easiest and dumbest way to categorize human beings and reduce them to brightly colored M&M's. Americans like Clarence Thomas have been accused of being "race traitors," a term that would be instantly recognizable to Der Stürmer.

Governor Sarah Palin was repeated denounced, in screaming terms, for Not Being a Woman. It is utterly degrading to real human beings, if any of them are left. You have now been reduced to your color, genitalia, sexual habits, age, and so on. It's a sociologist's dream, and a psychologist's nightmare. You can construct a political majority out of outraged identity groups, always rehearsing their ancestral grievances. Now we officially reward identity groups with jobs and opportunities, or welfare payments. This is of course why the Balkans are always Balkanized. Every ethnic family passes on its historical grievances to their children. The group dominates the individual.

You have to admit the Left has made it work. Right in college, or even before that, people somehow spontaneously begin to associate with their biological peers -- something that the modern university was supposed to overcome. Blacks are more self-segregated in the colleges now than they were forty years ago. That's the biological politics in which Barack Obama grew up -- in Hawaii, Indonesia, and America. (Indonesian Muslims killed hundreds of thousands of ethnic Chinese citizens in the 1970s.)

I know some passionately conservative women who are still triggered off by historical injustices against women. The trouble is that until the 20th century, women did not identify as a separate victim class. They honestly wanted to marry and have kids, work enormously hard in the home, bear and raise kids,  and be supported by a husband with a good job. Nobody told them they were supposed to try to become J. P. Morgan. Women risked death from repeated child birth and appallingly bad medicine. The men risked death from mining, endless farm drudgery, wars -- like half million men who died in the Civil War, remember that one? --  being a cop or railroad worker, poverty, booze or just the killing influenza. Men and women were too overworked to collect gender injustices.

The new, biological hyphenism is a luxury product of general prosperity -- plenty of food, much less physical work -- and constant media manipulation. It's almost a century since the 22nd Amendment gave women the right to vote. It's 150 years since the legal end of slavery. But the politics of race and gender is now hotter than ever. The rage of "God Damn America" J-Wright is ‘way over the top. But then, so are the payoffs for grievance politics.

So are we moving to a post-racial society? Is Barack Obama finally going to bestow racial and gender forgiveness? Or are we seeing the victory of biological hyphenism, splitting people on the most primitive basis imaginable?
"Hyphenism" was H.L. Mencken's word for what we call "African-(hyphen)-Americans," "Latino-(hyphen)-Americans," and worst of all, "White-(hyphen)-Male-(hyphen)-Southern-(hyphen)-Americans." In the 1930s, when Mencken was writing the most brilliant political satire in American history, it was the hyphenated Irish, the Germans, the English Americans, the Jews, and so on. Hyphenism says, "Look in the mirror. If you look black, you know who you're must vote for." 

This election is an historic victory for a new kind of hyphenism, which could be called biological hyphenism. Look in the mirror with that little checklist. Woman? Check that biological hyphen. Gay? Check. Black? Check. It's all plainly visible in the mirror, making the New Hyphenism the easiest and dumbest way to categorize human beings and reduce them to brightly colored M&M's. Americans like Clarence Thomas have been accused of being "race traitors," a term that would be instantly recognizable to Der Stürmer.

Governor Sarah Palin was repeated denounced, in screaming terms, for Not Being a Woman. It is utterly degrading to real human beings, if any of them are left. You have now been reduced to your color, genitalia, sexual habits, age, and so on. It's a sociologist's dream, and a psychologist's nightmare. You can construct a political majority out of outraged identity groups, always rehearsing their ancestral grievances. Now we officially reward identity groups with jobs and opportunities, or welfare payments. This is of course why the Balkans are always Balkanized. Every ethnic family passes on its historical grievances to their children. The group dominates the individual.

You have to admit the Left has made it work. Right in college, or even before that, people somehow spontaneously begin to associate with their biological peers -- something that the modern university was supposed to overcome. Blacks are more self-segregated in the colleges now than they were forty years ago. That's the biological politics in which Barack Obama grew up -- in Hawaii, Indonesia, and America. (Indonesian Muslims killed hundreds of thousands of ethnic Chinese citizens in the 1970s.)

I know some passionately conservative women who are still triggered off by historical injustices against women. The trouble is that until the 20th century, women did not identify as a separate victim class. They honestly wanted to marry and have kids, work enormously hard in the home, bear and raise kids,  and be supported by a husband with a good job. Nobody told them they were supposed to try to become J. P. Morgan. Women risked death from repeated child birth and appallingly bad medicine. The men risked death from mining, endless farm drudgery, wars -- like half million men who died in the Civil War, remember that one? --  being a cop or railroad worker, poverty, booze or just the killing influenza. Men and women were too overworked to collect gender injustices.

The new, biological hyphenism is a luxury product of general prosperity -- plenty of food, much less physical work -- and constant media manipulation. It's almost a century since the 22nd Amendment gave women the right to vote. It's 150 years since the legal end of slavery. But the politics of race and gender is now hotter than ever. The rage of "God Damn America" J-Wright is ‘way over the top. But then, so are the payoffs for grievance politics.

So are we moving to a post-racial society? Is Barack Obama finally going to bestow racial and gender forgiveness? Or are we seeing the victory of biological hyphenism, splitting people on the most primitive basis imaginable?