@JaniceOCG See how @ruthbenghiat suggests confronting white supremacist fears on changing demographics. Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat is live, Thurs., Feb. 10 at 8 pm ET, w/ “If America Fails?” on TWN, for chat on race & ethnicity in @HandmaidsOnHulu & relationship to current challenges to democracy.
Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat is looking for ways to counter America’s slide toward autocracy. She sees a new kind of patriotism – one that celebrates diversity – as a potential way of holding back the floodgates. In Let’s Celebrate America as a Multiracial Democracy, she considers how autocratic governments attempt to control even the dreams of their citizens – but in the U.S., we are still free to dream our own dreams.
Shifting demographics in the country today undergird the appeal by white supremacists that there is reason to fear a more diverse and colorful America. Ben-Ghiat is suggesting we confront this fear directly with celebration of the multiracial country American democracy has allowed to develop – rather than turning from the path we are on.
African Americans and other people of color have been seeking ways to celebrate diversity for many years, with limited success. It would be fascinating to see if the threat to democracy is actually the thing that brings this vision to life and leads a majority of Americans to push in the same direction. If we are not able to effectively address the fears and consequences of white supremacist thinking, the alternatives are quite grisly. — LMO
WATCH Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of Italian and History, New York University | Arts & Sciences– LIVE – Thursday, February 10, 2022, 8 pm ET, on the TruthWorks Network YouTube channel, when she joins “If America Fails?: The Coming Tyranny,” in discussion on Race & Ethnicity evoked by The Handmaid’s Tale and modern American culture.
A few quotes from the post, “Let’s Celebrate America as a Multiracial Democracy: A New Patriotism That Plays to Our Strengths as a Nation,” by Ruth Ben-Ghiat
“…It is this freedom to dream, and the idea that it is possible to transform one’s life and the destiny of one’s family, that has distinguished America in the global imagination and made it a destination for millions of impoverished, oppressed, and ambitious individuals. The America of immigrants’ aspirations was and is a place where everyone could find their community and everyone, in theory, could have a chance, with dizzying improvements in standards of living possible within the scope of one or two generations — both for immigrants and for people born here, of every race and religion.
“It is time to harness this sense of pride and potential, this ability to dream, and make them central to a new brand of patriotism that celebrates America’s multiracial character as a generative force.
“…when democracy is under attack, as it is today in America, talking about patriotism is essential. To make it appealing, we must find a new language, one that can mobilize new generations of voters and constituencies who may be wary of the military and not inclined to display the flag.
“Creating passion and excitement around America explicitly as a multiracial democracy is one way in. It directly confronts the GOP’s attempts to disenfranchise non-Whites, impose silence about past and present racial crimes, and engineer and enforce rule by a White minority.
“… Faced with these changes in the American population, the GOP has chosen to retrench rather than reform. When shifting demographics are seen as an existential threat, being racist is twisted into a patriotic act. Nothing is off the table to save the country and reverse the course of history. The Jan. 6 coup attempt, in this light, was not just an operation to keep the right person in office (Donald Trump), but an attempt to keep the wrong people, like Vice President Kamala Harris, out.
“…To counter this authoritarian agenda, we must explicitly associate patriotism with defense of democracy and highlight the stability and productivity of American multiracial society. The aspiration of freedom for everyone is no fairy tale. It reflects our best traditions and civil rights history. A patriotism devoted to protecting that can be powerful.” — Ruth Ben-Ghiat
“Any society can be susceptible to strongman figures if it’s the right time,” says Ruth Ben-Ghiat.
Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University, is a historian, educator and commentator “on fascism, authoritarian leaders, and propaganda — and the threats these present to democracies. As author or editor of [seven] books, with over 100 op-eds and essays in CNN, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post, she brings historical perspective to her analyses of current events. Her insight into the authoritarian playbook has made her an expert source for television, radio, podcasts, and online events around the globe,” according to her website. Her most recent publication in Strongmen: Mussolini To The Present (2020).
Dr. Ben-Ghiat also maintains a blog on Substack – Lucid – where she writes and chats about current threats to democracy in America and abroad, and interviews other prominent voices in this arena. She is a historical consultant for film and television productions; a big fan of electronic music; and a yoga practitioner. “Ruth Ben-Ghiat… specializes in male menace. What interests her is the manufactured drama of world-historical strongmen—their mannerisms, speech patterns, stagecraft, and mythomania,” wrote Jon Blitzer of The New Yorker. Follow her Twitter feed @ruthbenghiat. — If America Fails?: The Coming Tyranny
SEE | Let’s Celebrate America as a Multiracial Democracy | by Ruth Ben-Ghiat | Lucid Newsletter | 7/6/2021