How did the US Civil Rights movement of the 60s succeed?

Probably correct, but locally it was frozen in law. Belief didn’t have anything to do with it.

In 1953 I was on a bus that stopped at the Texas border. The driver announced that a black soldier would have to move to the back of the bus. Several of us were in uniform (also young and stupid) and threateningly forced the driver out of the bus. We informed him that a black man in uniform could sit anywhere on the bus he chose. And the bus wasn’t going anywhere until he did. The black soldier got off of the bus and explained that it was the law and the driver had no choice so he would move to the back of the bus.

That represents your 3 levels, but they were all restrained by the law. So, the sentiment of the population at the time did not count. When black people complied they were left alone, like the guy on the bus. Change only came by the federal government forcing the state laws to be removed.

Fair; I’d classify “frozen in law” as being part of the “normative behavior” that I described as influencing the second group – I hypothesize that they don’t have any strongly-held belief about racism or equality, but simply act in accord with what they see around them, which, as you note, would have also included Jim Crow laws and the like.

The first group would probably have believed that the laws were wrong, and some subset of them might have been working to change them. The third group would have felt that those laws were just and right, and simply represented the natural order of things.

I don’t feel this is a recent problem. What we’re experiencing is the culmination of a problem that’s been going on for decades. You can say it started in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan or in 1984 when Rush Limbaugh went on the air or in 1996 with the start of Fox News. But right wingers have built a bubble that has enabled ordinary people to avoid looking at the real world. It’s now been around long enough that people have grown up inside this right wing bubble and all they know is the world inside it.

Reflecting on it, when everybody got on the bus in California, no attention was paid to seating. Some of the GIs were in the back because you could lay down on the last seat. But, the normative behavior changed at the NM/Texas border. We had to give up the back seat.

I didn’t say it was a recent problem, which I think is clear if you read my whole post and not just the snippet you quoted. I was responding to the the OP:

I said latent racism had persisted, and it only became overt again after the rise of trumpism made covert racists feel like they could freely express their racism and bigotry out in the open again, just like the ‘good old days’. The pitch was turned down on the dog whistles until they became regular whistles.

Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I didn’t mean to argue that you were saying this was a recent change.

I feel my point is pretty similar to what you are saying. What we’re seeing since 2015 is not a recent change. It’s the recent public expression of a change that occurred back in the eighties or nineties.

To use the metaphor from the OP, It’s not that the civil rights movement ran out of steam. It’s that the right wing took a while to build up a head of steam.

Yeah, 2015 obviously accelerated things a lot, but that’s just amplifying the trends that started at least as far back as Obama’s first election. A whole lot of people just lost it when that happened. Republican Obstructionism had existed prior to this, Clinton had a hard time getting them to do things, but it went into overdrive with Obama. And then there was the overt racism of the whole Birther movement. That laid the groundwork for 2015, by giving them a fig leaf of legitimacy for their racism (“I’m just making sure he’s legally allowed to be President! I swear!”), and allowing them to express their opinions publicly.

Birtherism was the crack in the dam that led us to the wholesale failure of the dam now.

In my opinion, the right wing is not inherently racist. The leaders of the movement just want power. They see racism as a useful tool they can wield to motivate the sheep.

For a parallel, look at how the right wing uses Christianity. They don’t believe in the tenets of the religion but they claim to in order to motivate Christians to vote for right wingers.

By this, I assume you mean “the leaders of the right wing”, because it’s clear that a whole lot of their followers are pretty racist.

But even there, while the old-school Republican leaders may not have been any more racist than average, I’m pretty sure the new crop are actually outright racist. People like MTG have grown up in the post-dog-whistle era, and I think they really have internalized all the racist garbage that previous leaders just used to manipulate their voters. I think this is a big part of what’s driving the “Freedom Caucus” members to get into fights with their own party - they’ve finally realized that Moscow Mitch and his contemporaries don’t actually believe all that white supremacist shit, and the new kids are pissed off about that.

America in the 1930s had a tiny, underfunded military with virtually no equipment. After Pearl Harbor it needed to pull in 16 million bodies and fight a “total war.” About one million of them would be black. They were all subject to massive racism, discrimination, and subjugation. Before the Communists used that as a propaganda tool, the Nazis did. How could America be fighting for freedom when it oppressed black soldiers. How could America care about Jews as an inferior face when they thought of blacks as an inferior race.

Mostly, though, the military - the largest employer of minorities in the country - realized well before 1945 that blacks could be trained, could fight, could be officers, could do all the things an army needed and it was counterproductive to deprive themselves of a powerful weapon. The brighter minds in the military got Truman to issue his Executive Order integrating the military in 1948 but the troglodytes put up enormous internal opposition.

On the civil side, two late 40s precursors were also critical. A more liberal Supreme Court began issuing decrees that institutions be integrated, starting with graduate schools. This infuriated the blatantly racist South so much that it caused a split in the Democratic Party, notably Strom Thurmond’s run against Truman in 1948 on the States’ Rights Democratic Party (the Dixiecrats), winning three states. Throughout the 1950s Southern Democrats were an increasing embarrassment to the rest of the party. Seeing fire hoses and vicious dogs turned on children was not the best lead-in to Father’s Knows Best.

That top-down change in culture was a dull mirror to the boycotts, marches, sit-ins, protests, and daily dogged battles that blacks - especially in the South but also elsewhere - participated in at great cost to themselves. Their courage, dignity, steadfastness, and manifest rightness led to support across the country among whites. Liberal whites for sure, younger whites definitely, but also whites of many varieties who were appalled by the horror and wanted it stopped immediately.

Yes, it became obvious that whites were satisfied by the lip service of the Civil Rights Act and resisted, often violently, any changes in their back yards. Progress remained slow and racist officials soon learned the thousands of loopholes the law offered them. So the old fights and antagonisms started all over again. The best I can say is that the new battles are starting higher up the mountain, which give them a better chance of more than lip service victories this time.

Ick. I didn’t realize what you were linking to. Needs NSFW tag.

Right. The changes in the 50s through early 70s made it socioeconomically costly to continue the old sort of explicitly officially-sanctioned racist ordering of “legit” businesses and politics. It forced a large part of society, that had not lost its inherent racism, into a “fake it to make it” mode as the norm became that to be “respectable” and enjoy the fruits of the society and economy you had to stop doing/saying things the old way …out loud, in public. But there was always all along a large component for whom it was “fake it because they’re forcing you, and bide your time to throw it off” .

Yes, I was talking about the leaders. And I agree some right wing leaders are genuinely racist. But I think the majority of right wingers are just pretending to support racism the same way they pretend to support Christianity.

But, “Pretending to support Christianity” gives them access to some upsides, aside from the votes, like being able to claim the moral high ground on any issue, and being able to easily fake caring about people by “supporting the use of faith-based charities” rather than government programs. And it also imposes something of a burden on them, as to properly fake being Christian, they have to at least attend a minimum amount of church.

But other than votes, what does faking racism get them? For everyone except the racists, it puts them clearly on the wrong side of essentially every question. There’s no scandal that can be deflected by starting your sentence, “Well, as a practicing racist…” There’s no pool of non-racist voters who will look at them and say, “Okay, I don’t support his fiscal policies, but at least he supports his local Klan.” Pretending to be racist in politics is almost all downsides.

Except for the vast number of highly enthusiastic votes it collects from certain demographics concentrated in certain constituencies.

Overall agree with your point. I think the current loudly racist, or quietly-but-not-silently racist RW pols are genuine in their racism. Contrary to some folks’ posts, it’s not just a ploy. How loud they are or are not is calibrated to their audience. And hence ploy-ish, or at least ploy-affected. But IMO their underlying racist belief system is real right down to their bones.

The votes are pretty much it.

As you point out, there’s a potential downside to be too openly racist. A right wing politician needs to walk the line between dog whistling to the racists to let them know he’s one of them and maintaining enough of a cover that other voters can look the other way and pretend they’re not voting for a racist.

Ask yourself this; Imagine a scenario where a right wing politician is faced with a dilemma. A racist bill has been proposed and is up for a vote. But the bill has gained a lot of negative public attention and voting in favor of it will hurt the politician in an upcoming election.

Does the politician put his principles ahead of his self-interest and vote for the law, knowing that he might be sacrificing his career? Or does he pull away from the law to protect his career, knowing that this will set back the cause of white supremacy?

Tell me there are a lot of right wing politicians who would be willing to sacrifice their own best interests in order to further a cause (even if the cause is racism) and I’ll believe they’re sincere. But I feel most of them would have no problem throwing racism under the bus in order to protect themselves. They would try to put some shade on it in order to maintain as much credibility as they could with the racist supporters - but that’s just an aspect of protecting themselves. When it comes to a choice between principles and self-interest, they will choose self-interest every time.

I see a bit of a false straw man here. I’m not suggesting you’re being disingenuous, just a product of where you live. Which is IIRC an area not quite as full of Southern-Fried race-based RWery as where I live.

You’re essentially suggesting that an RW politician, elected by an RW constituency (and probably a heavily gerrymandered one), should be concerned about what the general public thinks of a bill, not what his constituents think of a bill. Much of the South and of rural America elsewhere are totally on board with racist motivations. And those folks elect suitably racists pols for whom being publicly racist is being self-interested.

For the half-dozen RW senators considering a presidential run in any given year, those folks do have some concern about not entirely revolting the “center” of the national electorate. But even for them, an enthusiastic favorable voter who donates and actually goes to the polls is more beneficial than a disaffected centrist and likely apathetic maybe-voter is harmful.

You may remember GWB’s speechwriters’ pithy phrase about the “casual racism of low expectations”. IMO there’s a lot of that throughout the upper crust of even traditionalist Rs. And traditionalist Ds too. Where they differ is whether they think that is something innate and irremediable, given lip service at best (R) or a problem to be worked on, albeit not real hard nor real effectively (D).

Well, by it’s very nature, racism tends to be a self-serving philosophy, so I’d expect most racists to act in their own self-interest. So, if they really perceived that voting for this bill would hurt them in the next election, I expect they’d vote against it.

But that assumes it will hurt them in the next election. A person can be genuinely racist, and enter politics with the intent of making the government and society more racist, but still be self-aware enough to know that this plan needs to be built up over time. You don’t propose the Final Solution your first year in office, you work your way up to that. But the Final Solution is the goal.

Do you guys feel that these right wing politicians are planning on enacting a Christian theocracy when they have enough power? If not, why assume that they are faking the Christian beliefs they espouse while sincerely holding the racist beliefs they espouse?

I feel that what we see is what we have; these guys are looking for power and that’s all there is. They have no greater agenda. They’re not seeking power in order to achieve some goal; having power is the goal.