It's The White Supremacy, Stupid Pt. 2
This video by Jonathan Pie (A satirical news character played by British actor Tom Walker) has gone viral and I can see why.
The scary take away from this video and from every pundit on TV is that Hillary lost because "the Left" has been silencing "the Right". That "PC" culture has gotten so oppressive, that people who hold bigoted views voted for President Trump / BREXIT.
This is an incredibly privileged, ill-informed and dangerous view of the world. People didn't vote for Donald Trump because other people called them names. People voted for Donald Trump for one of the worst reasons ever: Selfishness. A selfishness that can only develop if one feels like no matter what a person is saying they will do and how they say they will do it, that something that person offers will benefit them.
Trump ran an incredibly racist campaign. So racist that the KKK and every major White terrorist organization supported him.
Brimelow wasn't wrong. White people "voted their interests" across all political lines. One interest in particular. It's almost as if there was one thing that united White people no matter their gender, income, class or persuasion...
If only there was a term for White ppl giving other White ppl the benefit of the doubt, no matter how racist another White person was being...almost as if they knew that persons racism (or racist policies) wouldn't affect them and may even help them...I wonder if there's a term for that too. Hmmm.
Let's go through this and try to figure this one out, shall we folks?
1. "Not everyone is a racist or sexist". This is the epitome of not understanding structural / systemic racism and sexism. If you voted to give someone power that enables racism and sexism (Trump's platform does both), it doesn't matter if you, personally aren't "racist or sexist". You just voted to give it power. You just enabled it and sided with it systemically. Which is far more dangerous. For everyone and everything.
That thing where Trump is being given the benefit of the doubt to prove that he IS the monster that some say he is, vs say President Obama who had to prove that he ISN'T the monster people say he is? That's called White Privilege.
You can be as not racist / sexist / homophobic as you'd like to think you aren't. You can hug all the trees you pass outside as you'd like, but your vote just sided with people who will enact racist policy (which will lead to violence and people dying) and environmental policy that will give the companies that have been clear cutting and violating our planet for profit unfettered access to continue doing so.
The people that voted for Trump may not go out and burn crosses on people's lawns and piss in the ocean for shits and giggles, but they will make sure every law and legislation protects and encourages people to do those very things.
2. Hillary is terrible, but sexism did indeed play a huge part in people not voting for her. According to not only exit polls, but also surveys that went out before the election to potential "Trump" voters, "hostility towards women" aka sexism, was tracked in 40% of Trump's supporters. This can't be denied.
READ: Hostility toward women is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support 3. This whole thing about having "discussions" with people that are on the fence with racism and sexism is morally bankrupt and is EXACTLY how a Nazi Germany rises. The normalization and smug brushing off of people's ability to hate and that hatred getting rapidly out of control once it hits a tipping point? It's happened before.
Those chants of "give him a chance", "he couldn't possibly govern like that once he gets in"? People said the same thing about the Nazi's then too.
And in case you think I'm being hyperbolic, Trump's appointing of Steve Bannon (an avowed White Nationalist) as the 2nd most powerful person in Trump's White House drew this round of praise from the leader of The AMERICAN NAZI PARTY
Of course, you shouldn't be surprised if you know who Steve Bannon is, because well, he runs Breitbart and published this lede on Saturday.
Like, were we not paying attention in the 40, 50s and 60s? Did we not forget there was this thing called the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade where racism justified treating other human beings like animals? Do we REALLY need to "figure out" where these people are coming from? Sometimes there are moral absolutes. Racism is bad (and anything that supports racism like White Supremacy and White Privilege) and should never be entertained is one of them in my book.
Already everyone from public figures in the media to politicians have moved the goal posts arguing that instead of fighting against the xenophobia Trump ran with, that we should embrace it.
i. IF it's not "racism and sexism", but about "economic anxiety" and people being forgotten, then the logic is if people are in economically depressed states, then it's ok to act like shitty people. This is a morally bankrupt argument if I ever heard one. You can't get anymore "economically depressed" than Black people in the United States. Every single fact and social statistic bears this out.
Anecdotally, the fact that after Trump's election, people weren't marching on Wall St or attacking bankers and anyone in a suit and tie in financial districts, city halls or state legislatures (you know, the people that are actually responsible for world markets, the economy, JOBS, etc), but their fellow citizens who look differently than them, speaks volumes.
It's gotten to the point already where a friend of mine's sister was attacked a couple nights ago in a restaurant in the States because "BITCHES like her are taking jobs from deserving Americans". She's a White woman. From Canada.
ii. This talk of "understanding" where people who embrace / ignore racism and sexism is really calling for it's normalization. Again, it's ahistorical and factually incorrect, not to mention morally bankrupt to say "hey, I know you're in a tough position economically, so you're probably feeling really frustrated and left out, so it's cool to hate women and minorities, even though they aren't the ones in power that are responsible for our shitty state of affairs".
You're basically saying it's cool if the husband with a shitty job and too many bills comes home and beats his wife, because "economic anxiety". You are normalizing and justifying something that should never happen no matter what. That's how the "Banality Of Evil" takes hold. It's a concept that says "evil" isn't the sole domain of fanatics nor sociopaths. That evil is not inherent solely in "Monsters" but in "Man". That all it takes is for people to overlook evil acts for their own selfish motivations (see: "economic anxiety", "change") before that evil becomes unstoppable and those people become unrecognizable. This was in regards to the trial of Adolff Eichmann. A Nazi war criminal who was so wholely unremarkable and ordinary in every sense, that it would be unconceivable to imagine him as a Nazi monster. But he was.
All of this is to say, we are at the same point in history, where millions of "good" people overlooked monstrous acts and words, giving it "the benefit of the doubt" for their own selfish motivations. This is exactly how people, families and nations end up embracing abuses that should never be embraced.
Which leads me to my final point on this particular subject matter: White Supremacy. Trump's victory has been hailed as a loud clapback by the White Working Class™ who has been "ignored", "not heard" & "forgotten".
"The White man is back in power". Can someone tell me when White men stopped being in power?
If the "White working class" feels ignored, forgotten and silenced, then they have other (rich and powerful) White people to blame.
iii. White men occupy 91% of the CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies. White men hold 65% of all elected positions in the US. Most of the members of the US congress are worth AT LEAST $1,000,000.00. Needless to say, none of them are "economically anxious / depressed". Yet still, none of these people or what they are doing / the decisions they are making are being attacked or even voted against. In short, the people in charge are White men and they aren't the ones who are being "held accountable" for other White people's "economic anxiety". Not in boardrooms. Not at the ballots and not on the streets. Why? Because this was not about "economic anxiety" or not "being listened to" or even White ppl not having power. It's quite the opposite. White people hold ALL the power, realistically speaking and poor White people who don't feel they are sharing in that power voted for someone who reflected that fear. And that "fear", with any objective look at realist is bullshit. But it worked, because our society is White Supremacist in nature. From what we teach in our history books to what we consider beautiful. And White people benefit from structural White Supremacy more than anyone else. And they want to keep it that way.
READ: The threat of increasing diversity: Why many White Americans support Trump in the 2016 presidential election Trumps campaign, BREXIT, etc were all about Nationalism (which always spikes in times of "economic uncertainty") and people maintaining their "way of life" even if that way of life is profoundly unfair to other people.
The thing the "White Working Class" keeps missing is there is also a Black, Latino, LGBTQ and Female working class as well. Are these historically oppressed groups, in the same economic conditions as they are, not worthy of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" as well?
The answer, ultimately with the election of Trump, was "no". By saying "don't call people names or they will turn into hateful monsters" we are denying common human decency and people having AGENCY over their reactions to valid criticisms. We're also ignoring the fact that "right wing" populist messages have always focused on two things: The elites. And the scapegoats.
By saying "it's economic anxiety" we are saying it's ok to do horrible things if you have a "good enough" reason, when the simple fact of the matter is, in America's history, it's POC and women who have had the greatest "economic anxiety". You want to talk about "not being heard"? My grandmother was 25 years old when Black people were finally allowed to vote.
Instead of people coming out and calling this bullshit what it is, what we get are talking points normalizing White Nationalist speech and reasoning as valid. The facts, admissions and violence that has followed Donald Trump's election bear this out.
This election was NOT about "economic anxiety, being forgotten", etc, because anyone who thinks Mike Pence, who voted against fair pay for women and Trump's Supreme Court Justice nominees who sided with corporations over people would suddenly change course once they were granted more power are sadly mistaken.
Indeed, what this election was about was far more insidious. It was White people feeling threatened by the rising tide of equality, falling hook line and sinker for a racist rope-a-dope.
The White Working class felt under threat from things that aren't there other than a broadening of society. While it's true they were left behind, the fact of the matter is, they were left behind by globalization and technology, not by "multiculturalism ran amok".
The truth of the matter is, the people that Donald Trump demonized in his campaign have always been further behind "the white man" in America no matter what global trends were at play & the people that "left the White man behind" were White men in the form of executives with quarterly bonus and earning marks to hit and White men in the form of politicians (from all the political parties) who accepted their lobbying money.
But in a colour coded, classist society it's alot easier to paint over White greed with Brown faces when the pitch forks come. Even the term "the White working class" is loaded with racist separation. The "white man" is working right along side POC who are feeling the same pain, but theirs is what matters and to hell with everyone else.
They didn't vote to change that system at all for the issues that are causing them pain. For instance: corruption? Donald Trump refuses to put his company in a blind trust. He has conflicts of interest out the ass, including his shares in Dakota Access Pipeline, which as part of his First 100 Days, he has vowed to remove all impediments to. The stock shot up 15% on news of Trump's victory. Donald Trump could have made easily $100,000.00 on that one announcement alone.
In another example, Trump has vowed to only take $1 as his Presidential salary. This sounds noble until you realize he has also vowed to slash the estate tax. If he is worth the $10 Billion he says he is...he just saved himself $4 Billion dollars. I'd give up $1.2 million in salary for that too any day.
Neither of these are new strategies, by the way. Wanna know who else didn't take a salary to show how awesome and dedicated to the cause he was?
I knowwww, I'm cherry picking! It's probably just a coincidence! I mean, it's not like his Chief Strategist and campaign chair is a Nazi...uh...next point!
That whole thing about riling White people up about Brown people, while you enrich yourself? President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke about it decades ago.
UPDATE: To drive this point home, the week before the election people saw MASSIVE increases in their Obamacare Premiums. Some double and triple increases. The reason that happened? The Republican Congress blocked funding, which would have added an extra $2.5 BILLION to the budget for it, allowing premiums to remain low for those same people.
Those same "fiscally conservative" Republicans were totally fine with the program for new F-35 Jets to go $163 BILLION over budget though.
Donald Trump knew exactly what he was doing and who he was appealing to during his campaign. His silence on the thousands of hate crimes in the past 4 days that have been widely documented by people on their social media accounts speaks volumes. He's had time to criticize protestors and the press. But nada on people being sexually assaulted, verbally and physically abused, literally in his name.
A church that was defaced for reaching out to Hispanics post-Trump victory.
This election whether people knew it or not wasn't a backlash against "being called names and not being heard". It was a referendum on White Supremacy and White Privilege. And they won.