Friday, November 11, 2016

Racists, misogynists, and homophobes voted for Trump.

The sooner people realize that it's not blue vs. red but rich vs. poor, 
elitist vs. common man, the better off we'll be.

But not all Trump supporters are, as such.

If the headline were true, then everyone who voted for Obama (which I did in 2008, but not in 2012) would own his bombing seven countries, as well as the deaths of innocent women and children standing in drone bomb radius proximity to the suspected or "pre"-terrorists, his lack of will to get behind a public healthcare option when he had a Congressional majority in 2009-10, his "most transparent administration ever", and so on.  I reject that, and ultimately over the course of the years since have been forced to reject the Democratic Party for failing to represent me and my interests adequately.  That rejection by itself invalidates the premise of calling everyone who supported Trump a racist, which, as careful people already know, is false.

Calling them all racists is almost as bad as cheering on the protests of a legitimate election outcome when, if Clinton had won and the Trumpkins were in the streets ... you would be denouncing such as fascist and undemocratic.  But nobody in this space has accused the Hillbots of using logic effectively over the past 18 months.

An associated problem is how we are lately defining 'racist'.  Here, this explains that.

As we confront our nation’s election of a man who dwells blithely in stereotype and caricature, many of us are wondering what we are to do as responsible citizens faced with what many of us regard as a political and moral catastrophe. One thing someone opposed to Donald Trump’s unenlightened, “mean boy” perspective on women, nonwhites, the disabled, Muslims, and others might consider doing is to avoid imitating him.

It may seem perhaps the least likely thing an anti-Trumpian would do, but there’s a word we might consider tempering our usage of in the coming years, given that the way we use it opens us to certain charges involving kettles and the color black. I refer to the word “racist.”

The Martian anthropologist would recognize no difference between the way those accused of being witches were treated in 17th-century Salem, Mass., and the way many innocent people are being accused of “racism” today. Those appalled by the way people were tarred with the Communist label in the 1940s and 1950s must recognize that America has blundered into the same censorious mob mentality in assailing as “racists” just recently, people such as Ellen DeGeneres — for Photoshopping herself riding on Jamaican gold medal sprinter Usain Bolt’s back in celebration of his win — and Hillary Clinton — for referring to the black men terrorizing poor black neighborhoods as “superpredators” in describing plans for protecting people in those neighborhoods from such crime.

Or, many of us have for days been furiously dismissing Trump’s victory as the action of “racists.” However, many of the people who voted for Trump did so for populist reasons, amid which to them, Trump’s take on black people and women was unseemly, but still less of a priority than to most who voted for Hillary Clinton. Regret this though one may, do all of these people deserve to be casually tarred with the same “racist” label that we appropriately apply to David Duke and Donald Sterling?

The way we use the word “racism” has become so imprecise, abusive, and even antithetical to genuine activism that change is worth addressing. More to the point, it widens the cultural divide between the elites and the people too often breezily termed the ones “out there.”

Read on here, please, for the definition and the detours from the definition's application.

However, to understand that racism is real is not to pretend that humans will ever be perfect. If there is a way to eliminate implicit bias entirely, there are no studies showing that the way to do it is to tar and feather anyone displaying the slightest sign of any kind of insensitivity on the Internet for weeks. This new practice is more about self-congratulation than change, turning what began as an unprecedentedly mature understanding of the nature of racism into a grown-up version of tattletale-ing and cops and robbers. What happened to simply noting civilly that someone has made a mistake?

I also question another usage — take a deep breath — the hallowed term “societal racism.”

Read on for the associated "problematic habits of mind".

This can only play a part in the vague but pervasive notion nowadays that part of activism on behalf of people who need concrete assistance is primly patrolling people’s personal racist sentiments. We, as it were, think we must teach “society” not to be “a racist.” Thus it is thought more interesting to teach whites to acknowledge their “privilege” than to espouse reading programs that have been proven effective in teaching (black) kids how to read. Thus the last celebrity caught on tape saying something tacky about black people, because they have a face to hate on, is more interesting than answering poor women’s calls for easy access to long-acting reversible contraception in order to be able to plan when to have children. The war on drugs has been ruining black lives for decades — but only attracts serious attention from black activists when Michelle Alexander phrases it as “The New Jim Crow,” putting a Bull Connor face on it.

Read on for 'why nobody wants to talk about racism'.  Bold emphasis is mine.

The idea that America “doesn’t talk about” racism is absurd, and is actually a euphemism from people who feel that too few Americans talk about racism in what they would consider the right way. That is, they worry that not enough Americans consider racism to be a definitive obstacle to black advancement, and that too many are weary of people’s broaching the issue and dismiss it as unnecessarily “stirring that stuff up.”

To parse this, however, as “Nobody wants to talk about race” channels a kind of smugness. It implies that the people “out there” are actually closing their ears to any discussion at all of race and racism as if it were roughly 1947. This is unfair to a great many people who don’t deserve to be labeled Cro-Magnons for not agreeing with The Nation’s take on race, and also lends a portrait of America that sacrifices empiricism for self-congratulation. We can do better.

In our moment, my comments will elicit from many the question as to whether I consider Donald Trump a racist. The answer is yes — his feigning lack of familiarity with the opinions of David Duke and his explicit statements about black people’s purported laziness decide the case rather conclusively for me, and I am revolted that he will be our president for this and countless other reasons. However, the problem is treating Ellen DeGeneres, Hillary Clinton, or even Trump voters as if they deserve being discussed in the same vein as he does.

They don’t, and only the mission creep the word racism has undergone lends any impression otherwise. Meanwhile, the melodramatic quality in designating well-meaning people who slipped up a bit as “racists” is clear to most observers, and it dulls their receptiveness to genuine, serious accusations of bigotry. Rather, “racist” starts to come off as a mere angry bludgeon used by a certain set of people committed to moral condemnation and comfortable with shutting down exchange. A common idea among Blue Americans is that the people “out there” shirk the racist label out of what could only be naïve denial. That happens — but what if a lot of them get weary of being commanded to pretend that Ellen DeGeneres is a bigot?

Social justice is about being honest and outwardly focused. Our language must encourage us in that. The way we currently use the term racism does not.

TL;DR?  Here: Trump is a racist, a misogynist, and a homophobe.  Virtually all racists, misogynists and homophobes voted for him.  And some have been and are now using his upset victory to recruit.  But not all Trump voters are racists, misogynists, and homophobes.

It would be nice to see some stand up publicly and say that; to demonstrate their sincerity with honesty, conviction, and verifiable conduct, but in the meantime Clinton supporters should cease the blanket and false condemnation.  They lost an election they should have won on the basis of failures like that.  Why repeat past mistakes?  Until they can own their loss, we're going to keep hearing and seeing things like this.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I hope this is directed at white liberals/progressives. If yall want to appeal to/convert Trump supporters, that's exclusively YOUR work. We don't have time or energy to be disrespected or minimized interpersonally or organizationally by white folks, rich or poor, rightwing or leftwing. Nearly half of the potential electorate didn't vote, and THEY are who the left should prioritize building with and supporting. I honestly cannot even entertain the idea of being more gracious to Trump supporters. I think there's a role for that among white organizers, but I would never tell a brown or black person to change their tone on race at a time like this. If one of the first things you bring up post election is how we use the term "racist" alienates Trump supporters, then you're highly suspect and not likely to be trusted to prioritize brown and black working class interests.