2009

Where Have You Been? Welcome Back!

I am flabbergasted, and I don’t flabbergast easily.

It’s probably because I am a white liberal, but I am amazed at how many of my fellow white liberals are screaming that they are now worried that the election of Donald Trump “will embolden” white nationalists and other white racists to do unspeakable things to people of color. Someone told me that the other day, and I have since read roughly the same sentiment in several professional left outlets, as well as all over my social media feeds.

Are you kidding me? What country have you been living in?

The election of the real instigator of white racism and nationalism was elected in 2008. Did you not witness the rise of the Tea Party and its overt racism? For eight years, the entire GOP has targeted President Obama and the rank-and-file Republican voters have been shouting about “taking our country back” for eight solid years. Who do you imagine they wanted to take the country back from?

For eight solid years, there have been regular protests against Obama’s mere presence in the White House, and white teabaggers have sported signs like this one in a city with a population that is roughly 60 percent Black:

obama-witchdoctor-muck

Call me crazy, but that seems pretty “emboldened” already. And that sign was at a Tea Party protest in early 2009, while Obama was fixing the Republicans’ economic mess and trying to give us health insurance. Do you think a white president would ever have to endure a congresscritter yelling at him at the State of the Union? For that matter, isn’t declaring racism dead because we elected a Black president a bit of a “bold” move?

This isn’t new shit, it’s been going on for years. I don’t know why this surprises anyone who is seemingly paying attention. The Republican Party has been actively recruiting racists since Richard Nixon devised his “Southern Strategy before 1968, when the GOP decided that it would rather win than stand for something. Many of the oldest racists are dying off, but when a radical group faces what they perceive as a threat, they don’t respond rationally, they yell louder. That’s what you’re seeing now; you’re seeing a dying breed yelling louder so they can be heard.

What do you white liberals think the “Black Lives Matter” movement is about, anyway? Police departments all over the country are populated with racists who seem to think that stopping black people for no reason is quite alright and that killing unarmed black men with impunity is somehow their right because they’re scared. Hell, folks, damn near the entire white population of the United States becomes apoplectic when a group of more than two Black people walks in our direction. Hell, folks; white rednecks have been walking through Target with AR-15’s strapped to themselves and daring anyone to stop them; that’s not already “emboldened”? Republicans have actually been calling for teachers in schools to be armed to the teeth because they don’t want to prevent white people from getting as many guns as they can afford, to fend off the hordes of “others” who are apparently planning to attack them at some point. That’s not “emboldened”?

Yes, in the immediate aftermath of the election, there has been a spate of reported hate crimes. According to some breathless reports, it’s worse than it was right after 9/11. That’s bad, to be sure, and law enforcement needs to do its job and crack down on that shit. But if you think this just started because we allowed Donald Trump to be elected president, you need to wake up to what People of Color have known for years. This is a white country and they have been dealing with bold white people all their lives. If you think this is changing, that’s your white privilege speaking.

Donald Trump adopted white nationalist and racist positions because he knew that would help him win. He didn’t invent this shit, he just used what had been there for years.

4 comments

  1. This specific dynamic has been playing out for at least eight months.

    Half of the Left has been warning that a Trump Presidency – coupled with Republican control of the Supreme Court and both Houses of Congress – would be an unimaginably horrible disaster so we all need to pull together and elect the winner of our primary.

    The other half of the Left has been sneering that “you are just trying to scare us into voting for the monster, Hillary” and jockeying for maximum advantage after the victory that they thought inevitable – even as they hooted and flung feces at everyone (on the Left) who they didn’t like.

    So now they are horrified because Trump is going to be President and they can see that Trump’s alt-right goons are coming for them, first, but there’s not a lot that the Democrats can do to protect them.

    So there have been a great many self pitying whines about hippie punching and how the Democrats hate them because they are leftists. Well, no. The Reform Left and the rest of the Democrats are tired of the Radical Left because of their history of petulant and self destructive behavior that is responsible for a string of seriously damaging losses in election cycles that we really should have won.

    So I will say it again. Most of us agree that the Republicans are serious bad guys – although Bernie has been making squishy sounds since the election about how admirable Trump was in pandering to the economic anxiety of the racist white guy working class – so the deep struggle within the Party is whether to destroy the Republicans first and then hash out the direction of the Left or to destroy the Democrats first and close ranks for the final apocalypse against the Right.

    Which side are you on? That’s the only question, that has always been the only question.

  2. I know you are correct about this,but we have usually had a bit if a buffer, as inBush stNding there denying the problem,and swearing it was all equal and good. DRUMPF makes no motions of okayness. He is proud and loud about the team of bigots he is gathering.

  3. I have to admit, I prayed this would not happen but knew the likelihood had every possibility. Living in California it may have seemed to some unlikely, but with relatives in red northern part of the state and Oregon, it revolved around guns and too dumb to listen. Great article, Thanks.

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