Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Coming Reversion to White Supremacy "When America Was Great"

This was one of the most glaring consistencies of the Trump campaign, one that a lot of people recognized.  Some supported it, some were simply baffled, others were outraged, but seemingly no one not on board with a full on restoration of White Supremacy as it used to be ("When America Was Great") knew or knows how to deal with it.

Most of the physical attacks we're hearing and reading about during the campaign and since the election are over this factor of Trumpism more than anything else.

Claims have been made that because "the protesters" were not in the streets during the campaign, the current nationwide protests against the elevation of Trump to the presidency are hypocritical and invalid. The claim that there were no protests is false and galling, but that's the kind of thing that Trump partisans and loyalists are known for. The Big Lie is one of their favored tactics, and it comes right from The Man himself.

What also comes from him is the unshakable belief in White Supremacy. Sometimes he couches it benignly and more or less kindly, other times, not so much. But essentially all of his threats and insults during the campaign and since have come directly out of a White Supremacist playbook which asserts that White males, particularly those of the Anglo-Saxon and Nordic heritage (hm, he himself, eh?), are innately superior and meant to rule over everyone else. Bow down.

Let's face it, this is how the United States and its colonial predecessors were organized and operated from the get go until very recently.

The dismantling of White Supremacy as the operating philosophy of the American government and society has only been under way since the mid-Sixties. It isn't complete by any means, and I don't think there was ever an intent to completely eliminate White Supremacy. Simply boxing it in as one of a number of notions about superiority and inferiority was thought to be sufficient unto the day. As long as there was an apparent and conscious effort by the government and throughout society to overcome the inherent prejudices of White Supremacy everything would work out fine.

Now we're about to enter into an era of reversion to the way White Supremacy operated as recently as the 1950s and even later.

Let's understand: this is the era Trump came up in, and this the last heyday of unchallenged White Supremacy in this country. Truman's desegregation of the armed forces in 1947 marked the death knell, but it would take another generation of struggle to begin to overcome some of the many, many impediments to the self-determination and self-worth of non-whites in America, a struggle that is by no means complete.

It is a task that has never been fully accomplished, but baby-step by baby-step, progress has been made -- along with a lot of back-sliding.

Trump and his loyalists and cult followers have essentially said, "Throw that all away, it didn't work. Go back to what did work, the way it used to be when America was great."

I've benefited from White Supremacy all my life but I've also felt the sting of White Rage toward any non-conformity. Oh my yes. Conformity is one of the hallmarks of White Supremacy. It's not simply that whites are superior, it is also that whites themselves have to fit into a standard of conformity determined by their Betters or face The Wrath. Any deviation or disobedience can cause untold trouble.

As for Others, ie: the Inferiors according to the tenets of White Supremacy, they essentially only exist to serve the interests of their white overlords. They live on the sufferance of their white overlords. They can be dispatched at will. We see the contemporary operations of this way of thinking in the violent actions of police in and against communities of color. The often arbitrary killing and violence by police against people of color -- and anyone else who is considered to be disobedient or a threat -- is right out of the White Supremacist playbook, what I call the Caucasian Id.

The whole structure of White Supremacy, at least as it's operated in this country, depends on the presence of inferior victims. Order is maintained by declaring and oppressing inferiors. As a rule, those inferiors have no recourse to authority when they are victimized. When that's taken away, as it largely has been in civil society -- though not in the "justice" realm -- disorder is the inevitable result. Without inferiors to oppress, there can be no "order" in a White Supremacist society, at least not the way it works in the United States.

Thus Trump and his cohort have targeted a whole range of non-whites (and women and nonconformist whites) for open oppression. Thus, too, the violence we've seen from Trump loyalists and random white people against people of color and non-conformist whites. It's an integral part of the way White Supremacy works.

People who have a heritage and history of being victims of White Supremacy instinctively recognize what this man and his cohort are setting out to do, where their social theories of superiority and inferiority inevitably lead. It's no mystery at all. We've been there before, we've barely emerged from it, and only partially at that.

Many Trump loyalists and cult followers insist they cannot understand the fear that's gripped targeted individuals and communities. "My goodness! You're overreacting to liberal fearmongering! Nothing has happened to you. Nothing bad will happen to you. Just settle down and go along with the program. You'll be fine."


How many times have victimized communities and individuals been told exactly that? And how many times has it led to assaults and worse against them? And that's exactly what targeted communities and individuals were told during the unpleasantness that swept Europe in the 15 years or so before I was born.

We've been down this road before. Those of us with any critical thinking skills and historical memory at all know where it leads. And those of us who are fighting this reversion to type, if you will,
have no intention to yield to our "superiors" -- not this time.

I think back to the origins of the Progressive Era and how it operated on a White Supremacist foundation. One of the first civic efforts at being "Progressive" was that of Galveston, TX after the devastation of the hurricane of 1900. Essentially the prior governmental operating system was scrapped. An appointed manager and commission was installed to replace the authority of the elected and arguably corrupt city council. Blacks were disenfranchised right off, as they were considered too inferior to make informed decisions. Rule was through the city manager and the commission, the elected representatives were essentially ceremonial. But only whites could vote for them.

If this sounds familiar it should. For Galveston's Progressive revision of civic government became the pattern for Progressive city governments all over the country. Many cities, in fact most, still operate on this system (in most cases without the commission), though in most the wholesale disenfranchisement of Inferiors has been eliminated. Now only certain Inferiors are disenfrachised. (Felons, those without proper ID, blah-blah.) The number of categories that result in disenfranchisement has been expanding recently, however. We saw that at a minimum hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of Americans were prevented from voting in the most recent election due to purges, incomplete voter registration rolls ("We're so sorry, your name isn't on the list. [Smile!]"), onerous ID requirements, and so on. Media mentions the remarkable decline in Democratic voter turn out in this most recent election but few connect that with active voter suppression efforts in exactly those places where largely Democratic voters were functionally denied the ability to cast a vote that would be counted (provisional ballots rarely are.)

In some places, particularly in parts of Michigan, "emergency managers" -- much like Galveston in 1900 -- have been appointed to rule cities in place of elected representatives whose function is reduced to a ceremonial one if they have any function at all. Even black people can still vote for them, but they have no authority. Voters in Michigan rejected this form of rule thumpingly, but it didn't matter. The state imposed it anyway.

The United States is notorious for its system of disparate "justice", arresting, convicting and locking up black and brown men and boys in particular far out of proportion to their commission of crimes and their population. In addition, the United States maintains the most bloated jail and prison system on earth, an abomination in itself by any rational standard.

What I'm saying is that we've been on a path toward the restoration of White Supremacy as it will come to be under Trump for a long time. He isn't innovating much, merely continuing what's been under way since Reagan's presidency.

Democrats have gone along with it for the most part. Sometimes they might slow it down a bit or jigger this or that aspect, but there have been very few objections among the political class of either party, and only muted objections from the rank and file.

It's simply untrue that targeted communities and individuals didn't object to what's been going on during every administration since Reagan's, but as I say, the Big Lie is a consistent factor in the New America being put together right now.

The acceleration of what's been going on since Reagan to restore White Supremacy as it used to be is apparent however. For those on the target list it's terrifying.

Who knows what it will mean or how exactly it will be implemented, but don't expect more than token resistance by the political class.

We're on our own.

No comments:

Post a Comment