I feel the great fool to have not seen this earlier, years earlier, than now. I mean it is no secret that since LBJ and the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts that the Republican Party has been increasingly reliant on the Southern Strategy appealing to the racists that walk amongst us. Like many of us, I had assumed that the number of those racists was diminishing — maybe you didn’t, I don’t know, so if you didn’t, I’d love to hear about it in the comments, so do tell! I had assumed that within a generation or two that racism would be largely a thing of the past. Oh, for those Halcyon days, amirite?
When Trump won in 2016, I assumed it was because a Black man was uppity enough to have won in 2008 and 2012, and the racists weren’t having none of that, not to mention the misogynists not having anything to do with a wOmAn president. But, it turns out, the vote was stolen… Trump never won any vote or poll before this one that he didn’t cheat at, so don’t think this was his first clean election. It’s like thinking that a rapist’s first rape is their first sexual assault. It ain’t. You work your way up, but those are both topics for other blog posts.
That there are racists among us isn’t what I’m surprised by and ashamed of not having realized. You can go back into the early blog posts and find my analysis of the racist motivations of Trump voters. What I’m ashamed of is not realizing the depth of the commitment to white supremacy and racist oppression that lives deep in the souls of these people. Sitting here tonight, I keep thinking, I shoulda known. I shoulda seen it coming. I’ll walk you through the analysis and see if you think it shoulda been obvious at the end. Comments, okay?
The Potential Loss of White Supremacy Mandates Risk Seeking White People
I base my analysis on the behavioral economics principle of people hate taking risks but will take a risk to avoid a sure loss. The question here is what constitutes a risk and a sure loss?
For the racists among us, the sure loss is losing their dominate white identity. The risk they’re willing to take to avoid the sure loss is destroying the democracy, the country, and the earth because to them, nothing matters more than the lionized, canonized, rationalized white identity.
Until the individual white person with an inner racist — and it is all of us — feels this threat, their inner racist is relatively quiet and not too bothersome. When a dog whistle resonates with that inner racist, the racial animus starts to get active, only it ain’t too loud and direct, it just feels like a nagging worry or fear.
We all know that when people are fearful, they become more conservative including with their votes. See the Virginia suburbs.
We’ve all heard people lament that poor white people continue voting for GQP politicians who enact laws and policies that are against their best interests? The dog whistle resonates with their thinly veiled inner racist. Think about it, these people would rather elect people who will actively hurt them if it means that they’ll hurt Black people more. That is a fucking powerful motivator. Cognitive dissonance plays a role, too, to be sure, but the feeling of threatening their superior white identity is so painful that they will do literally anything to avoid it. Don’t believe that? Consider these little historical nuggets:
These are the same people who fought and died in the Civil War to preserve their “right” to be slavers.
These are the same people who willingly die of #COVID19 rather than… Christ, I don’t know what they think they’re proving by dying of #COVID19, do you? But it is so powerful that it overcomes their sense of self preservation. Hell, these people are even sending their CHILDREN — and no one would ever do anything to hurt their child, right? — to school unvaccinated and unmasked. That’s a fucking powerful motivator.
The risk of losing their white superiority is so frightening that they’ll die and kill their children. Do you really think that Joe Biden giving them a child tax credit will convince them not to vote for the GQP? Do you really think family leave and getting grandma a freaking hearing aid is going to tip the balance towards the Dems?
It took two hundred years for the Medieval Witch Hysteria to pass. TWO HUNDRED FREAKING YEARS! Villages murdered 80% of the women who lived there. They were willing to burn their mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives. Do you really think functional government is going to convince them to give up their racism?
The risk of losing their white superiority is so frightening that they’re willing to become the thing they profess to hate the most, anti-American. They hate liberals for our freedoms. They hate us because we are free to speak our minds and exercise our right to abortion and have affordable healthcare and housing. They hate us because we are free to vote for the candidates of our choice. They hate us because we want Black equality.
The worst part of it is that the white suburban swing voters don’t know that they have this inner racist driving their decision making. They don’t realize that when the GQP candidates are thundering on with their lies about Critical Race Theory or defunding the police or immigrant caravans or Ebola-carrying ISISers coming to behead us all or Corey Booker moving in next door to you or whatever the racist dog whistle de election is, they vote conservative even if it means hurting themselves and the country and the world. But, they do, every election cycle.
Black People Won’t Save Democracy
We often heard in the run up to the 2020 election that Black people would save our democracy, but white people will destroy it. They’ll destroy it because they are too cowardly to confront their inner racist, to do the hard work of challenging their thoughts and beliefs and behaviors.
Not all white people to be sure, but because it is such difficult emotional and cognitive work to challenge those deep-seated reflexive reactions most white people just won’t do it. They’ll pay lip service to it, though. I don’t see color! Afterall, it only means losing the democracy, the climate, and our future to continue avoiding doing the work it would take to save us.
So, you see why I’m feeling a little abashed. It is so obvious. Racists never went anywhere other than under the fridge in the kitchen to hide until the lights went out. I feel foolish for not realizing how deep, even though I wrote about it being part of every white person’s deep culture, racism runs. I foolishly thought that if Democrats demonstrated what a functional government looked like and delivered services, laws, and policies that helped all of us, white people would agree with them and see the contrast with the Republicans who are destroying our government through inaction and voter suppression and nullification laws. Virginia and New Jersey says no. No, they don’t. It’s more important to continue being racist than preserving any aspect of the life as we know it.
Ye Olde Blogge’s Thanksgiving SALE!