Home | About | Donate

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being (Donald Trump)


#1

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being (Donald Trump)

Christian Christensen

If there is one thing that the Trump phenomenon has taught us, it is that, for Trump, it is not easy being white in America. Being white means never-ending guard duty, defending the country against those who would seek to rip apart the bleached fabric of American society.


#2

"They pretend to forget that Trump is riding a train that left the station long before he ever thought of running for office."

Excellent point! It must be remembered that Trump is a master opportunist, as are most parasites. The contrast of the populist tendencies of Bernie and Trump is quite telling. Bernie appealed to the noble sense of justice and our "higher angels", while Trump sought the vitriolic bile that has yet to be eliminated (or at least diminished) from our society. Progress is gradual indeed, but it must be maintained. Trump represents and appeals to the regressive in character. Again, it's lesser evil time, folks. No surprise there.


#3

This is very good for telling the part of the story of media complicity in the rise of Trumpism. But we must add the second, vital component: the fact that the loudest, least educated and most openly racist elements of his support - the elements that most horrify media and which have been most ridiculed by them - have legitimate economic grievances against the ruling class and the elite media that aligned itself with the ruling class for 40 years.

Hatred of media is at the center of Trumpism, because there is a very strong feeling of having been dispossessed by the Fourth Estate. Instead of honestly and forthrightly confronting power on behalf of the general population, media companies have chosen to further integrate themselves into the system of power that has dispossessed all of us (and not just the racist, white Trump base). Journalists decided that it didn't conflict with their professionalism to become members of the same class as the rulers they were supposed to be holding to account. Media executives saw the benefits of this cozying up, and the wheels were set in motion for the selling out of the general population, with the ("I LOVE THE!") poorly educated suffering most.

So yes, large pockets of working class whites have gravitated to erroneous and vile racist narratives of explanation for their downward mobility, narratives that already circulated in the culture long before Trump's cretinous rise. But his spporters hate media for very good reasons, something media members will never understand or accept.


#5

Totally agree Democrats shouldn't be left off any hook. Despise them. I'm voting for Stein too. And yes: Trump's supporters don't really even like him. It's a marriage of convenience, and if he were to get elected he'll dump them in two seconds for a better deal with the oligarchs and their minions awaiting him in Washington

But I'll disagree here: most Americans are "hard left," if the labels describing the policies they favor are stripped away. There's a long and successful history of denigrating leftist thought and destroying radical movements that I'm sure you're well aware of. The basic elements of a decent society are now considered "hard left" as a result.


#7

Please, please, please follow the link at the end of the article about the absolutely clueless female Trump campaign coordinator in Mahoning County, Ohio. If she is representative of the mindset flocking to Donald Trump, this nation is in much more serious trouble than even I imagined.

Both my sons attended Youngstown State University; the youngest, a talented musician, has played with almost anyone and everyone of equal talent there. Consequently my wife and I have attended many shows, with predominantly black musicians and audience. I am comforted by the fact that we - being lilly-white - were welcomed with open arms by the black community in inner Youngstown. The same in Cleveland. At a show in Euclid where my son and one of his closest musician partners (black of course) were hired as back-up brass for a nationally touring act, my wife and I were two of a handful of whites at the show. The (black) audience around us went out of their way to make us feel welcomed and at-ease. It saddens that those niceties are even necessary.

I post this comment to counter the perception that all of white America is as whacked as Mrs. Miller of Mahoning County, and many of us remain committed to the never-ending struggle against racial fear, tribalism, and group-think.

One of the many affiliations of my musician son is with the Youngstown band of many years Soundroctrine. Their latest album Source is well worth hearing, and its long-time leader Jerry B is a Christian Minister and community activist. I am not a Christian, but if more humans - black or white - were like Jerry B, I might reconsider.


#8

For some time now the Republicans have been perceived as the party of the whites and the Democrats perceived as the party of the blacks. Trump won the primary largely because of strong support from white supremacists or white nationalists and Clinton won the primary largely because of strong support from African Americans and to a lesser extent Hispanics. The general election is coming down largely to a contest for votes between non-college educated whites voting for Trump and African Americans, Hispanics, and college-educated whites voting for Clinton. The latter three groups comprise probably a slight majority but who can get the best turnout from their supporters will most likely determine the winner. Those who thought electing a black president was the end of racism in the US have been proven to be totally wrong.


#10

What cannot be ignored is that the core of Trump's supporters is the same demographic that once formed the core of the American labor movement. It was white working men who composed the powerful industrial and mining unions that could shut down the entire economy - rail, shipping, mining, steel, heavy manufacturing. When organized in AFL unions, skilled or semi-skilled white workers could easily be manipulated into a vicious racism just as could their non-union white brothers in segregationist states. But when the same class of workers was organized by the IWW in the 1910s or CIO in the 1930s, they were not as likely to exhibit racist attitudes. When the AFL combined with the CIO in the 1950s, red-baiting union leaders not only spread racism through entire memberships but supervised the dismantling and shipping out of the industries - and personally profited from the sell-out. (See George Meany and his heirs)

These industries are still critical but they have been moved to regions where union organizers can be killed without penalty, from Mexico to China. Trump can attract the descendants of the disenfranchised white working class with his attacks on foreigners while never identifying the real enemy, international billionaires like himself. Bernie Sanders, at least, voiced his support for unions and even walked a picket line. Unions don't enter Hillary's thinking any more than they do Obama's and that - not racism or misogyny - is why the white working class has turned away from them.

Democrats do not seem to remember that straight white male lives matter too, and that's why they have lost this very large segment of the population.


#11

Many of Trump's supporters are racists. Not all of them, of course. But, many are. They may not think they are, but they are. When they cheer everytime Trump trots out another race-baiting dog whistle, that's racist. It should not be excused.

However, the focus should not be on Trump's supporters. It should be on him. He's the one trafficking in the filth. A man who calls for nationwide stop and frisk, aka the police can harass you whenever they want for no reason, isn't someone the hard left should be okay with occupying the Oval Office.


#13

"But I can see why people would support Trump out of desperation for something, anything that is not the establishment. I do not see them as evil or racists or filled with hate, they are just lost and confused and willing to support anyone that will give the "middle finger" to those Elitists who are making all the decisions."

Nicely said and well done. It is also true of so many of Bernie's supporters and why so many of them will refuse to support or vote Hillary in spite of Bernie's endorsement of her. Finally, it is why so many voters are disgusted with and are ignoring the MSM--they too are the establishment who are bleeding all of the US electorate white with their lies and half truths.


#14

"Also, what happened to half the commondreams comment board posters? They've disappeared overnight."

Terminal boredom with the non-McNews that has and continues to dominate the blog and the country.
This political, and civic ennui (pronounced ON-we and it means listless boredom) has gotten to the point that even mass shootings, or cop, or black men being ambushed no longer arouses anything but a brief distracted gaze from the citizens of the US as the media endlessly reports on such incidents.


#15

Trump didn't create and does not sustain this situation. Trump is a mirror more accurately reflecting the hatreds and resentments of the US Caucasian population than any of the rest of the mealy-mouthed opponents he so easily dismissed in primary season.
Now Hillary and the MSM are showing that they are as ignorant as TRump's opponents about the nature of the US population.


#16

....fool me twice..............


#17

Do you ccassionally join them to slap around a Black?


#19

The damndest thing about this article is that, for all its simplicity, this really is the essence of "the Donald Trump experience"! You would think that someone who has risen to be one of the two final candidates for the office of POTUS would be more nuanced & profound, but, sadly, this is what the backlash to the social justice movement & the drive to extend the spoils of White privilege hath wrought!


#20

The above-mentioned person (i. e. Donald Trump) is not somebody that anyone in their right mind(s), regardless of political and social persuasion, let alone ethnicity, race, religion, or color, should be okay with occupying the Oval Office.


#22

If you wanted to honestly disagree with Lrx you would have done so without changing his actual words. Instead you construct your own version of his comment in order to attack it.


#25

"Race Card" "Normal Americans" Racism is so passé. You're really let it all out, Times. So you don't see much problem with Trumpists occasionally sucker punching a Black person? Or should I say you see no problem with a normal American bravely defying race card holders? At least it's good to see you're not at all angry.


#26

Not defending Lrx. He doesn't need any defending. Once in a while I like to point out your habitual distortions, made necessary by your devotion to Trumps defense.


#27

Why does being white - or even uneducated for that matter - sound like an insult to you?


#28

Since racism stems from wealth inequality, aren't we doing our overlords a big favor when we don't concentrate on the latter and fight over the former?