Zero-sum white supremacy

So, I was just going to do a short post linking to this chart from a recent Pew survey and highlighting utter delusion of Republicans when it comes to the reality of life in America:

I suppose you could make the case that “everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed” but not using definitions of”everyone” “equal” “opportunity” or “succeed” that I’m familiar with.  And if you think the rights of all people are equally respected, you presumably get all your news from Fox.

Anyway, I think this dovetails very nicely with a Salon article by Chauncey Devega my wife pointed out to me which analyzes Republican racial attitudes in a zero sum perspective:

Against all facts and evidence, matters have become so absurd in the age of Donald Trump that almost half of white Americans actually believe that they are more likely to be victims of racism than are black and brown people.  Moreover, Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s voters are so drunk on white victimology that they think that it is white people and not nonwhites who are the “real victims” of racial discrimination in America.

All of these delusions revolve around a basic contradiction: Many white Americans have convinced themselves that black and brown people exaggerate, are too sensitive, and outright lie about their experiences as victims of racism and white privilege. Yet, this racism — which according to the white gaze does not really exist except in extreme forms such as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis — somehow does exist but manifests itself in the form of so-called “reverse racism” against white people… [emphases mine]

In the United States, black Americans and other people of color have only wanted full and equal rights with white Americans. For example, from the Civil War to the great experiment in democracy that was the Reconstruction, black Americans worked very hard to expand opportunities for all people, including poor and working class whites. This dynamic continues into the present where public opinion polls show that black and brown Americans consistently support policies which would expand the social safety net, civil rights and economic justice and opportunity for the average American — on both sides of the color line. Black and brown people are also on the frontlines of saving American democracy from the fascism and authoritarianism of Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Black (and brown) Americans, as a group, have never sought to retaliate against white Americans — even when such an act and desire would have been perfectly reasonable, just and yes, moral. But there are millions of white Americans in Trump’s camp, and also outside of it, who are terrified that with increasing racial and ethnic diversity they will be victims of racially-motivated revenge and violence. This makes these millions of white voters easily manipulated by racist demagogues who use political sadism to stab at the worst parts of human nature. In response, it will require a united front of black and brown and white folks to save the United States from Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s fascist and authoritarian campaign against democracy. Unfortunately, too many white Americans would rather live under an authoritarian regime that supposedly empowers white people like them than a real democracy which provides equal opportunities for all people.

Now, of course this is not all Republicans and Trump supporters.  But, the evidence is clear that a distressingly high number of them are truly animated by racial animus and literally delusional racial thinking.  And our country is so much the worse for it.  And for those other Republicans, they should suck it up and vote for Democrats until their party actually abandons authoritarianism and white ethnocentrism.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to Zero-sum white supremacy

  1. Mika says:

    Sounds familiar.

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