We’re Stuck With White People

Illustration for article titled We’re Stuck With White People
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In the weeks before the midterm elections, America was rocked by three separate acts of domestic terrorism. One, which took place in my hometown, was the deadliest act of anti-semitism in American history. Another was the biggest mass assassination attempt in American history. And then there was the killing of two black people in a grocery store in Kentucky—a hate crime that undoubtedly would have had an even larger death toll had the suspect been successful in attempting to enter a black church moments earlier.

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Each of these terrorists are white men with politics aligned with the rhetoric and policies of the president, and at least two of them were directly influenced by the president and the president’s myriad satellites. Perhaps you can not blame Donald Trump for the evil committed by his most extreme supporters—you can and should, of course, but perhaps you can’t—but at the very least, you can say that his words and acts and status and position communicate a community to said extremists. They are, after all, very fine people, too.

And it’s because of this—well, this and 500 or so years worth of reasons too boundless and amorphous to list today—that I just can’t feel the optimism that I’ve been told I should feel about the Democrats winning back the House. Of course, I’m happy for all of the Ayanna Pressleys and Sharice Davids’ and the rest of the numerous firsts who’ll be representing us and fighting for us. For this I am thankful. For this I am grateful. Also, just because I don’t feel the optimism doesn’t mean I don’t see it. I do. It’s there. I can see, smell, and taste it, as much as you can see, smell, and taste something so intangible.

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But I don’t feel it. Which means I don’t buy it. Which means I don’t believe it. Because what happened in Pittsburgh and in Kentucky and with the mail bombs should have torpedoed the entire Republican Party. It should have crashed Donald Trump’s entire foundation. It should have been a disaster for them, for Americans to be killed so close to an election by men merely following their leader. But it wasn’t. And if that didn’t convince the tens of millions of Americans who voted red last night—knowing that a red vote is a vote for terror and hate—to perhaps just reconsider, what would?

To be fair, I’m not devoid of optimism. The source of it exists in my home and in my family and in the people who’ve become my family and in God and in black people. (And by “black people” I mean “the black people who love and value black women and girls.”) But having political optimism, in America, means possessing an optimism that white people, collectively, will choose the rightest thing instead of the whitest thing. Which, these days, sounds less optimistic and more insane.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for GQ.com, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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DISCUSSION

jd02121
Nunna Yorz - MAGA *Now with less presidential immunity!

I feel the same way. More than the Dems’ victories yesterday, I think the real winner was racism. The southern strategy is still working. Too many white people are either racist or apathetic toward racism, especially poor whites. All of the racist attacks that were made, all of the ads that were ran, and the fact that none of the republican candidates did anything to push back or even distance themselves from their racist supporters speaks volumes.

You could take 100 low income republican voters from FL or GA, and ask them why they voted against Gillum and Abrams and none of them will be able to say two things about the actual issues they ran on. Instead they’ll quote tired party talking points, like calling them “open-border, welfare-lovin’ libruls.” Then if you ask them whether they believe Abrams is a flag-burner, or Gillum is a thief, they’ll probably be able to talk for hours. That’s the level our politics have sunk to.

This is also where the “Mainstream Media”TM fails us because they play into this crap, and the people who watch them follow their narrative. The news anchors don’t discuss the issues people are campaigning on. They talk about personal attacks, and how people ‘feel.’ This gets low information voters riled up and then they go vote, driven by feelings not facts. Its a fact that every ethnic group in the US mostly votes to the left. Only the majority of white people consistently vote republican. The party leadership knows how to keep the low income whites voting for them. Its like Lyndon Johnson said:

“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

They don’t realize that in the eyes of the oppressors they might as well be niggas too. I take heart in the fact that the time is coming when white people will no longer be the majority.