06 November, 2016

A popular FB comment of mine

Source post: "It actually goes back to Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act. Johnson was a senator from Texas and a close ally of the phalanx of southern senators that used their immense seniority to protect their states' oppression of black folks at the national level. In these states, for example, the benefits of the GI Bill were available to whites (like my grandfather, who didn't fight and used it to get a bachelor's degree on his way to becoming a "Rev. Dr.") but systematically denied to blacks, who had fought in war. However, when he became President, he supported civil rights through landmark bills such and the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. Per Randall B. Woods:

"LBJ wrapped white America in a moral straight jacket. How could individuals who fervently, continuously, and overwhelmingly identified themselves with a merciful and just God continue to condone racial discrimination, police brutality, and segregation? Where in the Judeo-Christian ethic was there justification for killing young girls in a church in Alabama, denying an equal education to black children, barring fathers and mothers from competing for jobs that would feed and clothe their families? Was Jim Crow to be America's response to "Godless Communism"?"

When Johnson signed the bill, he noted that he had "lost the South for a generation," and that was true. Southern white gradually shifted from democratic to republican politics as the parties realigned themselves, and the "Southern Strategy" employed by the GOP used racism to win the southern states by spreading imagery like the black "welfare queen," though that image wasn't supported by the literature. Of the two parties, democrats pushed against racism more and won the support of black americans. The Congressional Black Caucus is overwhelmingly democratic.

Is that permanent? No. No party is "owed" the vote of any group, but as long as the GOP shelters and supports racism I don't think there will be much support for it from communities of color. This election feels kind of like the hysteria before the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" where people thought the military would fall apart because of homophobia - likewise, we white people need to get over ourselves and realize that immigration and changing demographics are part of the genius of America (all recent American nobel prize winners were immigrants) and that our country's diversity and efforts for inclusion make us the shining city on a hill that we want to be.

It's that racism, that "we want our country back" feeling, that has in part led to Trump. Analysis of voters have found that Trump support is more about race than it is about economics - Trump supporters make more money than groups that supported other GOP candidates. What unites them, or at least some of them, is this narrative from Arlie Russell Hochschild:

"You are patiently standing in the middle of a long line stretching toward the horizon, where the American Dream awaits. But as you wait, you see people cutting in line ahead of you. Many of these line-cutters are black—beneficiaries of affirmative action or welfare. Some are career-driven women pushing into jobs they never had before. Then you see immigrants, Mexicans, Somalis, the Syrian refugees yet to come. As you wait in this unmoving line, you're being asked to feel sorry for them all. You have a good heart. But who is deciding who you should feel compassion for? Then you see President Barack Hussein Obama waving the line-cutters forward. He's on their side. In fact, isn't he a line-cutter too? How did this fatherless black guy pay for Harvard? As you wait your turn, Obama is using the money in your pocket to help the line-cutters. He and his liberal backers have removed the shame from taking. The government has become an instrument for redistributing your money to the undeserving. It's not your government anymore; it's theirs."

The GOP won white votes in large majorities (enough to win in 2000 and 2004) in part through an idea of the American Dream that got most americans to support huge tax cuts that weren't for their benefit (which drove some foolish dem political consultants crazy). Racism is a large force in American political life, especially for older white Americans, and Trump tapped into that. His developments were found to be discriminatory by the Justice Department, multiple times, and he advocated for the death penalty for some young black men who were innocent, the "Central Park Five."

People of color are "saving the republic" because older white America is more comfortable with Trump's fascist tendencies than a (somewhat problematic) woman who supports rights for all Americans, and who respects the constitution. Apparently, some portion of the US has taken in so much hatred and nonsense from talk radio that they believed (or wanted to believe) conspiracies like the birth certificate, because that was more convenient than the idea of a qualified black president. The older white woman that cut my hair last night talked about the birth certificate, even.

Trump is grossly unfit for office (my reasons here:http://willslack.blogspot.com/.../why-i-am-nevertrump...) but white people, as a block, would rather put him in power, and the constitution at risk. That's bananas.

Thanks for reading; I hope this was helpful."

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