While America is riding a wave of euphoria after booting out Donald Trump, the country remains as divided as before.
Despite almost 400,000 mostly preventable deaths from COVID-19, thousands of children imprisoned in concentration camps, at least 660 children who may never again see their parents, hundreds of asylum seekers who were sexually assaulted, physically abused, and then deported to hide the evidence; hundreds of women whose uteruses were involuntarily/unnecessarily removed and who are now being deported to hide the evidence, a $2 trillion increase in U.S. debt,12.6 million unemployed, 40 million on the brink of eviction, and 12 million who lost access to health care, more than 71 million U.S. citizens voted to keep the current administration in office.
And yet, despite four years of numerous analysts explaining in myriad articles, Twitter threads, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, etc. that racism is their primary reason for supporting him, there are still people insisting we need to “understand” why people vote for white supremacy and that we must not blame them for doing so.
Mike Stanfill, who creates Raging Pencils, went so far as to claim voter fraud in favour of the president because “in no rational universe could that walking bolus of bile and malice garner 71 million votes, 8 million more than in 2016, without significant covert aid.”
The only reason for anyone to not understand why and to not blame the people who subjected BIPOC, LGBA, transgender and two-spirit folx, immigrants, non-Christians, people with disabilities, and others to four years of abject terror is to assuage their own, covert racism and/or white supremacy.
Black voters, Indigenous Americans, and many other people of colour fought attempts to disenfranchise them; risked their lives; lost wages they couldn’t spare; travelled for hundreds of miles; stood for hours in the rain, the heat, the snow; registered thousands of new people to vote, and drove those who had no other way of getting there to the polls. All so they could hold their noses, after eschewing more progressive and representative choices in the primary and vote for the slightly less evil, racist white man who has only marginally better impulse control. Because they knew they couldn’t count on white voters to make the right decision last week.
The problems in this country that feed white supremacy—racism, patriarchy, capitalism, colonialism, misogyny, homomisia, transmisia, Islammisia, xenomisia—are systemic.
“White pundits and talking heads still cannot say White folks voted for racism,” Marley K. said on Sunday. “When you can’t get white people to acknowledge there was no reason on earth to vote for Trump except racism, there’s no way in hell you can address the problem.”
Anyone who is still shaking their head, “reaching out” to racists, trying to understand why people vote for a narcissistic con man, is complicit in white supremacy, whether or not they’re an active participant.
More than 71 million U.S. citizens voted for a treasonous criminal because he allows them to brazenly display their hatred for people who are not straight, cis, white, xtianist, third-generation; to be proud of their homomisia, transmisia, Islammisia, xenomisia, misogyny, and racism; to deny anyone they see as other civil rights, access to medical care, housing, food, bodily autonomy if they’re not cis males; and “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
If “we are going to run on Medicare for All, defund the police, socialised medicine, we’re not going to win,” House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) proclaimed despite at least half a dozen Democratic centrists losing their seats in the House, every single swing seat member who co-sponsored Medicare for All winning re-election and only one of the 93 House co-sponsors of the Green New Deal who ran for re-election losing.
Because white people in the U.S. will forfeit healthcare, retirement, affordable education, childcare, breathable air, drinkable water, etc. rather than allow BIPOC the same benefits. The people who were comfortable with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal because Black people were deliberately excluded, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren consistently vote to impoverish themselves rather than improve the living standards of a single BIPOC.
“White Americans are the rich world’s most hostile, ignorant, violent, cruel, and selfish social group—by a very long way,” Umair Hague explains. “White Americans want America to be a failed state—and that is its fundamental, deep, and longstanding problem.”
So, while liberals wring their hands and shake their heads while they try to understand, while they believe the “long nightmare” (four years isn’t long when your people have been oppressed for four centuries or four millennia) is over because the oligarch was elected instead of the autocrat, the reality is that for anyone who isn’t white, straight, cis, neurotypical, and abled; for all the people who stood in line for hours and hours; for those already at work in Georgia on the runoff elections, the nightmare continues, as it has for centuries.
If the president-elect takes office, he plans to “work with all my heart with the confidence of the whole people, to win the confidence of all of you,” making it clear that he learned nothing from the previous administration in which he served as vice president about what happens when you put bi-partisanship over getting things done.
He refuses to back programs that eliminate insurance companies as arbitrators over who gets access to health care; has given only lukewarm support to the Green New Deal, which although it might have been meaningful a few years ago, now is in itself inadequate; will do nothing to stop police from murdering BIPOC; and has made it clear he has no intention of mitigating a Supreme Court poised to reverse Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges. The latter is despite the fact that the vast majority of the people who live in this country approve of both women’s bodily autonomy and marriage equality, there’s no restriction in the U.S. Constitution on the number of SCOTUS judges; and five of the nine justices were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote and confirmed by a senate representing fewer than half the people in the U.S.
The protests will continue despite whoever is in the White House, because the occupant doesn’t really matter to those who are poor, houseless, hungry, BIPOC, LGBTQ2S, immigrant, non-christian, differently abled, neurodivergent, etc. (and it’s no coincidence that many of those categories overlap).
I am not alone in the belief that 400 years of white supremacy, genocide, colonialism, never-ending wars, planetary destruction, unfettered exploitative capitalism, patriarchy, and enslavement/murder of BIPOC is enough.
The coup started June 1 when the president ordered the U.S. military to attack civilians exercising their First Amendment rights. Defense Secretary Mark Esper had no problem with that, although he apparently drew a line in the shifting sands wide enough to get himself fired Monday, paving the way for someone with even fewer scruples. Also on Monday, Richard Pilger, the director of the Department of Justice’s elections crime branch, stepped aside after Attorney General William Barr—who has actively been trying to suppress dissent for the past six months by arresting protesters on trumped-up (pun intended) federal charges—released a memo making it clear he intends to have the DOJ interfere in the election results. The second U.S. Civil War is already in progress.
Older Black voters who consistently pull the U.S. back from the brink of self-destruction are tired and dying. And the younger ones, who are in the streets now, see no reason to continue the colonialist wars of aggression, extraordinary resource theft, and oppressive racist systems that the rest of the world learns from (e.g., German Nazis).
The reality is that this is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a United States. It’s a bunch of very different states with very different values, and with many value differences within individual states.
The reality is that this is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a United States. It’s a bunch of very different states with very different values, and with many value differences within individual states. The GOP, unsatisfied just controlling a bunch of states where not many people live, has been working for decades to force the rest of us to fall into line with its colonialist, patriarchal vision of American circa 1784.
None of this started with the current White House occupant and it won’t end if/when he’s removed from power. The slaughter/incarceration of BIPOC didn’t pause under the previous administration. Children were still separated from their parents at the border. The concentration camps that this administration stuffed full were built before this president took office. The Shelby County v. Holder decision gutting the Voting Rights Act is named after the previous administration’s attorney general for a reason…it was handed down in 2013.
The Affordable Care Act didn’t get health care to BIPOC because it was written to appease insurance companies and then eviscerated by various states. So BIPOC are dying in far greater numbers from COVID because they don’t have access to medical care and because even if they have insurance they’re turned away from hospitals and their symptoms ignored. (Did no one else notice the not-so-subtle shift in the administration’s attitude toward the virus when the numbers came out that more BIPOC were dying than white folks?)
People in the U.S. are houseless. They are starving. The police are beating and murdering them. They are dying for lack of medical care. In much of the world, people are drowning because of climate change the U.S. and its fossil fuels companies caused. And the president-elect will not do one damn thing to change any of that.
The biggest difference if he is able to boot the current occupant from the White House? Liberals will blithely brush off their hands as if they had accomplished something when all they did was put some crazy glue on the massive crack opening in the dam.