Saturday, November 26, 2016

THE DRAGON AND THE WEATHER VANE

Very Smart Brothas Headline
I WILL NEVER UNDERESTIMATE WHITE PEOPLE’S NEED TO PRESERVE WHITENESS AGAIN

At least the author of this article admits he under estimated white folks commitment to preserving the power of whiteness. 

A lot of black and brown folk say that they knew this already. But,   unlike this brave writer, they refuse to admit that they did not see the majority of white folks as a formidable political enemy.

More than that a lot of black and brown folk refuse to admit they failed to connect the dots and therefore failed show up for political battle at the polls. 


I don't usually like using war metaphors. It feels too violent and trivializing of the waste of life that is war. But I don't want to be too similar to President Obama in that I sometimes show up to a gun fight with a dull pen knife (as a friend said of President Obama a few weeks back.)  But we are in a war right now. Trump has appointed people that are openly xenophobic and spewers or hate speech.

For people of color (POCs) the 2016 election was never about loving Hillary. It was about stopping Trump.  Black women that showed up showed solidarity, tried to build a wall between Trump black and brown communities.

But a lot of POCs didn't even show up. They didn't even vote.

But now that I've read the VSB article captioned up top, I now realize that a lot of black and brown people didn't know how much danger they were in from the majority of white people in this particular election.

In order to set voting in certain elections as a priority one has to know the difference between weather vane politician, and a dragon politician -- especially when the Dragon has a new name like "alt-Right." 




The weather vanes (democratic or republican) follow opinion polls and move with the wind. Usually they only have the potential to move POCS backward or forward by about 10% As POC progress comes in minuscule movements over long periods of time, we tend to vote for our white democratic weather vanes because those miniscule movements forward lead to the occasional leap forward. 

Dragons, however, are different. Dragons don't blow with the wind. Dragons create wind based on fear of the-other. They breathe fire and inspire people to move. When you see a white dragon with a clear ability to lead on the other side, that's when you start voting self-preservation. That's when you make sure everybody shows up for political battle.


More important than being able to tell the dragon from the weather vane is having the knowledge that the majority of white people, especially poor white people, will vote against their own financial well-being in order to feel like they have the higher status of whiteness. 
Damon Young of VerySmarthBrothas said,
In this election, White people did not vote against their self-interests. They may have voted against self-interest — a few actually — but not their most important one: The preservation of White supremacy. 
Retaining the value of a Whiteness they believed to be increasingly devalued superseded everything else. Including their own livelihoods; their own physical and financial well-beings; their own Christianity; their own agency; their own money; their own educations; their own futures; their own children’s futures, their own country’s legacy; their own country’s status with the rest of the world; their own environment; their own food, air, and water; their own rights; and their own lives.
And please note that I am not including any qualifiers. For working class Whites. Or Whites from rust-belt cities. Or White men. Or White people who didn’t graduate from college. Or rural Whites. Or Midwestern Whites. Or Southern whites. This is on ALL White people. Who are complicit even if they didn’t vote for Trump. Because they obviously haven’t done enough to repudiate the mindsets existing in their families and amongst their friends; possessed by their co-workers and neighbors; shared during private holiday gatherings and public city townhalls. Who have shown us that nothing existing on Earth or Heaven or Hell matters more to them than being White and whichever privileges — real or fabricated; concrete or spiritual — existing as White in America provides.
http://verysmartbrothas.com/i-will-never-underestimate-white-peoples-need-to-preserve-whiteness-again/ 

The paragraph above, highlighted in red, is shockingly naive.

The majority of white men have always voted for white supremacy above all else. Always. And non-feminist white women (the majority of white women) follow them more often than not.

Again, the white poor have been voting to slit their own throats for decades and decades as they look on in worshipful hopefulness at the white rich (who hate them) FOREVER. 
That has never changed. That hasn't changed since slavery.

"Poor white trash" and "Trailer Trash" and "Wife beater" t-shirts are all names I hear from white people about other white people who don't have much, money or education. Yet, poor white people almost worship those that either hate them or try to erase them, pretend they don't exist.   

The thing that was different about this election --after 8 years of white-washed thinking that we were in a post-racial America-- was proximity of the white demographic to no longer being the numerical majority. 
Shrinking White Demographic
White people should no longer be the majority by 2050 (some say 2040)

This bone deep fear or losing power, plus Donald Trump's ability water, nurture, and energize white supremacy in a huge variety of white groups by using a mixture of dog whistle and overt white racism made a lot of white folks decide to vote their white supremacy.


Add to that the fact that white people have been looking at a black president for 8 years and you get a super energized white supremacy. 


So white folks being white didn't surprise me.The things that surprised me were that: 



1) a full two-thirds of white people did NOT vote for Trump. (It was less)
2) the black males vote for Trump at 13% -- and that this was the "good" news for male POCs
3) the latino vote (mostly mexicans) was as bad as it was. I almost fell on the floor when I saw estimates that Latino men (other than Cubans) voted for Trump at a rate of 33%
I thought we (people of color) all knew that we were going to have to jump white supremacy and go to the polls.

And I really did not think educated black people could mistake a weather vane (Hillary) for a white supremacy dragon (Mean Tangerine), and actually think that both were equally threatening to us. 

Again, black women voters rose up to push this back because they did recognized the threat. They did not rise up for love of Hillary. I haven't spoken to a black woman yet who gives a damn about Hillary yet. What black women voters cared about was stopping Trump. 

At least this brother admits he messed up. But I wonder if he knows where he messed up. 

I'm not sure but I'm getting the distinct impression that black and brown folks younger than 30 only know the surface of black and brown history if they know any at all.

White folk jumping up to defend white supremacy at the polls has been consistent for decades. Furthermore, the rogue waves of white supremacy have hit us before, and I'm not talking about during the Civil Rights Movement.

We've seen a white supremacy dragon with an ability to lead before. His name was Ronald Wilson Reagan. Mr. 666 only used a dog whistle to stir up white fears and label black and brown folk degenerates.

And he did it at a time when there was virtually nothing for white people to worry about from a white superiority perspective; they had all the power and were in no danger of losing it any time soon. But Reagan scapegoated black and brown people for what was wrong with the economy-- just like the KKK has done so many times in our country's history. And Ronnie Ray Gun* made white people feel good about themselves as he was doing it. (*- Nickname based on his foreign policy)


This time it's Donald instead of Ronald. And Donald is using a bull horn when there's something real for white folks to be worried about, such as:  



1) a world where they won't be the only ones who can fail to graduate high school and still make a solid middle class living
2) a world where they are out-numbered and can be out-voted routinely.
3) a world where you can no longer feel superior just by being born white even if you don't have a pot to piss in -- just like in the days of slavery. The white poor have always been willing to slit their own throats to feel superior to black and brown. 
That's why Mean Tangerine didn't need half the brain wattage of  a not that bright Reagan in order to be successful. The white supremacy fire was already burning bright before MT came along to pour gasoline on it.

The only thing Ronald and Donald had to be smart enough to do is read white people. 


And, I really thought black and brown children were taught this at the dinner table as they were growing up. I thought black and brown children understood that a huge chunk of white people hide white supremacy from themselves first and others next-- in order to justify reserving or justifying the taking of money, jobs, land or to justify the preservation of white status (a form of power).

Clearly black and brown oral histories are not being passed along at the dinner table. But it needs to start happening again.  We cannot be out-voted again. We can still lose to the majority of white voters. But we don't have to lie down. All of us can show up for political battle and vote.

Black people, women in particular, can try to whittle down that 13% of Black men that voted for Trump

Latinas and Asian women have a bigger job with their men, nearly three times as big a job stopping their men from voting for a racist, sexist, homophobic, islamophobe.

But the most important thing is to get those that didn't vote to see the importance of showing up for battle. 
We can go down fighting in 2020, 2022, 2024, 2026, and 2028 (counting midterm elections too)  Eventually the tide will turn our way.

I don't know how much 2050 will look like South Africa (minority whites ruling the majority black and brown). But we have to try to pull together. Maybe part of that pulling together is creating a new black and brown led party.

The only thing we cannot do is lie down and not have some sort of plan.  We need to have a plan and move collectively because
 open white supremacy mows us down much more quickly than closet white supremacy. And Mean Tangerine has changed the wind. Open white supremacy is on the table as a political bargaining chip now. Republicans, alt-Right within republican ranks, and democrats are likely to try and access that chip, the white race card, in coming elections.

In other words, we're probably not going to have the option to vote for a weather vane and hope for stagnation instead of sliding backwards.

Read your history. Speak to people who have oral history. And then get your minds right. We do not want to be doomed to repeat our history. And repeating our history is exactly what will happen if we let Trump and his likely smarter successor make America white again.