Tim Stanley is a respected British conservative journalist. But even he gets his analysis of white supremacists wrong.
He says: “When African-Americans protest, they are expressing their powerlessness, they are punching upwards. White supremacists, by contrast, enjoy power and authority. They are punching downwards out of irrational hate.”
Let me be painfully clear. I am a liberal. I hate racism. I hate all -ism’s. I deplore any political posturing that is mindless and deliberately hurtful or violent.
I am not mindless. I am not stupid. I am not a patsy. I know the power of words. I also know they do not of themselves hurt. And I am not an apologist. An enabler. Or a ‘normalizer.’
I am, however, a realist. I have nothing but admiration for those of my fellow liberals who plant their flags firmly in the sand. Regardless of the consequence.
Who say: we will have nothing to do with any Trump supporters. Period. We do not care about the polls or the focus groups or the talking heads who declare that, if Democrats want to regain power, they need to win over at least some of the less obnoxious Trump voters.
Again, I have nothing but admiration for their Quixotic stance. But. At this point in our nation’s history. I do not casually allow to myself the luxury of risking further encroachment upon our civic affairs, any more than is necessary, of Trump’s poison. Just to maintain an idealistic posture.
I recognize, as indeed does Tim, that not all of of Trump’s supporters are Nazi’s. But they are, almost all of them, scared. And fear is a powerful unifying force.
What we have to do is separate out the different forms of fear. Those who simply fear anyone not like them. Those who simply hate out of fear. As distinct from those who are scared for other reasons. For their children’s education. For their job. For their health care. Those who fear not out of hate, but out of lost hope.
And before we can differentiate. Before we can effectively address those looking for revived hope, as opposed to those simply seeking an outlet for more hate. Before we can do that, we must first accurately identify why the haters hate.
And from my own personal perspective, I will say that, in my opinion, the majority of Nazi’s. Those who march. Those who drive cars into people. Those who spit. Those who curse. Do not do so out of a sense of superiority.
Yes. Whites outnumber blacks in this country. That does not automatically or naturally make them a supremacy. Superior. There are large numbers of whites who go out of their way to be thoroughly mindful of their obligation, their responsibility for and to the rights of all minorities.
The attitude affliction of ‘supremacy,’ on the other hand, is found primarily among those whites who feel they have lost. For generations. Who still harbor hate for what they feel was taken away from them.
The cultural attitude is not about money. It is about … well, culture. A lady (and I choose the term advisedly; a natural lady; of honest southern mountain stock; who wished no-one ill). This lady put it most pungently.
The abolition of slavery may have damaged the South’s economy on paper, she said. But the people who were hurt the most were the Southern white homesteaders. The trash of their day. Those on whom the better-educated, the more well-heeled, always looked down.
The livelihood of many of them was based upon a small holding. Where they did little. Needed less. Because many of those white homesteading families had a slave family, living in an unfurnished woodshed, with no windows, no amenities. A slave family to look after all their needs. Grow the food. Tend to the land. Serve the white family. A white family who were, in turn, able to spend their days doing what ‘white trash’ did and do best – lollygag.
Abolition took that lazy lifestyle away from all of those poor white landholders. And even if later generations have succeeded in bettering themselves. Many of them have never forgotten. Or forgiven.
When the black man (and woman and child) was emancipated, the poor white trash, according to my lady, had no-one else to kick but the dog. Whereas before, every lazy white landholder had a black person they could kick. Now, the freed and aspirational black slaves moved up the social ladder. And the poor white homesteaders were shifted downwards, to the bottom of the social heap.
Far from feeling supreme or superior in their attitude towards blacks, the hate of the white ‘supremacist’ comes from an entrenched and likely irredeemable cultural stigma of inferiority.
I do not say this to excuse. I do not excuse. I utterly and unequivocally condemn any and all white supremacists.
I say this because, until we realize that the hate of white ‘supremacists’ derives not from their perception of their own supremacy, but rather because of their perception that their ‘supremacy’ was taken away from them, then we will never be able to wean away from them those Trump supporters who fear, only because hope has been taken away from them.
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