It’s well past time for our country to have a serious conversation about systemic privilege.
There are far too many white men out there who are angry about the re-election of Obama for it to be just about the economy or religion. (Note: The economist, a conservative magazine, endorsed Obama, albeit as the lesser of two evils. Many economic experts endorsed Obama. The republicans have stalled a vote on the jobs bill. Romney favors exporting US jobs overseas and has had his hands dirty in that grime. The evidence is harsh and clear on this one.) Per a conversation on Facebook with a high school friend, I agree that there are plenty of Republicans who vote with party lines for various reasons. My point in this post is speaking back to the more vocal part of the party who fan the flames of bigotry and have severe negative and hostile reactions to Obama and the election – many of whom are white men (Limbaugh, Hannity, Boehner, Trump). We all need a good and civil conversation about the issues of racism that are institutional in this country – it’s not about individuals, it’s about the big picture. I can definitely respect someone for voting Republican when they are still aware of the bigger picture issues, even if I don’t agree with their rationale. It’s our duty to speak our minds and challenge one another in rational ways. I have a deep conflict and frustration among those who use divisive rhetoric (often represented on FoxNews) to instill fear and misinformation – again, this was in response to this far right’s reaction to the election. I don’t think it’s fully representative of the whole group – as most generalizations aren’t – it’s just what is “out there” and I think it’s time the Republican party hold them accountable and reel them in.
It is time to talk openly and honestly. It is time to have the courage to admit your/our fears. And it is time to realize that this isn’t a zero-sum game; just because some finally get a bit of opportunity that you’ve had for centuries does not mean that you lost anything. There is enough to go around. I promise.
Those who feel that the white population is “losing power” or that somehow this country is being overtaken with “others” need a real reality check. Please stop blaming your neighbors and minority populations (of any group) and recognize that you’re a pawn to the rich (and Republicans) who are invested in keeping you angry and keeping you underemployed to fan the flames of bigotry. I don’t see these groups talking about a living wage or voting on a jobs bill.