Disclaimer: I am in no way defending or caping for poor or working class WHITES. They don’t need my help.
There has been a lot of banter and rhetoric in regards to how Donald Trump became Presidential Elect. (Mind you, the popular vote swayed in Hillary Clinton’s favor by almost 200,000 votes. But, it was the Electoral College that voted for Trump.)
A key talking point in this matter is that many white millennials, who are now ironically leading the protest against the election of Donald Trump, did not show up to vote due to their “Bern or Bust” movement. As well, there is a talking point in regards to how poor and working class white people voted for Donald Trump and that they were the main reason that Trump got into office.
The connotation behind this talking point is that poor and working class white people are ignorant, inherently racist, and misguided. That connotation is a gaslight that is often used by liberal and right media to distract people of color, especially black people.
White people from all classes and areas voted for Donald Trump. If this vote was Whitelash or a strategic move prompted by racism, then it includes all those whites. It is not just the whites in rural and poor areas that are racist. Racism exists in all facades of our white supremacist society. Country bumpkins who can’t formulate a sentence are not the only racists. There are many racists in high places. And it is those high places where a large amount of concern should go towards
We have to move beyond this destructive ideology that states racism is specific only or mostly to those with little or local power or money. Racists and bigots are in office, live in gated communities, work as C.E.O.’s, and help create laws. If this was a vote for white supremacy, then the working class and poor whites were not misguided, ignorant, or the only ones. This is because whites vote with respect to power dynamics and group economics.
This means that even if the poor whites manned the charge for Donald Trump, they knew that they may not directly benefit from their actions. But, they are content with their actions as long as it upholds white supremacy as the national and global standard of power. This is the true trickle down effect. They know Trump is a liar in regards to a lot of the things he said. They know that he may not be able to bring coal mining and manufacturing jobs back from overseas. But it is the power dynamic that they were invested in when they went to vote.
In addition, many poor and working class whites are emboldened and unashamed to behave so openly in regards to expressing their bigotry because it serves as a distraction and baits those of us who are particularly offended by bigotry. We become distracted by their wave flagging and gaslighting. This causes many people of color to miss and disregard the somewhat hidden racist and bigoted behavior that the middle class, lower middle class, upper middle class, and rich whites display. This allows those powerful whites to create laws that not only protect the wave flaggers but dismantles the rights we have used to confront racism on a national level. I.e. The dismantling of the Voting Rights Act.
This is a strategy that has been successful many times and is dangerous towards minorities. It gives focus to the wrong group. Because outside of noise making and proximity, those poor and working class whites offer little to no threat. If minorities could take our focus, but never our eyes, away from this group, we could promote laws and strategies that could protect us from discrimination and harm that affects us economically, physically, and legally.
Poor white people were not the only ones who voted for Trump and are racist bigots.
Do not become distracted.
Racism is everywhere in this white supremacist society.