Wednesday, November 25, 2020

White Supremacy is the Heart of the American Social Contract (1)

 The American election November 3rd showed a massive increase in votes for Donald Trump and Republicans, rather than a ‘Blue Wave’ that wiped them out. Immediately my FB news feed and email were full of articles dissecting who or why. Actually, these posts began in 2016 when he won the first time. I have some 22 pages of notes cut and pasted from articles, (along with graphics that I will include in this blog post).

Why should an ex-pat Canadian living in Ukraine care about such things? As a friend of mine in Panama said many years ago, the whole world should vote for the American president because America affects the whole world. And when America is on the verge of going Fascist had Trump won a second term, it is rather terrifying. Especially when that fascism is creeping into Canada. In a recent Maclean’s survey some 16% of Canadians would have voted for Trump (32% in Alberta) and we have Trump wannabees in Ontario and Alberta already as well as a national party that reflects Trumpian/Republican values. And if you don’t believe me read the FB comments after any Maclean’s or Globe and Mail article dealing with First Nations or racism in general.

American political historian Dr. Heather Cox Richardson’s (HCR) books West from Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America after the Civil War (finished reading) and How the South Won the Civil War (still reading) supplied a great deal of the historical background. The books, along with her Letters from an American and her twice weekly Q&A/History presentations on Facebook/YouTube helped me make sense of what was happening.

HCR makes is clear in her books that White Supremacy was the guiding principle from the founding of America. While all men were created equal, as George Orwell pointed out, some were more equal than others.  The racial order is White, Asian, Latino, Black, and Indigenous. The ‘new’ Republican Party (GOP) came into its own when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act and tasked itself with maintaining that hierarchy.

They brought back the old Southern Democrat trope about White males being hardworking producers and Blacks being lazy just wanting government programs that sucked tax dollars and then updated it to include all Brown and Black people, unions, feminists, immigrants, and refugees.

The majority of Whites support that ideology (Figure 1). No Democratic presidential candidate since 1976 when they started to keep track, has won a majority of White votes. From 1976 to 2012, White voters split 55:41 for Republican presidential candidates. White voters split 58:37 for Trump in 2016 and 57:42 for Trump in 2020, so from 1976 to 2020 White voters averaged 55% Republican. Even Bill Clinton could not get a majority of White voters when Ross Perot split the Republican vote.

Figure 1

In 2016 in every state, non-whites voted overwhelmingly Democrat, while White voters voted Democrat in 15 states and DC (Figure 2). If there is a non-white vs white voter map for 2020, I have not been able to find it. The Democrats have for too long comforted themselves by saying the old white voters are dying off and will be outnumbered by non-whites by 2050 (Figure 3). People do not give up power that easily and have doubled down on disenfranchising Black and Brown voters. Republicans will go totally fascist before they will give up the power of Whiteness.

Figure 2


Figure 3

6 comments:

  1. Oh, I believe what you say about the creeping Trumpism in Canada, with all the racism, sexism, homophobia and other hateful/harmful attitudes that come with it. I live in Alberta.

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  2. Debra, Alberta is close to becoming the Mississippi of the North

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  3. Those statistics only provide evidence for what I've always suspected... along with what I hear as being at the Heart of Fear from many White people. I can't tell you how many times appealing to Notion that they are "Being Replaced" terrifies the shit out of many. Nobody is being replaced just because equality and privilege are expanding to include those previously denied either. Yet, yes, it would definitely eliminate the Superiority Complex wouldn't it, if all Non-Whites, Women and LGBTQ peoples were on equal standing... and apparently that scares the fuck out of about 70 Million Americans still. I didn't know Canada was having similar issues, but then, I only visited once many Years ago. I know in Europe, as their Societies are becoming more blended, they're experiencing a lot of the same Issues... and form opinions about people not exactly like yourself if you've resisted having any exposure to them at all to form a more accurate opinion not based on age old tropes and stereotypes that are often completely exaggerated or made up.

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  4. Bohemian, fear of equality, fear of losing their white privilege has driven whites of all nations to pushback against anyone not just like them. Tribalism comes in all flavours.

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