Monday, July 2, 2018

Listen Up Liberals: Anti-White Discrimination Key to Trump's Election (and Re-Election)

"White anxiety about antiwhite discrimination cuts across party lines. According to a 2016 Pew study, about half of Republicans believe there is a lot or some discrimination against whites, but so do nearly 30% of Democrats. . . . .There is in fact some justification for these feelings of white marginalization - at least among a certain segment of the white population. Poor and working-class whites have among the highest rates of unemployment and addiction. Life expectancy is declining for whites without a high school degree - something true of almost no other demographic, including high school dropouts from other racial groups. Educational prospects for poor white children are extremely bleak. Private tutors and one-thousand dollar SAT courses are completely cost prohibitive to poor or even working-class people - and poor whites don't benefit from affirmative action. Whereas most elite colleges do special outreach for racial minorities, they rarely send scouts to the backwoods of Kentucky. Out of roughly two hundred students in the Yale Law School class of 2019, there appears to be exactly one poor white - or three, if we include students from families living just above the federal poverty line. Administrators have described this class as the 'most diverse' in the school's history.

"It is simply a fact that the 'diversity' policies at the most selective American universities and in some sectors of the economy have had a disparate adverse impact on whites. Relative to their population percentage, working-class whites, and particularly white Christians from conservative states, are often the most underrepresented group at America's elite universities. White employees increasingly feel victimized by prodiversity promotion policies that they see as discriminating against them - and the United States Supreme Court has agreed, striking down as illegal a particularly bald-faced attempt by the city of New Haven, Connecticut, to invalidate promotions for white firefighters in order to promote more minorities.

"While whites generally are still extremely disproportionately represented in the U.S. Senate, the media, and the corporate world, working-class whites are decidedly not. Between 1999 and 2008, only 13 of the 783 members of Congress who served had spent more than a quarter of their adulthood in blue-collar jobs. As political scientist Nick Carnes writes, 'Although women and racial minorities were still underrepresented at the end of the twentieth century, their gains during the postwar period sharply contrasted [with] the stable underrepresentation of working-class people, who made up between 50% and 60% of the nation during the last hundred years but who constituted 2% or less of the legislators who served in each Congress during that time.'

"The result of all this is that working-class whites have among the lowest upward mobility rates in the nation. Not surprisingly, when surveyed about the prospects of children today, whites were overwhelmingly more pessimistic than Latinos and blacks. Just 24 percent of whites believed the next generation would be better off financially or the same as their parents, compared to 49 percent of blacks and 62 percent of Latinos. 

"Beyond their economic anxiety, many whites feel an intense cultural anxiety. America's culture wars are nothing if not a fight for the right to define our national identity - and it's a bitter, race-inflected battle. After BeyonceƩ channeled Black Lives Matter at the 2016 Super Bowl, half the country deified her while the other half accused her of 'cop killer entertainment.' At the 2017 Oscars, the question of whether Best Picture would go to La La Land (a throwback musical that some criticize for 'whitesplaining' jazz) or Moonlight seemed to have massive implications - as did the gaffe that initially gave the award to the former by mistake. White male heroes like John Wayne have given way to the clueless white male, who doesn't even know how racist he is, and is regularly made into television sport (as on Saturday Night Live). For tens of millions of white Americans today, mainstream popular culture displays an un-Christian, minority-glorifying LGBTQ America they can't and don't want to recognize as their country - an America that seems to exclude them, to treat them as the enemy."

------Amy Chua, Political Tribes, Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations

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