White Bread America uncorked
There aren’t many places in America where you can go that aren’t dominated by the narrative of s0-called “whites” or Caucasian people. Certainly the current state of political unrest is no safe place to question the dominance of white people over American society. Not when the White People of America uncorked their hidden rage at the voting booth.
Having lived in an area that is classically White Bread America for some time, there are a couple important things to share about the nature of the place.
First, there are always carefully kept beliefs and key denials holding up the supposed virtues of homogenous existence. Second, the brand of Christianity and so-called values at its center are quite typically self-serving at best.
And of course we know that in much of White Bread America, minorities are just that, gatherings of small infiltrative populations or barely present at all. Where minorities are present they are often consigned to jobs in servitude to the White Bread populace.
This is the way many White Bread Americans like their community and nation to work. Like a dish full of wine corks all of the same color, gated communities filled with White Bread residents are testimony to that fact that White Breaders like the homogeny of their chosen environments all too well.
However, there is trouble on the horizon because the actual population of America is changing, and fast. The US Census Bureau projects that by the year 2044, America will be a “majority-minority” nation. This is a deeply unsettling information to residents of White Bread America.
This has ironically happened before. In much of the plantation South, black people actually outnumbered whites. The same could be said of Native Americans when white settlers first crossed the 100th Meridien. The Civil War ostensibly freed the slaves and yet the rage of the entire nation turned toward the “Indians” resulting in genocide of a collection of people that had occupied North American lands for more than 10,000 years.
All it took to accomplish that feat was guns and religion. These are the two ugly tools and dark secrets of dominance for White Bread Americans. And while it’s true that White Bread Americans have gone off to fight wars abroad, it is also true that more Americans have died on home soil from gun violence than all the soldiers that ever died in foreign wars.
There is patent level of guilt and denial at work in all of this. But first let’s look at how White Bread America was originally uncorked.
Fear and Self-Loathing in White Bread America
It’s a fact: Guns have long served as a shield of honor for White Bread America. Guns both won the nation its freedom and were also used to wiped out the natives that once held the land. The fact that the Christian religion was leveraged to justify this loathsome stage in American history is an ugly chapter of White Bread tradition.
An article on the National Humanities Center website neatly summarizes the source of the phrase Manifest Destiny and how it was used to extend the reach and influence of White Bread America:
In 1845, an unsigned article in a popular American journal, a long standing Jacksonian publication, the Democratic Review, issued an unmistakable call for American expansionism. Focusing mainly on bringing the Republic of Texas into the union, it declared that expansion represented “the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.”
Thus a powerful American slogan was born. “Manifest Destiny” became first and foremost a call and justification for an American form of imperialism, and neatly summarized the goals of the Mexican War. It claimed that America had a destiny, manifest, i.e., self-evident, from God to occupy the North American continent south of Canada (it also claimed the right to the Oregon territory including the Canadian portion). “Manifest Destiny” was also clearly a racial doctrine of white supremacy that granted no native American or nonwhite claims to any permanent possession of the lands on the North American continent and justified white American expropriation of Indian lands. (“Manifest Destiny” was also a key slogan deployed in the United States’ imperial ventures in the 1890s and early years of the twentieth century that led to U.S. possession or control of Hawaii and the Philippine Islands.)
Whether White Bread Americans care to admit it or not, there is a deep self-loathing at work in this historical fact. When the very existence of your dominant role in North American culture is based on genocide committed in the name of your religion, how can there not be some level of conflict within your soul?
Concealed Carry: a symbol of guilt?
It is thus telling that so many White Bread Americans seem determined to conceal weapons beneath their clothing. What is the real symbolism behind hiding a weapon on your person? What perceived power and dominance does one sustain from this practice? Are we still a nation of Manifest Destiny yet torn by guilt over the continual rate of violence this belief system engenders?
It is a fact that a great deal of gun violence that takes place in America is black-on-black crime. But rather than quell the fears of white Americans, this merely gives White Bread America even more excuses to arm up “just in case” any of that gun violence turns out to be aimed at whites. It would appear that the old racial fears of the plantation South, where blacks fairly outnumbered whites and were controlled only through violence and domination, have not changed all that much. Concealed Carry is thus a symbol of white empowerment and horrific guilt and fear over the violent and conflicting traditions of our nation.
Fears and Obamanation
That deeply conflicted emotional mindset explains the rampant fear and racial hatred directed toward President Barack Obama, who was responsible for more gun sales to White Bread Americans than any other President in history. The reasons given for this surge in gun sales included the stated belief that Obama would through political will “take our guns away.”
Yet the dirty little secret behind that fear, perhaps so typical of White Bread America, was the fear that Obama’s presence might simultaneously empower blacks with guns to act on the oppression so long suffered under the mantle of White Bread America.
The automatic response among many white gun owners is that these deep emotional conflicts simply do not exist. And to be fair, that is obviously true with many law-abiding gun owners who own guns for personal protection, sport and hunting.
On a website titled AboveTheLaw.com, which prides itself on publishing the opinion of conservative lawyers, author Tamara Tabo asked the question “Why is the NRA so white?” This was one of her conclusions:
“To the best of my knowledge, the NRA has historically had no massive urban outreach program, no overt efforts to make the culture of its organization more palatable to a black, urban population. Hell, I am a white conservative person and Ted Nugent makes me pretty queasy. Allowing aesthetics to dictate so much of a complex debate, though, insults the intelligence and good faith of the debaters.”
The author goes on to query:
“The overwhelming racial singularity of NRA membership confounds me. I don’t see how the promotion of responsible gun ownership is not in the perceived best self-interest of more black Americans. I don’t see how actively encouraging and mobilizing more urban black members is not in the perceived best interest of the NRA and other gun-rights organizations. What am I missing?”
The author asks a legitimate question, but the question “What am I missing?” essentially answers itself. The people who run the NRA 1) either don’t care to serve those populations 2) don’t feel they can trust or rule the general populace of blacks or Latinos that would own guns or 3) don’t want minorities to overrun the NRA with it predominantly white membership.
The NRA is thus a perfect symbol for the dynamic of White Bread America in general. They don’t want any black corks messing up the lily-white control dynamic of the principally white and racially prejudiced makeup of the NRA.
“Stay Out of Our Neighborhood”
Along with Concealed Carry, the purveyors of an armed White Bread America invented laws such as Stand Your Ground that dole out vigilante justice in support of armed enforcement of white or other privilege.
Thanks to the actions of George Zimmerman, who fatally shot Trayvon Martin after stalking him, we all know how easy it is to abuse a law such as Stand Your Ground. That was the same dynamic used to chase Indians all across the American West. These patterns of white anger, fear and violence just keep repeating themselves. Stay out of our neighborhood or we will shoot you.
So Help Me God
This is so the opposite of what real Christian ministry ever called White Americans to do. The message of Jesus to “Turn the other cheek” and “Love your enemies” does not align at all with the ugly acts of genocide toward Native Americans or the fearful, violent manner in which whites have treated blacks from the days of slavery all the way through modern culture, where racist groups such as the KKK still operate and the White Bread candidate for President, Donald Trump, courted that support to gain voters. This was the most poorly kept secret in all the campaign trail.
Trump and his Vice President-elect Michael Pence also less than coyly flirted with the Evangelical Christian voting bloc on promises to install a more “values-based” society. Of course, these “values” amount to little more than a loosely related batch of single-issue topics.
Tops on the list was banning abortion. But it doesn’t stop there. In his role as Governor of Indiana, Michael Pence has helped pass laws discriminating against gays. He has advocated the teaching of creationism in public schools because evolution is “only a theory.” Most significantly, Pence has insinuated the nation would be better off as a theocracy governed by Christian law. This is Manifest Destiny all over again.
They are also the tempting meal of bloody-red political meat to White Bread American voters. This is the voting bloc that patently fears racial, religious and intellectual diversity. After all, the Christian church in America is one of the most segregated dynamics in all of society.
Pence just looks the part of the Great White Reliever. He bears the visage of a determined, somewhat angry white man with his white hear and deep-set eyes. This males him the Dream Candidate for the return of Manifest Destiny and the re-establishment of White Bread America. He is the white-haird, white-skinned So Help Me God Right Arm to Donald Trump’s Make America Great (White) Again run for the presidency.
Self-Denial and Self-Serving
To sum this all up, we can examine a few factual instances where White Bread America exhibits its own base contradiction. For more than a decade I lived in a classic White Bread America town. It’s population was 98% white. The few non-white residents were often the adopted children of couples leveraging their own white guilt over infertility into social acceptance.
This was a largely Christian community. There were no synagogues. No mosques. Mostly Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, Methodist and Episcopal believers.
And yet, the only two movie rental stores that carried adult films were located in that little White Bread Community. I once interviewed the owners of those two stores about their business and they both freely admitted that the porn rentals were responsible for much of the profits their stores enjoyed.
White Bread Religion
I also worked for a prominent newspaper publisher who was known for cheating at golf. He also struck secretive trade deals with all his prime advertisers to score country club memberships, a new vehicle every year and free dance lessons for his daughters, whose photos were featured on the front or back of the newspaper with frightening regularity.
He was once confronted by his own employees over these antics and more, including a corporate message that used a scriptural tone that a great many people in the organization found offensive. “These people can’t question me,” he complained in a meeting. “I go to church every week!”
I happened to attend that church with a group of Lutheran that I was touring through different denominations to expand their world a bit. And during the homily, I was shocked to hear the priest make the statement that one did not have to act on poverty in this world as long as one “felt the tension” between one’s own privilege and the plight of others.
I walked out slack-jawed at the shallowness of that message. It taught me everything I needed to know about why so many s0-called Christian believers behave so selfishly in this world. And why White Bread America can’t seem to come to grips with its own corrupted conscience. There is no accountability. White Bread America is distilled and divested of conscience by its very existence.
And now White Bread America has been uncorked again. We’ll have to see where its poison wine flows this time around.