Our movements must be anchored by anti-racism, not fall back on whiteness
The election results were surprising because I didn’t think Donald Trump would actually win. But, when I remember the centuries old story of the white elite exploiting white pain and then placing that burden onto communities of color, I understand why Trump rose to power. I should’ve known better that white people would do everything in their power to protect their interests. Those interests include everlasting white supremacy and domination. White people blatantly lied to the pollsters who went out to ask them about who they were voting for. They lied because they knew people would be appalled (overt prejudice is not in fashion anymore) and then went behind the curtain and voted for a fascist who built his political career off dog whistle racism.
They did this because they care about protecting their ability to oppress and dominate at their whim. It’s time to smell the roses. It’s time to get real. People keep talking about neoliberalism is what people voted against. But white people having been voting for racists for decades and before neoliberalism had even arrived. Now, what has happened is that white people are starting to see that they are poor like the rest of us. Can’t afford shit like the rest of us. Dying like the rest of us and this is totally unfair to them. Rather, if anyone is gonna get a piece of the pie picked fresh from oppression, it better be them.
They couldn’t stand to see a black man in office even though he carried out their agenda. Let me repeat that — President Obama carried out an agenda primarily for White America while in office and President Trump will build on this legacy to promote white nationalism. The Democrats are already preparing to sell out communities of color and progressives for crumbs. To hell with gender, to hell with sexuality, to hell with class. They will unite to keep their white settler state alive at any cost.
Today I’m not declaring sadness or helplessness. I’m knowledgeable about these things for a reason. I have access to scant resources for a reason and I choose to use them. I’m not sure what vision I see for the American settler state. I want to run for office. I want to be a champion for the people. But, I also don’t want the labor of 400 years worth of oppression on my back. Somebody has to do it though. It is in moments like this when I feel tired. The weight of it all is crushing and I am human no matter what the world tells you about me. I am not a superhero. What I need is collective action.
I need white people to check their communities. That includes the spectrum from liberal to alt-right. Y’all cheer for Bernie when he tweets that #DemDems didn’t do enough to reach white voters in middle America. He claims the Party didn’t do enough to uplift poor and working class white people. But, everything is for them! The man who is supposedly the grandfather of the progressive movement always talks about the “white working class” before mentioning racial terror, homophobia, transphobia, or islamophobia. As if those who have been the most loyal to the party and are trampled over and punched in the face by white supremacy daily are footnotes.
White people on my newsfeed are exclaiming that they voted for Trump for economic reasons and not because they are racist. In fact, black and brown people including, the forgotten rural folks of color like myself, were abandoned by the white liberal establishment long before. Black people, Brown people, and Native people have been plundered over for 400 plus years and somehow we still didn’t wake up in the morning and vote for a blatant racist, sexist tyrant. We have been dragged through the mud and somehow many of us still keep a vision alive of something beyond our present nightmare.
I won’t be burdened with white tears. We shouldn’t use the election results to center whiteness again either. Rather, white Trump sympathizers need to face the consequences and face the truth. If we are ever going to overturn the hierarchy of race and class in this country, we need to center ourselves and our organizing in anti-racism. Only then can true liberation for all of us follow.