"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Thursday, November 10, 2016

"White people: wake up!"

So, there have been protests against the election of Donald Trump in Austin, Berkeley, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Oakland,  Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.

Which leads me back to this:

Voter turnout in south Texas, reliably Democratic and overwhelmingly Hispanic, didn't go up a jot this time. Experts expected higher turnout because of Trump's offensive and racist comments; turns out, I suspect, people in south Texas are used to that talk, and they need a reason to turn out and vote.

Hillary didn't give it to them. Seems it wasn't enough the other guy was a joke (the standard Democratic line, according to reports now), they needed a reason to vote.

They didn't get it.

Ever hear Michael Moore or Cenk Uygur or Bill Clinton or Susan Sarandon say anything that would motivate those voters? Neither have I.  One of those articles above quotes Michael Moore in attendance at one of the protests.  Nothing he said contradicts the sign that white people need to get it together.


There are, predictably, voices saying we now have to get along with the people who elected Trump.  Well, we don't owe them the back of our hand; but we don't owe them careful concern and consideration, either.

This thing divides along racial lines.  There's no other way to see it.  And it will continue to divide along racial lines as long as we see "white" as normative, and the problem as how to get whites all on the same page, or even as how to get blacks and browns (Hispanics, Muslims, anyone we continue to regard as "not-white", a problem for liberals as well as conservatives and racists) to vote with "us."

White people don't need to wake up.  White people need to stop thinking of themselves first and foremost as "white people."  Something I learned in seminary is coming back to me. The struggle of brown and black (and now Muslim) in this country is old and still invisible to most whites (is Micheal Moore talking about that? Susan Sarandon? Bill Clinton?). Now the lefty left is talking about how hurt they are. Maybe they should think about how this is the regular experience of brown and black in this nation, and how they could learn to deal with it, or even unify to take it on.

Ironically, Bernie had even less connection to minorities than Hillary did.  We created this problem.  I have nothing against listening to the "angry whites" who voted for Trump, but I don't have to hold their hands and soothe their jangled nerves.  I don't have to accept their fear of a brown planet.  In fact, I should probably start working harder to recognize the reality of a brown planet, and ways to give those people more reason to participate in the politics of this nation.  Maybe I should consider that this is how they feel pretty much all the time, and even more so now.  Maybe my solidarity should be with them, and not from my "whiteness" and what I can teach them or get them to agree to.  Instead of trying to accept them, can I get them to accept me?

"White people:  wake up!"


Blogger Greg Czyszczon said...

RMJ, Long-time reader here...Do you know of a quote - I think you used to have it up at the top - something about the experience of the love of God being both terrible and numinous? It's on the tip of my brain. If you can help, I'd be grateful. My deepest gratitude for your writing, wisdom, insight, and analysis - particularly now.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Rmj said...

Greg--don't know it, but I'm going to look for it.

9:07 AM  

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