Thursday, December 21, 2017

Brief Meditation for the Longest Night of the Year

Sort of in response to the comment in the post below, have I mentioned that I actually admire Dave Chappelle?

Chappelle, who lives in rural Ohio town Yellow Springs, said he sees Trump supporters all the time, and he said they’re not as hateful as they’re made out to be.

“To my surprise, you know what I didn’t see? I didn’t see one deplorable face in that group,” Chappelle says. “I saw some angry faces, and some determined faces — but they felt like decent folk.”

“In fact, I’m not even lying, not to sound f*cked up, but I felt sorry for them,” Chappelle adds. “I know the game now. I know that rich white people call poor white people ‘trash,’ and the only reason I know that, is because I made so much money last year, the rich whites told me they say it at a cocktail party — and I’m not with that sh*t.”

The oldest con in America, one that predates the Constitution and all that, is the idea that rich people deserve to be rich, and poor people deserve to be poor.  It's an idea promoted by rich people (remember when non-landowners couldn't vote?  That's the "original intent" of the Constitution.) to keep poor people in their place.  And long after the 13th Amendment rich whites kept it up by making sure any anger poor whites had was directed at poor blacks, not at the people with their foot on the poor white family's throats.  To this day rich white men get a pass for their white supremacist attitudes so long as they aren't as blatant about it as Trump and Bannon (when you aren't blatant about it, it's not about race because it's never about race; not in America.).

I still remember the seminary class (I've mentioned this before) where a skit from a "mega-church" was played on video, a skit involving a woman obviously meant to be "white trash," and the object of derision and scorn.  Everyone laughed but me, and when I pointed out the harshness of deriding "poor white trash" who could easily have been my family members, I was told to take the joke and get over it.  Except by two people:  a fellow Southerner (this was in St. Louis, but the class was largely mid-westerners) and the one black woman in the class, who had come in angry at whites and, after two years among us, had taught us something about the source of her anger, as we taught her we didn't hate her because of her skin color.  She actually apologized to me after class, having seen my point.  No other person in the class ever did.

Racism is not just racism (pace Mr. Coates), it is also a matter of class distinction.  Mr. Chappelle is absolutely right, and like him, I'm not with that shit.

Especially at this time of year.

1 comment:

  1. You do good advent posts.

    The role that snobbery plays in American culture, right to left, is getting worse through internet babble. It was being taken aback at people using "trailer trash" as a phrase at you know where that might have been the spark that accelerated my disillusion with the secular left. Though as the incident you matter shows, it's not unknown in non-secular contexts, too. It must be a serious sign of apostasy when people who consider themselves Christian do that. There have been lots of times to think about what you mentioned, too, Kirkegaard talking about baptized pagans. Christians are widely in need of evangelization, I'm finding as I type out that book I'm working on, I need it too. That's advent work.