One of the very odd occurrences of this past presidential election was actually not unique to the presidential campaign between Clinton and Trump. This peculiar dynamic has transpired for decades if not centuries. Namely, we have had for some time now a scenario in which much of the poor white and/or the “white working class” (a.k.a. “Middle-America”) votes for candidates whose policies are in direct opposition with their own self-interests. It would appear that they are so focused on xenophobic idealism – on religious or pious zeal – and to be quite frank…on prejudiced biases – that they enter the election booth and pull a lever (or trigger if you will) that shoots their own foot. While it is a popular subject in American politics (and in general) to talk about how black people supposedly vote for individuals who don’t care about them – this subject surrounding the predisposition of “Middle America” is rarely if ever discussed in the mainstream.
For reasons we do not have time to unpack many white Americans are so attached to narratives that are drawn for them by the powers that be (Fox News for example) that they can’t see the forest for the trees. I call them the “forgotten race”. And this forgotten race either does not care or does not realize that when people they deem to be their champions… speak out against say… publicly funded programs for “that single mom of three”…they are actually speaking out against the types of programs that assist their own family! When someone like Donald Trump says, “Let’s Make America Great Again”, it is not just about “kicking out those Mexicans” – which “Joe from Idaho” might happen to agree with – it’s also about Joe being dropped from his healthcare coverage because he had pre-existing condition. It’s about the hourly wage he makes at the local factory remaining eternally at a meager rate. And, yet, Joe will step right up and vote for detrimental politicians and policies at his own expense.
There is a profound and fundamental piece to this whole equation that is at the core of race in America. It is the driving force that divides us along lines of color. At its core it is built upon a principle that to-date values a “white-washed America” above all else. And by that I mean that ideals that are tied to what has become “European-American” culture (right to bear arms – immigration reform – small government – “Christian” morals), have become a manifesto of sorts that motivates people to make decisions that are self-destructive and then stand up and cheer believing they are “Making America Great Again”. I call these people the “forgotten race”, not only because of the fact that the political and economic forces of our nation have forgotten them (taken them for granted), but the truth is they have forgotten themselves.
The issues we face today in America know no color. Morals and values…know no color. At the same time, unfortunately, the social ills of America are more pervasive in communities of color for the very reasons I outlined above. But, one of the many avoided truths in America is that in the process of creating that scenario at the voting polls, many have damned themselves as well. Instead of presenting our political leaders with a united front, “we the people” have allowed issues of race to divide us. This is not a white issue or a black issue. It is not a latino – middle-eastern – or asian issue. This is a moral and American issue.
The question is: Moving forward how do we confront these problems from a standpoint of truth? And, one way is to tackle our race problem in this country so that people are no longer blinded or motivated to vote for policies for the wrong reasons. Too many lies have been forged that demonize particular races and those lies are disguised in this country as “good-old-fashioned American principles”. As principles that will make America “Great Again”. When the reality is America needs to address some here-to-for old dogmas and stereotypes that have driven a wedge not only between races but the haves and the have nots – that is if we truly want to be great. And less we forget – the have nots includes those of the “forgotten race”.
Oreos to go: Bad policies know no color…
More than a blog. It’s a movement.
Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.
And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos.