Werner Herzog’s Bear ain’t buying the hype. He’s fed up with the
. . . false argument that Trump’s support lies in the economic slide of the white working class, not in racism. On its face, this just isn’t true. If Trump is about soothing economic pain, why are the black and Latino working classes, who have suffered WORSE than the white working classes not voting for Trump en masse? Why aren’t they energized by his language about “trade deals”? I mean, the answer is so obvious that I don’t even have to say it.
Since the first black captives were sold off the boat in the English colonies in 1619, racism and economics have been mixed.
Chattel slavery was an economic system in which a few gained wealth from the forced labor of others. Racism is a legal-social-political construct developed largely in the late 1600s in Virginia to justify that servitude as something that was “meant to be.”
The two are consequently intertwined, even as they differ in kind.
Racism has been a powerful tool to control not only black and brown people, but also poor white people, a misdirection play to get them to look away, look away, look away from political economy. As Lyndon Johnson said,
If you can convince the lowest white man that he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll even empty his pockets for you.
Mr. Bear is quite correct. That many of Trump’s supporters may be economically disadvantaged, as well as racist, does not make them or him any less racist. It does, nevertheless, provide cover for media to ignore the racism.
Indeed, media in the United States are adept at not seeing racism, even when the “whites only” and “colored only” signs stare them in the face. One needs look no further back than Andy Griffith’s gentle, mythical Mayberry to see this: A Piedmont North Carolina town with no, nada, zilch, not one black person.*
There are persons running for President who speak capably and knowledgeably about political economy (you and I may or may not agree with their conclusions, but they speak neither from nor to ignorance).
Donald Trump, serial con artist and recidivist bankrupt, is not one of them.
(Follow the link for the rest of Mr. Bear’s post.)
*It just occurred to me to wonder, was Mayberry a sundown town?