They Don’t Even Bother To Dog-Whistle Anymore

The basic line of demarcation between pro-Trump and anti-Trump partisans is now too clear and too well-documented to misunderstand. As my youngest son has maintained since the election, there were two–and only two–categories of people who voted for Trump: those who  agreed with and felt validated by his too-obvious-to-ignore racism, and those for whom that racism was not disqualifying.

Pundits and political observers on the left were deeply uncomfortable with that reality. “Nice” people looked for other plausible reasons for those votes: economic distress, hatred of Hillary, partisan affiliation. But as research on the vote has emerged, even polite formulations (“racial anxiety”) and studies conducted by academics noted for their rigor and lack of political agendas have confirmed the degree to which racism predicted support for Trump.

If any dispassionate observer still doubts that conclusion, the behavior of the Trump administration, its supporters and its propaganda arms should dispel those doubts. The fixation on immigration (from the southern border, not the north) and the fact-free demonization of brown immigrants is a clue too obvious to ignore.

Brian Kilmead of Fox News–the administration’s propaganda arm–speaks for Trump’s supporters when he says 

And these are not — like it or not, these aren’t our kids. Show them compassion, but it’s not like he is doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas.

The “us versus them” formulation could hardly be clearer.

For those of us who tend to look at what they do, not what they say, the picture is even clearer.

A ProPublica analysis.. found that, under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the department has scuttled more than 1,200 civil rights investigations that were begun under the Obama administration and lasted at least six months. These cases, which investigated complaints of civil rights violations ranging from discriminatory discipline to sexual violence in school districts and colleges around the country, were closed without any findings of wrongdoing or corrective action, often due to insufficient evidence….

ProPublica also found that the Office for Civil Rights has become more lenient. Under Obama, 51 percent of cases that took more than 180 days culminated in findings of civil rights violations, or corrective changes. Under the Trump administration, that rate has dropped to 35 percent.

ProPublica noted that the Trump administration has largely shelved investigations of systemic violations, opting to look instead at individual complaints.

One long investigation terminated by the Trump administration took place in Bryan, Texas. As ProPublica previously reported, the Dallas bureau of the federal civil rights office spent more than four years investigating whether disciplinary practices in Bryan discriminated against students of color. Federal investigators found at least 10 incidents where black students received harsher punishment than their white peers for the same conduct.

Weeks before Trump’s inauguration, federal investigators and the district were on the cusp of a settlement that would have required more than a dozen reforms. But after DeVos took over, the case and the pending settlement were scuttled, with no findings of wrongdoing.

In late April, OCR also shelved the investigation into school discipline in DeSoto County, where 852 students — more than half of them black — received corporal punishment in 2015.

Shelia Riley, the chairperson of DeSoto’s school board, told ProPublica that OCR’s decision was appropriate. “I read the [parents’] claims and I just felt like we were fair in our disciplinary decisions,” she said.

Google “Trump Administration racism” and the search will return–among many, many other “hits”– sober analyses of the ways in which the administration’s racism is affecting foreign policy, the role of race in the administration’s shameful neglect of Puerto Rico, the racism of proposed “reforms” of welfare programs, and the way Trump “encourages a pro-white semiotics and a return to racisms past.”

The Civil War may have ended slavery, but America’s “original sin” has persisted. Honest observers can no longer ignore it; “nice, polite” people can no longer pretend that grandpa just has “policy differences” with dark people. Trump owes his election to the voters who couldn’t abide the presence of Barack Obama in the White House–and who rewarded the bigot who remains willing to “tell it like [they believe]it is” in the ugly world they inhabit.

We aren’t in Kansas any more, Toto–and we’ve gone way beyond dog-whistles.

35 thoughts on “They Don’t Even Bother To Dog-Whistle Anymore

  1. Trump recently called for the establishment of a “separate but equal” Space Force.
    I had trouble deciding whether he was dog whistling again or just too utterly ignorant to know anything about the history of the words he was using.
    I guess both options are possible with Trump.

  2. The late Afro-American theologian James Cone’s book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree should be required reading for anyone who needs a primer on race as the US’ original sin. Racism lives, is healthy, and, under the repugnant resident of the White House/Mara Lago, is worsening minute by minute. This man is evil and he frightens me.

  3. A determination to see the Trump victory almost exclusively in terms of racism gets us nowhere. Sure some post election social science research indicates that racism played a role in the outcome, and just plain common sense does as well. Clearly plenty of voters looked at two white candidates and choose the one more inclined to play the racist card.
    But wait a minute. There are the hard numbers from districts that voted at least once and in some cases twice for Obama and then went for Trump. Are we to conclude that Trump converted them to racism? And what about scads of voters who were turned off by Hillary (in no small part by the fake news about her) and the notion that America had had two Bushes and did not need two Clintons.
    If we concede that Trump won on the basis of racism, then what pray tell are we going to do about it? Convert the racists by calling them racists? All you have to do to lose a wavering republican is to let him think that you believe that he is motivated by racism. S/he becomes defensive as hell and probably reverts to Trump. Simplistic analysis of 2016 does not produce a winning formula for 2020.

  4. “Trump owes his election to the voters who couldn’t abide the presence of Barack Obama in the White House–and who rewarded the bigot who remains willing to “tell it like [they believe]it is” in the ugly world they inhabit.”

    There is also a large faction of Trump voters who were ignorant of facts and didn’t bother seeking them out; like my grandson’s wife who bought “MAGA” tee shirts because she loves his logo of “Make America Great Again”. Ignorant of the fact that it was and is a dog-whistle for “Make America White Again”; she and my grandson debated his renewing his enlistment in the U.S. Navy, deciding to “re-up” to maintain their health care “even though it isn’t very good”. Since last year they have needed that health care and discovered it not only “isn’t very good” but is non-existent in some cases.

    “They Don’t Even Bother To Dog-Whistle Anymore” and “Words, Words, Words…” are of course connected. Much of the Constitution is open to interpretation; while it provides the Legislature the responsibility and the right to take action to remove Trump from office to protect the nation, there is nothing to force them to use that responsibility. So we have all three branches of government working against the country; many of their acts can be construed as Treason by reasonable people in both parties. A question I posed to another commenter this morning; is their any difference between the Oxford dictionary definition of Treason as, “The crime of betraying one’s own country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or OVERTHROWING THE GOVERNMENT” and the Wikipedia definition of Treason as, “In law, treason is the crime that covers MORE EXTREME ACTS AGAINST ONE’S NATION or sovereign.” and the Republican dog-whistle of “DECONSTRUCTING the current government”, thereby destroying democracy?

    How do we get Democratic, Independent voters and fence-sitters to understand the importance of this November mid-year election which can decide the Congressional makeup? Will we maintain the destructive status quo or can we begin the turnover to begin a return to sanity?

  5. alan keller, any Republican who at this point (brown babies in cages inside of concentration camps!) is still “wavering” is not going to be converted by reason or good will. Not confront them on their racism? I say take them on, openly, forcefully and relentlessly. Had the “good” Germans done that with Hitler history may have been a lot different.

    Babies in cages!! Babies in cages!!!

  6. I say, Bravo to Trump and his followers.

    Your son is right, the most devout racists place signs in their yards and wear Trump merchandise. Others, who I suspect have an inkling of an idea they might be racist, support his decisions and defend his actions on social media. Those more intelligent voted for Trump but are silent.

    Nearly every single racist friend I had on Facebook has blocked or deleted me for pointing out their racist remarks. I suspect the only people left on their page are racists because the only people remaining on my page are liberals.

    There was a day not long ago when racists would meet in country barns and wear hoods so people couldn’t recognize them. Why not proudly display your racism for all to see?

    These were proud business owners and leaders of the community who knew there would be negative consequences for displaying their fear and hatred. Christian people. Churchgoers.

    Thanks to Trump, the racists take off their hoods and meet in City Halls. They run for political office and make speeches on TV. The racists are now a proud species.

    As I said, Bravo to Trump!

    USA, Inc. needed four years of Trump to expose itself to the world just how big of a fraud it was. American Exceptionalism was a ruse held together by propaganda conveyed through our “media and press.” See Noam Chomsky’s takedown of the propaganda media – intentional and unintentional motives.

    Lots of people protesting in the streets. Women and people of color. Gays. Immigrants. Working poor. By the time Trump is complete, he should galvanize the Poor People’s Movement when everybody holds hands and marches against an oppressive Oligarchy.

    Oppression is oppression. It’s an equal opportunity offender. All lives matter.

    Someone asked which journalistic entity I watch…anyone who can criticize the oppressors and hold them accountable which includes corrupt politicians and their donors. The role of the press is to serve the oppressed, not the oppressors.

    I remember the BBC interview with Glenn Greenwald after he received the treasure trove of documents from Edward Snowden – the BBC hammered him for “hurting the state.”

    My jaw dropped. Chomsky does an excellent job of presenting the filters which prevent us from having a free press. Now our government is making a list of journalists who are “critical of the government.”

    They should all be critical of our government but not in the way Fox News distorts the truth.

    “In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people.”

    Hugo L. Black, (New York Times Company v. United States, 1971

  7. I have contributed to the comments in this blog about the undeniable role of racism in Trump’s election. It is real and frightening as Wray McCalester and many others have said. However, the assertion that every person who voted for him is a racist or did not consider racism disqualifying is way too sweeping and unsubstantiated. Even the abstract of the study Ms. Kennedy cites states only that, “Both growing domestic racial diversity and globalization contributed to a sense that white Americans are under siege by these engines of change.” The sweeping hypothesis and the study’s findings are not synonymous.

    My point is this, we can say “the devil made them do it” and then what? In recent comments I pointed to the overwhelming support for Trump in rural America and conditions of persistent poverty, job loss and community deterioration that exist there. The forces of government destruction for capitalism domination e.g. Koch etc. fashioned and promoted a narrative that mislead and manipulated all types of people. These are things we can do something about.

    For those who believe its racism and nothing else, I say, what can we do to change that in the short term after all these years? We sure can huff and puff, rant and rave, and urge good folks to go vote, and I’m for doing that. But condemning EVERYONE who voted for Trump as aiding and abetting racism is not true and takes us nowhere. But we can support the development of and candidates who promote policies and programs that cause folks to be and feel less “under siege” and call out this government nihilism sponsored by the super rich that is manipulating them (Bernie style).

  8. The strange thing in all of this is = where is the voice of the people? really? I see propaganda now even in shows considered very ‘liberal’… there are GOOD things being said about the fuckface von klownschtick (which is what I have continued to throw out for his real handle since Jon Stewart annointed him thus! I suits him!) We are beyond the pale, Ms. Kennedy. We are now in no man’s land because all I get in the news feed is a downcast to the investigation by Robt. Mueller and trump has been executing office seats all the while being a clown in public – and an absolute tyrannical bastard all the time. He can’t help it – even Millinnea (sp. face it its Slovenian what the fuck!) wearing a jacket on the way to an internment camp for children – ‘I DON’T CARE – DO YOU?’ I see a tyrant attempting total control in this country – and who in the hell is doing one thing about it? Look if people cannot read the handwriting on the wall – it is time to think on other levels because something is rotten in the wood pile and it needs digging out! It was people of mind and conscience that put this nation together: Where are they when you really need them? All I get is = WAIT FOR NOVEMBER!… no I say fuck it – let’s throw the bastards out the old fashioned way – kicking and screaming! Now wheres that bucket of tar… anybody got some feather pillows?…

  9. Yes. The racism is still with us, and will always be with us. I have a close friend who told me that my writings emulate the tribalism that I’m supposedly against. Well, how does one protest the ravings of harmful, backward and dangerous TRIBES without sounding tribal?

    My best friend in high school, an all-American football player, told me he chose an SEC school over those closer to home because “I won’t have to play with n******. That was 1960. In 2017, he argued that he voted for Trump because he couldn’t stand Hillary (He believed the lies about her, but refused to admit he watched Fox News.) and he was compelled to vote for the Republican after being “stuck with Obama for eight years”. After a few other exchanges, that 60+ year friendship is over.

    Adhering to the tribalism critiques of people like Chomsky and other leftist absolutists who are enemies of the press and other entities, does nothing but push the tribes further apart. The solutions, as our founders imagined, were based on a participative democracy. Yes, they were also creatures of their times, and women and black people didn’t get the vote for a while later than 1789. It’s weirdly ironic that black men were given the vote before women of any color.

    The root of our current problems lie with the 102 million eligible voters who didn’t vote or weren’t registered to vote. That’s it. When the voter turnout is greater than 60%, Democrats win. THAT is the voice of the people speaking. When they don’t vote, the voices of evil rule. Do we need any greater example than the current administration and the Nazi-like creatures like Stephen Miller?

  10. “Not confront them on their racism? I say take them on, openly, forcefully and relentlessly.”

    “Babies in cages!! Babies in cages!!!”

    Let us follow Theresa’s lead; why did I get no response asking several sites if there is an anti-Zero Tolerance rally, march, protest planned for Indianapolis? The only answer is the deeply embedded racism within the heart of this city; once the national center of KKK leadership. Are people so blind they do not see that referring to other than African-Americans to target IS racism? Has the Republican party become a self-appointed race, responsible only to itself?

    Many of those “Babies in cages” includes countless toddlers, children, teens, parents and extended family members who are in self-imposed cages to hide from Trump’s brown shirt forces. We can now include Melania Trump among those brown shirts; no one believes she did not know or understand the meaning of the slogan on the back of the military jacket she wore to Texas to meet some of those “Babies in cages”…actual cages in the guise of children’s homes. “I don’t really care, do u? is no dog-whistle; it is a warning of continued imprisoning of children; how many of their parents have already been deported with no way to contact?

    “Not confront them on their racism? I say take them on, openly, forcefully and relentlessly.”

    “Babies in cages!! Babies in cages!!!”

  11. “In 1924, W. E. B. Dubois said this about race relations in the United States. He said, “The problem of the 20th century will be the problem of the color line.”
    He was so right, but it’s still the 20th, no, it’s still actually the 19th cenury.

  12. The Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (PLA) in its renewals of 9,000-plus licenses for 70-plus types of professions, in 2018, for the first time, has included on the PLA license renewal application form the checkbox for applicants to indicate either, “I am a United States Citizen, or I am a qualified alien…”
    The 2011 law authorizing this question was originally targeted at those who, “…applied for state or local public benefits…” But in 2018 it is now being broadly applied by PLA to all professional nurses, engineers, social workers, etc. Why is PLA in 2018 entering the realm of immigration law enforcement? Does today’s political atmosphere in Indiana call for such a focus, and why?

  13. Alan’s comments are the most balanced I have read in the “comment” section of this blog in a LONG time. Liberals have their own delusion, hypocrisy and hyperbolic problems. When Time magazine puts out a cover that is debunked by the father and border agent: ( 1. mother and daughter were never separated 2. mother kidnapped daughter from father 3. mother was deported in 2013 4. they were not escaping violence 5. allegedly paid smuggler to cross border 6. Mother looking for work, not asylum. ) then your narrative is again discredited. Add to that the comments made by Peter Fonda about Barron Trump and the “liberal tolerance” shown to Sarah Sanders at a restaurant in Virginia, and the left looks as unhinged as ever. Too bad the left isn’t as interested in the unborn babies being ripped away from their mothers as they are about these illegals children. You’ve got credibility issues. So keep screaming racism and babies in cages and claiming Trump voters only listen to Fox News. Then all the “uneducated” ( your stereotype) Trump supporters say: “Who the hell wants to be governed by these people ?” It’s quite apparent you STILL haven’t figured out why Trump won. There’s a different reality, being lived by people, than the “Trump” hatred being espoused daily on this blog.

  14. Let’s come at this from a slightly different direction and see where it leads.

    What if we consider the spectrum that’s been talked about previously of liberal to authoritarian as cultural. When each of us were growing up we looked around us at people who seemed to be like us and observed their behavior. One aspect of that was how they related to and treated other people. It could be for some of us that what we observed was nurturing. Given traditional gender roles and the gender aspect of “others like us” probably more women would have been exposed to that than men. Others would have observed in people like them models of competitive behavior instead. I have a right to direct, lead, bully, beat, put down, out perform, etc because I am a naturally superior person because of my size, my skin, my genitals, what I was born with and into.

    To me the division between those of us repulsed by all things trumpian compared to those who see them as progress is completely understandable when viewed from that perpspective. It clarifies a lot in my mind. It also clarifies the relationship between each of those groups and how our country is viewed. Those of the authoritarian pusuasion probably see our history as a country as one of winning, beating other countries. Those of the liberal pursuasion as one of leading the world to a more evolved position in human rights and diversity and egality.

    Does that explain racism and sexism, and American First, and brown babies in cages and hate of the Obama’s and everything liberal.

    To me it does.

    The question to be answered in November now that that distinction has been made crystal clear is who’s the majority here.

  15. #45 thinks immigration and racism are winning issues for him and that those are enough to keep the 37% behind him and for him to get reelected. My #45 friends don’t like or respect #45, admit one can’t believe a word he says, yet continue to back him because they like what he has done i.e. S.C. Justice, tax cuts that have a humming economy (they say) with the new business confidence, safety deregulations that have reduced small businessman costs, protecting the country by keeping ginormous numbers of criminals/terrorists out. Yet they strongly deny being racist or psuedoChristians (which I suggest their words easily point to). I think not wanting to think of themselves as racists or psuedoChristians points to a remnant of morality that can be useful. If one sits down and talks with them, many issues can be solved and agreed upon. Healthcare and environment (air,water,soil protection), keeping families together at the border (not the Isis or Nazi like hostage thinking), worker safety, Medicare and Social Security, and good paying jobs are all areas we can move forward together on. The big task is to control the narrative. Repeating #45’s crap helps him control the narrative. Gop has been far better at marketing its ideas. That has to met with equally good or better marketing. Public rallies in our town squares need to occur calling attention to the issues that a majority of Am. people support. Signs such as Jenna Ortega’s “I Do Care and U SHOULD Too”, Tariffs Hurt Everyone, Medicare Crisis is Already Here, Tax Cuts were your Future Social Security, Keep Families Together, We Need More Moms in Congress, Crime Rates Fall When Immigration Increases, #45 to Join Manafort/Cohen in Jail, #45, Time To Flee to Pal Putin, #45 is a Moral Void, #45, Why are you Lying?, Voters know #45 is Corrupt, Taking Children From Parents is Torture, We Need Inspirational Leaders, Diplomacy Before War, We Believe in A More Perfect Union, A People United Cannot be Divided, Past Time for Decent People To Lead, Close Baby Jails, God Doesn’t Justify Atrocities, CongressMEN Don’t Prioritize Families, It Should Be Easier, not harder, To Vote, Praise Allies, Not Dictator Murderers, Shame on America For Separating Refugee Families,
    Slovenian Immigrant Wears “I Don’t Care ” Coat, Throw the “I Don’t Cares Out”, We Are INdivisible.
    Next Sat. 6/29 InDivisible Nationwide is promoting a “Keep Families Together” . Watch indivisible website news for further details. But please join in and make a sign and stick it in your yard 6/29. Use any of above suggestions anytime. I’ve said before on this site, and I repeat, we MUST control the message and counter #45’s brand war with a good one of our own.

  16. A few points.
    1. Liberals do have their own problems, mostly due to being open to all. We have to contend with a wide range of ideas and cultures. It isn’t easy, but the effort works for the betterment of all.
    2. Time magazine and Peter Fonda are not the same as the Government of the United States now being run by Trump and Republicans.
    3. Sarah Sanders is a member of the Trump government and is a proven liar… as is her boss. Lies have consequences, and one of those consequences in a free society is a loss of public acceptance.
    4. “Unborn children” are not the same as “illegal children”. In fact, there are no “illegal children”, just ABUSED CHILDREN. Taking children away from their parents and putting them in cages is CHILD ABUSE!

  17. Becky – This is not a war of liberals against right wingers. It is a war of people of whatever political description against kidnapping babies, overpaying capital via tax bills at the cost of labor, adopting rules and regs that destroy environmental protections, picking on the rights of minorities because they are minorities etc. Becky’s view, in my view, makes all such real issues up for solution personal matters rather than issues in search of solution.

    It is Trump’s gross methods of deconstruction of the administrative state (leading to loss of our democracy) that makes us call Trump out on a personal level. Yes, I think he is a bad man, but why, Becky? Because there is no rhyme or reason for many of his stands on the issues (not to mention his personal shortcomings), and racism is one of his stands that cannot be justified by anyone of any political stripe, nor can his persistent lying to those he governs.

    Do I dislike him? Yes, but I dislike more the pain and pretense he is peddling. Presidents come and go but a continuation of our democracy is more important than any president of whatever color, gender or political stripe. Our democracy is what and who we are and without it we are nothing more than ATM pawns in the service of further enrichment of the authoritarian few. Let’s debate issues.

  18. Congratulations to everyone on doing such a great job of identifying the protagonists in this catastrophe. Unfortunately we’re going to have to do far more than that if are going to save this country from the dark and twisted future that lies in wait for it and all of us. Trump, and the various propaganda machines and networks, that are busy buttressing his increasingly fascist appeal to Americans that may, or may not be closet fascists or susceptible to that way of thinking, will work steadily toward achieving their own ends and that are well on their way toward wrecking this country perhaps permanently. Ultimately, the way things are going those of us that disagree with this obscene ideological turn to our politics and culture may end up being the odd people out unless there is a tangible backlash against this as expressed at the polls this fall. In a way, elections and popular suffrage in regard to this threat almost seem quaint in comparison to the daily spilling of vitriol that is either seen on television or on the web or in day-to-day conversations with people that up until now seemed eminently reasonable. People that I’ve known for years that if always seemed eminently reasonable are embracing Trump’s cult of personality and his talk of the need for more authoritarian responses to what ails us each and every day. Quite frankly, it scares the bejezzus out of me.

    The rub is, voting is still the only universally acceptable means of confronting bad governance and bad policies in this country. To save what we have had up till now in this country may require extra- constitutional means in order to do so, something that we Americans have no real experience with other than the protests of the 1960s that did grab the public’s consciousness but also, ultimately, changed the government’s course of action over time to match up where the country was at. How do we do that in the face of having an authoritarian leader who is not above using the powers of his office and those that he is more than willing to take on himself with no constitutional checks of any consequence coming from the Legislative Branch as they should whether they as a body agree with him or not?

    We’re facing a crisis where the whole governmental structure is also potentially collapsing in terms of its traditional roles of offerings checks on each other branch to prevent such a thing from happening. Perhaps, just perhaps, this country is going to go fascist regardless of what protests are made and how they are made with the Federal government going along for the ride because those that are elected to serve in it are only pawns themselves of those that elected them who have embraced an ideological and cultural stance that would be construed as being traditionally un-American during far normal times where those shun fascist thinking and are ideologically incapable of embracing it could end up being so marginalized that no matter what they, or we, do it will end up being ineffectual and relegated to the dustbin of history.

    This is essentially how Germany ended up in 1932 but by then it was far too late to stop it was going to happen next. Perhaps this is really the underlying core of what Vladimir Putin and his Russian special services agencies have been attempting to create all along, not only here but in Western Europe and elsewhere. His efforts have been aimed assisting authoritarian leaders that, after they gain power in their respective countries, that would embrace on that level the new world order headed by the Greater Russia that he aims at creating and where democracy, human rights, and anything else that stands in his way all have all been effectively checkmated not just by him and his Russian minions but by those that he needs to manipulate in those countries including ours in order to achieve his aims.

    Just think of Hitler and had had his disposal what Putin has at his right now and could’ve used in the 1930s and early 1940s to achieve his aims and he could’ve done so without firing a shot.

  19. “…the bigot who remains willing to “tell it like [they believe]it is” in the ugly world they inhabit.”

    Trump does not even tell it like they believe it is. He can’t. He doesn’t know how. He doesn’t know or care what words mean. How can you tell it like it is when you 1) don’t know how it is, and 2) don’t know how to say what you mean if you do learn how it is?

    The building is on fire. Trump yells, “Get the hell out of my way.”
    Someone: “Why?”
    Trump: “You’re in my way.”
    Someone: “To where that is so important?”
    Trump: “Outside.”
    Someone: “Take your time, dude.”
    Trump: “It’s an old building.”
    Someone: “That’s what I like about it.”
    Trump: “The ceiling will fall on our head.”
    Someone: “Yeah; and someday the toilets won’t flush.”

    Investigator: “Three hundred people died in the inferno. Why didn’t you yell FIRE?”
    Trump: “I did. Five times.”
    Deplorable survivor: “He did. I heard him. He says it like it is. Get off his back.”

  20. Hey Becky –

    “Too bad the left isn’t as interested in the unborn babies being ripped away from their mothers as they are about these illegals children. ”

    Blobs of protoplasm being extracted from women who do not want it in their bodies is quite different than living kids being taken forcibly or deceptively away from terrified mothers. Is that too difficult for you to see the difference?

    Liberals enthusiastically support sex ed & birth control which help prevent abortion unlike conservatives who think clasping your knees together is the answer to unwanted pregnancies. Explain that one to me!

    Start looking at facts and thinking critically instead of spouting “talking points” from the GOP play book. PLEASE!!!!!

  21. Vernon; not wanting to steal your thunder (“Why Angels Weep: America and Donald Trump” quotes), I believe it is important for you to repeat here the Congressional approval rating from your book and, if you can get the data, let us know the current approval rating of same. The rating quoted in your book and the results of the election is scary as hell. Might get some of those undecided or can’t be bothered to vote off their…couches…and to the polls on November 6, 2018.

  22. Not to be Dismal about dogs in a swamp with no metal, a WOLF Den mom knows those sounds do not need metal to work a Wolf Whistle for Treaty Line N=S or Crossroads E=W to carry patches back and forth Hagerstown to the Crazy Cherokee Lady Canoe Camp for Fort Ancient flag games.
    Sorry you locked in the Ouibache Trading Post with the WRONG Conner Wives.

  23. Liberals and authoritarians want the same thing, to live in the least restrictive environment. Liberals want it for everyone and consider all means of being restricted.

    That’s the difference.

    Authoritarians are self centered because they see the world as competitive and need all of the advantages they can get because they are they believe entitled to win.

    They want power instead of freedom.

  24. I am always amazed at how easily those who politically identify as left of center .(by what ever name) wave off the white working class and working poor as ignorant and racist. I not only find this a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but also useless towards finding real solutions for a country that is truly divided.

    As a tenured Assoc Professor of Sociology, I’ve taught students (and given public talks) about the ways in which the very real struggles of White lower & middle class laborers have been largely ignored by a Democrats and of course Republicans (who only appealed to those aligned with more conservative, fundamentalist Christian churches, at least until Trump recognized the huge opportunity of filling the relative vacuum created by the absence of mainstream politics). These folks were the first of thr USA’s White citizenry to feel the impact of our changing economy from Industrial Capitalism to Shareholder Economy that dominates the market today. The attack on unions (and the subsequent loss of the traditional left wing labor movement’s influence), the corporate takeovers and draining of workers pensions and loss of retirement for folks that had working hard and following the rules of the Great American Dream that hard work, sacrifice and loyalty to ones employer will lead to a better life for oneself and especially ones children. But what was the Democrat Party focusing on? The Middle Class. Sure, most people identify as middle class but there is no way to assume that people making $20,000 have same interests and needs as folks making $150,000 or more. And the policies being hailed by Democrats were far more helpful to those who were earning above the median household income – like higher allowable contributions to retirement accounts, or higher childcare tax deductions and other goodies that were far more attraxtive to people who had disposable income, not people whose pensions were being lost, wages were stagnant or declining, huge layoffs and loss of blue-collar jobs, fewer opportunities for their children and more children staying home after graduation. And of course, the possibilities of their children going to college and preparing for new economy were getting slimmer as costs skyrocketed even as their local school districts were losing dollars as industrial communities became shuttered and poorer, leaving little for local taxes (which are used to fund schools – a very problematic issue given America’s promise of equal opportunities).

    Which brings to the issue of racism. Yes it’s real. It’s always been real. It never went away, it just went behind the curtains a bit. People of color have no doubt that racism has always been a big issue in their life; what’s changed is that instead of being largely regulated behind the scenes or at least outside public purview (ie no phone cameras so where is the proof?), it’s become very public and with far less negative consequences. The fact is relatively few White folks of any class have taken a strong stand against racism, and even fewer are willing to go beyond words and pronouncements to actual action. And Racism is not just a White working class problem.

    The hypocrisy of waving off the concerns of the white working class because they are racist or sexist or ignorant is probably one of the greatest double-standards held by the left of center today. I see it up close every single day, and as a White woman with a large number of friends of color, AI too struggle to remember my relative privilege in society and that simply by being around people of color, esp men, my Whiteness leaves them vulnerable Particularly in relation to institutions of law enforcement and courts. That’s right – did you know that some police become suspicious when they see one or more Black males with a White woman? Or if I were dating a Black man during which I was found injured, sexually assault or murdered – do you think the a ablack man would be treated the same as a White man (even though statistically I am at the greatest risk of being assaluted &/or murdered by a white man I either know or who works or lives near me)? And while I know I wouldn’t do this, my BLack friends must know that at anytime, I could make a call and accuse them of any number of offenses and the police will be there in a minute (but not fast the other way around). The fact is, as a White person, who shares the same racial identity as those who control our societies major institutions , I am provided with the potential to mess with the lives and future of People of Color in ways that they would not so easily do to me.

    Why? Consider the scholarly definition of racism: 1. One’s belief that members of a particular racial group are inferior to one’s own racial group, 2. The assumption that this inferiority explains the negative treatment/inequality experienced by members of this other racial group and 3. The one shares racial group membership (racial group that one identifies with and is identified by others as belonging to)* with those who are a political majority and control the major institutions of the society. This latter point is very important Sure a person of color can think that White folks are inferior and that they should be treated as different and unequal but in our society the person of color does not have easy access to the powers of the social institutions that back up, or even make possible, any such unequal treatment beyond a very limited scope – ie a privately owned business. So as a White woman, if I were to call the police and say I say a strange Black man on the porch next door, and I think he is trying to break in, I will likely get much quicker and concerned police response than if a Black woman called about seeing a White man next door breaking in. Not only that, in my town, all police would probably be on the look out for any (suspicious – meaning breathing and in view ) Black males. Consider all the times that Black folks have been confronted by police for being seen as in “the wrong place” by a white person.

    Bottom line, as an academic and someone who lives by the principles of peace, equality and essentially the Golden Rule, and who has spent her adult life very vocal in protesting any form of mistreatment or inequality, I have yet to find very many White folks left of center who have truly spent the time to recognize and acknowledge the deeply systemic racism (sexism, classism, etc) that no one living in this country for any extended period time can escape (for that matter, I haven’t found many White folks who aren’t suspicious of my having so many friends of color, my belonging to a historically Black Church). Racism is in our language, our meaning systems, our subconscious assumptions about how the world works, our fears, even our deeply engrained feelings of entitlement to be in most space we choose to occupy – in America and all over the job. (I caught this sense of entitlement within myself – of having a right to be somewhere on my terms without thought for the people who lived there – when I went to Kenya and Uganda – I felt superior and I am Ashamed). No matter how enlightened we are, we can not sit back and say “I’m not racist”. I grew up with guys from all over the world, and who learned how to play basketball from African American guys who grew up in the streets of LA (my mom worked for Job Corp as a teacher, councilor and manager of the Band Wagon ), and I still had a huge learning curve which aim still working on when it comes to racism.

    So yes, Trump has used racism to inflame passions amongst a group of voters who have felt ignored and invisible in American politics for decades (I’m not talking about Trump supporters marching around with their swastikas – that is whole separate story which needs a whole different strategy). So what do we accomplish, sitting here all self-righteous and full of ourselves, calling them racists and ignorant fools not worth our time? Mostly, celebrating how special and superior we are. And frankly, I have no use in that.

    Yes, the growing acceptance of blatant racist rhetoric and actions scare the shit out of me. But I have also been watching this grow for three decades, & through learning about the ways in which racism/nativism/scapegoating grow when people are facing economic and social pressures, I can see where the past actions of politics as usual, as well as the growing self-righteous attitudes of the left, has helped get us where we are today. Scholars who were studying the working class saw this coming – why didnt the rest of you? And what are we going to do about it?

    There is massive wealth of scholarly and streetwise knowledge on how to push back against dangerous cultural patterns, including the important step – providing an effective counter-ideology that makes sense from the perspective of the people you wan to convince to change. That last part is most important – stop looking at every situation from our own set of assumptions – that doesn’t help up understand others, only ourselves . People tend to be rational – it is up to us to find out how and why Trumps anti-government, anti-Democratic and anti-diversity/global ideology works – seems rational – for so many White Americans. It’s not too hard to do. I grew up in a small working class community, and my families status went from poverty to pink collar to working class or lower-mid white collar depending on my parents jobs and the status of their marriage. Until I went back to college after my son was two years old, I worked in various back breaking hourly jobs So it is perhaps a little easier for me to stand In the shoes of rural White working class Americans. And I can’t hate them, or ignore them, anymore than I can ignore and write off my more educated friends and associates for their ignorance and racism.
    Instead, I listen and then I share my thoughts and knowledge. But never as a judgement or “schooling” but rather as an equal, as someone who knows about racism, classism and sexism (etc) because I’ve both experienced it and found it in my own assumptions and meaning systems. And I also admit the mistakes made by the more educated classes of which I am now part of. But I dont focus on blame – rather, I try to earn trust, and I treat that trust as precious. I do not hide who I am, and I will speak up when someone says something racist or therewise damaging statements (bc it’s not about being offending, it’s about knowing the costs these assumptions have for the targeted people) but I don’t attack. I explain why I dont agree.

    Am I perfect at this? No? Do I still have a lot to learn? Yes? But I also have had enough success with Talking with a wide range of people from many different points of view and even creating learning moments for myself and those I’m talking to that I know I’m onto something. It’s not that hard if you are willing to get off your own pedestal of superiority and recognize that none of us are without fault. Oh, and by the way, social media IS NOT the best place for these types of interactions. I meet new people and learn ways of seeing the world (and leave behind some new ideas for others ) everyday – it’s kind of a running joke, I’ve never met a stranger I’m not willing to spend an hour talking to.

    I’ve been sharing this particular position for over ten years now, even before Trump succeeded In building fear, distrust and hate to the levels we see today. Yet, mostly I get excuses as to why my idea can’t work (even though I works for me everyday and reflects core lessons from past social movements) Essentially, ive been left to believe that those on left are no more interested in giving up their prejudice and hate than those on the right. As long as tha is true, those thriving on the anger and division will remain strong and happy.

    Btw, back in the earlier decades of the twentieth century, the left spent a great deal of time living amongst the laboring classes, and educating them about the the power of the industrial, agricultural and mining industries and how labor organizations would workers the power to fight for their own rights and protections. At that time, those laborers were also mostly white (racism had effectively segregated work as well as the unions). Were those folks any more or less racis then today? Should the left have ignored those laborers because they were racist? Imagine where we would be today without all the successes earlier labor movement’s achieved.

    Maybe it would better to educate all people about how racism (amdbqll isms) are Social Constructs that protect the people with the most power because the masses so busy hating and turning on each other. America’s “Isms” not only make the rich richer, but they serve as winder social-political buffers to the rage of labor (or the other 90%). Most people are not dumb and if given the opportunity, can both learn what is really going on in the political-economic realm and how they beat resist it Someone just has to have the will and ability to do it. Any takers?

    * It’s important not to reify race, class or any other social category – they are all social constructs made real in their consequences because we assume they are real. If it is unweidy in writing that insight every time one refers to one of the social categories we have constructed and used to divide people along social hierarchies. Nonetheless, an occasional reminder would do us well – for knowing that someone is constructed is to also know it can be changed or perhaps even eliminated (although would take many generations as these categories organize our minds as well as society, and leave an indelible mark on the life experiences of people.

  25. Finally,a genuine dose of wisdom. Thank you Professor Rhonda Ovist. This has been the most constructive comment on this blog in the last 2 years.

  26. Rhonda O: ” those thriving on the anger and division will remain strong and happy.”

    There’s a lot of money and cachet derived from utilizing the aforementioned.

  27. “The hypocrisy of waving off the concerns of the white working class because they are racist or sexist or ignorant is probably one of the greatest double-standards held by the left of center today.”

    I see two seperate and distinct topics here.

    One is the plight of the working class caused by the rapid changes in global culture and technology and the reality that now many careers don’t last entire lifetimes and the people who planned their lives around a single set of labor skills often find themselves obsolete and in need of retraining.

    The other is racism and sexism and ignorance which strike me as dysfunctional blaming of others for difficulties caused by yourself.

    Some victims of the first react as in the second and some do not. The others accept the reality of their situation and focus on solving the problem that their original career assumption led to.

    It’s impossible to say anything definitive about everyone liberal (or authoritarian for that matter) but on the average liberals who I know are very sympathetic to the problem of the modern human environment requiring multiple careers and retraining.

    That to me doesn’t mean high tolerance of racism, sexism or ignorance which solve no problems, are in themselves dysfunctional and create numerous problems for others unrelated to employment.

    There are solutions to the problem of mid career obsolescence and underemployment. Racism and sexism and ignorance aren’t among them.

  28. Rhonda Ovist in some ways your rendering made me think and feel as if we have lived very similar lives. Now, though, I am close to the end of mine. If there is one of you out there I’m thinking there are many more. (hopefully)
    I appreciate your words and your exeriences and wish you could share all this on a national level. Is there any possible way you could put yourself out there and run for office?
    Yeah, I know, a sharp stick in the eye would be easier but this country needs your experiences and what you represent.
    Thanks for sharing.

  29. “As a tenured Assoc Professor of Sociology, I’ve taught students (and given public talks) about the ways in which the very real struggles of White lower & middle class laborers have been largely ignored by a Democrats and of course Republicans (who only appealed to those aligned with more conservative, fundamentalist Christian churches, at least until Trump recognized the huge opportunity of filling the relative vacuum created by the absence of mainstream politics).”

    Maybe it is due to the fact that I am a high school dropout with a GED and not a highly vaulted “tenured Assoc Professor” of any area of education but; while I found a few of Rhonda Ovist’s statements valid, much of her diatribe appeared confusing, self-serving and filled with spelling and terminology errors. Possibly I picked up on the errors due to my many years working with and for attorneys; including one who wrote and rewrote Indiana state laws whose name can be found frequently in the Indiana Burns Statutes. It also appeared to be a lengthy, somewhat educated strike primarily at Democrats which served no purpose. There was little, if anything, in the lengthy writing which provided solutions to any problem of a vital nature we are facing today from the current administrations on federal and state levels and the lack of knowledge of what the DNC is actually planning or if they have a plan. The Indiana Democratic Convention on June 16th resulted in “Every Democratic delegate approved the language in the party’s platform by voice vote on Saturday.” Their current platform is a strong one; firmly based in recovering civil and human rights and protecting those which remain. We need to support their coming together as one by doing the same rather than denigrating them for past, current and possible future failings. Our strength lies here at state level which is the foundation of the federal government and it is here at the state level we can elect new representation at the federal level…or allow the Fascist takeover to continue.

    Ms. Ovist concentrated much of her writing on racism and appears to fault the Democrats for ignoring the middle class based on level of income. Thanks to Trump and his neo-Nazi, White Nationalist, KKK foundation; racism is now the blatant public issue it should have been for many years and the term “middle class”, which has always been used to lump everyone who isn’t wealthy or living in poverty, currently has a very different meaning. That term is and has always been used to describe the majority of Americans; thanks to the 1% we are moving closer to the caste system with only two levels of income to separate the masses from the financial minority now in full control of Republican states and the federal government.

  30. Thanks, JoAnn, above entry was useful to me. I kept waiting for the kernel of helpful knowledge that would come from Professor Ovist’s statement but I never found it.

  31. When the unions where forming, even in times of Jim Crow in the south and de facto segregation in the north, nationality and country of origin had its own bigotry. I grew up in Chicago as did my parents. Ethnicity and nationality defined neighborhoods as clearly as if someone had drawn lines on the streets. This was well into the heights of unions’ power. It was no different in cities and towns around the country.
    The issues are deeply rooted in our culture and are passed from generation to generation like a legacy of cancer eating away under the skin until someone like Trump/Pence unleashes it to eat away any protections. Those with wealth think they are immune. They are not. History proves that again and again. Time will tell how this iteration of hate concludes. It will likely be murderous.

  32. The racists don’t get a pass, but I can’t help thinking that a lot of Trump’s voters were people who felt, like Peter Finch in the movie Network, “I’m a human being, god damn it! My life has value!!” “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore.” If you try, but nothing you do in life seems to make a difference while you observe others doing well, then “up yours” is not an irrational attitude. Hillary never whispered a word to people living with that kind of desperation, but DJT screamed at them for months. His faux toughness – obscenities included – also appealed to a lot of faux tough people who somehow misread his taunts as promises to help them in some way. Should we now extend our pity as they learn in drips and drabs that he was only kidding?

  33. Re Ovist: Why sometimes capitalize the adjective “white”?

    P.S.: Democratic politicians in some districts focus almost all of their time and energy on middle class working people, often regardless of race. Where they don’t, the reason may be demographic or it may be ignorance of what their party stands for and where it came from. As we saw last November, they are occasionally punished for their forgetfulness. But the lousiest Democratic representative has a bigger chamber in his heart for working people than the Donald, who is oblivious to their existence. To him their lives are of no value, even if they vote for him.

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