Ever since last Tuesday I, and most people I know, have felt shattered. It is a blow to our common humanity that someone who expressed such hatred toward so many of us could have gotten a majority vote for the presidency.
What was the most striking to me was how overwhelmingly white voters, including white women, voted for Trump. Our dominant white supremacist culture tries to train us into a hegemonic form of whiteness that tells white people that this is our country, that we are the normal, that our lives are the ones that matter. Many people trained into that way of experiencing the world have begun to feel displaced in their sense of being the ones entitled to ownership of this country. When people feel insecure about their place in the world, they are wide open targets for demagogues who make use of that insecurity to gain power.
White supremacy just won the presidency. It may not be a white supremacy of the Klan and lynching. But it is the white supremacy nonetheless. It is the white supremacy of making America white again, of blaming problems on people from marginalized communities, and of insisting on being able to take their needs seriously while ignoring the needs and concerns of others.
For those of us who are white and who have rejected the ideology of white supremacy, it is time for us to renew our commitments to being allies in the struggles of people from the communities that are the most under attack. And it is time for us to engage other white people to get them to reject the ideology of white supremacy, even in its more subtle manifestations. It is also important for us to understand why many people of color don’t feel at ease or safe around us right now.
And for everyone it is important that we get to a place where we can work together with people of good will from all backgrounds. People who are undocumented are better off with the solidarity of those who have papers. LGBT people are better off with the solidarity of people who are straight. Muslims are better off with the solidarity of people who are not Muslim. Women are better off with the solidarity of men. People of color are better off with the solidarity of white people. Separated into our silos we get picked off one by one. Together in a broad community of support for everyone’s liberation we are strong and can build movements that are formidable.
Serious struggle for a better future requires all of us to work our hardest and our smartest, with open hearts, and with a lot of courage.
One thought on “White Supremacy won the Election”
I appreciated your piece on counterhegemony and the references to Gramsci especially. Other than the work by Laclau and Mouffe, and carried forward by Zizek, too little attention has been placed on that revolutionary thinking so it is nice to see it referenced in popular media.