So now the question is, what has white American’s feet nailed to the floor when it comes to moving toward electing a more effective government that works for them and all other Americans. I assert that slavery and Jim Crow have had a worse deleterious psychological impact on white Americans than black Americans. The reason is that it has warped their understanding of what it means to white, and therefore diminished their capability interact effectively and amicably with people of color. The subliminal remnants of Slavery and Jim Crow thinking are ingrained in much of American culture, and both subtly and not so subtly suggest that to be white is to be genetically superior to anyone who is not white. God and Jesus are depicted in the image of white people. In the period between the early 1900s and mid 1940s, a significant number of people in both Europe and America were obsessed with the notion of white racial purity and superiority, to the point of creating the “science” of eugenics to support it. In more recent years, eugenics and out of context biblical references have been used to justify slavery and Jim Crow and the continued oppression of especially men of color. On TV, especially in the 1950s and 1960s when my generation was coming of age, the subliminal suggestions of white superiority were especially powerful. Combine that with the fact that there were almost no depictions of black Americans or other Americans of color in movies and on TV as anything but buffoons and janitors, and it becomes understandable that even the most liberal of white people harbored some degree of racial bias. The impact of this is that a large number of white Americans lack the capacity to act in their own best interest anytime you inject race in the discussion, even when the discussion has nothing to do with race. Many white Americans are almost completely incapable of sharing power with anyone who is not white, unless they can demonstrate that they are whiter in their attitudes towards non-whites than even the most racist of white people (e.g. Justice Clarence Thomas), almost out of a sense of self-preservation. They have never gotten over a black man who refused to distance himself from his African American culture and history occupying the Whitehouse. The idea that only white people, or pseudo white people, can serve the interests of white Americans is simply not reality. The idea is a warped fantasy that colors the decisions they make in everything from religion to politics. The Obama presidency benefited middle class and poor white Americans more than anyone else in America, and yet they were the people who elected a government who’s stated position was to tear down everything his administration accomplished. When people act on the basis of a false reality, they make very poor decisions. People think that because things seem to be going well in the present moment that everything is fine. But it was six years into the Bush presidency before the consequences of the decisions to elect him, a person who was not at all presidential material, over Al Gore and John Kerry showed up. People lost their jobs and their homes on an epic scale. The Koch brothers, the Rupert Murdoch’s, the Melons and the DeVos of the world have exploited this false reality of white racial superiority to convince a large enough number of white Americans to vote against their own interests to the point that all of the New Deal elements of the 1940s and 1950s that created the largest middle class in the history of the world and truly made America great are now being dismantled. America is on its way to becoming a feudal society in which the average American is forced to spend 95% or more all their wealth and income on basic necessities such as food, clothing, healthcare, shelter and transportation; nothing left for education, investment or retirement. We will have to work until the day we die so the top 1% of Americans can support their lifestyles.
Having said all this, don’t think for a minute that I’m suggesting that anything I’ve said about black, white or in between Americans is absolute truth. I’m merely suggesting that this would be a good place to look to start the conversation that will begin the process of building the America that we all want to have. The things I’ve pointed out are maybe 10% of adjustment in our thinking required to truly make America great. If you feel you must immediately dig in your heels and defend your position against anything I’ve said, and lash out against me or anyone who agrees with me, you make my point. The point is that my views are merely my perspective. It’s how the world looks to me given my life experiences and my past decisions. It is not reality. From my perspective, you can’t truly love America unless you love black people, white people, Hispanic people, Arab people, Asian people and most importantly Native American people. America is all those people. I always get an unsettling feeling when I’m watching a movie and the white action hero makes the statement, “I love my country”. I get that feeling because frequently, throughout the movie, they have expressed views or at least tolerated views of their peers that disparage or dehumanize people of color. The heroes are usually from places like South Boston or Bayside Queens that are heavily ethnic Irish or Italian. I get the same sensation when I see people on TV at rallies usually protesting against the views of some other group. When you say you love America in that context, you are implying that those who don’t agree with you don’t love America. You are saying that you love South Boston or Long Beach, Long Island at the exclusion of all the other Americans. It is at that point that those who are inclined to divide us for their own personal gain, whether they are foreign or domestic, have their opportunity.