I talked about this a little in this blog but it is worth being explicit – white people should be ashamed of their racism and sexism. It has made me laugh how on TV the 60s and 70s – which was a great time – was a time of rampant sexism and racism (maybe so), and that how much better things are now – how everyone is now not racist and sexist. Then in the two white countries of the US and my origin a little bit of wealth was dangled first by Brexit and then by Trump, and white greed showed itself without any concern for the racist and sexist consequences. So where is the change?
It is important to see any changes that have happened for what they were. When I grew up racist and sexist slurs were common place, they were part of my conditioning. Because I hit bottom and came out on the Path – at least some way, when I met black people telling me I was racist I listened – because I knew my conditioning was all wrong. That was how I learned. Then whenever I had contact with my family and my suburban upbringing it was clear how racist the conditioning was. Typically, a nice black family moved in down the round of my myopic suburban background – I saw them one Xmas and the next year they had gone. My father justifying himself said “I have nothing against them but I don’t want them here because the house prices will go down.” He had no intention of selling his house but he would join in the conformity of conditioning that led to pressure on this family (discomfort with the neighbours) to leave.
This white shame was most brutally brought home to me when I went to South Africa in the early 90s. Because of my politics the very Afrikaaner accent used to grate on me – before I went. When I was down there I met these white people. Black people were demonised by conditioning, so with the draft the whites just oppressed them – conditioning. But why were they doing this? They were just looking after their families, to maintain their standard of living they had to accept apartheid and its benefits – and this was easily accepted because black people were demonised. Now most of these whites are ashamed of their history but other whites in the US and UK have not learnt this shame from them.
What has happened since my youth has been the development of the “thought police”, it became unacceptable to be racist and sexist in public. This of course is a lot better. But in private the white people remained the same, the more aggressive would still hit you as a “nigger lover”, and the suburban would still fear blacks because of house prices. Until Brexit and Trump I have been unable to affirm this assessment because I don’t live there – such attitudes are one of the reasons why I left. Liberals including liberal women and liberal blacks have lulled themselves into a comfort zone that what they have been doing has been making changes, but these two votes show that the changes are only superficial. Dangle some money, and the liberal “values” – lipservice – goes out the window.
Jonathan Cook whose tactics I have recently criticised (here and here) was right on the money when he criticised liberals. These liberals have not been concerned about the underlying factors that direct our society, they have been content with the results of the thought police – people are not racist and sexist in public. These liberals encourage the delusion that things are much better than the dark days of the 60s and 70s and before. But they are far from so. I contend that Trump and Brexit could never have happened back then – certainly Trump. No presidential or prime ministerial candidate could ever talk of “pussy-grabbing”, and get voted in. Yes, racism and sexism were there but it was more circumspect. Of course, I am English so I cannot be 100% sure that what I am saying is true of the US.
The real issue is that deep morality or sila is not a part of our conditioning. The custom and practise of racist and sexist lipservice was only token – no matter how often repeated, it was a cursory morality not a deep one. For many people who are “liberals” their parents will have been afraid and voted for Brexit or Trump, the resulting racial and sexist assaults are not their concern – if they gain more money.
Look at the excuses that Trump got away with. A man whose past is steeped in bankruptcy, dubious business practise, racism and sexism won a presidency because of promises of supporting the “white people”. That was enough, he promised them money so they just needed an excuse to vote for him. Trump started with the racists and his rallies were full of these ignorant people so “white people” saw what he was about. So what was the excuse? “Crooked” Hillary. Hillary is no different from any neoliberal politician, she has her backers, she makes deals with lobbyists, she and Bill have a neoliberal foundation that promotes capitalism. All of these are not new, apart from the foundation Obama had them and so on. Hillary had emails but they had been repeatedly cleared as non-criminal, BUT they were enough. The shameful white people had their excuse. None of these racists who were so easily bought off worried about what Trump actually offered, it was enough that he offered it to these racists – and gave them “crooked Hillary” as an excuse. He knew these white people, he lived amongst them, he knew their greed, he knew their racism, and he played off it. He knew they were so arrogant that no matter what he, Trump, did they could still be bought off – because bottom-line these shameful white people put their greed first and do not care enough for humanity – racism and sexism.
This is harsh but it needs to be. When you meet these “shameful white people”, they are pleasant, they pass the time of day, their roses are well groomed, they watch their game shows, their gardening programmes and cash from junk are mundane but pleasant conversations. But their greed promotes racism, their greed can be manipulated into Brexit and Trump. They need to be publicly shamed. In my day these people just said with my anger I was going through a phase. I am now 64 and I am still ashamed of who they are. They always have excuses.
In Britain our colonial past is no accident, it is built on this shame. What happened in Africa, India never mattered the money came rolling in. The rich and wealthy got seriously rich and wealthy whilst ordinary people got more money. Not a lot but enough so that they could be bought off. Often enough these shameful white people demonstrated liberal tendencies. Many a time the excuse of the Oxfam envelope was thrown at me but deep down their greed brought out racism and sexism.
These people need to be shamed. Until they are ashamed of what they do nothing will change.
But this is not the shaming of the thought police. Somehow this shaming has to move out of the liberal sphere where the pressure at times is unreasonable and hit these shameful people where it matters – in the pocket. Liberals tow the line at work and harangue at home. This is the wrong way round, the shameful white people are at work, they are the bosses. But of course you cannot harangue the boss – you lose your money.
In the end white people need to be ashamed. They never were, will they ever be?
There is only one saving grace. White people are in power, that is why they need to be shamed. If black people were in the same position could they be manipulated by a black Trump – I think so.