The emergence of the expression of white racism exemplified firstly by the Brexit vote and then the vote for Trump deeply saddens and angers me.
My parents were in their teens during the second world war, and were grateful for the peace that followed. As was the frightened community I grew up in that was racist and sexist, and the fear brought out violence including in myself. But mostly this violence was reactionary, the establishment (1%) fighting any form of change.
When I started to think I rejected the fear-based system in the community I grew up in. As an adult I tried not to be racist and not to be sexist, and I tried to work for peace eschewing any violence. For this my community said I would grow out of it. I am proud to say I never have, and trying not to be racist or sexist – and not being violent – are attributes I am proud of.
However significant proportions of the community I grew up with have not changed. Rather than educating themselves into overcoming their fear by being compassionate, they have clung to their fears and this clinging shows in their racist vote patterns. The media claims that Brexit and Trump is a symbol of liberal failure, and looking for something different. They claim that the white racist vote is voting for a change, but neither Brexit nor Trump offer change they only offer a return to the fear and racism of the community I grew up with. Apart from rhetoric and falsehoods what policies that benefit these people have we heard from Brexit or Trump? With Brexit we see the confidence of the money markets manipulating the exchange rates leading to economic loss – hopefully temporary. At the same time there has been an increase in racist violence, will there also be an emergence of increasing domestic violence? What do you think of that possibility 53% of US white women?
There is no rationale to these votes. Trump offered these US racists the sacrificial excuse of “Crooked Hillary”, an excuse which might be valid if the alternative had integrity but when you see the depravity that is Trump how can any rational person vote for him?
My childhood community was not founded in rationale but fear. In this world of fear they went to work, their standard of living grew, as the 1% exploited the peace that followed the second world war and exploited the neo-colonialism in Africa and other ex-colonies. The 1% grew rich and my community went to work leading to a safe but comfortable standard of living. In all of this racism and sexism did not matter because they were afraid of the war.
But these people did not move on. They were happy to call people becoming aware of these social crimes as young people who will grow out of it. And they never grew. They hankered for the past, the peace that followed the post-war community. The needed change was reacted to by the 1%, and those people chose to see those changing as being the cause of the violence – this of course was the stance of the mainstream media (part of the 1%). This fearful community chose not to develop, hankered for a racist sexist post-war peace, and had their fear manipulated by Brexit and Trump.
Instead of describing this ignorance for what it is – a racist and sexist reactionary white community, the mainstream chooses to call this racism a vote for change. Instead of shaming these white people for a racist sexist ignorance, there is a token respect for their willingness to vote for something different. The fact that they are voting for “something different” that is fascist is glossed over. It should not be glossed over, this Brexit/Trump vote is a reactionary vote for racism and sexism. These people should be made to feel shame not excused because they are “seeking change”. Corbyn offers change but this is not fascism so votes for Corbyn are not considered votes for something different.
The Guardian should have the word “shame” plastered all over the front page. But unfortunately this shameful group of “nice” white middle-class and upper working-class are too powerful so the mainstream does not cry “shame”. My extended family are “nice people”, they go to church and help each other and their neighbours. I will not ask but most of them I suspect voted for Brexit, their American equivalents voted for Trump. They are not the bigoted Trump rabble from his rallies who were portrayed in the progressive media, but the quiet white people, amongst the 53% of white women, who voted for Trump. I am ashamed of them. I have always been the aggressive outsider critical of the mainstream, and they pointed out my anger as a weakness. They did not look at their own racism and sexism as a weakness. So many times I sat quiet as disguised racism was the polite conversation, this is now not acceptable. I am ashamed of their vote, they should be ashamed. I should not be the one who has to be quiet in polite conversation, they should be because their racism is shameful.