Friday, March 16, 2018

The Scariest Hate: From the Low-Achieving Privileged Against the High-Achieving Un-Privileged.

The scariest kind of hate in America comes from people who have not much going for them besides their privileges, against people who are rising despite not having those privileges.

Thus, white racists don't hate black (and other non-white) people as such, but when they are ambitious, smart, hard-working, and rising. Hence, the insane opposition to Barack Obama from low-achieving white people.  They have little going for them but white privilege, and if that is visibly overcome, they feel it as a betrayal.  (This is the premise of White Rage, a book I am teaching this year).

Likewise, misogynists don't hate women as such, just ambitious, smart, hard-working, and rising women, like Hillary Clinton.  This comes mostly from low-achieving men seeing male privilege visibly overcome.

And, I believe, much of the opposition to immigrants comes from people who rely on their citizenship privileges -- even more than whiteness or sharing the majority religion -- to secure their place in American society.  If immigrants, legal and otherwise, come in and achieve without that privilege, that, too, feels like a betrayal.


Gary said...

Dr. It would seem to be a bit delusional for the author to be sitting in an Academic Institution ,enjoying the Privilege of tenure, criticizing others who don’t have that privilege. It’s hateful, quite frankly, to assume that all who opposed President Obama and Mrs. Clinton as racists or misogynists. I am a White American who grew up as a ward of the state ,which was anything but Privileged, yet, I was able to over come not because I’m white but by paying my way through college, raising a large family and striving to succeed. My work exposes me to most, if not all, demographics. I have to say, I just don’t see the acrimony on the level being set forth. It may be effective rhetoric for selling books however, it’s vain hope. I see this pattern from your posts and to be honest, I’m not so sure it’s healthy for you to resent your ethnicity or to teach others to do so.

Gruntled said...

Why do you "assume that all who opposed President Obama and Mrs. Clinton as racists or misogynists"?

Gary said...

You know that’s not my’s the theme of “ White Rage.

Gruntled said...

I know it is not your assumption, and you know it is not my assumption. It is also not the assumption of White Rage. It is an unhelpful straw man.

The premise of White Rage is that some white people are racists - a fact which could hardly be denied. The insight of the book is that what enrages the people who are racists is not the sheer fact of black people, but their rising.

I believe the same is true of misogynists. They hate women rising.

When a black man rose to the presidency, the racists were enraged and mobilized as they have not been since the 1960s. When a woman was rising to the presidency, the misogynists were enraged and mobilized as have not been since the 1970s.

Right now, a similar phenomenon is emerging against immigrants.

The rage comes from a sense of betrayal. The betrayal comes from a sense of entitlement that these subordinated groups would not rise, and could not rise. That this sense of entitlement is not justified in no way prevents the sense of betrayal and the reaction of rage.

Some unscrupulous politicians and business people, who do not share this insane rage, nonetheless see an opportunity to expand their own power by stoking this rage. They are the greater villains.

Gary said...

Well... there is no denying, on my part, that racism and misogyny exists, even before minority groups rising. I might note, as I travel the country, I often tune in to local radio shows and find when southern border immigrant issues are discussed, the greatest protest to such comes from Black Americans. That’s a small sampling, but it’s stll note worthy..

Your thesis of betrayal for Rage, is likey accurate however, those groups were minimized, as President Obama was re-elected. Hillary Clinton’s demise was much more than gender based, clearly.

We now have a White Businessman as President and we can agree that Rage, of all races, colors and creeds is alive and well, at least in the institutions and media.

Mac McCarty said...

While racism and xenophobia may be parts of the basis for opposition to illegal immigrants, I think it is more a case of the natural tendency of Americans to dislike cheaters. People whose very first act in entering our Nation is to break our laws, who cut in line, who demand a part of the national generosity as a right, are not going to be welcomed with open arms by people who play by the rules.

And it is not only a result of racism, misogyny, and xenophobia. You wrote "Thus, white racists don't hate black (and other non-white) people as such, but when they are ambitious, smart, hard-working, and rising. Hence, the insane opposition to Barack Obama from low-achieving white people."

Perhaps, but for the record, I am a white American who you would classify as "ambitious, smart, hard-working, and rising." I did not hate President Obama, but I disliked him intensely. My dislike was not because he was black but because he was such a bad President, one who squandered his magnificent opportunity to demonstrate that color does not matter to one who wants to lead the American people and address the concerns of those people. He chose instead to preside over a "now it's 'our' turn" presidency. To quote the last Crusader, "He chose...poorly."

In the midst of our greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression, he wasted the two years in which he had a veto-proof Congress forcing down our throats a social program that a significant portion of American citizens did not think they needed and did not want.

As a result, by the time he was ready to address some real problems, the American people had taken away his party's super majority in the Senate, and the rest is history.

So, before we tag everyone who opposes particular presidents or candidates as racist, misogynists, or xenophobes, we need to consider that for many, it may be caliber and performance rather than racism, misogyny, or xenophobia that is the driving factor.