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.