We Created Trump
Sometimes I would drift off in class while listening to the professor lecture. I would think about the possibility that some of what was being said was not entirely accurate. I would wonder if maybe we were slanting the facts the same way the, “not so bright” conservatives were. It seemed illogical to think that the only place that had all the right answers was a liberal Cal State University and that any conservative way of thinking was wrong. Then one day something clicked. Many conservatives and liberals report facts with a slant that evokes a racist, sexist and generalized discriminatory dialogue. Some liberals do so while simultaneously claiming to attack, but instead, oversimplify and perpetuate thousands of years of oppressive ideology. The end game is to attract voters into a two party system that is forever neglecting its sympathizers’ actual needs.
American blacks and Hispanics are numerical minorities within U.S. society. However, they are almost always overrepresented in criminal courts and as prison inmates (Rossi & Berk, 1997). This disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic minorities suggests the possibility of discrimination in the criminal justice system (Blumstein, 1982). After analyzing the data yourself, you too would have to agree that it seems the cards are stacked against our African American fellows. It would appear that there is a variable other than race that is causing this disparity. That variables turns out to be income, among other things. Lack of income is the number one catalyst to social problems. “You don’t steal on a full stomach,” so to speak. It would be racist to call this trend in data a “Black Problem.” It has to do with hundreds, arguably thousands of years of oppression, systemic racism, geography, poverty etcetera, etcetera, that has left these American people constantly at risk. It is not about that population’s race. This is interesting because some liberal educators, media and individuals use the term, “White Privilege,” to describe the flip side of that coin.
“White Privilege,” is the idea that hundreds, if not thousands of years ago racism was created to control ideology which shaped policy (or vice versa) which left the, “white man,” at an enormous advantage. Similar to per capita incarceration rates among African Americans the real issues behind, “White Privilege” have little to do with the Caucasian Americans you see today. Instead it has to do with an enormous amount of intolerant policy and ideology created hundreds of years ago. That has not stopped liberals from coining this phenomena an oversimplified colloquial racial term often considered by most universities as intellectual. “White Privilege.” If you were to argue, “But most poor people in America, are Caucasian,” you’re met with statements like, “Not all White Privilege has to do with wealth.” These privileges upon further investigation are actually not privileges, but basic human rights like walking around a liquor store without someone thinking you might steal. Breaking that specific privilege down even further you find that once again you’re met with a situation concerning income.
According to Strain Theory, a theory outline by Robert Merton based on the work of Emile Durkheim, people will redefine societal goals and/or means when those goals are unobtainable, or those means nonexistent (Popple & Leighninger, 2011). If people are encouraged to be wealthy but are not given the means to become wealthy they may redefine the means to do so (Popple & Leighninger, 2011). This may drive those with less income to break the law, and steal (Popple & Leighninger, 2011). Per capita, there are a greater number of African Americans living in poverty. One might then logically infer that some instances of store owners stereotyping African Americans as thieves has to do with living in areas that are densely populated with poor African Americans that sometimes steal.
African Americans only make up approximately 15% of the U.S. That would mean there are numerous locations throughout the U.S. where African Americans are hardly present in statistical significance. The stereotype for those who steal relative to that area may be certain Caucasian American Males. In the U.S., this scenario is more likely than not as Caucasians make up 40% of the population. A store owner's stereotype of a thief might even be a student with a backpack due to the store being within the vicinity of a junior high school. These arguments aren’t meant to suggest the issues behind, “White Privilege” are nonexistent. The arguments are made to illustrate just how oversimplified the term, “White Privilege” is and how incredibly complex the issues really are. It is also meant to argue that liberals will label any issue pertaining to Caucasian Americans with that race, while accurately reporting the antecedent catalysts for problems concerning minorities. Most people aren’t adept in regard to antecedent variables that cause, “White Privilege.” Most use the racist term out of rage, not educational enlightenment. That rage is appropriate. The racism not so much.
The grave is dug even deeper as liberal education teaches, “Only those who are Caucasian can be racist,” and, “Only men can be sexist.” Even if this were true, the result is a demographic of American citizens labeled, “privileged,” and “racist.” Those, “White Privileged” individuals who are mostly poor and outnumber people of color, are now just as mad as those who have been handed the short end of the stick. It would seem, they have no voice. No way to fight back. They now cry out, “Who will speak for me? Everything I say that I heard on Fox News is considered racist. Who will make my America great again?” One man answered their cries, in the exact same way liberals created terms like, “White Privilege.” His name was Donald Trump, and we can’t shut the guy up. Donald Trump has single handedly oversimplified almost every one of Americas problems by putting the blame on race, ethnicity and immigration, but liberals made the masses hungrier for it.
Liberal media and educational institutions are racist the same way conservative media and educational institutions are racist. Republicans use the disparity in incarceration rates, employment, education, wealth etc. and claim that these are simply problems due to being a lazy person (usually of color) or an immigrant. Liberals have fingered Caucasian men (or men in general depending on context) as the problem. In both scenarios, it’s a problem with certain individuals not the system. However, if it is a problem with the system, it’s ok for liberals to label those problems as “Male,” or “White Privilege.” Let’s look at this another way…
American men are 2.5 time more likely to be found guilty as fellow female Americans when indicted for the same crime (Doerner & Demuth, 2010). This of course is not labeled as a privilege, because it’s not. Furthermore, most violent crimes committed by women are committed against family members. The phenomena of women abandoning babies in places like bathrooms and dumpsters due to societal pressure, has become so prevalent a policy known as, “Safe Surrender,” was adopted to insure women can anonymously hand over their child to the state. Mothers can even leave their first name and return to the, “Safe Surrender Site,” within two weeks if they decide to raise the child. Regardless, female Americans have an enormous advantage over male Americans in family court. No one in their right mind would coin this phenomena, “Female Privilege.” It would be sexist to oversimplify these phenomena with over generalized catch phrases that entail pointing fingers at one gender. It would be omitting all the antecedent variables that led to these societal issues. However, the exact opposite seems to be true when we analyze patterns among the American male population.
We’ve all heard statements like, “If only a woman were in office.” “If only an African American were in office.” “If only a Chicano were in office.” I’ve known people to vote for anyone that had a last name that sounded Spanish. I’ve known people that had only voted for a candidate because they were female. It is not surprising then that we see many Americans of many ethnicities voting for someone who they think is like them, or who it is they aspire to be. A successful, entrepreneur who is not afraid to say what everyone else is supposedly thinking. Donald Trump. Some liberals, by oversimplifying complex issues of social justice with racist catch phrases, so that everyone can share the omitted oppressed history from that phrase without taking the time to research it, along with media reporting data poorly and omitting information solely out of rage have created a monster. Now even Republicans are shitting bricks. There is no simple solution. We definitely have to stop using any catchphrase, colloquial term or simplified meme that uses race, gender or ethnicity to generalize an unjust phenomena. If you continue to do so, please stop wrapping your intolerance and laziness with the term, “Social Justice Warrior,” “Feminist,” “Activist,” Liberal,” “Republican,” etc. as you engender anger towards these movements and institutions.
Even incredibly smart and well-read college professors, judges and presidents have had difficulty with abandoning race, gender and ethnicity. It is incredibly hard to live in a culture that condemns judging someone based on ethnos or phenotype while simultaneously asking everyone to value individuals based on their ethnos and phenotype.
It was Martin Luther King Jr. that said;
“And when his wrinkled stomach cried out for the food that his empty pockets could not provide, (Yes, sir) he ate Jim Crow, a psychological bird that told him that no matter how bad off he was, at least he was a white man, better than the black man (http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia).”
Today, it is not only the, “white man” that yearns to find the same value from race, gender and ethnicity one would find from physical wealth. It is also the black, brown and white man that desperately try to replace monetary wealth with the idea that at least they are better off than another group of people. The great thing about race, gender and ethnicity is it can’t be taken from someone the same way you would take away a house. It fits inside any wallet, can be taken anywhere and can be more influential than the luring features of a new sports car.
If we are all expected to be wealthy but are not given the means to become wealthy, we can change the idea of wealth. We can become wealthy in race, gender and ethnicity. That can give us purpose, power and prestige. We therefore clothe ourselves in race. We feed ourselves gender. We live inside ethnic enclaves that keep us safe from the eroding expectations of our surrounding society. Then we claim those who are different than us are the problem. The three branches of government know this. Hell, they created the idea. They are now hoping you don’t ask for anything more. If you find it difficult to abandon race, gender and ethnicity that’s justified. If you find all this talk irrelevant, unnecessary or just, “stupid,” you might as well buy a bumper sticker that says, “I helped Donald Trump with his comb over”.
We’re all incredibly angry that both parties of the U.S. government have done very little to really help us. Democrats pass off token legislation that only help the most vulnerable populations of color and gender. They continue to brag about creating more jobs and lowering unemployment while these jobs don’t provide a livable wage and most of us are still in poverty. They hope you only hear about those few instances where they helped, “the little guys,” and their advocacy for minorities. They over report those small examples of people finally getting healthcare while being diagnosed with Lupus. They glorify those one or two urban families whose children found success through an afterschool program. As long as headlines are slanted to read, “Those who cannot help themselves are being helped,” some of the liberal masses become satisfied. In order to slant those headlines the verbiage is often constructed in ways that oversimplify incredibly complex issues. A great example of this practice is the way the liberal media reports the situation in Israel.
Anti-Israel catch phrases are created for any wrong committed by Israel. Palestinian wrong doings are reported with sympathetic catch phrases due to their status as, “underdogs” and as minorities. Israel has indeed committed terrible atrocities. The problem is objectivity surrounding the issue is lost when cliché’s such as, “Occupied Territories,” “Freedom Fighters,” and “Settlers,” are used to oversimplify the problem. The terms are used in an attempt to keep consistent the Democratic Party’s ethos. That ethos is, “Democrats look after the poor, helpless minorities not only domestically, but globally. Your enemy is anyone who doesn’t fit that mold.” Those who do not fit that mold in America, are generalized as “white men.”
Republican politicians refuse to budge on issues such as gun control, immigration, civil rights and climate change. They claim that if they were to, “budge,” your constitution would be eroded. They over report instances where attackers were slain by gun wielding patriots. They claim our borders are being overrun by illegal immigrants that want to rape your daughters and steal your jobs. They are very fond of the Christian religion due to its orthodox and any deviation from tradition is an attack on America. As long as headlines are slanted to read, “Your traditional way of life is at risk, but we’re protecting it from foreign invaders and the unpatriotic,” most Republican masses are satisfied. In order to slant those headlines incredibly complex issues are, once again oversimplified. An example of this practice is how the conservative media reports the situation is Israel. The Israelis are reported by conservative media as people just trying to protect their homeland and traditions from poor invaders. Republicans stress the importance of standing behind any citizen, or country that wishes to arm themselves against those opposed to traditional old-fashioned values and hard work. Traditional America remember, was mostly white, segregated and hard working. That is why the conservative finger is mostly pointed at people of color and immigrants.
The point of this essay is to elaborate how much objectivity can be effected by generalizing and oversimplifying antecedents of social problems as problems due to a specific race, gender and/or ethnicity. Even if a two word catch phrase represents thousands of years of historical injustice, if it entails race, gender and/or ethnicity it is most likely detrimental to American solidarity and perpetuates class divide. This essay does not argue that there is no injustice toward women, people of color and other minorities. This essay attacks the way in which those injustices are articulated. Those injustices are usually articulated and fought against in a way that brings awareness to disparity but simultaneously creates dissension among Americans. A great example would be the, “Black Lives Matter Movement.”
In some instances the movement has done a fantastic job in voicing the disproportionate number of African Americans killed by police officers. However, for the most part American solidarity has not been a byproduct of the movement. Some have even hijacked the catch phrase and used it to organize attacks on white Americans. Others have used the catch phrase to explain that African Americans are only interested in saving the lives of other African Americans. So much time, energy and emotion is wrapped up in what the catch phrase actually implies, that there is no discussion about how to resolve the issues that led to the movement in the first place. All of these issues are incredibly valid and deserve to be talked about ad nauseam. However, oversimplifying the issues as being one big colossal ball of, “White Privilege,” not only convolutes the message but creates divide. It’s the very thing candidates like Donald Trump need to become commander and chief.
Here’s a final suggestion as to what you can do to help. After tragedy hits, whether it be a mass shooting or the rape of a young woman, do not allow political candidates or the media to hijack that situation and use your anger to peddle votes toward their token causes. Do not allow your anger to justify pointing the finger at an entire group of people you feel may be to blame. Do not use any motivation derived from anger and sadness to further instigate hatred or favoritism toward race, ethnicity and gender. Use that drive to find ways to help. Use that drive to volunteer. Use that drive to forgive. Individually we cannot help everyone. Individually we cannot change the world. Individually, our efforts are like a drop of water in a bucket. Remember however, that every bucket of water is merely made up of thousands of drops. The alternative is creating an atmosphere that not only wants a Donald Trump to sedate their anger, hate and fear but needs a Donald Trump. I assure you, we don’t.
Blumstein, A. (1982). On the racial disproportionality of United States’ prison populations.
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 73, 1259–1281.
Doerner, J. , & Demuth, S. (2010). The independent and joint effects of race/ethnicity, gender,
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Popple, Philip R., Leighninger, Leslie (2011). Social Work, Social Welfare, and American
Society. Boston, MA. Pearson.
Rossi, P. H., & Berk, R. A. (1997). Just punishments: Federal guidelines and public views
compared. New York NY: Aldine De Gruyter.
King, Martin L. Jr. (1965, March 25). Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery
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