White, Like He

The Shadow Knows!

I know a handful of people (generally suburban white guys of a certain age) who honestly pay no attention to politics and believe, sincerely, that it has no impact on them; all politicians are crooks, they say, so doesn’t matter who is in charge.

So Axios’ afternoon email thingie yesterday had an item that I find profoundly disturbing because it tracks with my experience with the non-political white people:

💡 “Trump’s genius: Training us not to be shocked … He makes us believe we already knew about every new exposé,” Elizabeth Spiers, a progressive media strategist, writes on the cover of tomorrow’s WashPost Outlook section:

In my day job, we create messaging for political candidates and conduct polls. Over and over, messages about Trump’s corruption land with a thud. The reality is that voters have a hard time buying the idea that such misconduct affects them in any way at all.

They might think it’s unfair, but they also overwhelmingly think everything that happens in Washington is corrupt, and that all elites in politics and business are corrupted on some level. They view Trump as a data point on a continuum of corruption, not as an outlier.

These white guys I know and have worked with don’t vote, they don’t care, and they say (somewhat accurately) that it never impacts themselves. But they never think about why that is true.

I’m not sure that it is a lack of empathy or if it is a lack of imagination.

They don’t worry about mass shootings in the school, or their kid being shot for the crime of being black with Skittles, or their daughters being denied opportunities because, well, women might decide to have a family someday, or worse: asking for it because they are wearing fashionable clothes.

They cannot imagine getting the phone call to ID the body in the morgue.

It doesn’t impact them. Until it does.

And this is why I find white male privilege so alarming. White men can afford to not pay attention. White guys know that they are on top of the food chain and —for themselves— nothing will change.

This entry was posted in Black Lives Matter, Lord Damp Nut, The Russian Usurper, sexism, Shallow graves for shallow people, White Punks on Dope. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to White, Like He

  1. JTO says:

    Bluegal said something similar last week on the Professional Left Podcast.
    This is the core of privilege – that it doesn’t happen to us and ours – that we want politics to ‘go back to being boring.’
    Challenging the Republican in the suit, with the speculum, with the gun or in the spaghetti-stained tank top is never boring, and never not necessary. That too many of our coworkers, family members and even friends have never imagined that it these people could happen to them, well. . . I guess, Tengrain, that that is the difference between us and them.
    The affected area of this maladministration and their coterie of fascists, grifters and opportunists is rising through the decks of the sinking ship. Ballast, machinery, freight and steerage are always wet, dank and dark places anyway. But now that water is lapping on both sides of the glass in the upper deck portholes, and it is only a matter of time before the lounges, the spa and topside ballroom are swamped. By then, of course, it will be late, very late indeed.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Infidel753 says:

    Well, this is how a lot of people think. If a problem doesn’t affect them — and corruption in high places doesn’t have much concrete impact on the average citizen — it doesn’t exist.

    This is why I’ve long believed that Democrats should run on issues like access to healthcare, and (in farming/manufacturing areas) the tariff wars. Things that do directly affect the average voter. Maybe it’s not what they should be concerned about, but we have to win elections in order to deal with anything.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. MDavis says:

    Watch for price manipulation. Gas prices are rising right now. Sometime in 2020 they will suddenly drop, and trump will get the credit. Oil companies and gas outlets like the trashing of regs – it makes their overhead lower. Their executives like the ridiculous tax breaks.
    Maybe that superpower, memory and the ability to research, will help. Connecting the dots between the prices and the tac breaks for the people who set them? Yeah, that’s a tougher sell. Takes too much time from sports ball and beers.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Last night we saw the two-woman play The Niceties at Milwaukee Rep. The play makes exactly this point, except the privileged white person is a semi-liberal white lesbian.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. pluky says:

    “It doesn’t impact them. Until it does.” When it does, they react unlike those of us for whom the unfairness of life is a given; who have learned to roll with it, shake ourselves off, and just keep getting up, Instead they curl up in whiny little snow balls.

    Liked by 3 people

    • tengrain says:

      Pluky –

      Welcome to MPS, it is good to have you with us.

      I think it is a sucker punch for these white suburbanites when it happens to them; it shatters all their assumptions. I remember a story book from when I was in grade school and the momma says something like, “Only bad people fare badly.” Things like shootings happen to the OTHER people because they are not good people, or good-enough.

      I think about (sadly) the dad of that girl who was killed in Marjory Stoneman in Florida. He’s been relentless since it happened, a man possessed, and now he’s the very definition of Woke, but it took a tragedy to get him there. Same thing for the parents of Sandyhook toddlers mown down by a crazy person and then slandered by InfoWars. They were bitch-slapped by fate; but would any of these people have woken up to it if it had not happened to them personally?

      We will never know.

      It’s a crappy way to be brought into reality, too high a cost.



      Liked by 2 people

      • Scottie says:

        Hello TG. Reality tends to bitch slap on other subjects also. It is true of Republican politicians on their “family values” con. Rob Portman from Ohio was a very anti-gay family values Republican. Then his son came out as gay. He had a total outlook change on the subject. Of course it started out that his son was not all those bad things he accused everyone else gay sons and daughters of. Then he had to admit it simply was different when it was his child. From there he dropped the whole it is against family values thing. But until it was his son involved, he was very anti-LGBTQ+. Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

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