“If you can convince the lowest white man, he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”
~ President Lyndon B. Johnson
The Lowest White Man
The 37th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, perfectly illustrated how racism steals the minds of White men while White politician rob them blind. President Johnson knew you could get a White man to do almost anything if you told him he’s a victim because Black or Brown people are taking jobs they didn’t want anyway, Blacks and Browns are getting public assistance White men feel only they are entitled to, or god forbid learn Blacks have worked hard to achieve their elusive American dream, you can get rob them blind.
Nothing gets a White man stirred up like equality and fairness. Racism is the drug of choice politicians have used for decades to rob the lowest White men (and women) in our society. As long as they think they aren’t at the bottom, they are happy.
Never mind the fact the Both the low Black men and low White men both are being robbed at the same time by the same thief. The only difference is one of the two low men (the Black one) sees the evil. The other man thinks the White male politician is his friend. He’s not. The tie that binds the low white man to the lowest White man is White Supremacy. You would think by now White men would have learned the lesson by now, but we continue to watch millions of White men every election cycle lose morally, financially, and socially to win politically.
Racism steals the minds of White men while White politicians rob them blind.
After All These Years, The Southern Strategy Still Works on Whites
If you’re familiar with the Southern Strategy in American politics, you should be familiar with the favorite pasttime of White men in American using this strategy to win whatever it is they set their evil minds to. Fighting against coloreds, Blacks, Browns, and non-White otherness.
The strategy is simple. Put White men, regardless of their socioeconomic status, against Black men, Black women, and other People of Color, and you can rob White men blind.
White Supremacy is the foundation of almost everything in America, including our politics, and the country needs to come to terms with the racism used to keep both political parties strong as it kept us all segregated. Chasing and appeasing White voters at the expense of otherness is as old as voting. So is getting this notion of White men being a victim because of equality and equity. As long as White men and women believe they are in jeopardy of becoming equal, they’ll do anything, including losing their damned minds, getting robbed by con-artists, and going to Walmart on a human shooting spree to maintain their “unequal” footing.
The Southern Strategy politics is the gift that keeps giving. And although it is a policy of the Republican Party, the Democratic Party (prior to the flipping) were the inventors of this strategy. The Low White Man strategy still works with White women and men in the Democratic Party too.
Different Political Parties, Same Racist Ideologies
I have been warning Democrats for the last two years of the reckoning that awaits the party because of their unwillingness to deal with race. Just like most of Trump’s Republican base believes Mexicans are stealing their jobs picking vegetables in fields (not), or Blacks are raping and stealing all of “their” White women (not), or reparations are bad, but bailouts for White farmers are okay, and Black and Browns are becoming too educated so they need to do away with Affirmative Action efforts, the Dems have their own White Supremacy issues too.
Dems have issues like Whites thinking nominating Barack Obama twice for POTUS makes us a post-racial America, and failing to act quickly on race and other issues that impact People of Color, or only talking about reparations when Black people are running for national office. Other ways they get under the low White man umbrella is by failing to impeach the President due to his racism even amid Black and Brown people getting killed, the tired “electability” argument any time a Black person or woman runs for office, or chasing White (fill in the blank with a characteristic ______ ) voters in Iowa or White voting blocks by race instead of issues, or Whites touting equality while hogging up all the opportunities to lead from Black and Brown people.
This Is Who We Are
White and Black people day after day continue to recite the slogan “this [racism] isn’t who we are,” but it’s a lie. This is who we are.
We’ve always been this way. Saying anything otherwise is a lie and deniers should go their local library’s American History section and spend the year there. That kind of ignorance leads to implicit bias.
America has always been a divided, segregated nation, and White America has always worked diligently to maintain the intricate systems of privilege and White Supremacy.
As of July 2018 according the U.S. Census, 76% of America is White. The majority of America is White. America is a White nation. Only 13.4% of Americans are Black, 18.3% are Hispanic/Latino, 1.3% of Americans are American Indian/Alaskan Native alone. There were 327,167,434 people living in America last month. Of that, only 60.4% were White alone (Whatever that means — like is the a test for “pure” White people?).
And here my friend is the root of the low White man’s anxiety.
If only 60.4% of the people in America are White alone, that means almost 50% of America is not White alone. It means the soon-to-be new majority will demand fairness, equality, and inequity in governance. But you can bet your bottom dollar that old rebellious Whiteness isn’t going down without a fight. Hence, the beating of the White drums for White lives with White lies at Fox News. Then there is Mitch McConnell stacking the courts with conservative judges who will rule in favor of Whiteness every, single time. And let’s not even talk about the White men and women who will vote for a lying jive turkey like Donald Trump.
The “low White man” will believe anything another White man tells him. Throughout our history, White politicians have used White men (i.e. White working class voters) to get achieve their personal goals. Whether it’s political appointments, public office, policies and legislation, or financial aids and public supports, White politicians know how to turn out the White vote. The same strategy works each and every election cycle. All politicians need to do is make low White men and women believe they are victims and scapegoat any ethnic group of color, and the world is theirs (or so they believe).
Meanwhile, Blacks and other non-whites every election cycle prepare to be treated as left overs, after-thoughts, or the bogey men of Whites in America. At some point, you’d think Whiteness both Republican and Democrats would get wise and stop trusting their own, but no such thing. Whiteness is priceless, and the most vile, lowest White men will lie to low White men to keep good Black and Brown folks down. That’s just the way it is.
And so, we all continue to suffer because White people continue to believe faithfully in the institutions of inequality and inequity.
If you can convince the lowest white man, he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.
And here we are. Again.
© 2019 Marley K. All rights reserved.
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