John Lockwood

Unboxing a Mind

How White People Went Crazy and Trump Got Elected

To understand how white people went crazy and Trump got elected, we have to briefly recall the history of immigration in the US. So we begin with that history. Sometime between 40,000 and 15,000 years ago, according to one theory, the first humans arrived here from Asia, walking across a land bridge over what is now the Bering Strait.

Next – give or take an odd Viking or two – things were pretty quiet for thousands of years.

But then, as most Americans can recite:

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two / Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

This began another period of immigration, let by Europeans who came across in boats. These European immigrants spent the next few hundred years killing and stealing from the former Asian immigrants who were already here, and getting rich by sailing their boats to Africa and kidnapping a bunch of African immigrants and forcing them to work on profitable farms raising, among other things, tobacco.

So these early white immigrants weren’t “bringing drugs into our country”. No sir. These cearly white capitalists were exporters!

And oh yeah, cotton too, but we digress a bit..

So what you had by the 19th century were a bunch of blacks established as a permanent underclass, a bunch of rich whites getting fabulously well-to-do off the forced labor of the blacks, and a bunch of poor white people who consoled themselves with the knowledge that at least they weren’t black.

But then some uppity crackers in the North started to have uppity cracker ideas like you shouldn’t whip people and keep them in chains, then the south got mad because that’s where their bread was buttered, bang bang, a bunch of folks died and the slaves are freed.

But the poor whites in the south would have none of that carpetbagger reconstruction stuff, so some of them joined the Klan (you know, in the words of Donald Trump, those “very fine people”, even though that’s not what they were at all).

It took a long time for a group of people who were slaves in the early 19th century and lynched in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to fight for their rights, with a lot of dreams deferred until the 1950’s and 60’s, when significant progress was made socially. This led to some blacks making progress in the 60’s and later. But still, as Howard Zinn points out, the underclass of poor in America still found an unfortunate and hungry majority among blacks, and whites living in poverty themselves or on the edge of it knew they had an advantage.

Growing up in school, they had skin that led their teachers to believe they might be smart, so were treated as though they were smart, and they became smart.

They had skin that didn’t attract police attention, so as teenagers if they were doing drugs or something else that stupid teenagers do, they more often got away without going to prison.

White Americans were a group who of people who were born on third base, convinced they had batted a triple.

And always they knew in their hearts that however poor they were, however stupid they were, however resistant to improving themselves they were, they were still better off than many of their black neighbors, who had skin their white teachers didn’t think covered a smart brain, who had skin that did attract police attention.

Then in 2008, disaster struck white America. One of the members of the permanent underclass became President of the United States. No, that wasn’t right – they’re supposed to live in ghettos, do drugs, kill each other. Not become President. “What happened to our country”, they said. “It doesn’t look like my country any more!”

For the next eight years white Americans were consoled by a con man who told them that the first black President of the United States was illegitimate because he wasn’t born in this country. White America was consoled by a candidate who told them it was OK to hate Mexicans and other foreigners, especially blacks from “shithole countries”, and Muslims – oh the horror.

White America loved this guy.

White America voted for this guy.

The first black president drove white America bat-shit crazy, and to restore the balance, white America elected Donald Trump to be President.

White Americans voted for a guy who turned me into a racist. I’m a white American, and I yes, I can admit it now, I’m a racist.

I hate white people.