Tuesday, July 16, 2019

our racist president

"Go back to Africa!"

If I heard someone shouting this, especially at a black person on an American street, I'd immediately assume that the shouter was racist. So the question becomes: when President Trump recently tweeted that a certain group of freshmen congresswomen ought to "go back" to their respective homes, was he being racist?

Not really. He was being an asshole, but as Scott Adams points out, this rhetoric was nothing more than New York-style trash talk. Here's Adams's whiteboard analysis:

A racist doesn't tell someone to go back to where she came from, then come back to teach us a better way. As Adams notes, CNN et al. aren't reporting the second part of Trump's tweet. The result is that easily manipulable minds, already self-righteous and ideologically predisposed to using an Orwellian Newspeak vocabulary stripped down to about eight words (Hitler, Nazi, bigot, sexist, misogynist, homophobe, transphobe, Islamophobe), unquestioningly gobble the fake news up. Note that Trump didn't even use a version of "Go back to Africa!" His tweet said, "Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came[?]" In other words: go back to Detroit, to New York, etc.—not go back to the lands of your respective heritages.

So where's the racism, dumbass? If you assume race is involved despite Trump's having specifically targeted four loudmouthed freshmen congresswomen for their outspoken behavior and not because they're women of color, you might want to look deep into your own soul and ask why you're the one focusing on race. Racism seems to be the only card you have left in your increasingly desperate attempt to win the contest of ideas, and your obsessive focus on race is a sure sign of your own racism.

Adams's notes on the topic:
   CNN Fake News OMITS the “then come back” part of the tweet
            Same fake news strategy they use to push Fine People HOAX
            Same fake news strategy they use to push ICE raids HOAX
   President Trump’s tweet was just New Yorker trash talk

   President Trump has positioned Democrats to tear themselves apart
            The LEAST popular among them are in the spotlight
            Will Democrats support Pelosi or the squad?
I'd say there's definitely something to the idea that Trump is trying to make the left embrace its crazies, thereby painting the entire left as crazy. The right has its crazy wing as well, but thus far, the right has remained rather fractured into an openly pro-Trump bloc, the religious right, the virulent-bigot wing (which many mislabel "alt-right"), and the neocon/Never Trumper camp of staid, stodgy conservatives who want to spread war, the hegemony of US-style democracy, and corporatism on steroids. The right is less of a problem to the nation as long as it remains fractured, I think, despite the difficulties this poses for Trump when, for example, the Never Trumpers become obstructionist and prevent things like building a border wall. The right, taken as a whole, is a shit show, but the left is plain fucking nuts.

Here's Styx on the latest Twitter-fueled kerfuffle:

Note especially what Styx says at 8:47: Trump isn't saying anything that the majority of Americans aren't already thinking. The average independent looks at AOC and wishes she'd go away. AOC isn't even approved of in her own district. If she's the candidate again, the GOP could end up retaking a chunk of New York City. People were slowly losing interest in AOC because Pelosi was soft-pedaling AOC's extremism, but now Pelosi has no choice but to defend AOC (et al.) from Trump, thereby forcing the Dems to circle the wagons when what they really need to do is jettison the extreme wing of the party. "The president's racist!" feeds right into the Trump Derangement Syndrome dynamic, and it's desensitizing US voters, who are getting sick of the "Racism, racism, racism" chant. Styx:
Trump is not a racist. He's a master strategist. He is a New York, Manhattan-dwelling business Democrat. He doesn't have a racist bone in his body. Dude, they said there was a tape of him saying the N-word repeatedly. I'm still waiting, two years later, to hear it! It's never gonna be heard because it doesn't exist! Tom Arnold is full of shit! Rosie O'Donnell is full of shit! I wouldn't be surprised if Trump has paid these people to spread shit. I wouldn't be surprised at all.


By the way, "muh racism, muh racism" doesn't work anymore, anyway. He's at 44, 45 percent approval. That's his long-term floor. That's his long-term mean approval. So almost half the country is supporting someone who supposedly is running a bunch of concentration camps. Don't you think the Democrats' attack lines are getting old? They keep throwing these terrible claims at him—he hates children; he's got concentration camps; he is literally Hitler, like he's the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler! He's a literal fascist. He's the most sexist, disgraceful, inept pig that's ever been in the White House! And yet, he's got 45 percent approval! And it's not going down!
The self-righteous among us, unable to concede that they might be in the grip of a massive, psychotic delusion, can't bring themselves to see that maybe, just maybe, this president, who can certainly be an acerbic asshole, isn't the demon they've made him out to be. Maybe if these deluded folks reoriented their concerns to their own fellow citizens, they might begin to understand Trump's agenda. But I don't have much hope that that's going to happen. Convinced of their own moral superiority, the deluded will merely double down on their arrogant sanctimony, trapped inside their false worldview—a perspective that disengages them from reality so thoroughly that they are unable to see how easily Trump will win in 2020—and that they, these moralizing idiots, will be the authors of his victory.

Here's Jon Miller on the same topic:

Using AOC's words against her, Miller humorously calls Trump's tweets "factually inaccurate, but morally right." Miller makes this joke because Trump's earlier tweet said that certain congresswomen "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe." That is indeed factually incorrect: only Ilhan Omar was born outside the United States: Rashida Tlaib was born in Detroit; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York City; Ayanna Pressley was born in Chicago. But when Trump wrote, "Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came," he obviously didn't mean anything close to "Go back to Africa!" First, I'm sure he's fully aware of who was born in the States and who wasn't. Second, "the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came" is likely code for New York, Chicago, and Detroit. Miller points out that Rashida Tlaib, in her angrily tweeted response to Trump, didn't even highlight her citizenship: she instead affirmed how proud she was of her Palestinian roots, inadvertently making Trump's veiled point about loyalty to country for him.

Now, even if I haven't convinced you that Trump wasn't shouting a version of "Go back to Africa!", there's still Scott Adams's point to consider: what sort of racist invites people to go away, then come back with superior knowledge?

Look, at this point, if you're convinced Trump is a racist because you see racism under every carpet and in every dark corner, then I doubt this post will change your views. If, however, you have a mind that's at least slightly open, you might consider that a non-racist interpretation of Trump's rant is possible. Keep in mind, too, that liberals can't afford to be self-righteous when they have their own racism problem to deal with: blacks in the #WalkAway movement get called coon, Uncle Tom, and nigger by liberals who can't stand the thought of black people leaving the Democrat plantation. That rhetoric is real, and it's a major problem.

Finally, I saw this on Gab:

ADDENDUM: America has never been less racist.


John Mac said...

Precisely. Well done and well said.

"The right, taken as a whole, is a shit show, but the left is plain fucking nuts."

And that sums it up nicely. Sad but true.

I get my daily dose of American politics with my morning coffee. I find myself shaking my head and muttering "thank God I don't have to live around these idiots. I honestly believe it would be bad for my health.

Kevin Kim said...

I've mentioned before that I've been wondering, of late, which country I'm going to die in. There are good reasons to remain in Korea, but health care isn't one of them. There are good reasons to move back to the States, but with the political climate the way it is, I'd rather be out somewhere quiet in Wyoming. Northern Virginia is probably the wrong place to be.