Now that Donald Trump has won the presidency (and Democrats have lost clear down the ballot), the boogeyman du jour is now the uneducated white male, masses of whom put Trump over the top. Educated elites, i.e., newspaper columnists and TV pundits, dissect the mind of the blue-collar white male like anthropologists sharing their observations of island savages. Liberals think they deserve Pulitzer Prizes for daring to cover a Trump rally. Wanna really go inside the mind of an uneducated white guy? Keep reading.
My education beyond twelfth grade consists of trade school and a few college courses. Nonetheless, the written word has always been my passion, and I have tried to use my God-given talents to the fullest. And I have spent all 53 of my years in North Carolina - yes, a southern, Trump-supporting white male. Why hear about
the boogeyman when you can hear from
A quick recap. Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts recently shared his views of the "first days of the Trump era." He recounts the claim of an African- American woman who was supposedly called a n-----r b---h in a Wal-Mart parking lot by truck full of white men who yelled, "Make America white again!" They then threw cups of chewing tobacco saliva on her.
An African-American woman in Charlotte reports holding open the door for an older white man wearing a veteran's hat. She thanked him for his service, to which he allegedly replied, "At least you n-----s are grateful for something."
Pitts offers several more episodes of vicious racism, most (but not all) of them occurring in states that voted for Trump. My aim here is not to deny that these events happened, nor to diminish the cruelty and viciousness of any such racism. Nonetheless, these specific instances were hard to verify and, given their severe circumstances, one would have expected far greater news coverage - and outrage.
With all due respect to Mr. Pitts, this is not the south or the America I know. The blue-collar life that is my bread & butter and home does not celebrate whiteness nor does it denigrate people of color. No white American - even those sporting gun racks and Confederate flags - wants to be thought a racist. We are not ashamed of our whiteness, but we consider ourselves Americans first. And yes, those of us in the south revel in our heritage, one that we consider unique, even a little quirky and well worth preserving. Simply, race is not a defining factor in my white male existence.
I can count on one hand the number of times I have heard the n-word in casual conversation in my adult life. Not to say that racism can't be subtle and unspoken, but, again, most white males fear the charge of racism as a stain that can't be washed away, a modern-day scarlet letter. We take pride in the great strides this country, including the south, has taken in race-relations. We take great satisfaction in showing the rest of America the relationships forged with African-American friends, co-workers and neighbors. If anything, we take that to a fault, but, thanks to the PC left, virtually no American is not
hyper-aware of skin color. White males carry the burden of proving to elite opinion that we are not racists and oppressors.
The along comes a leader who sees no need to justify his wealth, race or nationality. One of the clues that eludes the mainstream media in Donald Trump's win is simply that he is unapologetic. Rarely if ever does our current president extol the concept of American exceptionalism. Trump does - in bold letters and in caps. The media/entertainment left preaches to us that all cultures are worth celebrating, except the American one. Not only does Trump counter such nonsense defiantly and effortlessly, he throws in a few extra licks for good measure!
We're tired of Colin Kapernick, we're tired of rhetoric and policy predicated on the notion that our SUV's, air conditioners and water bottles are destroying the planet. We're sick of being told that our whiteness is responsible for police shootings in Ferguson and other places.
Economic factors certainly contributed to Trump's victory, namely his stances on border security, trade deals and overhauling Obama-care. But, contrary to conventional wisdom, a huge swath of white guys did not vote for Trump simply in the hope of keeping the mill open. This was not just about the pocketbook, this was about national identity. Are we a can-do, unabashedly patriotic people, or just an assemblage of voting blocs defined by need and grievance, united only in the election of Democrats?
This is the party that once purported to speak for working-class guys such as me, yet now they think I attend Klan meetings! Such a mentality led me to pen these words. I stress, we do not consider ourselves the victims in modern-day America, but neither are we the villains.