The Factor of No Enables The Politics of White Supremacy


Dorothea Lange photgraph. Local baseball team relaxing in front of a country store. North Carolina. 1936.

Perhaps Donald Trump is more like the original fire eater, South Carolina’s Robert Barnwell Rhett, whose vitriol, charisma, and passions of hate led the state into secession, breaking the Union. So intemperate and obstinate in his views, the state refused to elect Rhett to the Confederate senate, fearing his dysfunction would affect the body, blocking reason and logic from solving the significant problems the new Confederation faced in waging a multi-state war with an empty treasury, bonded only by their “no” to legislative actions that had not yet been passed!

We see the “no” today when 16% of Trump supporters in SC (10% of all polled!) openly say for the public record that whites are a superior race. We see the same “no” in the advance refusal to consider the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court before he or she is offered in name.

The parallels in slavery to white supremacy are obvious, indisputable in a state where a young adult entered a historic church to kill nine of its members, after having prayed with them. We see the “no” in comments that said black Christians should have been suspicious of his attendance rather than welcoming, in the remarks of a SC legislator who blamed the victims for not putting up a fight–in Jeb getting wrong the name of the church (he called it Bethel yesterday; its name is Emanuel).

We find the “no” alive in the robo-calls of white supremacists for Trump in Iowa. He may be more Robert B. Rhett than Andrew Jackson.

Donald Trump’s Secret? Channeling Andrew Jackson – The New York Times



~~Is there any other white Southern demagogue who you’d compare Trump to for cheap political points? Tillman, Bilbo, Wallace?

(My Reply)

“Cheap?” Humm. When does white supremacy becomes “expensive” and to whom? Only the stupid fail to know Wallace openly recanted his views and practices–he then turned to appoint more blacks to official positions in government and commissions than any other governor, after traveling to churches throughout Alabama to make public confession and amends for his racism and his prior abuse of power against equality in defense of supremacy and segregation.

When Trump (who routinely expels Muslims from his events!) told an all-white crowd in Alabama to “get him out,” and a mob set on a black protester who was knocked to the ground, punched, and kicked in the face; Tillman, who once carried in his front pants pocket the severed, cut-off finger of a black lynched by a SC mob, offers a comparison that seems priceless.

And where are you on the question of “whites as a superior race”? Are you here or “there”?

To sane readers, don’t be deflected; this note, my description of Trump’s tactics, from previous Times comments.

Trump offers in his xenophobic, misogynistic world view of glad, sad, weak, and bad “bourgeois influence” to voters; that through him, their voices will be heard in the mainstream not in the margins.

He target twin foes: the elite class and working class families of color; his nativist rhetoric is vested in the displacement of others. Trump is not a rejection of the GOP establishment, but an outgrowth of its changing form.

Remember empty wagons lack substance!



~~We Virginians who think the Old Dominion made its worst-ever mistake in 1861 love to look down our once-patrician, gin-blossomed Jeffersonian noses at you South Carolinians for starting the mess. I concede that our local fire-eater, Edmund Ruffin (Google him to see the face of fanaticism), did pull the first lanyard to attack Fort Sumpter.

Thus I’m really impressed by South Carolina’s belief that Rhett was “So intemperate and obstinate in his views, the state refused to elect [him] to the Confederate senate.”

That’s good news of a sort. Perhaps the Old South can sometimes come to its senses, after trying everything else first. Trump is a disaster waiting to happen, though I consider Cruz an even greater evil, a theocrat right out of Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. Time and demographics may finally wrench we Southerners into sense and the current century. I hope.

Housing RichmondVirginia Twelve dollars a month for three rooms (3)

Dorothea Lange photograph. Rented tenement, $12 a month. Richmond, VA. 1036.


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