Not Anger, Comfort


iowa couch (2)

Iowa Child. 1936.FSA/LOC

Not anger, comfort: there is comfort in saying forbidden words, there is comfort in the violence of the mob; there is an ease and freedom from restraint, a sense of alleviated stress, a mood of relief and well being in the frenzy in which anger is being purged.

To call it anger is misleading; anger is short-term, explosive, spent. Only comfort attracts, builds, sustains, fights for its cause–and that cause is a set of cherished beliefs about the world that are xenophobic, misogynist, and racist, expressed not just in individual incidents but in the desire to infuse and strengthen them in the systems and halls of power.

We saw it in SC, in Rubio’s loss: an Indian woman, a black and a Cuban male campaigning together on rally stages with no whites in sight of power! It made SC GOP voters ill at ease.

Anger may have sparked the initial moment for Trump, but those who ignited have come to stayed find long awaited solace and understanding for their suffering and fears.

Trump promises to restore their most cherished beliefs! To call it anger denies the embedded depth of their racism, their marginal white supremacy, their desire for violence against others inside and outside legal frames, and their willingness to demean women. It’s not anger! It’s cherished beliefs! The period of the Obama Presidency for them was the equivalent of Mao’s Long March. They are demanding their turn in power.Not anger, comfort: there is comfort in saying forbidden words, there is comfort in the violence of the mob; there is an ease and freedom from restraint, a sense of alleviated stress, a mood of relief and well being in the frenzy in which anger is being purged.

To call it anger is misleading; anger is short-term, explosive, spent. Only comfort attracts, builds, sustains, fights for its cause–and that cause is a set of cherished beliefs about the world that are xenophobic, misogynist, and racist, expressed not just in individual incidents but in the desire to infuse and strengthen them in the systems and halls of power.

We saw it in SC, in Rubio’s loss: an Indian woman, a black and a Cuban male campaigning together on rally stages with no whites in sight of power! It made SC GOP voters ill at ease.

Anger may have sparked the initial moment for Trump, but those who ignited have come to stayed find long awaited solace and understanding for their suffering and fears.

Trump promises to restore their most cherished beliefs! To call it anger denies the embedded depth of their racism, their marginal white supremacy, their desire for violence against others inside and outside legal frames, and their willingness to demean women. It’s not anger! It’s cherished beliefs! The period of the Obama Presidency for them was the equivalent of Mao’s Long March. They are demanding their turn in power.


Note: I would not want my mother talked to the way Trump uses language toward and about women; we too often forget, “in the beginning was the word”–and the word has power, real power, to incite, justify, cower, threat, inflict, order, insult, belittle, and blame–among other ways it enters society in action.

I’m hoping by now, readers understand I see and refer to racism as a system (not black vs. white), a complex, elaborate system based on color: a good example is inner city property values; low until gentrified; after the first sale, values leap–and higher taxes drive the remaining elderly and poor from their homes. (System, not individual. Flint is another systemic failure.)

It’s not the color of the office holder, but whether they will use race to limit and restrict opportunities; Trump’s support of H1B visas while building a wall is racist: it’s a system that lays off white workers while pretending to protect workers! But his acceptance of robo-calls made by white supremacists appeals not only for votes but to values both racist and anti-democratic.

Learning Lessons From Outrage – The New York Times http://nyti.ms/1RbxYNv


 

~~And what will happen if Trump is duly elected and he does not build that wall, if he cannot deport 12 million undocumented people (and their citizen children), if Muslims continue to enter America, if the jobs don’t ever come back? His supporters are feeling disenfranchised now because their Tea Party promised them the moon and reality does not meet their expectations. Their way of life is going down rapidly and he is the Big Daddy that will make it all right again. So what happens when Big Daddy fails because he hits the brick wall of two other branches of government and he fails? Unrest will spread in America and the violence we are seeing now will grow. What will happen in response to that violence? We are already surveilled and the police have become like a domestic military. I have a lot of fear around this. I fear for today’s young and what they will live to see in America.

~~What on earth, walter, does this have to do with “demeaning women”? Did Donald Trump just put out the call to take away the vote from women? Or make make rape legal? This is typical of lefty liberal hysteria — “if I don’t get my way, the sky is falling!”

It’s also not a “white people vs. black people issue”, which is very obvious, as all the current candidates for office are old, rich and white anyways.

~~Walter, your comment is most insightful. Thank you. It began with Nixon’s Southern Strategy, a backlash against the Civil Rights movement of the ’50s and ’60s, and continued with the efforts of the Atwater-Rove-Bush-Rumsfeld-Cheney-et al group at work beginning in the ’70s, and Reagan’s states rights in the ’80s. We have among our very own populace, within our American family, a fearful hatred that is nurtured and clung to, treasured. Fox News and Roger Ailes perceived this and have cashed in on it, working to promote it, giving it credence, legitimacy. The question for us is how do we turn this around. Something similar swept Germany and Europe in the 1930s and ’40s. It took a horrible war to stop it and to open the eyes of the willfully ignorant. How forceful does the force for good need to be, and skillful in what ways to reach the hearts and minds of this angry mob already bearing pitchforks?

~~@sophia, you make an important point, that it isn’t likely Trump would be able to deliver on his promises. The people who support Trump and the neoconservative right, the Tea Party, look for scapegoats and objects of blame. The response to failure will be to increase the rage. The time is here for good people to do something, but what? How do we turn around the blind rage of the person next door, the closed mind of the man across the street?

~~Here’s a perfectly articulated and on-point comment about the issue of why Trump has been successful on his end of the spectrum. And not one whining word of criticism of the media was needed.

~~Yes, Walter Rhett, now that you say it it rings true. All that anger rhetoric had a false sound to it that I could not place. Now that you have said it it seems obvious, but only because you have put it out there. It has been misleading to call it anger, as most commentary has had it. The dog whistles call out cherished beliefs, not anger, comfort indeed. Well done! I hope the false pundits will take note.

~~I know someone like me who is not white and is a legal immigrant. He had to jump through hoops in order to get a green card and finally his citizenship. And this despite the fact that he, like me, as a doctorate from an American university.

Naturally he is not happy that 11 million people are allowed to bypass the arduous process he went through.

You do NOT have to be white to feel that laws are there to be enforced. Every country, INCLUDING Mexico, enforces their immigration laws. The US is an oddity in having “sanctuary cities.”

But this is clearly a consequence of an alliance between rich employers wanting cheap labor, the Democratic party wanting yet another pool of voters in their bank, and a few people like you (perhaps) who believe there should be no national borders.

It is a difficult problem and I doubt that Trump can solve it. But Hillary does not even WANT to.

~~Now THAT is scary, Walter Rhett.

~~You are right.

~~@sophia: oh but we can — deport 20 million illegals (12 million is a ridiculous lowball estimate based on the 2010 Census and SELF REPORTED by illegals) and their families — watch and see. It really is going to happen.

There will be plenty of blue collar jobs, as the illegals leave and those jobs go begging for applicants.

The wall is irrelevant, as illegals will be deported not by a wall but by LAWS — just as in all other nations with secure borders — including e-verify which will be mandatory under President Trump. The cost? Minimal or none. Once illegals cannot work or drive or vote or buy property in the USA, they will go back to their native homelands. Problem over.

I am not sure why you think we lack the power, or will to properly vet any foreigner from entering the US, let alone foreigners from Islamofascist nations that harbor terrorists — but there again, you are also wrong. It has nothing to do with Muslim religion, but with terrorism. I guess you want to live next door to the next Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook, but I do not.

~~The governor of South Carolina makes the citizens of South Carolina uneasy? Funny, how does one get elected if their citizens feel uneasy by their mere presence?

~~The governor of South Carolina makes the citizens of South Carolina uneasy? Funny, how does one get elected if their citizens feel uneasy by their mere presence?

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