This post breathed its first breath as a column in the weekly series, “Denim Spirit,” published by The Finger Lakes Times (NY): http://www.fltimes.com/opinion/denim-spirit-angry-white-men/article_0705935d-fb8d-5076-96b6-df625640ddd2.html
Let’s think about “angry white men.”
While it is clear that working-class white males have suffered significant economic losses, and as a social cohort have receded in number while transmigrating into low income jobs and unemployment, our short memories cause tunnel vision. The white male that came to define the burgeoning post-WWII middle class, arrived at that blessed status at the expense of women and African-Americans.
The lost good old days, when presumably America was great, and to which Trump’s campaign pointed with seething resentments, were primarily good – or more good – for white males.
The struggle of women and African-Americans to reach full employment and equity in pay with white males, has been widely documented. Add to that reality the number of Hispanics that has grown exponentially since the white middle-class glory days of the 1950’s and 1960’s, and the “what about me” tirades of the base Trump-base, needs to be seen for what it is.
All over the world, and nowhere more acutely than in China, rural economies and cultures are suffering the fate of capitalism’s serial infidelities.
Modern urbanization, like the intense urbanization in Europe that brought about the Reformation, democratization, and the eventual agricultural and industrial revolutions, is sucking the marrow out of rural America. It is not preferential treatment of racial and ethnic minorities or women that has taken jobs away from white men, it is the indifference of capitalist economics and population demographics.
Rural and suburban working class white males can continue to retch bile on the rest of us with angry tantrums that elect people who could care less about their needs – witness the vast cruelty of the Republican Repeal and Replace legislation – or they could join with working class African-Americans and Hispanics to create a true revolution.
Our country, and indeed the other nations of the world, are controlled largely by the self-interest of corporations.
Mega-companies such as Amazon, Google, Wal-Mart, Koch Industries, and Halliburton are who receives preferential treatment and determines the fate of white working-class males, not some mythical whim of Affirmative Action. The only way this will ever change, is if poor and working-class people of every color and ethnicity form bonds of political solidarity and insist on change.
We are divided more than ever, and those who actually control things according to their own self-interests, are smiling.
The more white men whine and stomp and point castigating fingers at other groups who they believe have stolen economic prowess from them, the more it pleases the wealthy white men who actually dominate them. We can imagine their grins only widen as they sip their twenty dollar martinis. Wake up.