What does all this mean? Maybe it’s that they are more sensitive to the degree of deference they receive from black people since the recent rise of white nationalism. Or is it a simple a declaration of the pleasure of having taken their country back, expressed like the chest-beating of a territorial gorilla – “I voted for Donald Trump”? Or, is it a symbolic replacement for the whip of the lash?
These people seem eager to group-identify as Trump voters as if to say, that’s the kind of white person I am. These white people want black people to treat them with a new and heightened reverence – or maybe they are just crazy people intoxicated with the monumental show of white power at the polling places of America in November. Whatever the cause of this bad behavior, it does not bode well for black Americans, or for America.
There are many things I’m on the lookout for in the near future. If this trend continues and spreads, I suspect that the victorious white voters will want to move the racial clock back past the Norman Rockwell 1950s white people are so nostalgic to return to (a period Bohemian writers and poets from the Beat Movement abhorred at the time – read Ginsburg’s “Howl.”)
I’m looking out for the first report that a county government somewhere has voted for the reinstallation of Whites Only water fountains – really. Maybe it will happen first in Ohio and then quickly spread to, and through, the south. Could back-of-the-bus legislation be far behind? And what about separate waiting facilities at bus and train depots? Will separate eating sections be instituted at fast food joints?
This is what’s been missing: the flagrant signs of white privilege. All the other benefits of white privilege have remained in place even after the achievements of the Civil Rights era: better jobs, education, housing, police protection, financial opportunities, health programs, political representation, etc. These have operated effectively to lift white life and white living standards. But this inequality is so subtle that it runs deep under the radar, and so ingrained in the system that its existence is often denied, though the results of this inequality are not nearly as subtle or deniable.
A return of the blatant symbols of white privilege is what is needed to elevate the morale of peeved white people. And some county councilmen somewhere in America attuned to the mood of white voters will design legislation to move their county, then the country, back to the past.
I’m also on the lookout for the formalization of white nationalist groups that will patrol the streets, first with regular police and then independently in augmentation of the police. I’m looking particularly for the time to come when the political arm of the white nationalist groups will start calling for legislation to codify restrictions on racial relationships and black movement. The history of the 1930s and ’40s shows that during such times it is those who leave the country early, when leaving is possible and relatively unhindered, who survive. During the 1930s European Jews fled, or tried to flee, to Western Europe and the Americas. Where will black Americans flee in the 21st century to escape persecution?
Those left behind will suffer who knows what fate? What countries of the world will come to the rescue of black America? Surely not any of the European ones, since many of them are going into a similarly racially sensitive phase. May the force be with those left behind.
My wife and I have our passports in order, just recently renewed. The canary in the coal mine for me will be when white nationalists get an invitation to the White House. Then I will know that it is time for me to hat up.
I have a strong feeling that at the end of this century the number one bestselling memoir will be named something like The Diary of Shaniqua Jackson, the story of a little black girl hidden away by some well-meaning white suburban family.