What those upscale white progressives fear most: Real divide is class, not race

by WorldTribune Staff, June 16, 2020

The Left and the Democratic Party fear and hate the Trump movement because of “its emphasis on class rather than race, a more fluid and potentially more dynamic appeal, and one with the potential to unite rather than divide those of different tribes,” historian and columnist Victor Davis Hanson wrote for American Greatness on June 14.

“Indeed, much of the left-wing focus on Trump’s supposed ‘racism’ emerged in response to the fact that, unlike past Republican bogeymen such as Mitt Romney and despite his billions, Trump was not so easily caricatured as an elite grandee who felt uneasy among the nonwhite.

‘Dignity comes from being treated as an equal and a partner, not as a cause.’ / Drante / Getty Images

“Whatever Trump was, he talked to blacks just as he talked to everyone else — same accent, same mannerism, same vocabulary. He was not going to feign a black patois and pander in the Joe Biden style of ‘Put y’all back in chains’ or ‘You ain’t black,’ or reinvent himself in Hillary Clinton fashion as a civil rights veteran possessed of a phony drawl, ‘I don’t feel no ways tired. I come too far …’ ”

Hanson continued: “Think of the logic driving these white liberal elites: ‘Blacks cannot understand my good English, so I will descend into their poor grammar, diction, and syntax to feign ‘y’all’ and ‘ain’t’ and ‘no ways tired.’ ”

The clingers, the deplorables, the irredeemables, and Joe Biden’s “dregs,” Hanson wrote, “have very little in common with those who so libel them, but superficially share supposedly omnipotent and similar skin color.”

“In the past, we saw such tensions among so-called whites in CNN’s reporting of the allegedly toothless rubes at Trump rallies, in the Strzok-Page text trove about Walmart’s smelly patrons, in the callous coastal disregard for the five-decade wasting away of the American industrial heartland, in the permissible elite collective disparagement of Christian evangelicals, and in the anthropological curiosity about and condescension toward such exotic, but presumably backward, Duck Dynasty and NASCAR peoples.”

The United States, Hanson wrote, has “reached the surreal point at which the nation’s privileged whites on campuses such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, in the top echelon of politics, and the corporate and entertainment worlds, all deplore in the abstract something they call ‘white privilege’ in others who have never really experienced it.”

And American blacks “are often suspicious of white liberal elites,” because they sense the “apologetics” of the white liberal elites “serve as cheap penance for their apartheid lives of privilege,” Hanson wrote. “No one has much respect for a chronic dissimulator, appeaser, and apologist, even if superficially ideologically akin. A great unexplored topic is the African-American disdain for the white elites who so easily are superficially obsequious, not out of authentic desire to be equals but to preen among one another of their condescending paternalism. Only in the irrational venom toward black conservatives, who warn of the white progressive elite, do we see the extent of the white elite liberal’s superciliousness.”

Hanson continued: “In the context of promoting real national healing or efforts to ensure a more equitable society, Americans need to understand something about many of the Antifa protestors in the streets; the professors at the barricades; the New York and Washington grandees; and the Pelosis, Schumers, and Bidens of the world. Their abstract lectures about ‘privilege,’ public prostrations on their knees in the Capitol with Kente cloths, self-interested promises of additional billions of dollars for blue-city bureaucracies, and narcissistic virtue signaling with other superficial bumper stickers of the revolution condemning white anything or privilege something — all of it — amounts to nothing more than day jobs to be turned on at 9 a.m. and switched off at 5 p.m. The show means little to most of them except the otherwise necessary price for feeling good about doing even better in their own eyes.

“If one is actually troubled — indeed, really concerned about the plight of the nonwhite underclass, about systematic violence in the inner city, about the abject failures of the public schools, about the insidious spread of microaggressive racism, about virtual immunity given rogue cops — then one should recognize that virtue signaling from the gated estate, public confessionals, and medieval penance to square the circle of private apartheid have done nothing and will do nothing to address these problems.

“Why not commit to real change? Why do we not integrate Sidwell Friends with those schools of the inner-city and of lower classes? Why do not our actors, the Pelosi grandchildren, the scions of the Zuckerberg, Gates, and Bloomberg families, all vow to place their offspring into the public schools, to become personally engaged with the less fortunate, and to pledge that their own fates will hinge on those of others? One can write a check for millions to the anti-Semitic and racist Al Sharpton and his charity and thereby do far less than simply tutoring one inner-city teen or taking him on as a personal intern to advise him how one gets ahead in America.

“Indeed, why not eschew the third home, the walled compound, the private-jet getaway, and instead have a second home in an inner-city or Latino suburb or among the rural hamlets of the Central Valley or Western Texas? People do not want tele-condescension but rather face-to-face dignity. And dignity comes from being treated as an equal and a partner, not as a cause.

“Why not have over to dinner those who make $50,000 rather than $500,000? Why not eschew giving a check to Black Lives Matter and instead quietly and privately help mentor African-American youth in the arts of business, or medicine, or law, and invest personal time in genuine devotion to those who do not have the tools and support network to ensure upward mobility? Or why not weld alongside, or hammer with someone you romanticize in the abstract as much as you avoid in the concrete?

“The racial divide will not be healed by black separatist tribalism. It will not be bridged by the white apartheid guilt of the well off. It certainly will not end by this absurd medievalism of affluent, sequestered, well-meaning, white progressives championing black causes in ways that are loud and public, but ultimately selfish.

“The next time we hear a lecture about caring from a woke Yale professor, or a sermon on systematic racism from a CEO, or more Hollywood confessional video drivel, we should pause and politely ask, ‘But where do your children go to school? And why do you live where you live? And dine with whom you dine?’ Then remember class, not race, is what divides America — the truth that the upscale white progressive dares not utter.”

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