The appeal of Trump’s white identity politics overrides all other needs for conservatives. 

The Nationalist's Delusion

The plain meaning of Trumpism exists in tandem with denials of its implications;...

The president’s supporters have stood by him even as he has evinced every quality they described as a deal breaker under Obama.

There is virtually no personality defect that conservatives accused Obama of possessing that Trump himself does not actually possess.

He intuited that Obama’s presence in the White House decreased the value of what W. E. B. Du Bois described as the “psychological wage” of whiteness across all classes of white Americans, ...

Americans act with the understanding that Trump’s nationalism promises to restore traditional boundaries of race, gender, and sexuality. The nature of that same nationalism is to deny its essence,...

How ‘Privilege’ Became a Provocation

In the 1930s, W.E.B. Du Bois had an insight that privilege isn’t only about having money — it’s a state of being. He noted a ‘‘psychological wage’’ of whiteness: Poor whites felt that they outranked poor blacks; ...

For many, this idea of privilege was their introduction to thinking about racism not as ‘‘individual acts of meanness,’’ ..., but as ‘‘invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance.’’

It also made the case that failing to reckon with your privilege meant settling for a partial view of reality — ... [emphasis mine]

A big part of race privilege is privilege blindness, the social construct that material and psychological benefits you take for granted aren't due to systemic oppression of others but signal your self-reliance and inherent superiority.

As the psychological  benefit of privilege blindness was diminished by Obama and liberal culture, many whites felt wounded. But such an existential wound must itself be invisible, necessarily reframed and disguised as something else. To name it would be to lose it. Promoting systemic racism while claiming, even to yourself, that you're not racist removes that contradiction.

No wonder those inhabiting the right wing echo chamber are happy to embrace a fire hose of lies. They've surrendered their capacity to exercise critical thinking in exchange for a particular happy blindness. It begins to make sense.

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3:20 AM, and I wake up thinking about a point made by Parul Sehgal.

‘‘I can choose to not act racist, but I can’t choose to not be privileged,’’ a friend once told me with alarm.

It … lends itself to no obvious action,…

It took me back to that period in my life when I discovered my own racist privilege blindness, shortly after graduating with a B.S., living on my own in a big diverse city for the first time. For me, discovery of my internalized racism was an opportunity for personal growth. It was a great time in my personal journey, my first step of liberation from hierarchy, discovering that I had a partial view not only of reality but of myself. Owning my previously unrecognized racism was powerful.  Recognizing a way in which I'd always been twisted and tainted, and the world had always been nastier than I'd thought - what insight! Self-actualization isn't necessarily some pure shiny clean mountaintop experience. It can be a realization that you're dirty, guilty, responsible, gently raised in a hothouse that you took to be the natural world. That you have built-in meanness that you never knew about to uncover and excise. That this nastyness is a part of you, and always will be, requiring constant vigilance. Of course I discovered new literature. Oh wow! This is who I've been. I could trade in the provisional self-esteem of invidious comparison for authentic self-esteem, grounded and strong. I owned my racism, with some help from friends, and grew - matured. This foundation prepared me for a second act of freedom from internalized hierarchy - feminist consciousness raising, a few years later. Discovering one's race privilege blindness is an opportunity. Racism limits those of us with privilege, stunts and diminishes us, and by our own hand. All forms of hierarchy culture cut and stunt its participants. 

LOL  "no obvious action" How about deprogramming you own brainwashing? That seemed obvious to me. You can't choose not to be privileged but you can choose to expel privilege blindness from your psyche.

Let me fool around with your idea a minute.

"You can't choose not to be privileged but you can choose to expel privilege blindness from your psyche."

I can't choose not to be caucasian but I can choose to expel racist privilege blindness from my psyche. 

I can't choose not to be female but I can choose to expel sexist privilege blindness from my psyche. 

Note, well obviously I can choose to be male, but the point is knowing what I can and can't change in myself. Changing society is a whole different matter and process. 

It may be easier said than done to expel our unconscious biases, but we can choose to be vigilant about our gut reactions, and veto them when needed.

I know! I look at my granddaughters in amazement; if something needs to be fixed with their cars or homes, they do it, unless, of course, a skilled technician needs to do the work, and they can tell the difference. 

I'd like to point out that in sexism, females aren't the ones exercising privilege without realizing it.

I think that these insights and changes to our selves are helpful to grasp the social changes possible. Riane Eisler talks about the Dominator Trance as a feature of Dominator Culture whereby any other culture is impossible to imagine. When we're fully integrated into Hierarchy, we've internalized a suite of privilege/oppression blindnesses, each of which limit our capacity for empathy and alternative social vision. Before we can invent a cooperative civilization competent to manage our planet sustainably, we must envision it. Each of these blindnesses cut us off from seeing aspects of the real world (which threaten the ego), and collectively they function as blinders as well as our own enslavement bindings.

Lacking all of such insights, wouldn't it be far easier to be tricked by far right lies?

Upon further reflection, I realized that atheist deconversion as an undergraduate was my first liberation from hierarchy experience. At the time I was still fully integrated into hierarchy and unaware of it. So I hadn't processes my deconversion in those terms until now.

Ruth, thanks for the brain challenge. It feels good. And Accurate.




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