Thursday, April 26, 2018

Quote of the Day

In a recent essay, Rebecca Solnit offers a reminder that, "[w]ho gets to be the subject of the story is an immensely political question," with popular narratives in the US usually granting that honor to white men. 

And, it's not just the privilege of being central subjects that they receive, it's an accompanying pity and compassion for their experiences, which are propped above everyone else's. For instance, Solnit continues:
"In the aftermath of the 2016 election, we were told that we needed to be nicer to the white working class, which reaffirmed the message that whiteness and the working class were the same thing and made the vast non-white working class invisible or inconsequential. We were told that Trump voters were the salt of the earth and the authentic sufferers, even though poorer people tended to vote for the other candidate. We were told that we had to be understanding of their choice to vote for a man who threatened to harm almost everyone who was not a white Christian man, because their feelings preempt everyone else’s survival. 'Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks,' Bernie Sanders reprimanded us, though studies showed that many were indeed often racists, sexists, and homophobes."
We see a lot of rage, anxiety, and blowback, across the political spectrum, when we demand a shift in perspective. It's evident that we came very close to something hugely unsettling for a lot of people invested in keeping white men centered, in 2016.

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