Everything is theirs.
Embedded in the dog whistles that spread the dogma of white supremacy, is the false notion that this country was created for and by white people. It echoes in the way they have taken ownership of the word “patriot” and made it synonymous with “racist.” As white national-ish Tucker Carlson repeatedly insinuates, jingoist Caucasians feel obliged to denigrate the Black Lives Matter “criminals,” but anyone else who dares to protest inequality, injustice or racism must necessarily hate America.
They insist that Colin Kaepernick and other protesters are “disrespecting the troops” by kneeling, despite the fact that Black people are overrepresented in the armed forces while whites are underrepresented. They say Tomi Lahren can literally break the U.S. flag code by wrapping her cakeless body in the American flag because Ku Klux Karen loves everything about America except that bullshit in the Constitution.
The conservative consternation over the well-being of our troops, flag or “freedoms” is as altruistic as the Ku Klux Klan’s interest in the combustibility of wooden crosses or the thread count of white sheets. They are for law and order, except when they have to wear masks or register their weapons. They love the military...until a gay or trans person serves “their country.” They drape themselves in “The Star-Spangled Banner” because it is a deflector shield that protects the institutions built on white supremacy.
This is their country.
America belongs to them.
Perhaps the best and most existential example of this balderdash is how conservatives have even taken ownership of morality and faith.
Yes, God is theirs, too.
Men in power have been using “God” as a synonym for “white” throughout the history of America. Thomas Jefferson lamented that Blacks were so inferior that even God himself “could not produce a [Black] poet,” so slavery was OK, for the time being. Robert E. Lee claimed it was up to “a wise and merciful Providence” to end slavery, not men. And, in his “segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” inauguration speech, George Wallace proclaimed:
We invite the negro citizens of Alabama to work with us from his separate racial station . . . This is the basic heritage of my religion, if which I make full practice, for we are all the handiwork of God.
But we warn those, of any group, who would follow the false doctrine of communistic amalgamation that we will not surrender our system of government; our freedom of race and religion. That freedom was won at a hard price and if it requires a hard price to retain it, we are able and quite willing to pay it.
Apparently, their divine being has only sanctified all of the things that white people care about. They are the true “evangelical Christians.” They are the “moral majority.” And the worst part is, progressives have ceded this entire territory over to conservatives without a fight.
According to this quasi-religious, far-right doctrine, God loved America so much that he gave us his only begotten Constitution (that only needed to be amended 27 times) and so whosoever believeth in it shall not perish, but have white privilege, low taxes and a white Christian president (except for that one Kenyan Muslim...His bad). They believe in the concept of “religious freedom”—but only for heterosexual Christian whites. They claim to be ardently “pro-life”—until a police officer shoots an unarmed Black person or a state-sanctioned executioner snuffs out a Black life. Gay marriage, neighborhood mosques and trans people who want to use the bathroom all somehow infringe upon their religious freedom.
White House Trade adviser, the Apostle Peter Navarro, expressed this exact sentiment on Sunday’s episode of Meet the Press when he defended President Donald Trump’s decision to subvert the foundation of American democracy with three executive orders that even Jesus couldn’t explain.
“The Lord and the Founding Fathers created executive orders because of partisan bickering and divided government. That’s what we have here,” Navarro told MTP host Chuck Todd, whose brain still seems to be without form or void. “His constituents are mainstream Republicans, blue-collar Democrats and Independents who are sick and tired of the swamp.”
I like the fact that the white Lord and Savior recognized the need for unemployment and COVID-19 benefits and spoke to Donald Trump about it. But, apparently, even an omnipotent God couldn’t possibly overcome Mitch McConnell’s evil to bring a relief package to the Senate floor for a vote.
During one of his recent Racist Sermons on the Mount, Donald Trump preached a version of the Gospel According to White People, explaining how presidential foe Joe Biden will “hurt God” if he is elected.
“He’s following the radical left agenda,” Trump told a maskless Ohio congregation Thursday. “Take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment, no religion, no anything, hurt the Bible, hurt God. He’s against God. He’s against guns. He’s against energy, our kind of energy. I don’t think he’s going to do too well in Ohio.”
Pundits everywhere theorized that Trump’s remarks were playing to his dwindling conservative base, which is the only constituency that Trump still has. Writing for the Washington Post, columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. explained:
With no offense intended to elementary school students, Trump has a crude, fifth-grade understanding of the words and phrases that spur White, socially conservative voters to turn out for him, own the liberals and push back against the dreaded secularists and atheists.
The dispiriting part is that this paint-by-the-numbers approach has worked for Trump. He continues to fare better among White evangelicals than in any other definable group in the electorate, even if his numbers have slipped a bit during the pandemic.
His strength with those who are White, devout and conservative endures despite the witness against him of many deeply committed Christians who recognize “The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump,” the apt title of a prophetic collection of essays edited by evangelical activist Ronald J. Sider.
Notice the “white” part.
But it’s not just conservative Republicans who push this narrative. Media outlets and political reporters continue to frame white, right-wing voters as the electorate whose politics are more informed by faith. On Sunday, the New York Times published a moving profile on the Christian Conservatives who support Trump.
To the Times and Post’s credit, they repeatedly noted that they were concentrating on white evangelicals. But, like many others, they wrongly center their discussions on Christianity and religious inspiration for these people’s political beliefs even though this lazy, self-perpetuating lie is easily dismantled.
Republicans voters are not more motivated by faith than any other group. Conservatives are not the religious electorate. They are only motivated by race. Whiteness is the thing.
First, let’s be clear: The Republican Party is 83 percent white. White men and women are the only demographic in America that consistently votes Republican. In the 2016 election, white people were the only majority who voted for Trump. In fact, statistically, whiteness correlates to the GOP more than age, gender, education, religious affiliation and even income.
And the Times is right when it notes that the vast majority of white Evangelicals say they will vote for Trump in 2020. But wait…the same Pew Research poll shows that 61 percent of white “non-Evangelicals” also say they will vote for Trump. This sentiment is also shared by 57 percent of white Catholics, but for some reason, Black Protestants and Hispanic Catholics don’t support the GOP or Trump. A reasonably logical person could only deduce that maybe religion isn’t the motivating factor. The only common denominator among the pro-Trump constituencies is the “white” part.
Plus, anyone who has ever visited a Black church or spent any time with a Hispanic family knows there is no group in America more evangelical than the Black and brown people who make up the Democratic Party’s base. Black people attend church services more often than any other group in the country, according to Pew Research, Gallup and Creflo Dollar’s bank account. Black Americans also donate their time and give larger percentages of their income to religious organizations and charities in general.
When Donald Trump and others speak about religion and the importance of faith, they are not speaking to the most evangelical Christian community. When they talk about conservative values, they aren’t talking about actual issues because white people are more likely to describe themselves as liberal and Black Democrats are more likely to support socially conservative and faith-based values.
All of that bullshit you read about white evangelical Christians is a lie. Make no mistake, when Trump and GOP conservatives mention God, they are not talking about religion or even faith. But the worst part is that the media perpetuates this lie and leads people to accept it as fact.
This is why white-loving shuckers like Jason Whitlock describe Black Lives Matter as a godless, Marxist movement. It’s why Kanye became a right-winger when he started hocking his Christian College Dropout trilogy. It’s why this woman thinks God will retaliate against officials who mandate wearing masks.
They are not Christians. They aren’t even conservatives. They are just the modern incarnation of a centuries-old American lie that power and privilege are gifts from God. In America, righteousness is equal to whiteness, and, accordingly, the unblessed oppressed must necessarily be heathens.
But the actual facts say otherwise.
So anyone who equates religion and political affiliation is either blinded by these falsehoods or knowingly perpetuating a lie. And, regardless of what one calls their divine being or which faith one believes in, most monotheistic, God-based religions all share one universal truth:
The devil is a liar.