I’ve never really trusted the Democratic Party. Why should I? In a political system that forces us into one of two often problematic choices, it never made sense for me as a black person to decide between Kang and Kodos; in the end, they’ll both try to enslave us.
However, like most African Americans with a modicum of civic pride, I’ve occasionally voted for Democrats in order to prevent some of the most outrageous Republicans from getting their hands on power. However, watching Democrats on Capitol Hill continually fail to stem President Donald Trump’s white nationalist and authoritarian rule, especially during this manufactured child crisis at the border, has led me to a predictable, if not sobering, conclusion:
Democrats don’t hate Trump as much as they love white supremacy.
Whoa ... whoa ... whoa, there, Mr. Black Nationalist, I’m sure you’re thinking. That’s a pretty heavy charge against a party that got Barack Obama into office and promotes California Sen. Kamala Harris and occasionally sorta pretends to care about black women voters. Of course I don’t mean that all Democrats are white supremacists, but I do mean most, whether they realize it or not, and certainly a lot of the party leadership in Washington, D.C. Allow me to explain.
White supremacy is the belief that white people are smarter, more ethical and more capable than any other race of people (especially black folks) and should therefore control most of society. White supremacy is like the NFL: It wants white people to run everything, but it has no problem with black and brown bodies being around for entertainment, pleasure and sport.
White nationalism is more like a gentrifying Starbucks—it is the idea that America is a nation for white Christians only, and nobody else should be here. White nationalists want zero nonwhite immigration and want all nonwhite people out of the country, and whoever they can’t force out should be relegated to absolutely no influence on government and society.
Most Americans, consciously or not, are white supremacists almost by default. We live in a country where education, culture and the economic system are organized around normalizing and enforcing white people’s status of being on top. However, very few Americans are actually white nationalists. Most of white America is comfortable with white people running things, but they don’t want to engage in the violence that would be necessary to kick out all the brown and blacks folks; plus, they like salsa and Beyoncé.
The problem is, it’s pretty easy for white supremacists to remain completely oblivious as a white nationalist state sprouts up in their front yard. Which brings us to the Democratic Party of 2018.
On Wednesday, Trump “solved” the humanitarian crisis of separating families at the border by ordering families to be kept together—in indefinite detention. It’s a disgusting “final solution” made possible in part by the flaccid resistance of Democrats to the naked white nationalism of this administration.
When Obama got elected, Republicans promised to make him a one-term president; when Trump got elected, Democrats said they’d “work with him.” Republicans stopped over 100 of Obama’s judicial appointments; Democrats have voted for dozens of problematic Trump appointees.
The Trump administration has acted like Albanian terrorists from a Taken movie, holding children, or child-serving policies, hostage to achieve its goals—whether those hostages are the Children’s Health Insurance Program or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy—or offering to end child separation at the border if Democrats fund that border “wall” (which apparently is no longer on Mexico’s bill). The Trump administration has literally and symbolically taken more kids against their will than R. Kelly with a fleet of minivans, and what have Democrats done in response to his latest violations? Did they shut down the government? Refuse to vote on any legislation? Grind D.C. to a halt? Nope.
For two weeks they went on CNN and waved their fingers and sent a magic school bus of congresspeople to the border camps until Trump’s own team came up with an executive order that’s still terrible. Why the lack of aggressive resistance? Too many Democratic leaders live with the privilege of white supremacist thinking—that fundamentally, since they’re white and Trump is white, everything will eventually be all right. That white power, even when abused, is still the natural order of things. For them.
Republicans saw Obama as “black power” in office, and in the lizard brains of House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a black man in power must come at the expense of white supremacy. They were willing to sacrifice the whole country as long as that meant that Obama was stopped. Most white Democrats think Trump is bad, but most of them don’t hate him; they don’t fear his power as an absolute check on theirs. They’re still betting on whiteness; they’re still banking that all of these racist nationalist policies won’t touch the hems of their garments, even if they occasionally nibble at the corners of their consciences.
Imagine that 500 Scandinavian refugees were found on a boat trying to sneak into Miami, and all of those Swiss Miss-looking women were separated from their children, and the kids were then put into cages with gym mats and metallic, life-size Hot Pockets for blankets. Democrats would block every policy, every bill and every statute in Washington, D.C., until the policy was changed.
Nor would they be satisfied with Trump’s executive order. They would grind Washington to a halt until new policies were in place to make sure this never happened again. They would scream for impeachment every single day and never stop, because that policy would touch them, and be an affront to their notions of white supremacy and order.
Of course none of this happened, though, because Trump isn’t an affront to their default of white supremacy, and he isn’t a threat to their fundamental existence. Even though he is to the entire party base.
So anyone down with the blue wave or the resistance can keep at it. Far be it from me to dissuade you from fighting back against the historic tide of violence and disruption we’ve got coming from this White House. Just remember that the national Democratic leadership won’t go to the mat for black people or brown people or poor people. They can barely be counted on to get off the couch. They don’t hate Trump the way they need to in order to launch an effective resistance, so nobody should expect them to complete a revolution.