On Kanye West’s 2010 album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, there is an often overlooked track entitled “Who Will Survive America?” The song features Gil Scott-Heron taking a dystopian look at how the world is coming to the realization that America is a bastard “hosed down daily with a gagging perfume.”
After the passage of last week’s tax “reform” bill, people have started to smell the stench of the new reality, and it’s safe to say that many people won’t survive. The United States was once referred to as the land of opportunity. Inscribed on the Statue of Liberty are the words “Give me your tired, your poor.” Since Trump took office, it seems as if those words have lost their meaning.
Maybe the question should be “Who won’t survive in America?” Because we already know that the ones who’ll survive will be able to fly their private jets around without any tax repercussions. The ones who can actually afford health care will probably survive. Upcoming college graduates will probably only be able to survive by holding down two jobs, living at home while struggling to repay student loans. If you’re fortunate enough to be part of the 1 percent or the infamous 53 percent of white women who voted for Trump, chances are you’ll probably be safe in the coming years. But for those who don’t have trust funds or rich parents, a struggle is a-brewing.
The progress made by former President Barack Obama is quickly being destroyed. And the only reason is that we’re now dealing with a racist, petty-as-hell, pea-brained president who probably didn’t take the time to read the tax bill and couldn’t understand it if he did. The promises Donald Trump made to rural and poor whites were blatant lies.
He promised he would make their America “great again.” They will soon realize that “great” means they will be able to drive their pickup trucks sporting the Confederate flag down to the local unemployment office. They are about to find out that there is no secret white supremacy health care plan. They will be disappointed when they discover that they don’t have a private jet to fly over the wall they wanted to build.
The new health care bill raises taxes on the middle class while giving millions to corporations. It removes the individual mandate, thereby destroying the Affordable Care Act. It is not just a slap in the face to minorities. The biggest group of people who will be hurt by the largest tax “reform” bill in history is poor white people—Trump’s base.
Who will survive in Trump’s America? The truth is: Trump has never seen America. He is a rich New Yorker who has always been surrounded by other rich white people. The only reason he was able to fool so many of his poor brethren into voting for him was by playing the only thing he had in common with them: his whiteness.
It was a dirty, filthy trick. Just look at the photos below of people in Wise, Va.’s Appalachia area waiting to be seen at a free clinic. How many of these people voted for Trump? Probably 90 percent:
These people are indicative of how Trump fooled poor Republicans into voting against their economic interests. Trump won Wise County with 80 percent of the vote. They lined up to vote for him despite the fact that he promised to repeal Obamacare, and now they are lined up to get free health care.
In a recent Washington Post article, several Trump supporters were interviewed and discussed their opinions about the tax reform law, and needless to say, they felt bamboozled. I wish I could say that I felt sorry for them, but you get what you deserve.
Unfortunately, poor white people aren’t the only ones who’ll suffer and who won’t survive. Those who came to this country in hopes of living the American dream will suffer. Those whose ancestors built this country literally through blood, sweat and tears, who are still dealing with systemic racism and generational post-traumatic stress disorder, won’t survive. But you know who’ll survive?
In the words of that great philosopher Gil Scott-Heron, “America is now blood and tears instead of milk and honey.”