Tweeter Is The New Nuclear Code

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DDDiscussions of racism/white identity politics/white supremacy confuse white identity with white supremacy! These discussions also completely ignore the space in-between: the shifting continuum that occurs during crises or perceived crises. These shifts are not the dormant/active expression of “identity;” instead, “whiteness” shifts in its political activity–not based on crises, but on the perception of power and in the easy comfort of familiar levers of blame.

One key dynamic in the shifting white vote that discussions have overlooked is every major black political advance has been followed by a massive backlash–black observers (non-media) knew that Barack Obama’s presidency would be followed by an inept white male, to refute the benchmark Obama set. Hillary never worked through this silent backlash, which acted as a passive bulwark for Trump. Its invisible presence, manifested on election day, again shows racism is tethered to power. Equality is about power relationships. Diversity is about sharing power. Inclusion is about authority, the norms of the social system.

Trump attached his open racist appeals to power, its exercise, but especially to its narratives: racial myths of threats and dangers were turned into mass conspiracies of lost jobs, high taxes, giant giveaways, and constant threats–all formed from group behavior assigned by race that must be refuted by power–white power.

His real agenda has proven uglier than the threat.

Another key dynamic of race as power: minorities in power are never allowed to push white people around, to berate them by ethnicity, to target them politically, to blame them collectively for the nation’s ills. That privilege is reserved for whites only! Its narrative is a defining cultural value–a limit and boundary–one which adapts its deviant beliefs to ensure inequality not among people but in power.

This contradiction–between people and power–allows non-racist whites to feel comfortable and secure in their power relationships: police will not shoot them, etc. However, Trump is about to tip this balance: his endorsement by excuses, denials, and deflections of white supremacy is egregious (He openly quotes white racist logic!) and embarrassing. It is forcing whites to go beyond identity and confront their relationships with power–seen in Trump’s new racist and cultural norms. Should power deny the vote? Should heritage be a celebration of the legacy of slavery and bondage? Should it openly discriminate?

“Rough-em-up” Trump is forcing a choice between Nazis openly advocating violence and Black Lives Matter, openly advocating non-violence. Trump is using power to extend authority into a destruction of civil liberties and civil rights in every corner of society: he expelled transgender military personnel with a single unvetted tweet! The keeper of the nation’s security, the Pentagon was caught off guard by his blitz attack, which was outside process and channels.  No government founded as a democracy can permit its elected head to exercise power with such extreme prejudice. Tweets have now replaced democratic process. Its 140 characters is now as devastating as the nuclear option.

(From L to R), transgenders Major Alexandra Larsson of the Swedish Armed Forces, Sergeant Lucy Jordan of the New Zealand Air Force and Major Donna Harding of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps listen to Corporal Natalie Murray of the Canadian Forces speak during a a conference entitled "Perspectives on Transgender Military Service from Around the Globe" organized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Palm Center in Washington,DC on October 20, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

(From L to R), transgenders Major Alexandra Larsson of the Swedish Armed Forces, Sergeant Lucy Jordan of the New Zealand Air Force and Major Donna Harding of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps listen to Corporal Natalie Murray of the Canadian Forces speak during a a conference entitled “Perspectives on Transgender Military Service from Around the Globe” organized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Palm Center in Washington,DC on October 20, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)