The Malice of racism cuts both ways
Immigrants — People who move from one nation to another for better prospects or they are just fleeing for their lives.
The land of the immigrants has turned against migrants. The current President of the immigrant nation, who has married two foreigners, denigrates migrants at every opportunity while the Republican party leaders protest feebly as they watch him spew pernicious lies. The devotees at the Trump rallies are exultant. They revel in this topic more raucously than any other subject at these fanatical events where blind hatred and lack of reason is celebrated with singular fervor.
The 45th President of the United States blames immigrants for the job losses, stagnant wages, one-industry economies and other economic malaise that plagues large swathes of the nation. Therefore, his supposed solution to their problems is to stop migrants from entering the nation.
The underlying message of Mr. Trump — covertly endorsed by the Republican party — is that, if we were to become a nation of entirely white population, the afore mentioned problems would resolve itself magically. Therefore, getting rid of the non-white population is the solution. It is this notion, that has the Trump devotees in such a frenzy. It has even inflamed a few of them to go on shooting rampages, killing innocent people. In a land where guns are available like candy, the nation has become soul weary, unable to cope.
Somewhere in marinating between Rupert Murdoch’s yellow journalism and the raving bellows of Rush Limbaugh, I wish, the Trump devotees would take some time off to think about the veracity of this harmful rhetoric and examine the intentions behind it. Is racism the right solution to the real problems of our nation? Or is it a way for corrupt politicians to retain power?
Assuming, we realized Hitler’s vision and became a nation of white people, would the rest of the world reverse its position on climate change by stopping the production of renewable energy, reverting back to coal just to help rural America? Would the manufacturing industries of our nation reverse automation, just because we transformed into a nation of white people?
Would the world adopt the blighted education system of the “Real America”¹ just because we became a homogenized nation?
The predominant reason the rural communities can’t adapt to a rapidly changing global economy is the backward education system in these regions. The people living in these isolationist societies did not keep pace with the rest of the nation as it was pioneering in the field of science and technology, which in turn was transforming the education system in some parts of the country.
If they paid attention to what was happening outside of their bubble world, they could have forced their governments to invest in the field of education. Had these governments provided high quality, free education, starting from early education all the way through college, one scenario that could’ve become true was that the nation would’ve had a sizeable, highly educated population to meet the challenges of the Y2K problems that came up in the last decade of the twentieth century.
Since that was not the case, the nation that pioneered in technology had to scramble to bring a large number of qualified workers from other countries to fix what was an urgent and time-bound problem.
One country that significantly benefitted from this opportunity was India, where there was an abundance of college educated graduates with strong math and logical reasoning skills. The reason that India was able to produce a large number of college educated population was because, back then, higher education was heavily subsidized, which made it affordable for students from middle and lower income groups of the country, without the financial burden.
If the richest nation on earth had invested universally and uniformly in mass education, it would’ve resulted in a negligible number of economic migrants moving here to fix the Y2K issue. That would’ve meant, instead of immigrants getting highly paid jobs in the field of Information Technology, the natural born Americans, themselves, could have participated and prospered from their nation’s technological boom.
If that were true, the woebegone one-industry economies of our nation could’ve transformed into Silicon Valleys, and Trump’s America, defined by frightening intolerance and violence, would not have existed at all. It was also possible, that the influx of undocumented workers would not have bothered the nation as much because they would’ve still needed workers to build and clean their homes, work their farms for a pittance and get exploited by their employers.
Since many governments in the GOP² dominated states did not invest in world quality education, where the majority of the voting population did not care about their welfare or that of their children, where the answer to many real problems were absurd inferences, such as, white people are superior to everyone and therefore deserve everything, just for being born that way.
Such levels of ignorance, compounded by the toxicity of the right wing media, encouraged tacitly, by the Republican party has created an environment of festering hatred, which has brought us to a time, where, White Supremacy movements are growing in power, with a significant increase in hate crimes — where a large swath of population is jealous of the latest immigrants for prospering in what they see exclusively as their land, even as they hate the ones who do the jobs they would not do anyway.
They are stuck in a limbo, because, their version of reality fails miserably once they step outside their bubble world.
Even as the changing world seeps into their largely homogenized, isolated communities, they desperately try to hold on to their narratives with such visceral obstinacy, that they cannot see that the malice of racism cuts both ways — it does not just destroy its victims, but in the long run, the blind hate they nurture, would destroy the racist societies themselves.
As Salman Rushdie wrote in his novel, “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights”:
“Just as we are created anew by what we love, so we are reduced and unmade by what we hate.”
Real America¹ — This is a disingenuous term used in political discourse to pit the democratic voters against the republican voters. The states with heavy concentration of Republican party voters are called “Real Americans” to denote that those are who are not Republican voters are less patriotic.
GOP² — The acronym for “Grand Old Party” which is another name for the Republican Party.
Note: Even though this article focuses on racism exclusively, I don’t see a difference between any type of social prejudices such as homophobia, religious hatred, casteism etc. Although the coloring might be different, at its core all prejudices are unexamined hatred of people, whom we blindly presume to be bad because they are different from us.
As such, I hope the reader would examine the tribalism, in their own societies while Americans are grappling with the soul of their nation. One reason, Trump and his racists can’t gain ground is because of the aggressive push back from the larger public.
Note: This article is part of an essay series, “Ramblings on a Word”.