Professor Eddie Glaude Jr. made an important point as Michael Moore and the entire Morning Joe panel were solely interested in a justification for white working class men voting for Donald Trump.
White working class worker’s plight the same as all working classes
Morning Joe spent a significant part of an uninterrupted 40-minute segment justifying white working class people voting against their interests by supporting Donald Trump. Professor Eddie Glaude Jr., Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton would have none of it.
“Three points I want to make,” said Glaude. “One, I understand that middle America and not only middle America but folks who are catching hell in urban spaces feel a loss of power, a sense of powerlessness. I understand that they feel disrespected. But I also understand that a lot of people in this country feel that people are taking their stuff away, that they’re deserving, they’re working their behinds off, and they deserve more than they are getting. The reason why they think they are not getting more of what they are deserving is because the big government is taking stuff from deserving people and giving it to undeserving people. And the undeserving people are people that don’t live in my neighborhood. They don’t look like me. They don’t have the same religion that I do. I don’t want to marry my children. They are different than me. And those people have been attracted to Trump. Not these black folks, not these brown folks, not these Muslims who are catching hell. Part of what I am trying to get out here is not ‘middle America lives in a bubble.’ It’s not that I am some Ivy Tower Ivy League philosopher doing what I did. What I am trying to get at is that at the heart of this country is some deep racial animus that animates the very communities that we are trying to lift up.”
Joe Scarborough hit back at that comment with a poor interpretation of the data that reflect those voters as he admonished Glaude that people that live by data should die by the data. Scarborough believes that because white voters once supported Obama that the country is post-racial.
This Salon article is probative.
Sean Quinn, of the polling site FiveThirtyEight, respected for its obsessiveness and eerie prescience, recently posted a hair-raising story about a pair of Barack Obama supporters. Quinn seems ready to verify its source, but only after the election. At any rate, it goes like this: A man canvassing for Obama in western Pennsylvania asks a housewife which candidate she intends to vote for. She yells to her husband to find out. From the interior of the house, he calls back, “We’re voting for the nigger!” At which point the housewife turns to the canvasser and calmly repeats her husband’s declaration.
Obama got support because the country was in dire straits and he successfully convinced even racists and xenophobes that he was better for their financial well-being. Donald Trump successfully planted a seed or activated their inner racism in order to get their vote. Trump’s message successfully drowned out policies that Hillary Clinton presented over and over again that would have been beneficial to those who voted against their interests. This racial dynamic is not easily reflected in the polls. Professor Eddie Glaude Jr. understands that reality. Joe Scarborough and Michael Moore are blinded by not seeing through the eyes of some.
We have a lot of work to do. But before we are successful at change, we must understand today’s reality, not hide from the bitter truth, work through it, and then move on.