Tim Wise is what typically passes for an “Activist” among (self-identified) “Progressives”: a laughably pampered, amazingly-privileged WHITE GUY, whose “career” has consisted exclusively of mouthing the same ill-informed platitudes at “public speaking” events and through “activist” TV/radio programs, for decades.
He’s essentially a pampered white dickhead who fancies himself some sort of “ally” of Non-whites/women/LGBTQ. In reality, his “activism” extends no further than cranking out preaching-to-the-choir books (read by nobody but other Latte-Leftists and SJWs), and relentlessly hammering on exactly the populations most critical to “outreach”.
Whether via his “tick-tick-tick” gloating over the presumptive senescence of the “White Right” back in 2010:
Or, really, any of his other temper-tantrums (er, I mean “Essays”)
Pretty much everything about Tim Wise is exactly illustrative of the fundamental failing of “Progressives”: their tendency to dehumanize EXACTLY the demographic most vulnerable to being “recruited” into the ranks of overt racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia/Islamophobic panic, etc.:
(Comparatively) poorly-educated, non-wealthy, non-coastal Whites.
Take, for example, THIS gem of — petulance:
There is no upside, no rosy scenario, no way to interpret what has happened but as a crushing defeat for the notion of multiracial and multicultural democracy, for religious pluralism, for sex and gender equity and for whatever advances were achieved over the past eight years—hell, in the past 80 years—in regard to these things. To suggest that everything will be okay is to traffic in empty platitudes the ultimate veracity of which we won’t know for some time, but whose accuracy at present should be considered quite a bit less promising than the projections of pollsters on election night. It will not be okay, and possibly for a long while.
The problem was: nothing has ever been “okay” with respect to “multiracial and multicultural democracy, religious pluralism, sex and gender equality” – unless you happened to be privileged enough to attend college, privileged enough to live in an area which was already “diverse”, or privileged to have relatives who weren’t bigots themselves.
Any one of the above is a necessary precondition even for “tolerance” of those seen as demographically “other”. However, none of them – even in combination – is sufficient.
Here’s the thing: I total “get” why Trumps’ bigoted, barely-verbal shit-show of a “campaign” resonated with his “base”. I was born and raised in what is now Trump Country.
Here’s why Trump “resonated” with a lot of my relatives:
- The region was (up until around 40 years ago) overwhelmingly “White”, and insular to the point of absurdity. Fact is, the so-called “Pennsylvania Dutch” are one of the few “White” populations which were never quite “assimilated” into that (supposed) “Melting Pot”. Moreover, up until around 1970 or so, the primary distinction was between the so-called “Plain Dutch” (Amish/Mennonite/Brethren — ethno-religious subcultures which are either unknown, or poorly understood, in most other regions), and the so-called “Fancy Dutch” (poorly-“assimilated” Whites — mostly involved in “Blue Collar” stuff like Bethlehem steel, warehouse work, trucking, etc.)
- Somewhere between 1970-1980, the steel industry was “off-shored”, and everything which depended in one way or another on that industry, started to go to shit.
So, Pennsylvania was basically a mix of sad little “Rust Belt” towns/pseudo-cities, surrounded by (more overtly) “Rural” areas, many of which contained a disproportionate share of very “culturally conservative” religious folks, many of whom have been known to disfellowhsip one another over some guy’s hat-brim being too wide.
At any rate: then the bottom fell out of the “family farming” thing. THEN, when real-estate prices dropped far enough, a fairly significant amount of folks with Puerto-Rican ancestry relocated to the area, predominately from NYC.
Their thinking was (according to Carlos, a guy my wife and I had attempted to befriend when we still lived there) was to distance themselves from the drugs/gangs/crime etc., and — possibly — live in an area which they (mistakenly) believed would be both affordable, and welcoming.
It might have been affordable — but it damn sure wasn’t welcoming.
So, in the 1980s, you had what sociologists describe as “White Flight” (or, at any rate, a tragic parody of it): Whites who were just barely above the poverty line/two paychecks away from homelessness etc. deliberately saddling themselves – and their children — with mortgages and credit-card debt they had no chance of actually controlling, in an extremely ill-advised attempt to relocate to depressing, cracker-box ‘housing developments” whose only purpose was to impress the neighbors and/or not have to live anywhere near the “rickins”.
So, you ended up with a situation like my parents:
My Dad (barely-functional alcoholic, functionally-illiterate, racist down to the bone), very literally mortgaged away any credible chance I had at attending/completing college, by way of a 30-year balloon mortgage on a shitty crackerbox, 15 miles from where he worked at the time, and 1 1/2 miles from Annville (a town of less than 5000 people).
How did he ‘afford” the mortgage and car-payments? Short answer: he didn’t. Long answer: he PRETENDED to be able to ‘afford” them, by means of shit-tons of credit-card debt.
My parents managed to obscure the (blatantly obvious) facts of their own lifestyle by pretending to be “upwardly mobile”. In truth, all we ever got from that “suburban” house was financial stress that eventually destroyed my parents’ marriage (which was never that great in the first place), and a “yard” which was completely useless even for outdoor recreational activities.
So, yeah: I totally “get it” why Trump would be seductive to that region:
- Pennsyltuckians suck at geography. They can’t really tell the difference between Mexicans and Puerto-Ricans. (“they all look alike!”, as my bigoted, chain-smoking shrew of a “mother” once remarked).. They also don’t seem to understand that Puerto Rico is technically part of the United States.
2. Trump’s yip-yap about “bringing jobs back to the U.S.” definitely resonates with those who genuinely believe (to paraphrase South Park) “Dey took R Jerbs!”
Pretty much everything else about Trump — the fact that he manages to be barely-verbal, belligerent as fuck, and also claim to “know more about ISIS than the Generals” — definitely resonates with a pervasive (and otherwise utterly incomprehensible) sort of “reverse snobbery” which I can’t even really put into words, except to explain that it goes a long way toward explaining at least part of why I was relentlessly bullied — physically assaulted, called everything from “faggot” to “brainiac” (evidently on the assumption that intelligence = homosexuality), and just generally alienated — even by my own relatives — to the point where I’ve come to view LEAVING PA PERMANENTLY back in November 2010, as the single best decision I made in my life (other than marrying my wife, that is!) 🙂
At any rate: If Tim Wise (or any other self-righteous, insulated, Latte-“Progressive”) genuinely believes that the Pre-Trump situation was somehow “okay” with regard to: racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. — that “Progressive” would do well to “Check” his or her “privilege” — ESPECIALLY the “privilege” of being able to live in their insular little coastal “hipster” bubble.