The Origins of White Grievance
At the moment we develop an awareness of rules, we become mesmerized by those who violate them. If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that the outlaw’s antics captivate us; the bolder his defiance, the greater our fascination. We secretly admire those who defy conventions and the rules that we ourselves feel compelled to follow, but that we in our hearts -despise. This fascination often includes a hero-worship of those who lie and distort reality, and those who are willing to wreak havoc. Reverence for the outlaw seems to be a part of the innate human personality. Who can deny that, even as school children, the hellion enthralled us, as did the bully who disrupted class, defied, and challenged authority? His occasional outbursts helped us get through the monotony of the school day. He provided entertainment without serious consequence. As adults, however, we are expected to abandon the ways of our youth and be guided by higher ideals — but some of us never reach this point.
In 2016 while on the campaign trail, Donald Trump talked about other candidates in ways that reminded us of our adolescence. He called the wives of candidates ugly; he described others as low energy, he mocked disabled people . During one of the debates with Hilary Clinton, Trump defied past practice by invading her personal space on stage while she was speaking. Later he began to refer to the former Secretary of State as crooked Hilary. For Americans, Donald Trump became the adult embodiment of the schoolyard bully, and half of America could not get enough of him. The country had found in Trump, a candidate who would say things that others were unwilling to say and do things others were unwilling to do. He publicly attacked African Americans. He sought to ban Muslim travel to the country. He promised to build a wall to prevent — what he described as rapists and murdering Mexicans — from entering the country. In Trump, the “aggrieved white male” found his spokesperson. When Trump saluted Neo Nazis, the group realized that it had found a leader willing to return the country to the abyss of its racially violent past to maintain power.
There are those in our society who see the pillars of America’s system of racial subordination being dismantled, and it makes them uneasy. The assumptions that allowed them to make all the rules, elect all the Presidents, and have all the advantages were…