The Fate of Our Nation May Rest on Our Ability to Talk About White Grievance (Draft)

(Note: I wanted to strikethrough “White Grievance” in the title and replace it with “Grievances of High Status Americans” or something to that effect. Whites, Christians, males, heterosexuals, maybe non-immigrants are par of higher status groups. While not all members of these groups feel aggrieved, I believe significant numbers do; I believe their struggling with these changes and they’re channeling their fear and anger politically in support of Trump. If we can’t talk about this, without demonizing Trump supporters–if we can find ways to help these people work through their anger and accept the changes, I believe our nation is at risk.)

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln said that, and I agree with him. I’ve talked a lot about the Russian threat, but, really, I’m confident the threat would be relatively small–that we could deal with it effectively–if we were more unified, instead of polarized. If I had to name the biggest threat to our country, I might choose polarization–specifically, polarization revolving around race. I’m no historian, but my sense is that race has been an existential threat from the founding, and the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement or Barack Obama’s election hasn’t extinguished this threat. At the same time, my sense is that racism, especially the belief that whites are superior to non-whites, may not necessarily be the major threat now. Instead, what I would like to suggest is that
white grievance–the sense of anxiety and resentment white Americans have towards losing their majority status to non-whites–might be the greater threat, especially if far more white Americans feel this grievance, to some degree, instead of believing whites are superiority or white nationalism. In this thread, I’d like to do two things. First, I want to explain the reasons I think racial tensions pose an existential threat to our country. Second, I want to explain the difference between white grievance and white supremacy and the reasons I think understanding and expressing these differences when we talk about race is vital to extinguishing the threat. Continue reading “The Fate of Our Nation May Rest on Our Ability to Talk About White Grievance (Draft)”