Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Blowing Shit Up Is the Ultimate White Privilege

See if you can spot the difference between these reactions to Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment: and these: The stupidity of the press corps is in large part a function of the lack of diversity in the industry. That's what makes it possible--inevitable--for the press corps to dismiss the substance of Clinton's remarks, and focus on optics instead.

Which brings us to maybe the whitest guy in the industry, an anonymous "political reporter" who, thanks to this story, has just replaced Martin Shkreli as the most horrible human on the planet:
I cannot stomach Hillary Clinton. I just can't get with her. Maybe because I know too much. I find so much of her world hypocritical, reprehensible. I think the rest of the country sort of gives her a pass, like, "Oh, she's always been attacked by Republicans, it's not that big a deal, email shmemail!" But I'm like, "WHAT! This is a huge deal."

And then I also obviously struggle with Donald Trump. The things I like about him are: I believe that sometimes you just have to blow shit up to build it again, and I think that a Trump presidency would do that. But just when I sort of get there with him, like, Ohhhhhhkayyyy, he says or does something and I'm like, "No, I can't!" Like saying, "What do you have to lose?" to African-Americans. Like, WHAT? What?

I think I would just have to sort of give in to my chaos theory of Trump and just hope that he surrounds himself with the right people enough that it's not a total disaster? Or Hillary would have to do a really convincing and honest come-to-Jesus with the media. A real press conference.

I cover this stuff every day. So for me, four years of Trump, selfishly, sounds a lot more enticing, just because it's going to be a dumpster fire. And a Clinton administration would be more of what we're seeing now, which is carefully orchestrated speeches, behind-the-scenes Wealthy McWealthysons going in and out of the White House, and really horrible transparency with the press.

Gun to my head, I would probably vote Trump because of my feelings about Hillary, and my—I just want to see what happens. But if I were to talk to you tomorrow, I'd be like, "Ugh! I've gotta vote for Hillary!" [emphasis added]
Here's what white privilege means: It means you get to indulge in your feelings regardless of the consequences. It means you can vote based on boredom. It means you get to think about blowing shit up without worrying about harm to yourself.

The irony here being that as a reporter, this guy is going to be in the line of fire under President Trump. That's the weirdest thing about this whole campaign season: Trump has made it clear that he is a direct threat to press freedom, and you'd think that at least would motivate the press corps to quit propping him up. The only explanation I can think of is that most white journalists simply can't internalize the idea that they're vulnerable, because they never have been before. Because they're white.

And maybe this guy is such a narcissistic sociopath that even if he were surrounded by black, Latino, and Muslim colleagues he still think this way. But there's a good chance he wouldn't, and a near certainty that in a more diverse industry there would be fewer of him.


Never Ben Better said...

I get the same vibe from a lot of the Left Blogistan Hillary haters; they don't really, in their deepest selves, think her loss would be all that bad for them, and a faction among them actually believe that a Trumpfire of the government would lead to Real Revolutionary Reform wherein the voters would finally embrace their movement and sweep True Progressives into office.

The fact that GW Bush's presidency and its catastrophic conclusion did no such thing seems to escape their notice.

Yastreblyansky said...

Really nailed that.

Tom Hilton said...

NBB: yes, definitely.

Yastreblyansky: thanks!

Robert said...

I can chew gum and walk at the same time, so I don't need to play into false dichotomies.
We can elect Clinton, because she's better than the alternative we are given, AND burn the Democratic Party to the ground and start over.

L.A. Goldenrod said...

"I believe that sometimes you just have to blow shit up to build it again, and I think that a Trump presidency would do that."

Yeah, genius, it would absolutely do that. It would blow shit up. But the bad thing about blowing shit up is that the shit that gets blown up never actually gets rebuilt. Something entirely different gets built to replace what got blown up.

If you're talking about an old, dilapidated office building being replaced by a new, sustainable high-rise with solar panels and rain water harvesting, that could be a good thing.

If you're talking about our democracy being blown up and replaced with a deranged know-nothing with totalitarian tendencies who worships Vladimir Putin, that's not so good. It must be nice to have the luxury of not caring about that.

Victor said...

Unfortunately, there's no way to stop teh stooooooooopdd feckin' eeedjit's, from acting like teh stoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooopid feckin' eedjit's!!!

Maybe it's too bad that Michael Jackson didn't die this Novrmber 8th.

Maybe Madonn...

No, perish that thought.

We've lost enough good people this year...

Ten Bears said...

He would be the more effective catalyst for change, with Hillary we just get more of the same, more sleepwalking ourselves to suicide; more corporatism, more chicken-shit little wars, more environmental degradation.

Caveat Emptor.

Unknown said...

So, Ten, are you saying, "Nach Drumpf, uns"??

Unknown said...

oh you meant "blowing shit up" like metaphorically not actually blowing shit up like bombing and drone campaigns against afghan weddings and MSF hospitals and yemeni orphans we're globally waging & will accelerate next year


Ten Bears said...

Not "saying" anything, just stating the obvious: he would be the more effective catalyst for change.

Gerald Parks said...

Never been Better
This article and you have hit the nail on the head.
White supremacist ideology is the foundation and source of American racism!
White folks HAVE blown shit up ...it was called The Civil War ....then Reconstruction ... again the Great Depression... then ...GW Bush Great Recession ...let's NOT try this incarnation of GOP/Republican Party governance.

Tom Hilton said...

he would be the more effective catalyst for change.

He would be an effective catalyst for catastrophic change in terrible directions. But of course only a sociopath wants that.

The notion that Embiggening the Contradictions with Trump will somehow make progressive change more likely is twenty different kinds of delusional.

Ten Bears said...

I wasn't born that way. I joined the Army.

All I said, as dispassionately as possible, was he would be the more effective catalyst for change. No advocacy, no wanting to see the world burn, just a statement of the obvious: he would be the more effective catalyst for change.

There is an ongoing conversation amongst certain circles debating whether or no the ends justify the means. We need to stop doing what we're doing, now, or our grandchildren, my great grandchildren, may well be the last generation. Yes a Donald T Dumpf uck presidency would be catastrophic, perhaps even apocalyptic, but... more so than the status quo, the ascension of our civil sovereignty to corporate, the continued pumping of carbon into the atmosphere, the genocides and wars on behalf of Israel, the seven billion people on a planet that can barely sustain one?

It's a tough question, I would argue it is the short-sighted who are psychopaths.

Tom Hilton said...

No, it's not a tough question. For one thing, obviously the ends don't justify the means 99.9% of the time because the ends are imaginary while the means are concrete. Duh. But the other enormous duh is between the catastrophe of Trump and the "status quo", and that's an incredibly obvious choice for the same reason the ends don't justify the means: because there is not one bit of evidence that electing Trump would actually make positive change more likely in the longer term, and there is a fuckton of evidence that it would make positive change less likely in the longer term, and regardless of that it is a 100% certainty that Trump would be a catastrophe for the entirety of the timespan for which we can make reliable guesses.


Kathy said...

I suppose if I had the capability to move out of the country or go totally off the grid and didn't have any family or friends or just general humanity I cared about, I could let myself get cynical and hateful enough to think it would be a good idea to let Trump blow it all up. As none of those things is true, I will be working and praying for a Clinton victory in November.

KenRight said...

It sounds like if you a for the white man not exploding ordinance you've gotta vote for Johnson or Stein, but I guess consistency isn't a virtue in these parts.