Thursday, August 17, 2017

And Now, the Rest of the Story

Since the election we've seen dozens of sympathetic pieces about the quintessential Trump voters--those beleaguered, disaffected rural white people, left behind by a post-industrial economy and a culture that no longer recognizes the inherent value of their whiteness. And every time another one is published...well, let's just say that there is rough language in my general vicinity.

What exactly is it about these thumbsucking pieces, individually and (even more) en masse, that is so deeply infuriating?

Good question. Let's ask Madyson Turner:
Turner’s mom, who cleans houses in town for a living, went to work a couple of days after that, and her employer, an older white woman, brought up the results of the recent election. The two had talked politics before—Turner’s mom is a Democrat, and her employer is a Republican. “Well, you might as well come and live with me now,” the employer said. “You gonna be mine eventually.”
Or Alex Romero:
One day, his daughter came home from school, frightened because the other kids were telling her that Trump was going to send all the Hispanics out of the country. He asked her how she responded. “I didn’t say nothing because I didn’t want to get mad,” she replied.
Or Elena Garcia:
When Trump began to gain popularity, Garcia felt betrayed by people she thought she knew, people we both grew up with. Late last year, Garcia began to see a pattern on her Facebook feed. One post said, “I can’t wait for Trump to take over, so we can start building this wall.” A commenter added, “Yeah, and the Mexicans are going to pay for it and work for it.”

She stared at her screen in disbelief. “Some of them I even thought were my friends at one point.”
These are from a piece by Becca Andrews in Mother Jones, about some of the African-American and Latino people living in her native Crockett County, Tennessee. These are the people who have been invisible in all the white-working-class profiles, whose pain and anxiety might as well not exist as far as the WaPo and the Times and all the others are concerned. Andrews' piece is well worth reading all the way through. And it's a start toward remedying the unforgivable exclusion of these people from the mainstream narrative...but it's only a start.

And until the stories of Trump's targets take their rightful place front and center in the mainstream press, J.D. Vance can take his elegy and shove it up his ass, and Chris Arnade is cordially invited to blow the Front Row. I don't give a flying fuck about the shitheads who voted to fuck over their neighbors and 'friends'; I care about the people who are newly vulnerable because of it.

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