Up until 3 weeks before the election, I was 80% certain that Donald Trump was going to win the presidency. I had voiced this repeatedly on Facebook, to the horror of my Democrat leaning/voting friends. As far as race and justice are concerned, I haven’t had faith in America in a long time – not since I’ve grown up past the pleasures of Saturday morning cartoons and birthday parties at Showbiz. I know it to be a country founded and built on genocide, man stealing, rape and broken treaties. Donald Trump’s peculiar brand of horribleness resonated with the soul of the nation. I could feel it.
I’ve worked in retail for the last 7 years, so I’ve seen how angry white people – white men, particularly – have been. Working in any service industry allows you to see people either at their best or their absolute worst. And because my job necessitated me working with the general public, I got to see and serve ‘real Americans’, unfiltered, for 8-24 hours a week, depending on my schedule.
What I saw wasn’t pretty.
Nevertheless, I allowed a friend of mine convince me that a Trump presidency was highly unlikely. She sent me this breakdown from the NY Times and I permitted myself to be lulled by the predictions of pollsters who had the benefit of access to resources that would allow them make (somewhat) scientific conclusions based on data gathered in real time. For what is intuition and lived experience compared to data? Surely I was wrong.
Well, as we all know, the polls were trash, as were the predictions, and I was right. There is a proboscis monkey and his caterwauling troop headed the White House come January. But how did it happen? Hours after the results came in, everyone was still stunned, wondering how he did it. Fingers were pointed everywhere: at minority voters who might have not turned up in force to support Hillary, or the thousands of Americans who wrote in “Harambe” on their ballots, or even those who siphoned votes from HRC to Gary Johnson in protest. Who, who I say, could be responsible for this folly?!
Once the raw data came in, it was clear who gave Trump his victory: White women.
But hadn’t Trump offended them too? Wasn’t he an alleged sexual predator who not only imposed his carnal desires on women – admitting himself that he ‘just starts kissing them’ without waiting for permission – a man who said you could do anything to a woman if you were “a star”? And since we know his appetites don’t swing toward swirl, we could only conclude that the targets of perverse urges would be white women. He wasn’t talking about kissing me. So how did white women – of all economic backgrounds, in possession of several degrees or none – bring themselves to put a man who has pretty much admitted that he has no impulse control when his fist is in close proximity to any warm vagina, potentially their own?
I have my own theory based on lived experience, and since my intuition has proven more accurate than scientific polls, I’ll share it with you.
It all boils down to white female survival at the expense of all else… or what we refer to in Ghana as stomach politics.
White women have been listening to their husbands, boyfriends and blessers bellyache about a Black man in the White House for the past 8 years. President Obama successfully won two terms, in part because of the support of the white female voter. 56% of white female college educated voters gave Obama their mandate in 2008. Mitt Romney was able to siphon off some of those numbers, reducing President Obama’s support from this group to just 42% – this despite Romney’s “binders full of women” gaffe. Nevertheless, President Obama prevailed and will complete his second term come January.😦
From binding bodies to clamping pussies
I don’t know if white female voters enjoy being denigrated by their potential elected officials. It’s a possibility, since they were able to overlook the utterances of a man who has called women ‘fat’, ‘ugly’, ‘pigs’ and bragged about grabbing them by the genitals. Maybe Trump saw Romney’s post-binder surge and figured it was the code to connecting with this group of women. I don’t know. I DO know that those women who were fresh faced and right out of college went on to work, started families (most of them with white men) and watched real life come at them fast. There was no picket fence and dutiful, unseen colored gardener at the other end of “I do” in 2009. Everyone had to tighten their belts and pull up their socks in this new economy, and even though President Obama came into office during the worst recession America had seen since the Great Depression – somehow, according to conservatives – it was his entire fault that the event happened in the first place.
President Obama has been blamed for everything from crop failure to the creation of ISIS. It’s strange, but white men have been able to look at the world’s suffering – the poverty, the war, the genocide – and imagine that they are somehow suffering those precise fates. They look at the gains that people of other races and circumstances have made under the Obama administration (gay marriage, the fight for income equality, etc.) and imagine that this somehow robs them of prosperity. With this new imaginary reality firmly implanted in their consciousness, the persona of the Angry Endangered White Male emerges, and it is his mandate to take America back and make it great, safe (and white) again. The white man’s existence as an endangered being is all a phantasm, of course. The raw truth is that median incomes for white males have historically outpaced those of their male counterparts of color, and even saw a slight increase under the Obama administration in 2014-2015.
(Source U.S. Bureau of the Census)
But you can’t tell an irrational white male that, and it’s certainly not his longsuffering wife’s position to do so either. His enemy becomes her enemy, and if her beloved is feeling less inclined to fork out cash for trips to Destin because ‘times are lean’ under that n*gger in charge, then her duty is to make sure she does all she can to get that obstacle out of the way… which in this case could be solved with a simple vote. This is why Hillary could not have possibly been a suitable replacement for Obama. As he said clearly in one impassioned stump speech rallying support for Clinton:
“My name may not be on the ballet, but my policies are on the ballot!”
What? This is just too much.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Malaka, how do you know this? This is just conjecture!”
I know this because of Bones. And because I people watch.
Before the dot com bubble burst, people were coming out of university demanding $40-50K salaries, with no experience, and getting them. The economy was booming because people were spending an obscene amount of money on luxury goods. But then the bubble DID burst, and everything went to hell. While some people were forced to take a reduction in salary to keep their jobs, others just lost their livelihoods altogether. It was a hard time and people were really concerned; concerned about things that really matter.
“Does that mean we’re not going to be able to go to Bones every Friday?” a painted 50-something woman dripping in costume baubles squawked to her husband.
People were wondering how their rents were going to be paid, and here she was concerned about whether she’d be able to schmooze and booze it up at a local high-end steak house.
Not convinced? Perhaps you might recall the Trumpettes, whose explanation for why Donald Trump would make such a great leader is if he could do such a fantastic job with his club – where there are options for 75 different desserts – he could certainly replicate that sort of excellence as president.
Madam! We are not making cheesecake in the Oval Office! What…?
Again, stomach politics.
You think I’m lying. Google it.
I’m not surprised white women sold us out. I’m surprised people consider white womanhood an enduring ally. From Harriet to this week, we’ve seen them do this before. Oh, they are more than happy to take those small business loans set aside for monitories, but outside of that, this is not a group of women who identifies with the disenfranchised. This only comes as a shock to those who are unfamiliar with Susan B. Anthony’s racist quirks that served as the hallmark for the Suffragette Movement and then formed the basis of modern day white feminism. 66% of white women voted for Trump because it was good for white men, and because they are still dependent on the rewards of a white male patriarchal society. Their fortunes are inextricably linked. So it doesn’t matter if Trump unleashes a newly formed police force (Gestapo) to separate immigrant parents from their American-born kids, or if he orders Giuliani to implement Stop & Frisk in Black and brown communities, or even if Trump himself shows up at the Toddlers and Tiaras pageant and starts snatching 13 year old girls by the crotch. As long as that 401K is protected, the rest of us can go hang.
But, but, Malaka. What about all the anti-Trump protests breaking out all over the country? Look at all the young white women taking to the streets!
Hush. Those chicks aren’t out there protesting for ME. They’re out there protesting for access to birth control. How many of these same women turned for Black Lives Matter rallies?
Selah. I’ll wait.