As last Tuesday’s election results began to roll in the despair of nearly every big network anchor and pundit was palpable. The evening went from giddy delight to utter shock in a matter of 40 minutes.
As the talking heads tried desperately to process the electoral upsets rolling in one by, one several phrases began to be repeated…
Angry white, male voters.
Uneducated white voters.
Setting aside the obviously insulting assertion that anyone without a college degree is considered “uneducated” in the eyes of the left-wing media, the “angry white voters” particularly needled at me.
I have no doubt anger is a huge part of Trump’s election to the highest office in the land. Many Americans feel disenfranchised for many reasons. Racial strife, Obamacare causing drastic insurance spikes, gun rights battles, inflation, negative job growth in the black community – Americans on both sides of the aisle are angry, and they feel betrayed on by a do-nothing government that only seems to make daily life more challenging.
The first black president’s mandate of “hope and change” has deflated into skepticism and status quo. Even the powerful historical symbolism of the first woman president was not enough to motivate the Democrat base.
A lot of people are angry, not just white people. The “angry, white males” constituency is not nearly big enough to elect a president all on their own. Obviously, other groups were casting their votes for Trump as well. Data is still coming in, but it looks like Trump pulled 24% of the Latino vote and more of the black vote than Romney. Not insignificant in a race that came down to thousands of votes in some important counties.
However, it is not just the idea that only angry white people voted for Trump that is bothersome (and somewhat irresponsible). It is the idea that there is something particularly wrong with that.
White people are allowed to be angry too.
The left-wing media acts as though there is something unreasonable and disturbing about a white man being angry. I maintain the media in question and those parroting it have not taken the time to understand exactly what it is Trump voters are angry about in the first place. It is much simpler to label it “angry” and “racist” than to take the time to delve into the nuances of daily life for most of America.
And even if what those white people are angry about is racial issues, is that so wrong? The media has spent the last eight years blaming white Americans for every incident of racial strife and tension. After every act of terrorism on our soil, President Obama has gone to great lengths to admonish not those who support Islamic terrorism but peaceful Americans who have done nothing but just exist. This imaginary “epidemic of backlash” is always laid at the feet of this mythical gun-clinging, bible-clinging white America.
White Americans across small-town America are seeing influxes of both illegal immigrants and refugees into their communities, with absolutely no say in the matter or any power to control the issue while rich people like Rachel Maddow can sit in her ivory tower in New York City and wax poetic about problems that will never touch her life.
Good people who support the government with their taxes and their communities with their charity are being called awful names when all they want is some input into what happens in their homes.
The media spends so much time applauding the “righteous anger” of #BlackLivesMatter while suggesting that white anger can only be born of racism. That point of view is borne out of nothing but the very ignorant belief that every white person (or any color, really) who doesn’t vote as a Democrat is a racist. That amounts to despising half the country. How rude.
If I were white, that would piss me off too. Hell, I’m not white, and it pisses me off.
Since the beginning of the protests by black Americans against police brutality I have consistently called for both sides to extend some grace towards one another and just listen. I have told my white readers and friends that just because they may not agree with the reasons black people are angry doesn’t negate the fact that they are indeed angry. Their feelings matter, and what is so wrong with acknowledging that?
Well, the same goes for white Americans. We may not agree with all the reasoning behind their anger, but that doesn’t mean that what they’re feeling isn’t real and doesn’t deserve to be heard.
Black people in this country have a right to feel angry and frustrated. They live here, they work here, they participate in this society.
And guess what? White people are also allowed to be angry.
After all, they live here too.