By Lafe Tolliver, Esq
“When you face possible political losses, always remember that an appeal to a person’s racial fears are a surefire winning strategy in a close contest.”
Efal Revillot, essayist.
Well, it’s on! Like it or not. Racial wedge issues can mean the difference between losing and winning with either suburban or rural voters. When it comes to matters of race dogma, the “fear factor” difference between a poor sharecropper in the country and a rich dentist in suburbia is tantamount to cousins disagreeing over who threw the closest horseshoe at the family cookout.
In America, there is a rich tradition that when white officials are hard pressed to woo certain voters to their party or beliefs, the tried-and-true chestnut to pull out of the racial fire is to go to the issue of “them vs. us.”
Donald Trump was a skilled race baiter when it came to pitting both educated and uneducated white voters against a black or brown candidate. He simply went to his inner well of hate and ignorance and threw red meat to scaredy white voters who are led to believe that if you allow those others to win political office, you will be the loser.
There was and is no shame in Donald’s game. He could pontificate on the good Nazi-like people in Charlottesville and he could, in the same sentence, call black women “B**ches” for giving birth to footballers who would take a knee at a national sporting event to protest the murder of black men by the police.
Now, by the time this column is published, we will know the outcome of the highly contested race for governor in the State of Virginia. A state that President Joe Biden won by 11 points in the 2020 election.
That political race was groped by the GOP candidate when he gave voice to the fears of white Virginian parents that their snowflake children were being subjected, inter alia, to the horrors of reading the famed book, Beloved, by the late Nobel Prize winning author, Toni Morrison.
The GOP and others of their ilk are churning up the so-called cultural wars by intimating that to “force” their precious Johnny or Suzie to read a classic like Beloved was against their parental control rights and that the offending school boards need to feel their wrath.
For too many white parents, the cultural wars are being re imagined as being an assault on parental rights by liberal school boards who want to make their snowflake children feel unimportant or devalued.
The noted columnist Juan Williams who authored the award-winning book, Eyes On The Prize, indicated in a recent column that the usage of the words “parental rights” is a color coded word for race being an issue with those parents.
The phrase, parental rights, has hit a raw nerve with some white parents and the GOP is off to the races to use that phrase in their arsenal of cultural war verbiage.
When you undress the word “cultural wars” you will see skin, dark skin, hiding beneath the layers of misdirection that the GOP would have you to believe that their fight is a fight for the integrity of the educational system and a rebuttal of race-based teachings.
Critical Race Theory (C.R.T.) is being erroneously placed upon this bonfire to further stroke antagonisms between confused white voters and minority voters who should know that CRT is not being taught in the public schools.
Race mongers falsely claim that it is a value system that teaches that white is not good and that white kids need to be ashamed of being white.
It is so rich and full of irony that for hundreds of years in the education or the lack thereof regarding black kids, that ‘White’ C.R.T. was systematically taught that black kids were inferior and were incapable of higher education; and they were a financial drag on the public’s educational budget.
It is not odd that ‘White’ C.R.T. was upheld for hundreds of years and even granted legal permission to be taught in the public schools which had the pernicious effect of black boys and girls valuing and favoring all things white over all things black.
In the classic case of Brown v. The Topeka Board of Education, it was proven by the use of white dolls and black dolls that black kids would choose the white dolls over the black dolls because they were taught a ‘White’ C.R.T. that said they were of no value or worth.
But… did white educators and white parents complain of their screwed-up system of mis education being an albatross around the necks of people of color? No, not at all.
Even the earlier and notorious case of Plessy v. Ferguson, the United States Supreme Court said that there are no rights of a black man that the white man is legally bound to respect. That was the law of the land for many, many decades.
Into that toxic soup of denigrating people of color, it is truly rich that white society is now wringing their hands and complaining that certain historians want to set the record straight as properly documenting the racial history in America.
It appears that white parents simply do not want their snowflake kids to know the truths of how white America practically decimated the American Indian tribes and via the institution of slavery, they were determined to hold captive millions of black people in perpetual servitude, even engaging in a futile Civil War to maintain such power.
So, when you hear the cry and anguish of white politicos bemoan how black and brown people are speaking up and out about righting the wrongs of history and how they seek to balance the scales of justice, understand that their primal fear is that they will be, population wise, relegated to a minority status in America in the next few decades.
White America is not yet comfortable with the idea that their majority rule may be diluted to the point that they can no longer rule the roost; and for them, these cultural wars are their way of making a final stand before they must come to their senses and understand that the future of America is a multi-cultural society where we all have a stake in sharing with each other in our common sandbox.
White people are extremely ill at ease with openly discussing black history which is American History. Subconsciously, they feel that if they speak out and are not correct, they will be labeled either dummies or racists.
So, they remain quiet and thus enable generations of white kids to go willy-nilly out into a multi-cultural/ethnic society as clueless as a box of rocks.
Parental malpractice anyone?
Contact Lafe Tolliver at firstname.lastname@example.org