Dear Angry White Conservatives Mourning Romney's Loss: Chill Out
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A good many of you white people think things are so bad in the Age of Obama that you actually believe that anti-white “racism” is a huge problem facing the country. White men are supposedly the saddest and most oppressed of all groups, as recent research has revealed that many of them have lost all hope in the country’s future.
The right-wing media failed you. They lied and told you that Mitt Romney would win in a landslide. They cooked up stories about voter fraud and rigged polls that were biased against Republicans. The right-wing media machine betrayed you, its audience.
If I were a white conservative who listened to the right-wing media, I would be scared and upset too. I would feel confused. How could so many people lie to me? It just isn’t fair! It must be some type of conspiracy.
I do not have a ready answer. But I do want to help you feel better. I am going to let you in on a secret that Fox News and the Republican party will not share with you.
White people run America. More specifically, white men are the most powerful group of people in the United States. Yes, people who look just like you remain in charge. White men control every major social, political, economic, and cultural institution in the United States. With few exceptions, white men are the CEOs of every Fortune 500 company.
White men control both Hollywood and the mass media. There, approximately 95 percent of the most important positions as writers, directors, advertising, producers, show runners, executives, and the like are held by white men.
This is a great advantage in a country where white men make up 30 percent of the U.S. population.
White men control the United States Congress and Senate. There are now 20 women in the Senate—a record number. But there are no African Americans in the same governing body. There are two Hispanic and Asian senators, respectively. The majority of senior-level and cabinet positions in the federal government are held by white men. White men are also over-represented on the United States Supreme Court.
Yes, it is true that the President of the United States happens to be a Black man; this is a groundbreaking achievement that should not be easily discounted or dismissed. However, Barack Obama has faced unparalleled levels of opposition and resistance from conservatives in Congress—and from many white people in the country as a whole—because of his racial background. While many white folks may not know this, the country’s first Black president has done remarkably little in terms of advancing policy goals that would directly benefit people of color in the United States. In fact, Obama has spoken less about race than any president in 50 years.
White folks have a tendency to see racial progress as a zero sum game: if they feel that they are “losing” then someone else must be ”winning.” In the time of the Great Recession and its aftermath, these anxieties are especially acute. But guess what my friends? Even in the worst economic downturn in 80 years, whites are doing much better than people of color.
The Black middle class has been decimated by the recession. While almost all Americans saw their economic fortunes decline in this moment, people of color were most acutely impacted. Even in this economic environment, white people have at least 22 times the wealth of Blacks and Latinos (this gap doubled during the recession).