Dear Angry White Conservatives Mourning Romney's Loss: Chill Out
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Dear angry white conservatives who are mourning Mitt Romney’s loss,
If Fox News is any indication, many of you are dismayed, upset, and befuddled by Mitt Romney’s loss to President Obama. Some of these feelings are normal. Politics is tribal. When your team loses, a bit of sadness is expected.
However, some white folks are acting out in some very unhealthy ways. Young white conservatives participated in a near riot at the University of Mississippi, where they hurled rocks at bystanders, used racial slurs, and burned Obama and Biden campaign signs. Other angry white folks used the Internet to send out racist messages and pictures on Twitter as an act of protest and anger at the country’s re-election of its first Black president. I believe that these events are malicious outliers.
Many white people who voted for Mitt Romney are simply scared and angry that a “Black socialist Muslim atheist Communist usurper” was re-elected President of the United States.
Eighty-nine percent of Mitt Romney’s voters were white. Fifty-nine percent of the white vote went to Mitt Romney. He also won the majority of white voters in every age and gender group. We live in a country that is racially segregated. The United States is also very polarized politically. At present, Americans are not talking to each other across the dividing lines of race, class, and ideology.
Because many white conservatives only interact with like-minded people who come from the same racial background, it seemed obvious to them that Obama was going to be defeated on election night. With the defeat of Mitt Romney, they are experiencing the universal hurt that comes when reality interjects itself into a dream world and fantasy.
Many white people are feeling imperiled because President Obama’s win is being framed by the news media as a sign that people of color are gaining political power in the United States. The pundits keep talking about “the browning of America” and how the Republican Party will continue to lose elections if it just relies on white voters to win. I imagine that many white people, especially conservatives and older voters, may be feeling a bit obsolete as the country changes around them.
But I will tell you things that other people will not; I will tell you the truth even when it makes you upset.
The media wants to scare you with all sorts of talk about how, in a few decades, America will be a “majority minority” country. You “want your country back,” and people mock you for these sentiments. I am a good listener. Other people find joy in your tears and from the sad images of Mitt Romney’s headquarters, Republican rallies, and voters on election night. I feel your pain.
Guess what? Things are going to be okay.
First, we need to admit that many white conservatives have a problem. They are victims. I know that you do not want to hear that word. “Victims” is a word that only the liberals, progressives, Black people, gays, and feminists use.
Please hear me out. We know that most conservatives get their news and information exclusively from Fox News and other types of right-wing media. I get the appeal of this habit: it feels really good to be told that your point of view is correct, and that most of the country agrees with you, even when it does not.
You are very trusting people by nature. As conservatives, you are also very deferential to authority. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the right-wing media have been saying that good white folks like you are being discriminated against by Barack Obama and his legions of black and brown people. There are supposedly groups of Black radicals who stand around outside polling places, looking all mean and angry, and a Black attorney general who hates white people. According to sites like the Drudge Report, there are roving gangs of Black people who live to waylay and beat up white people. Hispanic immigrants are sneaking into the country by the millions and taking your jobs.