White Racism: They are Afraid it will Die Away

November 14, 2018

The Baby Boomer Generation of white Americans, generally those born between 1946 and 1964, went through a period of segregation and a change as a result of the

movements of the 1960s. White Americans grew up in an era where blacks, Mexicans, and people of color were treated as second-class citizens. White Americans grew up in a culture of white privilege—a system were whites got the best jobs, the best education, the best social treatment, etc. It was during this time frame that another America came to be. Young people began to fight against injustice and led marches that changed legislation and the norms of political culture; white supremacy and privilege was beaten back to a large extent but not completely.  White nationalism always lies like a monster hidden beneath a rock waiting for a chance to reemerge. That opportunity came when Donald Trump was elected president. The Republican Party is losing its traditional base of older racially oriented whites as a result of them dying out.

 

This demographic, white Americans from the baby boomer generation grew up with television that had very few blacks or people of color in positive acting roles. There were the racist apartheid-like shows such as “Ozzie and Harriet, The Rifleman, The Rebel,” and soap operas that had no black actors of any kind with few exceptions. The day to day humdrum of exclusion created reinforcement for racism that was encrusted in the minds of whites by traditional nightmares. Whites grew up in neighborhoods in which there was not a black person to be seen unless they were cleaning up the yard or the house of the white owner. These are the social norms and patterns that allowed them to think of themselves as superior. 

 

In their communities, there were only white only Christian churches. Even in death, whites enjoyed beautiful manicured grave yards with the stones that fashioned death built in with granite material. Gay people were rejected everywhere at one time, and women were expected to stay at home while men went out to make money for the family. Many women now make more than men in some areas. Housing was made available in white only neighborhoods, and they attended white only public schools and universities were they got the best education. Even when they opted not to go to college, or even finish high school, they were rewarded with good paying jobs in factories and other places. They were the first hired and the last fired in many of these jobs. Their world was one of white superiority, racist white education, racist hiring practices, and racist entertainment that even included racist cartoons for their children. The 1960s ushered in a change that they were not going to like; so they hid away for a generation.

 

All the while, education was drifting away from falsehoods of white supremacy; psychology, history, sociology, and other social sciences were beginning to question what had been erased from these disciplines. White baby boomers must now face the fact, that no matter where they live, blacks and other people of color can live in the same neighborhood. When they turn on the TV set there are blacks, gays, women, and others in key positions on every channel. Whites now have churches in their neighborhoods that are Muslim, Buddhist, or other non-Christian religious orders. There is a great increase in black and white couples everywhere. All of this explains why Trump and his racist advisors came up with the “Make America Great Again” slogan. He is appealing to a dying breed of followers that have seen their white privilege begin to disappear. 

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