Conservative voters and poor Whites are becoming more vocal since Donald Trump launched his campaign for president, but why are they so mad; why is their anger increasing and being aimed at minorities?
Jonna Ivin, Founder of STIR Journal, explains why poor White voters are chanting ‘Trump, Trump Trump‘ in a new article.
Ivin joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the premise of her article and explained she wrote the piece to examine: “Why do poor White people continuously support wealthy people when they don’t have their best interests at heart?” Ivin said as she started looking at the scenario, she found herself delving further and further back into America’s past, where she “eventually found this connection between wealthy Whites planting this wedge between indentured servants and African slaves.”
“By giving freed Whites or indentured servants a tiny little feeling like they were better, they kind of put this wedge in between people who were working side-by-side at times, and that wedge has continued to get bigger and bigger and deeper and deeper and wider,” Ivin said.
In her research, Ivin found plantation/slave owners – who made up approximately four percent of the population – used fear to get the other 96 percent of the White population to fear African slaves and fight in the Civil War “for something that wasn’t even going to benefit them.”
Ivin said she discovered speeches given by politicians at the time that kept “feeding” this fear, saying, “If these African slaves are freed, they’re coming for you.”
Fast forward approximately 150 years from the end of the Civil War to 2016, and you will find this same tactic being used. Rev. Jim Wallis said, “White supremacy is an ideology that’s a lie and that lie even works against poor White people, deliberately so.”
Rev. Wallis explained that cheap labor and free labor were pinned against each other, but when “cheap labor and free labor are now cheap labor for everybody,” those who are making everybody poor become fearful of that intersection of groups.
Wallis continued that those in power want to divide working class White people against Black people and said, “This lie of White supremacy even hurts poor White people.”
NewsOne Now panelist Cleo Manago agreed with Rev. Wallis’ assessment of how working class/poor Whites are being essentially manipulated to bolster a certain power structure, saying there is an “investment in Whiteness.”
“This country makes White people feel artificially superior and Black people artificially inferior … and the central issue here is the praising of White people based on the myth of White supremacy,” Manago said.
He added, “So these White people look at Black people as a threat, they look at Black people as an enemy or Black people who can do something to them.”
“Here comes Donald Trump being bold and putting down other people and talking like a racist and they (poor White people) go on regarding that he’s rich and ‘I can never even walk into his hotel and use his bathroom — he’s White, he’s speaking against these other people — he’s my savior,’” said Manago.
Later during their NewsOne Now conversation, Ivin said poor White voters are frustrated and scared, “But they do sort of have this ideal, this kind of American Dream, whereas even though everybody is living one paycheck away from being homeless or poverty, they still feel like they’re one great idea, one lucky stroke away from being like a Donald Trump.”
Ivin said, “What Donald Trump is doing, which historically has been done by the wealthy elite, is point that anger, that frustration, and that fear off them … to those people, and those people have taken many forms.”
She then said, “There is always this enemy out there that the poor Whites are being told is ‘coming to take something from you.’”
Watch Roland Martin, Rev. Jim Wallis, Jonna Ivin, Cleo Manago, and the rest of the NewsOne Now panel discuss in the above clip.
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