Monday, October 26, 2020

Privilege- And More- On Display


Bloomberg News reports

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said Black people must “want to be successful” in order for his father-in-law’s policies to help them.

“One thing we’ve seen in a lot of the Black community, which is mostly Democrat, is that President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about,” Kushner said Monday on “Fox & Friends.” “But he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.”


Jared Kushner , of a mind with his father-in-law.

Master tweeter Pe notes

In fairness, Jared Kushner's definition of success is using his dad's name to buy an old office building nobody wants to lease space in and then using the power of his access to the Presidency to get a bailout from corrupt emirs in the Persian Gulf.

But as he understands, the primary objection to Kushner's statement is that it is patronizing. It is patronizing not only because the president's son-in-law  is strongly implying that blacks don't want to be successful. They're human beings and want to be successful, and it shouldn't be necessary so to inform a president's son-in-law..  Moreover, "he can't want them to be successful more than...." is daddy wanting the best for his little children.  It'd repugnant.

However, it's not only repugnant, it's Republican (with apologies to Joe Biden, who wants more than virtually anything not to offend Republicans).  The President will help blacks, Kushner suggests, only if they want to be successful.  If they are poor, working class, or even upper middle-class, they need not apply. Only if they are successful- read "rich") is Trump interested.

This attitude is especially prevalent with the Trump extended family. Nonetheless, it pervades conservative thinking generally. There is nothing wrong, the feeling goes, with affluent and well-educated blacks. Their success even proves the virtue of capitalism, Republicanism, and the flag.. It's the others many conservatives, even some moderates/centrists have problems with, which is then attributed to their blackness.

Moreover, Republicans will help those affluent, preferably wealthy, blacks as they will affluent, preferably wealthy whites.  The poor, working-class, even the middle class can go pound sand. President Trump is the culmination of at least forty years of GOP rule in this country.  In 1976, Elizabeth Drew said Ronald Reagan (not yet president)

lets people get out their anger and frustration, their feeling of being misunderstood and mishandled by those who have run our government, their impatience with taxes and with the poor and the weak, their impulse to deal with the world’s troublemakers by employing the stratagem of a punch in the nose.

When Ronald Reagan evoked the "welfare queen," it stuck in the imagination of many Americans and has grown into full-bore hostility toward the poor and the weak. Its champions today is Donald Trump but his son-in-law helps clarify the picture of a family that embodies greed on an unprecedented scale.

 


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