55% of white Americans believe they too face discrimination. I say “believe they too face” and not “experience the devastating systematic effects of” discrimination because only 19% say they’ve actually been discrimated against, and those who are under the impression they’ve suffered under its oppressive yolk tend to mutter things like
“If you apply for a job, they seem to give the blacks the first crack at it,” said 68-year-old Tim Hershman of Akron, Ohio, “and, basically, you know, if you want any help from the government, if you’re white, you don’t get it. If you’re black, you get it.”
Sure, Tim, it’s because the workforce hates white people, not because companies don’t typically hire 68-year-olds unless they’re CEOs. But we certainly wouldn’t want to blame this on how shitty capitalism is, would we? No, it’s the Other, always the Other, stealing Tim’s imaginary jobs. Theoretically. Because he just kind of feels that’s what’s going on.
If the administration’s “theme weeks” have heretofore been thoroughly unimpressive, the latest such venture sets the bar so low it can be located 120 feet below the earth’s surface.
First came “Infrastructure Week”. We’ll never know if it would have had a demonstrable impact on the nation’s ailing infrastructure because the hullabaloo around that Comey thing sucked up all its oxygen. “Workforce Development Week” fell victim to concerns about Trump’s inchoate budget. “Technology Week” stumbled out of the gate when Jared Kushner chose to rail against floppy disks for reasons not fully understood by anyone in the 21st century. “Made In America Week” gave the president the opportunity to pretend to drive a fire truck like a big boy, yet offered little else of consequence.
There are more themes on the way (“American Dreams Week” starts July 31st), but they’ve hit their nadir with “Fuck The LGBTQ Community Week”. Wednesday gave us the Hobbit Troll’s Twitter banishment of all trans persons serving in the military. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was compelled to clarify saying something on Twitter does not make it official Department of Defense policy, but no matter! Donald of Orange had another steaming batch of discrimination to serve up.
The Department of Justice has filed court papers arguing that a major federal civil rights law does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, taking a stand against a decision reached under former President Barack Obama.
The department’s move to insert itself into the New York case was an uncommon example of top officials in Washington opining directly in the courts on what is an important but essentially private dispute between a worker and his boss over gay rights issues. Civil rights advocates immediately criticized the filing not only for the arguments it advanced, but also for having been made on the same day that President Trump announced on Twitter that transgender people would be banned from serving in the military.
One possible explanation for the aggressive foray into institutionalized bigotry is that with his poll numbers in the tank, Trump may be keen on shoring up support from the special interest group that stood with him while moderates and independents peeled off. The Religious Right are revanchist kooks who crave a dictatorship for Jesus, but they’re a powerful bloc of kooks. They, if no one else, view this theme week as a rousing victory.
(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Eighty-Nine)