Want to know what “white privilege” looks like? It is being able to lynch a person in the streets. It is being able to drive around without the lingering fear of cops pulling you over. It is being able to roam freely while people of colour are stopped and frisked.
It is being able to roam around with tiki torches and nazi flags, flaunting your guns, but still be considered “fine people“. It is being favoured by the criminal justice system. It is a cop choking/beating/shooting a person of colour to death without any severe repercussions.
It is the little things that seem insignificant. It is what ensures that a large mob, encouraged by Donald Trump, is allowed to enter the Capitol Building (the U.S. Congress) while the Senate was in session voting to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
“But the term white privilege is offensive. Most of Trump’s supporters are from the working/middle-class section and face the same socio-economic challenges.” Indeed their financial and social conditions are similar, but the inherent privilege of not being ostracised still exists. It is the inherent privilege of being born white that ensures one’s basic human rights are upheld.
Besides, Trump’s administration has worsened the country’s economic austerity. So, the only reason his base supports him is for his brash racist, sexist and bigoted views.
Trump closes with this: “We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Ave … and we’re going to [try] to give our Republicans — the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help — we’re to try and get them kind of pride and boldness they need to take back our country” pic.twitter.com/dzGgoXD8FQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 6, 2021
While a joint session of Congress was being held to count the electoral votes, Donald Trump held a rally suggesting his supporters march down to the Capitol Building to “take back the country”. And that is precisely what happened. Large crowds with MAGA hats and confederate flags breached the Capitol, breaking barricades and climbing walls.
The session was subsequently suspended and senators were told to lock themselves in their offices as the mob made its way into the premises. The mob entered and ransacked the House of Chambers and offices of some Congresspeople.
Where does the privilege lie? The mob was allowed to illegally enter a federal premise without any resistance from security officials. They were allowed to pass through barricades and some were seen taking selfies with the police.
Trump ended up appealing the mob to “go home”, not before calling the elections fraudulent. He also said, “We love you. You’re very special.” Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ended up blocking his accounts and removing posts that cast doubt over the election results.
The Capitol police did fatally shoot a woman who was part of the mob. But at the end of it all, they were escorted out of the building without any arrests being made. IEDs were later found on the premises.
Another privilege they enjoy is not being demonised by the media. If people of any other ethnic or racial background would’ve done anything remotely similar, they would’ve been labelled as terrorists. The police would’ve been ready with tear gas and riot gear to stop them from entering the premises. The difference can be seen when compared to the recent BLM protests.
In my opinion, Trump supporters are sycophants who are being duped by their fraudulent messiah. They might believe they are fighting for a revolution, but what they fight for is racial superiority. And the mere fact that they are allowed to fight for it without any consequences is a privilege.
Populism is not democracy. Fighting to undermine other peoples rights is fascism. Supremacist tendencies lead to violence. And similar challenges await India.