David Duke, KKK Imperial Wizard was correct in his weekend Tweet to @realDonald Trump: White Americans put Donald Trump in office.
By “White Americans,” though, he surely refers to members of a distinct minority for whom whiteness and white privilege is essential to identity. They cling to it desperately as they watch their whiteness diluted and dismissed as cultural and historic artifact.
Charlottesville is evidence of this virulent white minority and the sad fact that the fight for civil rights in America is not over. As hard as it is to imagine in this modern era, there are young, khaki-clad white Americans, wearing MAGA hats, who cling to a past of confederate white supremacy, anti-Semitism, slavery and segregation.
Don’t they see their mindset holds them and the rest of our society back? Overcoming such attitudes and practices has been essential to cultural and economic progress. Watch the movie Hidden Figures and wonder if we could have been first in space and sooner to the moon if American society had not committed the crimes of slavery and post-slavery segregation.
Even the Neanderthals intermingled with Homo sapiens and gave up their “big brow” identities.
Charlottesville was an odious clash between progress and those willing to do violence for their identities of color, race, religion and nationality. For what purpose?
Return to slavery? Segregation? Closed borders? Travel bans? Trade wars? All these hobble progress and diminish economic activity. The only modern hypothetical I can think of is a Walmart closing its doors to customers and allowing only its employees to do business within its walls. Its “economy” would shrink and failure would loom quickly.
Historic examples include the many failed “utopian” experiments where groups of people walled themselves away from the of rest society, “drank the Kool-Aid” and otherwise spiraled into dysfunction and self-destruction.
Diversity, acceptance, inclusiveness, respect, open doors: These are not just long-accepted American values, they are essential to American economic progress and prosperity.
Add smart investments in education, job growth and upward mobility, and the economy can soar—for the benefit of everyone.
Coming Soon: Dragging the Anchors of Economic Inequality