A Theory About the Self-Sabotage of Working Whites

From commenter Patrick:

Basically the stupidity of whites all comes down to the way race has historically played out in America. Most nations have always been very class conscious where in America people have been so race conscious that even though they are victims of class warfare they don’t identify with their class.Working class whites identify with their white oppressors more than they do with non-white peoples in their own class.

And also the white working class never aligns itself with working class movements because they don’t want to be associated with being black… they want to retain their whiteness. And in America we have a biracial system where even if you have a drop of black blood you are black…and that principle applies to class.

A working class white can have whiteness as long as he or she never aligns him or herself with working class interests because the second he or she does that they will seem colored and hence black. IN fact the white working class actively sabotages their own class interests.

There is definitely a relation between the one drop rule and the self destructive class oriented behavior of the working class white. In Latin America there is no one drop rule and they accept that there is a racial spectrum.

This is sort of a Critical Race Theory type argument a la Noel Ignatiev and Tim Wise, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. In fact, I think he is onto something.

I am going to consider anyone who works for someone else to be a working person in this analysis. This lets us include all the idiot white collar types who insist that they are not workers or working class people because they wear a suit and a tie and sit at a desk in an office.

Since they are not workers or working class people, white collar workers, whatever their salaries, tend to vote rightwing. They also generally do not have a union in back of them. In fact, they hate unions and unionized workers because these bourgeois office collar types think they are superior to them. Workers are dirty, grubby, dumb, and drink beer and watch football. They wear overalls and work boots and carry lunch pails.

Another problem is that most Whites don’t identify as working class or working people. Instead, they say they are middle class. Middle class means you’re not a worker. It means you’re something better, a bourgeois person who does not have to grovel with his hands. In the parts of California that I have lived in, Whites who call themselves middle class vote overwhelmingly Republican. I would even say that White middle class = Republican. This doesn’t make much sense in a class sense, as in Europe, middle class Whites usually vote for socialist parties.

I think Patrick is onto something. In the towns I have lived in, if you’re White and you aren’t a conservative Republican, there is something terribly wrong with you. First of all, there is a lot of social pressure to be just that. If you’re White, you’re a conservative Republican. Especially if you’re a man.

Why would any White man vote Democrat? Maybe if he’s a fag, a pussy or a loser. Voting Republican is an expression of masculinity in these parts. The Democratic Party is the party of the fags and the women. It’s worse if you’re working class. In the places I lived, all young working class men were conservatives and almost all voted Republican.

If you voted Democrat, there was something wrong with you. If people found out about it, you were somewhat ostracized. Even if they did hang around with you, they would tear into you from time to time. Conservatives here really do think that liberals are evil, and we are the enemy.

They hate us way more than we hate them – we don’t really hate conservatives here – if we did, we wouldn’t be able to hang around with any White people or date any White women. The only way a liberal can survive in White California is by adopting a “so what” attitude towards everyone’s conservative politics.

A friend of mine worked construction. All of the young men working there were conservative Republicans. Upon finding out he was a Democrat, they were outraged. “But you’re White!” they said. He was told this on a number of other occasions by other White Republicans in the area.

If you’re a young White man in these places, you’re a Republican. If you’re not, you’re basically a nigger or a Mexican. If you’re White and you vote Democrat, you’re a white person who is acting like a nigger or a Mexican. You’re almost denied Whiteness, as Patrick suggests. So one way to affirm your Whiteness in these places is by voting Republican and adopting conservatism. Conservatism, in these parts of California, is frankly, up the Whites and fuck the niggers and Mexicans. No one ever says it that way, but a cursory look around makes it quite clear.

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5 thoughts on “A Theory About the Self-Sabotage of Working Whites”

  1. Dear Robert
    Wasn’t there a strong union movement in the North East of the US?
    I read once that if you ask Americans whether they are upper, middle or lower class, over 80% will answer middle. But if you ask them whether they are upper, middle, working or lower class, then those who identify themselves as middle class drops to 40%.
    One thing that I noticed is that the term upper class is almost never used in North America. It is usually upper middle class. JS

  2. To Robert

    As Lefleur has pointed the majority of Whites making less than 20k a year vote for Democrats which tends to weaken your theory. Do you even ask these so called working class Whites why they vote for Republicans (and I am betting only begrudgingly..) My guess is they don’t like affirmative actions programs (which like it or not are constructed predominately by White elites for non-Whites at the expense of middle class Whites.

    Toss in issues about law enforcement, G-d, and guns and I’d say it is not really about not being a “Mex*” or Nig***” but more about the belief that Pubs are more on their side than Dems. Ever go to the Huffigton Post and see an article about a place like West Virgina and then read the numerous highly derogatory comments about “those kinds of people…?”

    The only Presidential candidates who said anything in opposition to the neoliberal juggernaut that sent jobs to Mexico and then China were White Right wingers. Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot. Both made it basically the center of their campaigns. Buchanan won the NH primary in 1992 and Perot had the best showing of any third party candidate since Teddy Roosevelt.

  3. Looks like this guy is his comments supports my opinion:

    “Usually these people have conservative values. For instance, almost everyone is anti-abortion. Also there is an “I work!” aspect of hating the Dems as the party of the loafers who leech off your tax dollars.

    Everyone listens to Rush Limbaugh and everyone goes to a fundamentalist church, if they go to one at all. It’s the God and guns crowd.”



    Among the current Pubs, most sound like Neocon, plutocrats for corporations. But Dems aren’t offering a solution either…. a good portion of the stimulus funding was a joke. The biggest recipients… California and Illinois school system.. to continue educating anchor babies until the stimulus funding runs out and we are forced to make job cuts anyway.

    This was pretty funny:

    “The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spent $823,200 of economic stimulus funds in 2009 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex.”

    Uncle Milton to Dr. Achube from Nigeria. Dr Achube, I would to teach you how to wash your genitals. Uhhh what.. thank you .. no.. I already know how. But I’ll split my $823,000 stimulus check with you if you sit down and watch this 10 minute video. Dr. Achube – deal.. I’ll just surf the net on my iPhone while the video is running.

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