While the article entitled “Fourteen Defining Traits of Fascism” has been circling for a while and the man who wrote it, Dr. Lawrence Britt, may not even exist, the points in the article still stand as a good guidepost for what fascism is as an ideology.
One consistent feature in all definitions of Fascism, aside from it being inherently reactionary, anti-modern, and extremely militaristic, masculine, and violent, is its tendency to scapegoat “undesirable” populations of people.
And according to one prominent anti-racism education, that scapegoating is why Trump appeals to so many white people
There tends to be an assumption that a lot of Trump’s appeal lies in economic frustration. And there’s a degree of truth to it, but as Tim Wise explained, if that were the only reason, then he would have more minority support. But he doesn’t.
According to Wise, “There’s a link between the kind of economic anxiety that white folks are feeling and this larger political or racial anxiety,”
He likened Trump’s rhetoric to the Southerners that claim the purpose of the Civil War wasn’t slavery, but “state’s rights,” saying:
Yeah, but the right you were fighting for was the right to own people. So when the folks in the Trump camp say it’s not about race, ‘Well, I like the fact that he says what’s on his mind.’ Yeah, but you like that he says things about Mexicans and about the Chinese and about black activists in the streets protesting police brutality and he says things about Muslims.
In fact, all of those things that people say Trump is about — economics, the straight-shooting, straight-talking guy — all of that still comes back to his perspective on othering other people and saying, ‘They’re your threat, they’re the ones who endanger your job, they’re the ones who are to blame for your lack of safety in the streets.
Poor and middle class white Americans have a long history of getting angry at the wrong people. From the age of slavery, when poor Southern whites sold their soul to feel better than African slaves rather than work with those slaves to usurp a corrupt aristocratic system they weren’t benefiting from; to the present day, with Trump’s rhetoric appealing to an angry middle class that has no reason to be angry at anyone except themselves for being tools for the rich, it’s a fine tradition.
Wise also challenged the media to “start being honest” with their reporting on race issues:
How many in the media have asked Donald Trump or any of his key supporters, ‘Hey what does that hat mean?’ You’re wearing this hat that says ‘Make America Great Again’ — when exactly was America great? And not just for white men with money like Donald Trump.”
Name a year for me because I want to know… Because any year you pick is not going to be a great one for anyone but the dominant group.
Trump, to my knowledge, hasn’t named a year, but his ex-delegate and white supremacist leader William Johnson did. According to Johnson, white people — white men in particular — want to turn the clock back to an imaginary 1950s that existed only in Leave it to Beaver, but would likely be much more sinister in real life.
Of course, you don’t have to define it, since defining a slogan means encouraging thought about it. And that’d defeat the purpose.
Watch the video below:
Feature image via screen capture