Recently, I made the difficult decision to leave a church I’d been devoted to. It became apparent that there was such a gaping disparity between what the church claimed it stood for—social justice, compassion, and love– and how they actually treated their staff and members that I realized I could no longer in good conscience continue to support the organization. So I resigned.
It’s not so easy to resign from being white. And this week, I found myself so astonished, embarrassed, and horrified that millions of American white voters once again supported a presidential candidate whom I consider to be, in the words of Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Eugene Robinson, “a bad person.” Our current president is a corrupt liar, a politician who stokes racial division and cruelly separated children from their parents at the border. He is a man who degrades women and anyone who dares to disagree with him, and whose mismanagement of the corona virus cost thousands of Americans their lives. He’s refused to acknowledge the existential threat of climate change, not to mention the reality of systemic racism or the need to address growing inequality in America.
Apparently, this is all A-okay with millions of white Americans. They’ve seen him in action for the past four years, and they’re fine with the job he’s done. If Biden manages to squeak through and win the presidential election, which thankfully looks likely, it won’t be because he won the majority of white voters. It will be because the votes from black and brown folks made it possible for Biden to prevail.
The sad truth is there was no blue wave, no repudiation of Trump and his sycophants at the ballot box on the part of white American voters.
I know I can’t resign from being white. All I can do is keep working to demonstrate that not all white people support a candidate who epitomizes immorality and rejects the core values and principles upon which our nation was founded. Some of us want to work for a country where our leaders are decent human beings, democracy is respected, we address our problems, and everyone gets a fair shake.
It’s just that there aren’t nearly as many of us as I thought there were. What a wakeup call about what a huge swath of white America is like.
The picture is not pretty.