Opinion: The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Understands White Rage Because He is a Student of American History

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Republicans are well aware that appealing to white rage is a winning strategy to oppose any policy supported by Democrats, and now they have latched on to critical race theory to incite their base. And in this case the base means the racist Aryan element that makes up a huge portion of the rank and file.

Critical race theory is a (loosely defined) term referring to the academic examination of American law as it pertains to race. Recently, however, the meaning has shifted somewhat and has become a cause célèbre for Republicans and conservative pundits. They claim that critical race theory falsely supports the concept that America is a fundamentally racist nation.

This past week when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff took umbrage with Republican accusations that the United States Military was engaging in “wokeness,” he made some prescient statements as any highly educated person would as a matter of course. If anyone was paying attention to his comments, he gave a subtle explanation to something he claimed he wanted to understand – white rage.

General Mark Milley read Matt Gaetz, his racist supporters, and vile conservatives The Riot Act for mocking the idea that systemic racism exists.” The General added that he would like to better understand both critical race theory and “white rage.”

Based on the dressing down General Milley gave Gaetz, it is reasonable to assume he has a fairly good grasp of both critical race theory as well as white rage. And regarding white rage, the General insinuated that he has a complete understanding of what it is and when and where it originated. He said:

First of all, on the issue of critical race theory, etc,. A lot of us have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is, but I do think it’s important to be open minded and be widely read … and it is important that we understand it. And I want to understand white rage, and I’m white, and I want to understand it.

I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and noncommissioned officers of being quote ‘woke,’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there.

That [critical race theory] was started at Harvard Law School, years ago, and it proposed that there were laws in the United States, antebellum laws prior to the Civil War that led to a power differential with African Americans that were three-quarters of a human being when this country was formed, and then we had a civil war and Emancipation Proclamation to change it, and we brought it up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – took another 100 years to change that. So look, I do want to know.” 

General Milley stated correctly that white rage began prior to the Civil War.

In fact, the Southern Baptist Convention is the product of Baptists that couldn’t comport other Baptists supporting the abolitionist stance; so they packed up shop and took their racist selves South in about 1845. That “righteous” white rage continues today in the SBC that went through a close encounter with breaking apart over many members still-simmering white rage over critical race theory.

The Civil War was all about white rage. How dare anyone tell white people they could not own human beings any longer with an Emancipation Proclamation. And after the Civil War the idea of a 15th Constitutional Amendment giving all men, regardless of color, the right to vote added to white rage and produced Jim Crow and segregation across the South.

Ending Jim Crow with the Civil Rights Act certainly added to white rage and it is that enduring white rage that Republicans in Southern states are taking advantage of to pass new Jim Crow voting laws under the guise of securing elections.

Despite the Civil Rights Act being enacted, segregation continued within the religious community and only stopped when then-President Jimmy Carter threatened to strip tax exemption from the churches. As an aside, that is when the Catholics and Heritage Foundation founder stepped in and offered the evangelicals a new means of electing Republicans – attack women’s rights to control their own bodies.

Many Americans errantly believed the election of Barack Obama was a sign from proverbial Heaven that white rage, and racial animus towards people of colorwas over.  Instead, President Obama’s election brought white rage out into the open and gave dirty Trump unrivaled support of racists, white supremacists and the evangelical right.

Most recently, when Americans began protesting that they were tired of white police officers murdering unarmed African Americans, white rage reached a new high and that is where we stand today. Those filthy racists cannot understand why any American would be appalled that white police officers murder African Americans with impunity;, and they enjoy ardent support from conservatives, evangelicals, and particularly Republicans.

General Milley understands white rage because he is well-informed regarding American history. White rage exists because a significant number of Americans cannot comprehend that African Americans, like Hispanic and Asian Americans, are equal under the law.

White rage is founded in white supremacy and although it didn’t begin with dirty Donald Trump, he is the reason it is so mainstream today that even discussing why it exists is anathema to Republicans, evangelicals, and the white supremacist talking heads at Fox News. General Milley knows this is true and it is just a matter of time before the white supremacists in the GOP and conservative talking heads ramp up their criticism and begin calling for his ouster from the military.

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