Chicago Tribune: Angry White Men Fueling Racial Violence

"They are Donald Trump's people."

The following article is breathtaking in its sweeping generalization of white, low-income America. Yes, The Chicago Tribune's Dahleen Glanton writes that the "angry white men" who demonstrated in Charlottesville, Va., are simply, "Trump's people."

"If we are to get to the root of the recent escalation of confrontational bigotry in America, we must acknowledge who is fueling it," she writes.

"That is the growing demographic of insecure white males who blame their social and economic failures on everyone but themselves."

Demonstrations like the one this weekend represent the false notion that white men are losing the unfair advantage they have enjoyed in America since its founding.

The fear that African-Americans would somehow gain economic parity with white men has long been one of the driving forces behind bigotry in our country. Today, that bigotry has been expanded into a cultural war against immigrants — a fight that is largely defined by education or more specifically, the lack of it.

Americans who thought that racism and bigotry would simply die out with the aging population must be sorely disappointed. Young men are largely driving the modern hate groups, and their numbers have escalated in the last two years.

They are people like Dylann Roof, who was was 21 when he killed nine African-American parishioners during a prayer service in Charleston, S.C. And James Alex Fields Jr., 20, who is accused of plowing his car into a crowd of anti-rally protesters Saturday, killing a woman and injuring at least 19 people.

While young men are at the forefront of the violent encounters, they are by no means the only perpetrators of hate. Just as it was nearly a half-century ago, there are many more bigoted sympathizers who stand with them in spirit, if not in person.

They are Donald Trump's people. And he knows it. 

Trump won the largest margin of white voters without a college degree in nearly four decades. Two-thirds, or 67 percent, of non-college whites supported him, compared with 28 percent who supported Hillary Clinton, according to the Pew Research Center.

Let's break those numbers down by the sexes. According to exit polls, 71 percent of white men without a college degree voted for Trump. And 61 percent of white women without a college degree supported him.

These voters represent the core of red state America. In rural swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, they are the ones responsible for pushing Trump across the finish line.

By no means should we assume that every uneducated or undereducated white Trump supporter would join a hate group or even become a sympathizer. Most of them likely were appalled by the violent images that came out of Charlottesville. Neither should we think that well-educated whites can't buy into the white supremacist argument that America has somehow been stolen and needs to be brought back to where it belongs. Indeed, there has been a recent movement to recruit on college campuses.

But the people who are most likely to be swayed by the bigoted rhetoric of white nationalist, neo-Nazi and armed "Patriot" groups certainly can be found among Trump's low-income, less educated supporters. They are among those who tend to feel most vulnerable to the changing demographics.

So in other words, if you are white and do not hold a college degree you are essentially a cave-dwelling white supremacist. 

The lack of objectivity is breathtaking. Anti-police violence, epitomized by the Ferguson riots, and racial division were hallmarks of the Obama administration. People lost their lives as a result and nary a word was spoken from the "conscientious" left. Nazi protesters in Charlottesville deserve our condemnation the same way we denounce Antifa and other violent movements. The difference is, the Left can never take its own to task when equal or greater bigotry and vitriol are on display.

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