Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) has made it overt. He claims that he was unconcerned when a crowd of white men invaded the Capitol building, smashing windows and doors, bludgeoning police and screaming for the blood of the vice-president and the speaker of the house, but had things been reversed and it had been Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, he might have been a little concerned.
He has no fear of white men, but black men…”a little concerned.” According to him, the white people “love this country” and by implication, black people don’t.
Donald Trump showed the way, but he kept it lightly veiled. He had a rare talent for being understood without actually saying exactly what he meant. He never said, “Get me dirt on Biden or kiss your military aid goodbye,” or “Attack the Capitol and get the election overturned,” or “Rig the numbers so I win Georgia,” but his listeners knew exactly what he meant. He praised white supremacy groups. He threatened black rioters with deadly force. He gave speeches exhorting voter suppression. He said that he was not a racist and no one could say he was because his remarks were always just veiled enough.
That time has passed. Senator Johnson is a seasoned politician with a keen ear for his constituency. He is doubling down. It will be white people who will keep him in the Senate. As the percentage of white people in the country approaches fifty percent, anxiety grows. The risk that it might fall below that must seem cataclysmic. Apparently it is time for white people to take up arms rather than find common ground. If public figures can channel their inner George Wallace at a time when nearly as many people are brown as are white, then we are in for a future that makes pandemics look trivial.
We must seek common ground. There is common ground. Population growth has made conflict, perhaps even open warfare, with world powers inevitable. We need every citizen (even wannabe citizens) that we have being as useful and productive as possible to survive. Senator Johnson is simply being selfish, concerned only with his political career. We need people working toward common ground. We need people to be Americans.