A close second to Trump himself as the poster child for the tragic consequences of being rich, white, and blindingly ignorant is Betsy DeVos, billionaire from a pyramid scheme and smiling shill for school choice.
In the ugliest of ironies, DeVos has possibly achieved the single greatest moment of racial appropriation for political gain with her nonsensical twisting of HBCUs:
To understand the racism and privilege driving how and why the Right and Republicans chant “choice” and reach awkwardly out to blacks, consider Poet Claudia Rankine on studying whiteness, and the age of protest:
Why is it important to deconstruct whiteness? Rankine, whose most recent poetry is dominated by short paragraphs surrounded by expanses of white space, explains: “White people don’t see that their own positioning is a created position. They think it’s a meritocratic situation . . . rather than that the entire culture is set up to help them,” she says. “And so then they begin to believe that they are what is normal. That means everybody else is other to their position and, until you interrogate that, they will feel that individually they’re being attacked any time race comes up rather than understanding they are part of a community that includes all of us that put this hierarchical structure in place.”
DeVos, like Trump, believes she has earned her stature, believes she knows more than anyone else, and believes everyone else simply isn’t trying, isn’t deserving.
Blinded by her wealth and whiteness, she cannot see that choice is tossing everyone else into the inequitable meat grinder that is Social Darwinism.
From Trump to DeVos and all the other Overlords of white privilege, they cannot comprehend the next level of a people providing for everyone the basic human dignity that makes choice unnecessary.
Community, collaboration, and human kindness are beyond the Overlords.
DeVos, like Trump, knows nothing beyond her own empty soul blanketed in ill-got wealth and secured by her whiteness.
And thus the larger irony, the choice now confronting decent humans in Trumplandia, as Rankine explains:
“My feeling about it is [Donald] Trump has made apparent the mechanism that has always been in place; and, as Americans, we were OK with it as long as you didn’t say it. As long as the white nationalism that has built this country was not made apparent,” [Rankine] says. “Once it was made apparent, people were depressed. They’re not depressed about the systemic articulation of those views. They’re depressed about the fact that, as Americans, they are overtly now tied to it and its rhetoric. That’s the difference . . . suddenly, as Americans, we saw that this other thing was also who we are.
“Was I devastated? Yes. But I feel like we live here, we saw it coming. We saw the rallies. We understand how patriarchy, misogyny, racism work. We know it’s alive and well. What did we expect?”
The meat grinder has been exposed with a white hand at the crank arm.
What are you going to do?