We have to wait a week until we find out if Brett Kavanaugh will be on the Supreme Court as Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake pushed to delay the vote while the FBI investigates claims of the judge’s alleged previous sexual misconduct.
This is a good thing. But, in the grand scheme, this doesn’t imbue me with any hope because everything that was true before Flake made his decision still stands.
Kavanaugh had affirmative votes from a near majority of a group of mostly white male Republicans who have heard Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s account of Kavanaugh attempting to rape her when they were in high school. The reason Kavanaugh is getting these votes has nothing to do with anyone’s belief that he’s innocent – that’s immaterial to the people in power at the GOP; it’s because he would surely use his seat to uphold white supremacy.
Kavanaugh is almost assuredly going to pull back on voting rights, women’s rights and LGBT rights. Plus, he’ll probably do his best to ensure Donald Trump never faces impeachment or jail time. That’s all that matters to those voting for him. These senators have decided that Kavanaugh’s apparent promises of advancing white supremacist ideals are worth all of the pain everyone, especially Dr. Ford, has faced. Because if there’s one thing that’s clear about white America, it’s that they are willing to sacrifice their own to uphold the idea of white power.
And this isn’t new.
White people – men and women – voted in a majority for Donald Trump, who has more than a dozen accusations of sexual assault on his back. The same Donald Trump who admitted, on camera, that he grabs women by their vaginas without consent. In Alabama, failed Senate hopeful Roy Moore also got the majority of the white vote despite multiple claims that he raped underage girls. The message was clear: Moore and Trump’s political positions, which have largely revolved around racism, xenophobia and violence against anyone who isn’t a white man, spoke louder than violence against women.
Unyielding faith in white supremacy is, of course, an act of self-destruction. It goes without saying that a world built on equality, meritocracy and love is a world where everybody wins. But the American pathos means not seeing victory unless there’s someone who is losing. There is no victory without someone being defeated. Native Americans had to die for the country to be formed. Africans had to be enslaved for the country to be built. White men and women had to die in a war to uphold a region’s desire to own slaves. Scores of white men and women have been killed in a war built on the economic desires of a few rich white men. Poor people have to lose their jobs and brave poverty to show China who’s boss. These are the sacrifices that must be made for America – white America – to succeed.
And for everybody else to lose.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was just the latest sacrifice to be made. She is the most recent white American who white Americans felt comfortable casting aside for decades of laws that theoretically make white Americans great again.
The irony here is that the sacrifices won’t end. There is no line of no return for white people when it comes to casting aside fellow white folks for whiteness. White supremacists are happy to march on the front lines for white supremacy knowing that they are going to be the first ones trampled. They’ll even sacrifice their own children for the cause.
I never really had much faith in the majority of white Americans to do the right thing for the rest of us. I’ve seen too many police go free after murdering black men and women. I’ve seen too many juries lean towards the wrong end of justice. I’ve seen too many votes placed in Congress that have ruined whole communities. And I saw what happened in November of 2016.
The best course of action is to act under the presumption that white America will vote for white supremacy at the expense of everyone else and be pleasantly surprised when they don’t. I’ve seen enough to know that white supremacy doesn’t care if the world burns as long as white people get to smell everyone else’s ashes first. The empty Supreme Court seat and whoever occupies it is only further proof of that fact.