The White Man’s Battalion


Study after study shows that implicit bias is alive and well in America. We have teachers who punish black students more than whites, folks who think “black”-sounding names belong to someone violent, and professors who favor white males over, well, everyone else.

Let’s admit it. Racism is a blood-soaked thorn in the nation’s side.

To be fair, we have to define what we mean by “whites,” especially as we’ll use it here, since someone will inevitably brandish the “not all white people” defense. More specifically, we should define the “white voter,” since this is the person we’re ultimately targeting in this article. Well, not all white voters….

In Brown Is the New White, Steve Phillips writes:

“It is useful, and more or less accurate, to think of America’s White population as divided into roughly equal thirds. We’re not talking about mathematically precise 33-33-percent segments, mind you, but broadly speaking, three large chunks of White folks. One-third can be classified as progressive, one-third as solidly conservative, and one-third in the middle … About one-third of Whites have generally tried to side with and stand for justice for people of color.”

We’re interested in just one of these thirds. Progressives, we’re looking at you.

There’s been a lot of chatter—both online and in newly mobilized political action groups—about the best way to put the country back on a progressive course. One piece of the narrative goes something like this:

     “We have to talk to Trump supporters.”

     “We have to reach across the aisle.”

     “The Democrats should be out talking to Trump supporters.”

We’re also hearing things like:

     “The Democratic Party is beyond repair.”

     “This is the DNC’s fault.”

These are quotes I’ve heard directly—from mostly white men.

Here’s what Cinemulatto proposes: in addition to everything else we’re doing to move the country left, let’s consider all of the above and advocate for a White Man’s Battalion.

Imagine. What if some of us assume the Democratic Party alone can’t pull it together by the 2018 midterm elections? What if white voters by and large display the same bias of certain professors, teachers, and many others, and aren’t as convinced by people of color exhorting them to vote in their own interest? What if “reaching across the aisle” becomes an effective weapon in our nonviolent arsenal to help swing the country left?

The best person to do this is the white progressive male (WPM).

Dear WPMs: Don’t wait for the Democratic Party. Certainly don’t wait for the sudden rise of a magical third party or an existing, ineffectual one to somehow leap ahead of the centuries-old brands of Democrat and Republican (maybe Democratic Socialist—maybe).

Organize. Book your flights, hotel rooms, and Airbnb vacations, and hit the Midwestern and southern states. Descend upon bars, hotel restaurants, sporting events, fishing holes, golf courses, auto shops, shooting ranges, fast food joints, construction sites, Walmarts, unemployment offices, trailer parks, prefabs, and wherever else white Republican men and women assemble—preferably those getting burned by the current administration.

Then, reach across the aisle. Talk to people and hear their concerns. Do the ground work of showing them how the government screws them over. If the percentage of people who know someone gay can skyrocket from 25 in 1985 to 74 in 2000, let’s use that same tactic. “Come out” to your white brethren and form the emotional bond that’ll win them over to our side. They just might listen to you.

You can do this. We’re rooting for you.