Trump and the Angry White Man

If you live in the United States or follow national events closely, you will remember the phrase “The angry white man spoke” when the victory of Donald Trump was announced in November 2016.

“Angry white man” is a pejorative term used to describe white men who have typically conservative and reactionary views in the context of American politics, characterized by their “opposition to liberal anti-discriminatory policies” and their system of beliefs and in particular stereotypically opposed to the policies of the Affirmative Action Act and feminism.

The term was popularized in reference to a political voting block that emerged in the early 1990s as a reaction to the perceived injustices faced by white men against the quotas established by the implementation of “affirmative action” in place of work. They also tend to have animosity towards young people, women and / or minorities, especially Jews.

I still remember the feeling of amazement and perplexity I felt the night of November 20, 2016 when we heard that Donald Trump, the least qualified in every way to be President of this country, had won. And now, 18 months later, I finally understand: Donald Trump knew how to encourage and give hope to this angry white man who believed he had lost his country forever.

How is it possible that in the 21st century, when we all believed that American society was finally heading towards progressive positions, could such a heartrending political retreat occur?

“Let’s make America Great again!” Became the motto or war cry that this sector of the population assumed as theirs. For years these people were feeling discriminated against, displaced and their anger grew in the same proportion and feed the most reactionary groups that see in immigration, minorities and liberals a mortal danger to their way of life, their freedoms and thesecurity of their families.

That is why President Trump can say and do what he wants, that they will always support him, why? because they feel that at last they have someone in the White House who knows what they feel and who can give them back their place. They think “America was Great” only when they were in charge, when they were the undisputed majority, when they did not have to compete with a Latino or a Hindu for a job, but that time was also characterized by the rise of KKK, black discrimination was legal and lynchings for daring to look at a white woman were the order of the day, it was the time that the National Guard had to escort 4 black girls to enter their school and the murder of Malcom X and Martin Luther King jr. happend.

Those of us who belong to the minorities or are foreigners did not understand what was happening in the United States, we could not conceive that the Americans were so stupid to choose an insipid celebrity that neither had talent nor carisma, how could this happen? It happened simply because we forgot the “angry white man” and if we continue to ignore him he will surprise us again in the next elections because they do not care what Mr. Trump says or does, they only care that he fulfills his campaign promises to restore their long-forgotten position of privileges.

Trump phenomenon is not the worst thing that has happened to the United States, there have been worse times, but it has had the beneficial effect of shaking society to its deepest foundations and making us recognize that you can not ignore reality if you want that the country really advance and be, not only a world power in the economic or military, but also in the social with a real democracy for all, without discrimination or lagging sectors, that the ideas of Abraham Lincoln be made reality and be ours, a democracy in favor of all its citizens, “a democracy of the people, by the people and for the people”.

Trump y el Enojado Hombre Blanco

Si vives en los Estados Unidos o sigues de cerca los acontecimientos nacionales, recordaras la frase “The angry white man spoke” (el enojado hombre blanco habló) cuando se dio a conocer la victoria de Donald Trump en noviembre del 2016.

“The angry white man” o “El enojado hombre blanco” es un término peyorativo usados para describir a los hombres blancos que tienen puntos de vista típicamente conservador y reaccionario en el contexto de la política estadounidense, se les caracterizada por su “oposición a las políticas liberales antidiscriminatorias” y su sistema de creencias y en particular se oponen estereotípicamente a las políticas del Acta de Acción Afirmativa y al feminismo.

El término se popularizó en referencia a un bloque de votación política que surgió a principios de la década de 1990 como una reacción a las injusticias percibidas que enfrentan los hombres blancos frente a las cuotas establecidas por la implementación de “acción afirmativa” en el lugar de trabajo. También tienden a tener animosidad hacia los jóvenes, las mujeres y / o las minorías, especialmente los judíos.

Aun recuerdo el sentimiento de asombro y perplejidad que sentí la noche del 20 de noviembre del 2016 cuando escuchamos que Donald Trump, el menos capacitado en todos los sentidos para ser presidente de este país, había ganado. Y ahora, 18 meses después, es que finalmente lo entiendo: Donald Trump supo alentar y darle esperanzas a este enojado hombre blanco que creía que había perdido su país para siempre.

¿Cómo es posible que en pleno siglo XXI, cuando todos creíamos que la sociedad norteamericana finalmente se estaba encaminado hacia posiciones progresistas, pudiera ocurrir un retroceso político tan desgarrador?

“!Let’s make America Great again!” se convirtió en el moto o grito de guerra que este sector de la población asumió como suyo. Durante años estas personas fueron sintiéndose discriminado, desplazados y su enojo creció en la misma proporción y alimento los grupos más reaccionarios que ven en la inmigración, en las minorías y en los liberales un peligro mortal a su modo de vida, sus libertades y la seguridad de sus familias.

Es por eso por lo que el presidente Trump puede decir y hacer lo que quiera, que ellos siempre lo apoyaran, porque sienten que al fin tienen a alguien en la Casa Blanca que sabe lo que ellos sienten y que puede devolverle su lugar. Piensan que “America was Great” solo cuando ellos estaban a cargo, cuando ellos eran la mayoría indiscutible, cuando no tenían que competir con un latino o un hindú por un puesto de trabajo, pero esa época se caracterizó también por el auge del KKK, la discriminación de los negros era legal y los linchamientos por atreverse a mirar a una blanca estaban al orden del día, era la época que la Guardia Nacional tuvo que escoltar a 4 niñas negras a entrar a su escuela y del asesinato de Malcom X y de Martin Luther King jr.

Los que pertenecemos a las minorías o somos extranjeros no entendíamos lo que estaba sucediendo en Estados Unidos, no podíamos concebir que los norteamericanos fueran tan idiotas de elegir a una insulsa celebridad que ni talento tenia, ¿Cómo pudo esto suceder? Ocurrió simplemente porque nos olvidamos del “enojado hombre blanco” y si seguimos ignorándolo volverá a sorprendernos en las próximas elecciones nuevamente porque a ellos no les importa lo que diga o haga el Sr Trump, a ellos solo les importa que cumpla con sus promesas de campaña de restaurarle su añorada posición de privilegios.

El fenómeno Trump no es lo peor que le ha pasado a los Estados Unidos, ha habido épocas peores, pero si ha tenido el efecto beneficioso de sacudir la sociedad hasta su mas profundo cimientos y hacernos reconocer que no se puede ignorar la realidad si se quiere que el país realmente avance y sea, no solo una potencia mundial en lo económico o en lo militar, sino que también lo sea en lo social con una democracia real para todos, sin discriminación ni sectores rezagados, que las ideas de Abraham Lincoln se hagan realidad y sea, la nuestra, una democracia en favor de todos sus ciudadanos, “una democracia de las personas, por las personas y para las personas”.

The “Conquests of the Cuban Revolution”, myth or reality?

For decades, the Cuban government has tried to justify its permanence in power by arguing that they are the only ones that can guarantee the preservation of the “Conquests of the Revolution”; they affirm that, without the PCC, socialism and the “Revolution” there would be no equality and no social justice in Cuba
Any change that does not include them would be to return to the savage capitalism that existed before 1959.
The mentioned conquests could be summarized in:
• Independence from the corrupt influence and economic submission of the United States,
• adequate social security
• education and healthcare for all,
• make the peasants owners of their lands,
• provide employment for all,
• eradication of social classes,
• eradication of racism
• social equality for women.
All these are aspirations that Humankind has always sought and it is true that in the first years of the revolutionary process were implemented but the atmosphere of confrontation between Cuba and the United States first and then in the middle of the complex world situation during the so-called ” Cold War “, led to the imposition of restrictive and repressive policies and laws in which the State restricted all individual rights for the sake of ” Defending the Revolution “and maintaining those conquests.
The state assumed a “paternalistic” role, provided everything the population needed and punished those who did not “thank” what they did for them, the “ungrateful” who did not want any help from the government and those who questioned the purity of their intentions. All these ungrateful people were called: counterrevolutionaries, worms, stateless people, enemies
The US embargo, the lack of efficiency of the economy and the heavy investment in military and “internationalist” activities consumed much more than what the country produced. The available resources were not enough to cover the food and social needs implemented.
All the so-called “Conquests” could only be implemented by the generous Soviet subsidy that lasted from 1961 until the moment the USSR disappeared in December 1991. Without this help, all the “social advances” were affected to the point that many of them only exist symbolically today.
In 1992, the so-called “Special Period” began in Cuba (euphemism for the worst economic crisis that Cuba has ever experienced) and, as we mentioned earlier, all social services were affected. Socially and economically, time was reset, and Cuba returned to 1899.
The national production fell precipitously, especially agriculture and a huge number of people are unemployed or are kept in their positions without practically producing anything (ghost positions), while others are sent to their homes indefinitely with 60% of their salary (interrupted worker). It is important to emphasize that this worker could loose his subsidy if he refused to accept a job offer, whose offer could be in an activity very different from his or be located outside his locality, provided that he was within his province.
It is at this momment that the State takes the decision that would change the course of the Revolution forever: it allows the dollarization of the economy and encourages the influx of foreign investment, especially in tourism. From this moment on all efforts will be aimed at maintaining the Status Quo unalterable betraying all the principles that the Revolution had up to that moment defended. All the scourges of the past returned unmasking, at one stroke, 30 years of useless sacrifices.
“The Cuban Revolution” tried to make the Cuban people believe that everything was fine, that the fault was not “socialism” but the enemies of the revolution. The “Historical Generation” never assumed their responsibility in the economic disaster and they clung to power by all means, by increasing the use of repression.
It is true that “socialism” managed to stay in power, but at the cost of the suffering of the Cuban population and a profound change in the idiosyncrasy of the Cuban people. Cubans that came to age or were born after 1992 does not behave like the previous generations.
An impartial analysis would show that the problem is not only economic but primarily political in its essence due to the government’s reluctance to implement measures of decentralization of the economy and to relax its control by the fear of the ruling class (“Historical Generation” ) of losing power.
Dollarization and the boom of Latin American and European tourism led to the entry of social scourges that had been eliminated since 1959 such as prostitution (jockeys), games (the ball), heavy drug use, and begging. A double economy was created: the official one, very controlled, poor and inefficient and the black market with exorbitant prices, a great variety of products and adaptable to the circumstances. A massive exodus of professionals towards more lucrative professions began, that is, to jobs related to tourism.
The lack of opportunities, as well as the lack of hope for a better future in the immediate (they have been deceived for almost 60 years with the promise of “Sacrifice now to have a better future” latter) is the main cause that thousands of people, especially young people, are migrating to any part of the world at any opportunity they get. They are Cubans who do not feel encouraged and who have stopped believing in the government’s promises. They decided to achieve their dreams for themselves, but for the government, they are just “ungrateful” who have betrayed their homeland when the revolution need them the most.
What can we do with a healthcare system that covers the whole country but is in worse conditions that in 1959, that does not have enough medicines for his patients, nor sheets for the few remaining beds, or where the operating rooms are contaminated and there are patients who die from “unknown” causes, or where the best hospitals are dedicated to attending foreign patients who pay with dollars, or that most of their best professionals are leaving the country, or emigrate or signing up to work abroad to improve their economic condition. To eliminate all these issues, isn’t why a Revolution was made?
What can we do with an education system that does not have enough trained personnel or adequate facilities, or the necessary pencils, books and notebooks. What can we do with an educational system that spends more time on “political” activities than on education and whose main subject of study is to inculcate an ideology that is foreigner to us?
What can we do with a Social Security System that barely provides the elderly with the minimum necessary to survive and provide no extra attention or help. The little extra help they can find is what they can afford for someone to take care of them or accompany them.
What can we do with a low level of infant mortality when our children, lack almost everything, when their food supply is so precarious and is a constant challenge for their parents?
The people who best manage to cope with current economic situation are those who have family abroad and receive money from them on a regular basis. These Cubans, who overwhelmingly left illegally, are the same people that the regime called “traitors” and “enemies of the fatherland” and now, with the money sent to their families, has revived the social division of extreme classes, the same division against which the “Revolution” had fought before.
Supposedly the social classes were eliminated in 1959 but in fact in Cuba there is the following division:
• the working class: those who live on their salary and who barely it reaches to live,
• the “masetas” and “merolicos”: they are those that sell to the workers the goods bought from the bureaucrats,
• the bureaucrats: they are those who administer the resources of the State as their own and finally
• the leaders (of the State and of the Party): they are the ones who run the country as if it were theirs.
We all know, despite the words of the regime, racism has never completely beeing eradicated, women are still victims of violence. When domestic violence and rape happen, the police do not take these crimes seriously and only intervene in cases of “public scandal”. The levels of violence and crime have skyrocketed and continues to grow, street fights in public events are frequent, daylight theft is frequent and administrative corruption is more rampant than ever.
What can we do with the best agricultural land that no longer belongs to farmers since 1962 and is currently untapped despite the new lease law. The “Revolution” took the land from the landlords and gave it to the peasants, but shortly afterwards they took away half of it and forced them to “cooperativize” and sell only to the State what little they produced. The abandonment of the field has been a constant since that time and today there is hardly any peasant class.
What can we do with a politicized university that expels young people for expressing their political opinions that are different from those of the government even though the Constitution establishes that Education is for all without distinction.
What can we do with a university career that does not interest you because your GPA was not high enough to obtain the one you wanted?
What can we do when we are forced to spend 3 years of Social Service in a job that we don’t like, in a job that never interested us because it was not what we wanted to study?
The so-called “Conquests of the Revolution” no longer represent true achievements because, after almost 60 years, they have not yet been able to materialize. It is way too long to wait for a promise.
The “Revolution” has long ceased to be a revolutionary movement and It became an elite club formed by those who led that movement in the old good days and who today are called “Los Históricos”, a group of generals who have been in power for almost 60 years, and who have tried to keep alive a system that, all this time, It proved that it does not work and that it has been the cause of the poverty of the Cuban population.
The main problem of the Cuban system is the centralized economy and the lack of economic and individual freedom to decide their own destiny.
The Cuban problem is not the United States, is the State interference in the life of Cubans.