White Supremacy, Tulsa, and the Mythology of America

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S1: I don’t think he’s fit for office. I don’t think he has the competence to carry out the job. There really isn’t any guiding principle that I was able to discern other than what’s good for Donald Trump’s re-election.

S2: What concerns me most? In addition, the fact, of course, that he further demonstrates the quid pro quo, the president of coercing Ukraine by withholding this military assistance is the fact that it was part of a pattern.

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S3: Let me say to all of our great DOCA kids and their families, this is just the beginning.

S4: Hello and welcome to Trump Cast. I’m Virginia Heffernan. It is hot where I am, and it’s supposed to be nearly 90 degrees and humid and diseases in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this weekend where Corona virus cases are soaring, as is enthusiasm for Trump’s exciting rally Saturday night. Trump says one million people have RSVP for a venue of fewer than 20000 seats. So I guess they’re going to have to pack people to the rafters. Good thing they’re allowed to do that since a Tulsa judge just shot down a legal request that the venue make preparations for social distancing and mask wearing in consultation with scientists who know how diseases spread before they have a risky rally like this. Yeah, that would have been way too much inhibition of civil liberties. Can you imagine? Also in the offing is violence that many black community leaders in Tulsa have said to expect as holding the Trump rally during the two day Juneteenth celebration of the emancipation of enslaved black people in a state with 100 year history of the worst racial violence in the country. From the Tulsa massacre to white supremacist Timothy McVeigh is act of domestic terrorism in the 90s to police brutality against black kids accused of jaywalking. Oh, wait. Was that in history? No, that was two weeks ago. Having the father of birth tourism and champion of police violence and internment camps come to town to spew more bile and covered 19 pathogen’s with the backing of the National Guard and the police in case anyone in Trump’s crowd starts brawling with protesters. Well, whatever is deeper than idiocy and louder than insanity. That’s what this is. Anyway, no matter what happens in Tulsa, this would not be OK. The fact that this rally is going forward is just wrong, but it seems to be happening where T minus two days and it is time to talk about Tulsa. My guest today is the immensely accomplished, learned and prolific Jared Yates. Sexton, author of The People are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore A Story of American Rage and the forthcoming American Rule How a Nation Conquered the world but failed its people. Jared promised to get me a copy of American Rule and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I’ll be back with Jared in just a minute. But first, the tweets.

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S5: These are Ebola. Politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shut. God bless it. To the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or conservatives waited for justices or we will lose our Second Amendment and everything else. Trump 20. When a week go, John Bolton went on to Face the Nation and so stupidly said that he looked at the Libyan model for North Korea, all hell broke out. Kim Jong un, who we were getting along with very well, went ballistic. Just like his missiles. And rightfully so. He did what Bolton. Any where near him.

S3: Bolton’s dumbest of all statements set us back very badly with North Korea. Even now. I asked him, what the hell were you thinking? He had no answer and just apologize. That was early on. I should have fired him right then. Our testing is so much bigger and more advanced than any other country, we have done a great job on this, that it shows more cases without testing or weak testing. We would be showing almost no cases tested. It’s a double edged sword. Makes us look bad. But the. Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?

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S4: Jared, I’m so glad to have you back here on Trump cast.

S6: Listen, it’s one of my favorite places to be. Thanks, Virginia.

S4: So we have a lot to talk about and catch up on. It’s been way too long since you were here last. I do remember that you said, you know, I just wanted to ask you for that, like, existential moment to describe when you fall through the hole like I do, and remember that Trump is the president, United States. It was early enough in this catastrophe that it was still a shock. And I remember you saying sometimes you’re just staying vegetables and it will occur to you that we are through the looking glass or, you know, on the other side of reality or something. Are you still having those moments?

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S6: Yeah, it’s more of a you know, we will talk about before we start recording this idea of like being president or being in a moment. And actually, I think one of the things about not just the pandemic, but also what we’re seeing with Black Lives Matter is it’s sort of drawing, I think, personally and from the people I’m talking to. It makes you more present in the moment to where you cannot forget that this person is not only president, but also inherently dangerous. And it’s funny you brought up sorting vegetables anecdote because it was, you know, when he did that, that stunt with the Bible and declared himself the Law and order president and basically tried to announce himself as an authoritarian and got rejected. Yeah, that was what I was doing. And I walked in and I saw it and it was so crystal clear and electric in the moment. And it’s one of those things where, like, I don’t think there’s any moment going forward. Right. I’m going to not realize that this person, this destructive person is in charge.

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S4: So that moment with the Bible and let’s talk about that before we talk about the upcoming event in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There have had been many Trump spectacles before that that I would. I’m just thinking for some reason about Trump four years ago at the Republican National Convention being shown in silhouette and then appearing, you know, sort of like a Vegas act or something. And I remember sitting in my house thinking, God, this is so absurd and tacky. And then having to reopen the part of my brain that says maybe this place for some Americans. Right. So like that split. But there was something about this event when Trump walked through the positive, the church, the Episcopal Church held up this Bible, having just announced that he was the law and order president, having just attempted to put down with tear gas, peaceful protesters, and that showing on a literal split screen that I didn’t have to be of two minds about it. You knew when you saw that that this was an utter failure and that was kind of the end of the road for his because the announcement that he was an authoritarian was so literal and it was so clunky. And then this you could no one could mistake what happened with the tear gas for some kind of successful military action. I mean, they were peaceful protesters in the extreme and then the mishandling of the Bible, the fumbling of the Bible in this awkward way, all of it seemed like even the people you study, even the rabid evangelicals who believe Trump is God, would have a hard time seeing that as impressive. Was that your impression or did you still say there are people who are going to stay with us to the end?

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S6: Well, there’s certainly people who go stay with it through the end. And one of the things, if you actually study the history of cults and their movement and their development, they start out much larger and then they winnow down. Right. There’s a moment when, like a leader, either they predict something that doesn’t come true or they change their methods or they become more brutal. People start sloughing off. Right. And you start coming down to like a core group of the true believers. Well, what I watched after that moment when it actually happened for me, it was like this really bizarre moment because I was raised up in white identity evangelicalism. And it was like the moment that had been foretold in sermons and conspiracy theories, some legends for so long. So it did work with a certain group. And you actually saw in the days afterwards you started seeing a bunch of means that are like pictures of Christ with all lives matter or white lives matter, you know, superimposed as a meme or something. So it worked with a certain group of people. But I think one of the reasons why it didn’t work is because you’re exactly right. It was all spectacle. And this is a person who has been exposed as not just being ungodly, but being somebody who obviously wags the dog to this group and pays lip service and tips a cat towards them. But there’s nothing behind it. So the people who are still involved for things like white supremacy and the retention of power, they’re still there. But the other people who have sort of put up with it, I think they realized that it was blasphemy. I mean, it was weirdly enough, it’s like a Constantinos like moment, right? Like, you know, I will go forth and conquer. For him, being the Christian God, it was a very odd sort of secular throwback or a borrus of a moment. And I think for people who are fine tuned. You see it. They saw it. And for everyone else, it just looked like the future. Because how could it not? It was buffoonery, yeah.

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S4: Bar obviously had a role in that spectacle. And Bill Barr is someone who I think interests you and me probably, you know, inordinately, but. But there’s the deal. So he comes from Opus Day. He has, you know, fairly recently are, you know, I guess now several months ago said that he doesn’t care if Homeric odes or are sung in his honor when he dies. That’s a way of saying that he doesn’t care about being on the right side of history. What I didn’t initially take away from the claim about Homeric odes is that he’s rejecting paganism all over again. Right. So he doesn’t care about the opinion of his peers. The opinion of historians. He doesn’t care about his fellows. He has some direct relationship with God that is more vertical and horizontal. And I wonder what you make of as someone who kind of seems to live to defy secularism, to defy paganism, to defy the Enlightenment and to defy, you know, all the best tools we have for paganism, maybe not withstanding. But the best tools we have for creating a just society. He rejects all of them. And I think there was something in that event with the Bible also.

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S6: What do you think? You know, so one of the threats and I don’t think I understood this, particularly because I was part of it. Right. Like, when you’re when you’re inside of the forest, you don’t understand the truth. Is we’re in this white identity. Right. And white identity evangelicalism. And what you don’t understand is you think about people like Bill Barr or dominionist or traditionalist existing within our political structure, like we talk about elections and we talk about bills and legislature. These people are fundamentally obsessed with returning the world to a society beyond multiculturalism and diversity and democracy. This goes back to the idea of like a tradition of Christian conquerors. It’s the idea that, like, you can’t actually have democracy. You need a theocracy. You need some sort of a place where, like, you have traditional rules and morals and all of these things that are imposed on people. So they’re playing a different game. The rest of us are talking about the 20 20 presidential election or midterms or our local races. These people are actually talking about rewinding time. Yeah. And what you end up looking at when you actually read the literature, play all this stuff, they are obsessed with esoteric mysticism and the idea that time is malleable and it’s not always going forward. Which actually was the basis of Benito Mussolini’s fascism. It was the idea of man against time. So when you look at a society and this is what has come to define white identity, evangelicalism, days later, look at society and they say something went wrong. We have to go back before when that thing went wrong. So they’re actually looking to turn the clock back as opposed to what is the next election for progress and what how do we come together and solve our problems, which is what liberal democracy is about. It’s actually about creating a theocracy, which I mean, you and I, I think would look at and say it’s not just madness, but it’s, you know, dangerous and murderous. I mean, it’s elements of fascism.

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S7: And I don’t know as much about Mussolini and probably don’t know as much as I should about the Third Reich. But I know that there’s speaking of paganism, at least the Reich had this ideal of kind of Teutonic man fighting in the forests that with the spear at the heart of Apache’s or whatever, in the orien, whatever.

S4: And I know all the mythologies are super syncretic and weird, but that, you know, the return, the peeling back of intellectuals of of of Jews, of the role of civilization at all. Right. To certainly pre-Christian times gets muddled in my head because this authoritarian move of trying to put down these protests with the ascendancy of the Christian Bible, which is meant to be, I think, an answer to those like pagan displays of strength or greed or whatever it is. And those two things really clashed in my head because baah, as one of the guardians of whatever intelligence has left in this thing, in this Trump venture, is not Christian aligned in this evangelical way. Right. So he he’s associated with with all the arcane and esoteric of of Opus Day. And I don’t know what place he wants to return to. I mean, of course, this is a mythic past, either the past where, you know, Jesus was our boyfriends and we were all in some cozy relation to Jesus Christ and a light in our whiteness or something before that where it might made. Right. And, you know, you had godlike figures like Trump that put it all down. I just asked that. Is there any coherence to the mythology with the evangelicals, but also with Catholic identified figures like Ham and Bannon?

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S6: No. The long the long and short answer is that so far. For instance, let’s start with Bill Barr, which is a really good entry point into thinking about this. So he’s the attorney general, which means that he is the figurehead and guardian of law. And when we talk about law, we’re talking about supposedly equality under law. The idea that law is blind and it actually it’s sort of the great leveller. Right. But we’ve seen the billboards not interested. I mean, he’s interested in using law as a means of control and punishment. And that’s one of the things that’s happened with this Trump thing, is we see one secretary after another. The cabinet is full of people who have a position and they’re only intent is to actually destroy the machinery that they’re in charge of. Right. So what ends up happening is, you know, like like so, for instance, going back to the evangelical, particularly white identity, evangelicals, they’re not interested in necessarily returning to the past. They’re interested in the future. They’re interested in an in times battle. Right. So when we hear about the deep state or New World Order, whatever you want to call it today, Cuban on all of it, it’s all about a satanic conspiracy. And it works the exact same way is that there are Jewish cabals that are controlling people of color and women and are trying to undermine America. And they use traitors like liberals and Democrats. Right. That’s always the story. And they’re waiting. And this is one of the reasons why Trump would go out and hold up a Bible basically to announce I’m your war. You’re wearin in times situation. And who knows if he even understands it? You know, like that’s the other thing that’s really kind of nuts about this is who even knows at what Donald Trump knows and what he intuits and what other people sort of lead him to. But while he’s going one way, you have an entire group of people. And this is why it’s interesting to look at like the influence of people like Steve Bannon and the all right. Sort of groups that all sort of had their hooks in him for a while. These people, including Bar and these two people are very interested in these esoteric ideas that are not on ballots. Like nobody nobody out here talking about whether or not Donald Trump is going to win re-election in November is talking about, you know, things like esoteric noncitizen or Aryan mythology or any of that. Yeah. But it’s actually underneath all of it. It’s like this psychological cesspool that’s actually bubbling up underneath this movement is a lot of stuff that people who are motivated by it and pushed by it and fueled by it have no idea that it’s happening, which is why it’s like people that I know who grew up in the church alongside me don’t understand that they’re involved in a white supremacist power cult. They truly believe that they’re on the side of good versus evil when in fact, it’s more about cultural warfare and it’s more about temporal warfare.

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S4: So if, as you said, cults tend to to shrink in power and sometimes you stumble on. I remember on the left you could still run into on a bus or an airplane, sit next to someone who thought that Procter and Gamble had the sign of the beast and something something. And they were anticorporate. Right. It’s sort of seemed like, you know, recognisably left, but they had just weird ideas or they became 9/11. It’s an inside job and treat others. And so there was that. But but it was such a small group, know, it wasn’t that still that the big lie, you know, Vietnam protesters who, you know, had very complicated ideas of of how the government exerted mind control. And now, you know, there’s this fierce group of Q and on people. But what what about the people you grew up with? I mean, some of them must be even as they’re swimming in white supremacy, must have cognitive dissonance or an uncanny sense that this isn’t quite where they were going. I saw this in the Catholic Church when it became clear how extensive the child molestation crisis was and how many people’s priests had protected other priests. And just as sort of just like it, just your brain, a paradigm shift in your brain. Maybe this wasn’t what I need and want it to be. And maybe my level of unhappiness, trying to explain away all these discontinuities has gotten too much to bear. Are your evangelical friends finding that?

S6: Yes. So one of the things that really broke my heart and, you know, it kind of starts it, you know, they call it red pilling in these categories. Right. The idea that suddenly you take the red pill and the world becomes very clear, then conspiracy starts to organize your life. It started with Trump, which normalized this stuff. Right. We had the Tea Party, which was, of course, a political movement that sort of trafficked in this stuff. But Trump is just it’s pure, uncut, undiluted fout for this. And one of the things I noticed is that the people in my family and you have to tell a couple of stories while you’re telling the story, their lives are they’re struggling, right. Because they live in rural America and rural America has been hollowed out by everything from deindustrialization to globalism, whatever you want to call it, as their lives have gotten harder. And it’s the Trump presidency is going. When they’ve started to traffic white supremacy and it seemed like little beginnings, right? It’s like you’ll see. You’ll see means that are sort of underlying racist. And then you see other ones that are just straight racist. And then there are others that, particularly during the protest, are talking about the need for white vigilante justice. Right. Right. Yeah. And while this is happening, the one thing that I had to come around on, because I grew up absolutely flooded in conspiracy theories in this white evangelical world.

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S7: What were those in the 80s, if I can ask?

S6: New World Order. It was New World Order. Yeah. And it was the idea that Christians were under constant attack by sit by a literal saint like a Satan Antichrist situation was trying to work against us. And what I didn’t understand until I started actually researching for my new book that became very clear is that these conspiracy theories are simplified explanations of larger, more complex problems. So like, you know, I’ve had to do the research to understand how the global structure sort of came about and how free trade started to actually organize our laws or our politics. It’s hard for me to understand, even considering the advanced, you know, sort of stuff I’ve had to do and the education I’ve had to undertake, trying to go down and explain economics to people who have not had those benefits. It’s almost impossible. So instead, you give them a story. And when you actually look at the New World Order or Deep State or QAD on it, it’s basically the idea of globalism and de-industrialisation that has hurt middle America. But it involves supernatural evil and it involves heroes and villains as opposed to bottom lines and profits. And when you actually look at it through that, your natural sort of prejudices start to come in. And the more that you’re hurt and the more that you do not have opportunities, the more that you might be drawn into it. So, again, it’s an illusion that is used to create this base in this anger. And when you actually look throughout history, you see that authoritarian states are always based on those groups of people who either had power or perceived that they had power. Feeling like they’re losing power. And then the conspiracy theory fills in the holes. And then also and you have a person who comes in and directs the anger, which is what Trump has been doing. And you know what the Republican Party has done now for four decades.

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S4: Yeah. Crystallizes the anger. And also, as you were saying before, the show surfaces, the kind of real kernel of it. I mean, we it’s so unvarnished now to hear people defending, for example, human bondage or, you know, as you pointed out, the the conkey stores. I mean, these practices that had been in the 19th century imagined as antithetical to any kind of working Christian rubric. And now are suddenly back in play. That seems, you know, it it’s not just that it seems morally reprehensible. It seems like a cognitive mistake and kind of go with me here, because you were saying the complexity of globalism is lost on people who have. I don’t know if you’d use this term to describe the people you were just mentioning, but, you know, shit life syndrome, as some people call it, that just can’t get out of debt, can’t get a job. There’s drugs in the picture. They have diseases of despair, you know, suicide and depression and alcoholism, addiction and to to get out of that. Instead of reaching for something elegant and simple like that, like the idea of forgiveness or the idea of all being part of a universal Christ or the, you know, some of the more beautiful, if vaporous ideas of the Episcopal Church. I grew up and I left a lefty church to turn instead to stuff that takes so much Internet research. I mean, I don’t have to understand globalism. Well, I mean, I thought that the beauty of St. Paul’s ministry was you don’t even have to, like, go get a circumcision, like, you’re welcome. Just fall down on your knees. You don’t have to believe any arcane about all the things Catholics would later brew up and then Protestants again. There is no law there. You know, there’s only this love, love. I mean, just simply for the ease of your life. It just becomes much simpler and an end. What I what I’m amazed at is that, you know, no interest in Ockham’s Razor, you know, no interest. And just like, let’s keep it simple. And suddenly there are things like John F. Kennedy didn’t die and he came back to life. And that has something to do with why we should vote for Trump.

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S6: Yeah. And, you know, it’s funny, I’m thinking about the conversation that we’re having right now and how, if you would take this conversation and transplanted into my youth, my pastor would be terrified. You know, the idea of there being other religions that could hold truth or comfort or justice is antithetical to the whole thing. And one thing I didn’t understand. So the church that you’re talking about, and this is a completely different thing. So I grew up in mixtures of Baptist church and Pentecostal churches. And again, this is all about supernatural evil. The idea of there being spiritual warfare. Well, in this case, the racism was still there because the social justice aspect of Christianity that a lot of other faiths and sects have was ripped out in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly when Southern Neo Confederate preachers like Jerry Falwell started to break away from things like Martin Luther King’s civil rights ministry. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And so you actually start end up having this entire part of American religion, this white identity evangelicalism. They start worshipping the God of the Confederacy, which is a a a supremely racist white supremacist God that is completely for the Confederacy. And it’s one of the reasons why they broke off from America. They believed that they had the one true God as opposed to another God. Well, so what ends up happening in these churches is if you talk to people about racism, it’s not that they think that, like African-Americans are evil, they think that African-Americans are inferior. And so as a result, they want to protect them and they want to. And you’ll see this and you’ll see it all the time. Words like on social media or in you know, sometimes you’ll see even Republicans come out and say this. They’ll say, well, the Democratic Party has just ruined African-Americans by making them into victims and teaching them learned helplessness and all this stuff. And the underlying language is that white people know better than them, which is sort of the revised myth of the Confederacy, which is that it was a paternal loving state. Right.

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S4: We’re like slightness, as we just heard this from some right wing nut.

S6: Exactly. And the idea the idea is that slave masters were actually taking care of them because they they were woeful creatures and they couldn’t take care of themselves. And so what has happened and this is why the myth of the lost cause and the Confederacy. And this is why they’re all out there defending Confederate statues. The line that runs from that to the place that we are now is that the benevolent white slave masters have been replaced by secret curveballs. Right. And that African-Americans are just being manipulated right now. And it’s always George Soros and, you know, Jewish conspiracies and elders of the Protocols of Zion. But it is this faith that is inherently about paranoia and conspiracy theories and white supremacy that has just continued online. But everybody within it doesn’t understand where it came from. They just think that they’re talking about morality. They don’t think that they’re actually talking about white supremacy or they’re talking about power. They’re talking about good versus evil.

S7: Professor mine in college, Southern James Cox used to say that you could tell who is going to win the civil war by their anthems. And that where the North had mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, you know, righteousness, which, you know, you can sort of see in that contempt for, you know, the Ivy League and so forth, that just like that, they always have righteous they like hold the moral thing and that the South was well, I wish I was.

S4: And land they’ve gotten right. And that suggests that there was something small minded or something. I mean, you know, the other thing that my eyes in the glory has its own imperialist, you know, shortcomings, that everything has to be done our way. But the Dixie thing is it just seems so small and and twisted and, you know, and and and particularist in a way that, you know, I know some people admire but is at odds with the Enlightenment and it is at odds with a robust Christianity, for that matter.

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S6: And think about what you’re exactly. What you’re getting in there is dead on because the Confederacy, again, was about stopping progress and rewinding the clock. Actually, the idea of the Confederacy was based on Thomas Jefferson’s dream of an agrarian world where America would just be farmers and we would never have to bring in machinery or industry and we would be free of the blight of it. So actually, it’s another moment and this goes back to everything from bars to ban and to actual fascism. Fascism is always about the idea that progress is going to lead to equality. And as a result, hurts society. So we have to rewind time and the Confederacy. Weirdly enough. And it’s odd to think about it like this because, you know, like education just teaches us about military maneuvers and how good Robert E. Lee looked on a horse. Yeah. And, you know, but the truth is, it was a willful attack on progress and modernity and it was a willful rewinding of time. And you’re exactly right, because when you actually look at what happened between the two nations, the north and the south here, the north was about moving into an industrial future. Right. And the south was about pausing time at a place of advantage and power.

S4: OK, tough. That’s coming up. It is astounding to me. And I’ve just been listening to the governor this morning on local Tulsa TV talking about his commitment to doing this in spite of all the dangers. What do you. What is happening there? I mean, is that, you know.

S7: Let’s say there are diehard Trump supporters and then there are diehard coronavirus deniers or whatever they are.

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S4: There must be some people who love Trump at the end of time and believe he’s God and but just for whatever reason, don’t want to be all packed together in a non socially distance unmasked place. It has nothing to do with their love of Trump. That is pure. But they have a strange idea that they don’t right now want to risk their lungs to a lung devouring pathogen. So who’s going to show up at this thing? And there may be corona virus deniers who don’t love Trump that much, but just want to show up to show, you know, despite the liberals to own them, as they say.

S6: When we were talking about recording this podcast, I said to you that I think this is going to be a pretty raucous event, because I think what we’re looking at is a group of people who just put it frankly, they’re pissed off. They’re upset that the cultural conversation in this country has changed. They’ve been told that they can’t gather together. And if there’s anything that they love, it’s, you know, poking their finger in the eye of, you know, liberal consensus. So the idea that they’re going to go in there, I believe the people who are going to show up are the same ones who are going to church on Easter Sunday. And I’m sure you probably saw it as well. It was like they were interviewed, like CNN was interviewing the people leaving the church. And there really aren’t you worried about Corona virus? And they said, no, I’ve been washed in the blood of Christ. And they actually that’s sort of what I’ve come to call the cult of the shining city, sees themselves as being protected because they believe corona virus if they believe it’s real. They believe that it’s either a plague from God on the wicked or that it’s a manufactured mark of the beast, sort of a situation. So you’re going to have a lot of people from both sides of that conversation who are going to be at this rally. But this is going to be this is going to be a release of pressure. And if I had to guess and I hope that I’m wrong, I really, really hope and pray that I’m wrong. I think this is going to feel less like the sort of standard Trump rally that we’ve all gotten used to and more like what we saw in Chicago leading up to the election in which it was, you know, any protester. If there will be protesters, you know, it could lead to violence, it could lead to threats. This is going to be a really negative catharsis, I think, for a lot of people.

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S7: And I also spent a long time since there’s been a rally, relatively longtime. And there’s there’s pent up something. And they’re losing. Yes, they’re losing. And that’s that’s never a good place for Trump or Trump ites to be or to feel themselves to be. So it’s not just coronavirus that makes this timing so bad for this rally, but also the fact that Tulsa is at its ninety nine. I think anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa massacre, which, you know, everyone but me seems to know this, but 300 people killed, including with from firebombing from the sky, the National Guard and the police backed up these white terrorists, white with a white a white mob that came and laid to waste. One of the wealthiest or the wealthiest black black neighborhood in the nation that was really building Tulsa and a black community in Tulsa that, you know, kind of the world had never seen. And then it was wiped out.

S4: So you have that on the one hand and then the ongoing George flight protests and coming to town is the president who tried to put down the protests that have such widespread support. Now we’re moving ahead with police reform in a way that didn’t we didn’t expect would happen, reckonings on all fronts with racism. But more to the point, policy changes and a demure mission of the importance of the police. I mean, whatever they keep saying about their, you know, God given rights as white men, they are you know, they’re also getting fired and getting imprisoned and getting tried so they can say it all they want. But the power of the police is shrinking and especially power to the police to be brutal. So you have all that going on. The governor right now is saying race relations in Oklahoma have always been great. Something like that. And the coronavirus is exaggerated. And he doesn’t feel like he has to wear a mask. And he did say that people are not compelled. They are not he’s not forcing people to go to the rally, which is big of him. But otherwise, he’s he’s showing complete indifference to anyone who sees this as a provocation and who sees this as dangerous to their health. And that just seems like a recipe for an explosion.

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S6: Yeah, I love that they’re not being compelled to wear masks, but they’re being required to sign a release form before they do. I find that infinitely fascinating. But yeah, I think what you just said is important because like until they start doing research for a book, I had no idea about the Tulsa massacre. No. And, you know, I actually and just to lay the cards on the table, like I would talk to people and to be like, if you heard about this. Have you heard about this? And nobody had. But then I would talk to like my black friends. And they were like, oh, absolutely. You didn’t know about that? Her and it. What has happened? Weirdly enough. It’s like two alternate dimensions have just come together. Words like white America’s suddenly being woken up to a reality that has either been shielded from them by intentional shielding or, you know, it’s our own personal privilege and ignorance. And this rally on its face is such a such a gross racial blasphemy. Right. But he would do this, particularly the idea that it was being going to be held on Juneteenth. But even he said today, while he was smarting from the Supreme Court ruling, he said, oh, I’m making people aware of the Tulsa riots or Juneteenth. Right. I’m making people aware of the freedom. And most people didn’t know it. And it’s it’s very weird. What he has done. But Donald Trump’s continued brutality and cruelty and vulgarities and ineptitude is making very clear that the myths about America and exceptionalism and the idea that, you know, the moral arc of history and all that, that those were all myths and the meritocracy was a myth and that the idea that we’re a colorblind society is a myth. And so this rally, again, is really an obscenity. It’s really gross that they’re doing this and what it could end up being. But it’s also kind of amazing that it’s also bringing moral and racial clarity along with it. Right. Because there’s this moment now where you have to reckon with this, like even a little known part of history that actually defines who we are and where we’ve come from. This person who denies it. And, you know, gains power from, quite frankly, a base that is all about personal perceived persecution. Right. And that’s one of the reasons why I think it’s dangerous, is because they’re losing. I mean, the poll numbers are under water. What is this? Seventy three percent of Americans now understand what the idea of systemic inequality is.

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S7: Yeah, I think Trump just copped that there is some something systemic, something to it. Yeah. But I mean, he just learned the word systemic, so who knows.

S6: Yeah. Well I think you probably heard it for he went outside and said as soon as possible know like an essay question. I feel like something has shifted here in this group that has felt perceived loss of power is watching actual loss of power. And I think that’s when it becomes dangerous. So on one hand, it’s great that this hidden history is coming to the forefront. We’re starting to understand these things. But on the other hand, anytime you look at moments of change and change in power, you see a great potential for violence, particularly from the power group that feels like they’re losing power.

S7: Gloria Steinem always says that, you know, women are most likely to get killed as abused women as they’re leaving their houses, and that the same could be said for kind of feminists leaving patriarchy that that, you know, Trump is is a violent, you know, abuser of women, accused rapist, almost certainly harasser or assailant.

S4: And he said horrible things about women and that he’s it’s not a dog whistle. It’s cruelty. He raped a friend of mine. The president did in EGD, Carol. I mean, that’s astounding. And that is because of the pressure of the women’s march, the greatest march in history. And I think the same thing may be happening around race, just sort of right on the way out. You know that, you know, as you said, that’s when the the particular just caged animal of feeling that maybe some of the Trump ites have might come out. Do you think this is going to be a violent event? I mean, do you think there’s been coronavirus cases are spiking in the city. It’s expected on Saturday night to be about 90 degrees. And it just seems very it seems like a Greek tragedy in the making.

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S6: It feels bad. I know one of the things the 2016 taught me is not to prognosticate, but I like to talk about possibilities. And so on one hand, I am sure that listeners have noticed this. But there has been like this kind of bizarre protest where people have been requesting tickets who are anti Trump people, you know. Yeah. And the question is whether or not the people who have participated in that. The question is for whether or not they will go to protest because so I covered I covered the 2016 Trump campaign. I went to all of these rallies. And one of the first things that you would notice that all of these places, they’re looking for the traders, right? They’re looking for spies. They’re looking for people who don’t fit in or maybe are going to protest. And there’s a lot of intimidation that goes on there. And in fact, there are a lot of altercations that have gone on. So the question is whether or not the protest movement that we are talking about right now will show up there. Right. And if they do, you have a lot of Trump supporters who not only perceived loss of power, they’re feeling a loss of power. They feel that this conversation has gone beyond their control. And on top of that, we’re nearing an election and tensions are high. So there is a real possibility for this thing to be not just a tragedy because people might catch corona virus, but but also some sort of venting of anger. The place for hostility. I mean, when you look out across the country right now, Trump supporters are showing up in the streets with baseball bats and weapons. And there is an opportunity, there is a tinderbox waiting to go up. And unfortunately, these things follow a narrative structure. You know, the rising tension just goes up and up and up until you reach some sort of a climax. And it feels almost dammed to reach some sort of a point like that. And whether or not this rally is it or whether or not I can gets kicked down the road, I’m not sure I want to end on the cult of the shining city.

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S7: That’s what you’ve been calling it, which I think is a really interesting idea, because having just listened to the governor of Oklahoma talk this morning in well, just out to lunch, whistling in the dark ideas about Corona virus, but also about race. I mean, I think he flatly said all the races of Oklahoma have always gotten along, you know, two weeks ago that, you know, two jaywalked, two alleged jaywalkers on a country street with no traffic were pushed to the ground and handcuffed black teenagers. So, you know, there’s nothing like that. Also, that greatest active or biggest act of domestic terrorism on American soil was brought about by the white supremacist Tim McVeigh. It’s crazy that Oklahoma make this claim.

S4: But speaking of racial harmony, this guy sounds like a typical Republican and he’s very much happy that Juneteenth the day it’s a two day celebration in town. But the very day of emancipation was protected from Trump’s rally. He thinks he’s done done a lot of good that way. And he intends to go to the site of the massacre to stand with the African-American community. So he says those things, which are very shining city on a hill, they’re very what we used to hear, the colorblind society. You know, everybody now marched with Dr. King, whether or not they were even born. And he sounded like that Trump. Well, he will occasionally make gestures. Frederick Douglass is being recognized more and more. And I brought Juneteenth to everyone’s attention. And, you know, no one’s less racist than I am. He can barely muster Stitz kind of whitewash of racism. I mean, he he’s just he slips in to we need to dominate that kind of language. And it just seems so native to him and so quick and easy for him to use that language. Where did those two views stand in your awesome master idea of the call to the shining city? Because they seem very different to me.

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S6: Well, the weird part is that they’re actually completely connected. And so the idea going back to what I was saying about Jerry Falwell moving against Martin Luther King, sort of social justice ministry. So what what Falwell and other people and I’ll just throw a term out there that some people have heard, which is the prosperity gospel, which is the idea that American capitalism, God’s invisible hand, as Adam Smith would tell you, sort of crowns people with riches and wealth and power. And a big part of that entire structure was a guy named Norman Vincent Peale. And if he might hasn’t heard of this, he’s the one who created the power of positive thinking. He actually officiated Donald Trump’s first wedding. And it’s the only thing that Donald Trump has ever had. Nearing some sort of religion. But the idea is that corporate raiders and CEOs and the wealthy and the powerful are wealthy and powerful because they’ve been crowned by God. And it’s the same idea that America runs through with exceptionalism. And the reason why I call it the the cult to the shining city is because a lot of it has to do with the marriage between Falwell and Ronald Reagan, who everyone likes to pretend like he was some sort of disciple of Christ. But he was actually not religious at all. He was into like astrology and soothsayer. Overstuff. Yeah. And so Reagan actually believed in this myth of America. And he would tell people there was this guy in a mainly P. Hall who was like a mystic in California. And he was like one of the gurus that Reagan, Voller and Reagan started peppering all of his speeches, talking about the shining city on the hill. And this idea wasn’t like what we think of as the idea that America is like a beacon of hope, but it’s the idea that it was created by God in these secret societies to be like the pinnacle of God’s will. And he actually tells these stories that are just completely made up like that. An angel showed up at the Declaration of Independence and inspired the founders to push it. And that America has been God’s crusading nation. And actually, when he pushes these, it becomes the ethos of not just the Republican Party, but eventually, in order to be successful in American politics, you have to sort of bow down to the idea of America as a shining city. And so what we’re watching now with Trump is sort of the combination of those two ideas. But there’s so obviously false like in a time of pandemic. All you have to do is look at the numbers were not exceptional. You know, we’re failing. And the economy that was supposed to be fair and colorblind, it is very obvious that it is based on white supremacy and the maintaining of power. And so one of the things that’s happening and I think the shift in numbers shows this is a lot of Americans have been living in a. Rain and they’re waking up. And they’re looking around and they’re like, what the hell was that like that in my childhood? And what I got taught and what my education gave me wasn’t true. But what you actually received was mythology. And the mythology of America is what is power to us. And unfortunately, gave us power over the rest of the world. But it’s it’s crumbling right now before our very eyes.

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S8: Jared Yate Sexton is the author of two books about American rage and failures. He’s an academic and a journalist. And it has been a huge pleasure to have you here, Jared. Thank you. Thank you. That’s it for today’s show. What you think our Twitter line is open 24/7 and operators are standing by. I’m at page 88. The show is at Real Trump Cast. Our show today was produced by Melissa Kaplan and engineered by Richard Stanislaw. John de Dominico is our voice of Donald J. Trump. And come on. He’s the best out there. Find him on Twitter at Johnny D. Twenty three. I’m Virginia Heffernan. Thanks for listening to Trump cast.

S9: John Bolton is a liar. Has dandruff the worst breath ever? I think he has a loose tooth or something. His glasses are from the 80s, his mustaches from the 70s. His suits are old. It smells like mothballs. He would brag Ziploc bags to the White House and take food home. Sad. Never liked him. I am so excited about the rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Saturday, June 20th. And we finally have a theme because we’ve got 20000 people coming. And this is going to be a celebration. And the theme is Thin the herd. We are thinning the herd. We’re getting rid of the weak and keeping the strong. The fake news is saying that you have to sign a waiver. Yes, but it’s just standard boilerplate stuff. Just sign it, show up and have a great time. I don’t sue me. Just so you know, everything I’m saying is classified and copyrighted at the same exact time. So don’t repeat it. Ad honestly, don’t even listen to it because it’s classified.