Last night, Rachel Maddow dropped what should be a bomb on mainstream media: Trump diverted almost $10 million from FEMA, an organization whose importance only grows with the hardening inaction on climate change, to ICE, an organization that essentially does nothing but feed white America's insatiable hunger for racist solutions to all American problems.
So, to make this as clear as possible: money to protect white Americans (the leading subject of this democracy—without them, one of the two largest parties in the US would not exist in its current form) from a real danger was re-directed to the fictional danger of brown immigrants. Trump has also dedicated billions to an irrelevant space program. But these and other damning facts will have no impact on Trump at this moment because white America has transformed racism and climate denial into an instinct.
Racism because they cannot see that what happened in brown Puerto Rico is bound to happen to them when the costs of protecting whites from the growing and more devastating facts of climate change become fiscally overwhelming. The moment when these whites could have done something will, by then, be long gone. The damage to their lives and whatever they own will exist only in the past, not the future, which has the supreme advantaged of not being fixed.
Climate denial because they have been repeatedly fed the idea that the economy needs fossil fuels to produce "much-needed" jobs (the imagined means of survival). And so in Texas, the last huge deep-red state, we have a cop charged with shooting and killing an unarmed black man (the leading image of the world's problems in the minds of many white Americans) in his own apartment (and this story appears to have many holes), and petroleum companies, who fed climate denial propaganda to whites while, at the same time, asking the government for funds to protect their Texan refineries from climate change. Racism and climate denial should not be dissociated in the US context. The rulers of other societies have their own tricks to maintain and expand the atmospheric liberation of carbon; this society, because of its history, has race.
From The Guardian:
When North Carolina got bad news about what its coast could look like thanks to climate change, it chose to ignore it.
In 2012, the state now in the path of Hurricane Florence reacted to a prediction by its Coastal Resources Commission that sea levels could rise by 39in over the next century by passing a law that banned policies based on such forecasts.
The legislation drew ridicule, including a mocking segment by comedian Stephen Colbert, who said: “If your science gives you a result you don’t like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved.”
North Carolina has a long, low-lying coastline and is considered one of the US areas most vulnerable to rising sea levels.
This willful ignorance will cost all tax payers billions, for now. But soon the cost in lives and property (the cornerstone of this society) will become too much, and the government will, in favor of protecting the wealth of the rich (no taxes), refuse to support middle-class white Americans from the growing expenses of global warming. And these whites, even in red states, will find that they are indeed the descendants of the brown Puerto Ricans neglected by FEMA after Hurricane Maria. But by that time—the time when they wake up—it will be, sadly, too late. Racism is a powerful drug for the control and management of the white middle and working classes. It has been this way since the birth of this nation.