In the 1997 British film The Full Monty, we have six unemployed men, four of them laid off steelworkers, earning money by putting on a show advertising that they would striptease for an audience of women. The term ‘Full Monty’ meant that at the end of their performance they would strip naked. The inner meaning of this film was of course to study the economic conditions in Sheffield, England where the steel industry was in deep recession at that time. Good, decent work was hard to come by for these men and thousands of others. Stripping naked had thus the double meaning of baring oneself both physically and spiritually.
Sometimes stripping oneself naked figuratively can reveal the inner truth about a person. ‘Letting it all hang out’ as they say can allow others to see what is churning deep inside a person. Let’s take the Trump phenomena as I call it. Why did he get so much support from so many people with so little invested… meaning low and low middle-income folks? Forget about the upper middle class and wealthier others who supported Trump. They have and will always support platforms of politicians that cater to their stock portfolios and investments. Yet, those Trump supporters without a ‘pot to piss in’ still believe that he and his administration are going to ‘Drain the Swamp’ of the phony elites and corrupt DC snakes. They carry banners on their cars and pickup trucks of ‘Make America Great Again’ while most of the jobs being created are low end and ‘Dead End’ (and of course NON-UNION) mostly part-time crap. Well, what the latter and former groupings of white Trump supporters do have in common is pure and simple racism. Oh, they can hide it through phrases like entitlements, affirmative action and building a wall, along with the old favorite phrase used by angry white people: Welfare Queens. Trump supporters of all economic classes also rail repeatedly against ‘Big Government’, not realizing that it is this ‘Big Government’ that takes half of their federal tax money and distributes it to the Military Industrial Empire, among other giveaways to the corporate world. Simply put, and heard inside private parties and media free conversations is to ‘Keep those Niggers and Spics in their place’!
A little over a year ago Mr. Trump viewed the tapes of the scuffles by white supremacists and the Antifa (Anti Fascists) demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia. He then, after having time to ponder on it all, stated that “There were some very fine people on both sides”. Of course, he failed to mention or condemn the fact that those same marchers had worn those KKK style pointed hats and carried the KKK and Nazi-like torches the night before while chanting over and over “Jews won’t replace us!” Can one imagine the lack of National Outrage that not only Trump but all Americans should have felt? Where was the outrage by Jewish Trump supporters for his lack of feeling on this? Where was the lack of outrage by the Israeli government? They rail at the (false) charges of Anti Semitism towards British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and not much at Trump for his lack of passion on this issue. All this did and still does is give silent license to it all.
Yesterday Congressman (from MY district) Ron DeSantis, running now for Governor, made another gaff that many folks make who never do ‘The Full Monty’. During a description of his Democratic Party opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, whereupon he first lauded Gillum’s polish and style, DeSantis remarked that voters should “Not MONKEY up by electing….” Of course, Gillum is a black man, and for so long most white people know that derogatory words to describe blacks have always been Monkeys, Apes and Coons. Does one think that DeSantis used that phrase willingly and with venom? I don’t know, but that is not the point of it all. It came out of him because it just may happen to be a part of his psyche! This writer remembers an airplane flight I took to Phoenix in 1988. It was a long flight, embarking from NYC, and I was stretching my legs a bit. I encountered a man, perhaps late 30s, who said he was an Israeli engineer visiting the US. I asked him his take on the whole Palestinian problem at that time. His answer astounded me. With a calm and highly professional demeanor, the guy told me how he thought most Israelis felt on this issue. “You have to understand that we Israelis view the Palestinians as you do your Southern Blacks. They breed like rabbits, and if we don’t do something soon, they will overpopulate us to death. Sad as it is, the only recourse we have is to drive them into the sea before they overwhelm us.”
As my dear anti-war and civil rights activist, 89-year-old Walt DeYoung would say: Nuff said!