The Biden-Trump Debate: The Obsolescence of White Supremacy as Perspective

The commentaries about the Biden-Trump debate the other night , last Thursday to be exact,tells us how ageist the United States remains even after decades of anti-ageism federal laws and policies.

The commentaries about the Biden-Trump debate the other night , last Thursday to be exact,tells us how ageist the United States remains even after decades of anti-ageism federal laws and policies. It hasn’t been surprising to find others around the world following suit considering ageism is the most basic prejudice and inequality we human beings practice. You feel it as you get older since the expectations of your capacities in all ways decline in the aging process as seen in all the childlike stereotypes which come your way as an older person. If you are too young to understand what I mean just wait if you are blessed to grow older, much older.

The media gurus and the politicians and their donors were just waiting to pounce on Biden when the traits of his aging behavior became apparent on prime time. Do we prefer to have a confirmed raging lying egomaniac with clear Fascist dictator tendencies to return to the White House rather than a decent man be re-elected doing the best he can to protect Americans in our declining democracy? 

I ask this while not agreeing with Biden on allowing the right wing Israeli head of state do genocide and keeping America active in the lost war in Ukraine and his refusal to use restorative justice measures to resolve racial polarization in America. He actually has embraced too many Trump domestic and foreign policies for me to stomach. In fact in many respects that night, early morning in Mauritius, Biden and Trump sounded alike though with different ideological twists here and there such as their neoliberal views on how to help Black families and their militaristic views on maintaining American global greatness real or delusionary depending on which side of the political aisle you are sitting or standing on or both.

People naively think what we need is a younger person who doesn’t lose his or her words while speaking though many actually do too. It is not age, it is perspective change we need. There are younger people as well as older persons who are centralists or right wing or populists which America does not need at this moment. And there are those with twisted views on religion while being haters who are young as well as old. And there are those younger as well as older who are warmongers, who don’t care about the poor or about the young or old.

We need fresh empowering ideas about what it means to be an American society which has always been multicultural in denial with a too long history of denying the constitutional and human rights of too many due to their skin color, ancestry, class, and gender. Now as the nation quickly moves along the path of becoming nonwhite in which historical minorities are becoming the majority rather than denying or resisting or trying to remain in usual power while pretending to change, we need leadership which embrace such transformations and weave them into a just America for all as challenging as that would be in a nation not comfortable with having difficult though imperative conversations about cultural differences and the value for all for authentic not just symbolic multicultural unity.

The 2024 Presidential election year with two older white guys going for it symbolizes not age but ageless White Supremacy perspectives which are obsolete but still adhered to widely in an America still in denial about its white greatness and power in a society no longer all that white demographically and ideologically. 

Be it through Democrats and Republicans finding new transformative Presidential leaders to sponsor in 2028 or we see the emergence of one or more alternative parties which do take note that change is on its way since it has to be. White Supremacy no matter its ideological flavors or the demographics of its adherents has run out of steam. That is what we saw in that debate. Not age but the last breath of White Supremacy in how conventional politics are articulated. 

If this is all so hard to believe just look at what in fact is going on with American youth today. The media establishment wrapped in its older White Supremacy privileged garments fails to report well if at all about how different the George Floyd and more recent academic freedom ,Israeli arms disinvestment , and pro-Palestinian youth protest movements. They are not just the white youth only of the 1960s and 1970s. They are in the elite historically white universities sector,rich ethnic demographic mixtures reflective of the composition of the majority or near majority of the student bodies of their elite campuses too often governed by majority White boards, senior administrators , and alumni in a sea of chaos and change. The right wing majority of the United States Supreme Court can pass down as many anti-affirmative decisions it wishes but these youth movements plus older people in influential places who get it have already changed America for the good of a just society.

 We just now need the Presidential, Congressional, and Judicial leadership which as well gets it in understanding America is no longer a White Supremacy dominated land in a world in which White Supremacy still reigns. 2024 is a breaking point from being a nation in denial and resistance regarding who we are as a multicultural democracy as we proceed down the difficult road of transformation demanding the leaders who get it and will lead be it government, business, faith,education, media, law, health, social services,and AI.

And as I sit here in another multicultural society struggling out of its history of denial and with severe problems of demographic marginality and exclusion allow me to say this is no time in this culturally polarized and bigoted world to smugly point to America without addressing effectively such prejudices persisting in other back and front yards around the world. We the world with our international as well as national tools of justice governance need to do much more sincere “ better” in rooting out racialized and xenophobic prejudices and inequalities rather than pretending we are free from such or solely doing the minimum or the symbolic. If we don’t we all suffer from not only the loss of human capital but our dignity as human beings since when others are deprived of their human rights because of their ancestry or skin color or gender, it taints and degrades all of us. Let us all be aware multicultural justice is what we all deserve and need, not just in America. Everywhere we are.

Prof. John H. Stanfield II
Prof. John H. Stanfield II
Director ASARPI: The Institute for Advanced Study of African Renaissance Policies Ideas Mauritius and South Africa former University of Mauritius SSR Chair of African Studies