Racism, Truth, and Politics in 2016
In my abnormal human psychology class a half century ago, we studied Sigmund Freud’s neurotic defense mechanisms. While Freud has been discredited in many ways, his idea of projection seems obviously valid to me—not so much as a sign of a psychiatric illness, but as a political tactic: Accuse your opponent of what you yourself are doing. Maybe that’s a subset of “the best defense is a good offense.”
Half of Trump’s supporters—the ones in Hillary Clinton’s irredeemable “basket of deplorables”—are presumed guilty of the unforgivable sin of racism. If whites are unaware of racist feelings, they are still there, buried deep in the subconscious, to be exposed by corrective psychoanalysis or re-education.
But many psychologists or psychiatrists these days prefer to look at behavior. We might ask: what is the most egregious thing a racist could do? How about denying or “banishing” her own biracial child—or stepchild?
Danney Williams, a black man, makes one plea to Hillary Clinton in an interview with Alex Jones on InfoWars: Don’t keep him from getting the proof of what he has been claiming for many years–that Bill Clinton is his father.
His mother has always told him so. Bill Clinton, she said, was her only white client. Other evidence is a strong facial resemblance, and the testimony of preachers, his Aunt Lucille, and others. Williams’s mother and family also received envelopes of cash and Christmas gifts, delivered by Arkansas state troopers when Clinton was governor—until, it is believed, Hillary put a stop to it.
But who will believe the testimony of a poor black woman, who sold her body to earn money to feed her children, and even served time in jail? Or of other lower-class black folks? Who will trust the childhood memories of a biracial man, who spent a lot of time in foster care? In contrast, women’s reports of being touched “inappropriately” decades ago, surfacing for the first time just prior to the election, are given credence and endless media coverage. Is that because the women are white, or because they are attacking a Republican?
Apparently, nobody has asked Hillary about Danney. Perhaps she would give her standard answer: “I don’t recall.”
Williams is asking Bill Clinton for a blood sample for forensic paternity testing. It is claimed that “DNA testing” has already disproved the relationship. However, the test used to show that the semen on Monica Lewinsky’s dress was probably Bill Clinton’s is reportedly not accurate for ruling out paternity.
Williams takes his five children to the Clinton Library. He believes that their grandfather is a great man, a former President of the United States, and that they are entitled to know their heritage. He is willing to take the risk that the truth he says he is seeking may not be what he hopes, and he’ll have to seek elsewhere for his roots.
It is ironic that William Jefferson Clinton’s namesake, Thomas Jefferson, stands accused of the same thing: fathering children by a black woman. Based on controversial DNA findings (the DNA came from a descendant of Thomas Jefferson’s uncle), some conclude that Jefferson might have fathered at least one child by Sally Hemings, his slave. If so, should his offspring be proud? Jefferson’s reputation as a great man is under sustained attack because of the alleged affair.
Is the question about Clinton’s paternity politically motivated? The timing of Alex Jones’s interview probably is. But Danney Williams has been asking for recognition for decades, and has had a Facebook page for two years—and nobody much cared.
If Bill Clinton knows he is not Danney’s father, he could destroy the credibility of the “alt-right” media by giving a blood sample. If he is Danney’s father, the right thing to do is to acknowledge his fine son and five precious black grandchildren. Was he not said to be the country’s “first black President”?
Hillary says she’s a champion for all children, and women, and minorities, and she wants to be the president of all Americans. Does she have a problem with being stepmother to Danney Williams?