It was a study in contrasts. Black Lives Matter rioters smashed windows, looted, and set fires while the Republican National Convention began with a prayer for a black criminal. In 2016, Americans voted for a wall and an end to mass immigration. In 2020, President Trump hosted a naturalization ceremony right during the convention. “We pray for healing and comfort to Jacob Blake and his family,” said Norma Urrabazo at the beginning of the night. Mr. Blake of Kenosha was shot after he fought police, resisted arrest, and tried to flee, probably to escape an outstanding warrant for sexual assault. He also invoked “Breonna Taylor” and “David Dorn” while claiming Republicans would “never turn a blind eye to unjust acts.” No one mentioned white victims, such as Cannon Hinnant. Mike Pompeo defended President Trump’s “America First vision.” Finally, he credited President Trump for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, “the rightful capital of the Jewish homeland.” When will we get a homeland?
President Trump didn’t give a speech, but he did pardon Jon Ponder, a black man and a convicted bank robber who started a Christian nonprofit for prisoners. He and Acting Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf also presided over a naturalization ceremony for five immigrants. None were white. When President Trump won in 2016, he vowed that the “forgotten men and women of this country will be forgotten no longer,” but in 2020, he has forgotten whites: white victims of violence and whites whose homes and businesses have been destroyed. We are invisible. We don’t count. White advocates must not ignore this story, but I’m sure the RNC will. They cynically assume there’s nowhere else for whites to go, and pander to groups that don’t support them. Republicans can’t win without at least some non-whites, but last night felt like contempt for the white base. Conservatives and Republicans use identity politics just like Democrats. And just like Democrats, they leave out whites.