In the past week, the nation was once again left aghast by the despicable behavior of white man-children from the Trump base. Here, a viral video showed students from Kentucky’s all-male Covington Catholic High School, many in red Make America Great Again hats, taunting Omaha tribal activist Nathan Phillips. The boys were in Washington DC to participate in the anti-choice March for Life while Phillips was simultaneously on the Mall with the Indigenous Peoples March.
Someday, when all this is over, our descendants (or alternatively their sentient robot overlords) will look back on our late capitalist civilization, searching for a Rosetta Stone, and will hopefully find the Urban Dictionary definition of “Chud“:
a) An insult frequently used by leftists to deride members of the Alt-right or other right wing groups
b) It means Canibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller and originates from the 1984 film C.H.U.D…
c) An individual who exhibits excessive characteristics of douchery. Basically the bro you see at the bar wearing a Rugby shirt, anything Ed Hardy or alternatively a pink polo with a collar of the popped variety.
Geoff: Yo BRO, I was at the Alanis Morissette concert last night and it was TOTALLY RIDONCULUS!
Bryan: Off the hook bro..That’s awesome! What was the broccasion?
Geoff: No broccasion bro. Oh SHIT! Your collar rolled down bro, re-pop that shit and let’s get some more Jagerbombs!
Not only did I go to an all-male Catholic prep school/Chud factory like Covington, I also studied during Indigenous representation by American media while an undergrad.
I went to Bishop Hendricken High School, which has its own wonderfully hilarious definition on Urban Dictionary and was known as the place to score all the good Schedule 1 narcotics. The PR material boasts about “excellence of a Catholic education” and why “Hendricken men are of a higher pedigree,” but once you cut through that horseshit it really means private religious schools were always the northern version of separate but equal pedagogy. Sure, parents might deflect and claim it was really about keeping their gormless jock from knocking up the prom queen, but that was a very thin cover.
Furthermore that actually buttresses my point because the entire debate around Brown v. Board was always grounded in a wider argument about anti-miscegenation laws. A cursory glance at the pro-segregation press contemporary on up to Brown was emphatic paranoid lunacy claiming integrated schooling was the first step towards the collapse of so-called “racial purity.”
In Black Skin, White Mask, Frantz Fanon analyzed the deep strain of homoeroticism that lies within white male paranoia surrounding interracial coupling and how it triggers an attraction to the Black man in some instances, itself synoptic with jock hazing culture. Both instances are manifestations of men becoming frightened and insecure about their ambivalent emotions regarding same-sex attraction. Owing to this panic reflex, men lash out and seek to sexually control not only themselves but the women that surround them — which very likely was a viscerally real motivation for the Covington boys being at an anti-abortion demonstration to begin with.
Need further proof? Look no further than a minor public relations fiasco at my alma mater from a year ago. I later found out that the reason for this incident, catalyzed by a disgruntled former employee with years of secret recordings, was layers upon layers of heterosexist lunacy that you can not make up. The administrator in question, Jay Brennan, was my freshman guidance counselor and cross country coach and it was jaw-dropping to see that he was capable of such behavior.
Obviously those who know Mr. Brennan would argue that you shouldn’t judge a man based on one incident. But actually you really can and claims to the contrary are bullshit proffered by racist degenerate assholes who know they are probably just as culpable. And I say this because I readily admit, as a graduate of Hendricken, I went out into the world trained with tons of white nationalist attitudes that I have spent over a decade trying (and not entirely succeeding) to deprogram myself of. These ideas are not the hardcore fascist variety, they are instead notions that go under the heading of “New England moderate Democrat” but still contribute to making life hell for minority communities.
In terms of the representation of Indigenous, I think Santee Sioux scholar Dr. Tom Grayson Colonnese puts it best in an essay titled “Native American Reactions to The Searchers” (a film released months after the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v Board, regarding interracial marriage).
He writes that, as an Indigenous viewer, he was always deeply hurt by Westerns, saying it was like being a Jew watching a film about the Holocaust where the Jews are attacking Germans and therefore bringing their deaths upon themselves! From the very beginning of American literature’s existence, the two standard stereotypes of the Indigenous have been the wild blood-thirsty hordes coming to take the white women (Jefferson even gave them a cameo in the Declaration of Independence) or the Noble Savage who stoically accepts his genocidal extermination with superhuman gracefulness.
Since the 1960s, there has been an adjustment brought on by a Revisionist Western genre and academic studies of Indigenous history and culture. But the paternalistic, degrading treatment in the media remains, a case in point being CNN’s bizarre follow-up story that tried the portray the Chuds as good kids whose behavior is misunderstood and taken out of context.
Nevermind that Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam vet, said he felt unsafe in the situation. In these media representations, the white man always gets the benefit of the doubt and mystically knows the Truth of interactions with the Indigenous, perhaps even more so than the actual Indigene in question.
Trump and Trumpism are a kind of postmodern nightmare of vulgar, shamelessly racist kitsch that puts into stark relief just how awful this country has always been. Liberals who whine incessantly about their nostalgia for a time before Trump are missing the point, that the brutality is the same as it ever was but now nakedly open.
It’s idiocy to deny the quantifiable change in how brutal things have gotten in the past 2.5 years. But it is also insane to suggest that this current of white nationalism was conjured out of thin air by a rogue actor who has intruded on our otherwise humane and decent political consensus that has ruled for the past 525 years.
If the past five days have left you searching for words, let me just say what all of us are collectively thinking: Comrade Xi Xingping, you may fire when ready! We await your glorious Chinese nuclear revolutionary missile storm to purge the land of these Chuds and commence fully automated megazord communism!