The selection of Steve Bannon as President-elect’s Chief Strategist has a lot of people up in arms. The claims against him are that he racist and champions the alt-right agenda through his publication Breitbart News. The most damning evidence against his racism are headlines that he himself did not write. Guilt by association, yes, but still not a smoking racist gun.
The blowback against Bannon today concerns an interview with the President-elect last year on his Breitbart radio show when he and Donald Trump were mulling over the H1B visa. Trump basically agreed with the H1B’s premise of bringing talented foreigners into the US as long as it was done legally. In response Bannon stated, “Well. I got to be tougher…when two thirds or more of the CEOS in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or Asia…A country is more than an economy. We are a civic society.” (full context here) If getting the facts completely wrong or embellishing the facts about a diverse ethnic group is the sign of a racist, then in this case Steven Bannon’s comments would qualify as racist. To call someone as racist though requires a pattern of behavior and I’m not sure a single comment makes the man.
His numbers are definitely wrong. A quick look at the facts shows that the leaders of the top 100 Silicon Valley companies are 74.7% white, 23.4% Asian, 1.3% black, and 0.6% Elon Musk. (I knew he is was born in South Africa. Also, he is a naturalized citizen and should be counted in the first group). It took me less than 30 seconds to dispel his mistaken data.
The 2010 census shows the racial make up of America like this: White 78.4%, Black 13.0%, Asian 4.9%, Two or more races 2.3%, and Others 1.4%. Hispanics are included in all these categories to make up 16% of the population.
If there is a skew in the make up of CEOs in Silicon Valley it isn’t that there aren’t enough white CEOs. White CEOs stack up statistically to the make up of our population. The real question is why is the rest of the make up not reflective of America?
Reading further, Bannon’s vision for the world is scarier than a few quasi-rasict remarks. He talks about the violence of the 20th century and how before the World Wars were so peaceful because of the dominance of Judeo-Christain morality in the United States. He goes as far to says that history will view the 2oth century as the ‘new Dark Age’. Who do you think was responsible for the first Dark Age? I’ll give you a hint. It has the initials J-C followed by the word morality. This is the morality that nearly wiped out an indigenous population within a hundred year span. It was also the morality that enslaved a whole ethnic group and treated them as sub-human. Not the model I’m interested in repeating as we move forward.
I get the felling if the “two-third majority” of Asian CEOs were dyed in the wool Judeo-Christians he wouldn’t have an issue at all. This is not racism, it’s religious bigotry.
The fundamental idea of freedom of religion was so important to the founding fathers that it was made the very first Amendment; not the second, not the tenth, the first. To circumvent that Amendment, or any Amendment, is to make our country less than it can be.
I’m all for people worshiping as they see fit. There should be no censure on the practice of religion. Steve Bannon doesn’t come right out and say that the Judeo-Christian religion should be compulsory but you can hear the pining for it as you read his words. He rightly chides ISIS but doesn’t see that wishing for the American Taliban is any different.
A very dangerous man indeed.
Stay tuned and stay involved.