Since Doug Jones’s historic and unexpected win was declared last night a number of posts have crossed my timeline along the lines of “so they managed to not elect a child molester, whoopie,” to “Well we owe gratitude to the black voters, no thanks to the white voters.”

In other words the voters of Alabama (and no, the black voters, as amazing as their turnout and unity were, could not have done it alone in a state in which 26 percent of the residents and 30 percent of yesterday’s voters were black) handed progressives an amazing unlikely win, and we’re still judging them because they do not perceive and think the way we do.

I intend to write something longer another time, but this just indicates to me a huge necessity for progressives to occasionally wander outside of our echo chambers and give up the attitudes which helped Trump to power and which enable our own representatives to use phrases like “basket of deplorables” and not understand why that hurts. It indicates that secular culture is oblivious to the perceptions of religious culture – we refer to evangelical culture as “the American Taliban” not realizing how inaccurate it is, but also not realizing the ways in which it IS accurate.

There are communities, and people in our own communities, who see the universe (not just the world) on completely different terms, and we’re so busy patting ourselves on our collective backs for how forward thinking we are, that we just don’t have a concept that others are operating from a different cultural context, and looking at the world from a different lens. The guy on NPR yesterday morning who saw voting for a likely child molester as a lesser evil to the “genocide of the unborn” he sees associated with Doug Jones isn’t evil. He’s wrong, and the implications of his beliefs on the liberty of women and other concerns are huge, and we have to oppose him politically. But we do not have to frame his beliefs as motivated by a desire to maintain power over women. Nor do we have to adjudge his vote as one motivated by feelings of white superiority. We cannot read his mind. We can only hear his words. And then we do what we have to politically. And we really need to make damn sure that we understand that the opposition to abortion and other “social issues” as the media like to refer them is hardly limited to the white working class.

And we need to toss the phrase “white working class.”

There were enough white people in the state, mostly working class, who either changed their vote or simply abstained from voting, to turn the tide against Moore and what he represents. We need to embrace the moment and those who set aside the angry agenda long enough to act sensibly – sensibly on our terms. For a moment, they thought like us. And now, all over social media, and God knows where else, we want to start punishing them all over again because they think and perceive differently from us. Because they are the “white working class.”

There are people who have not had the opportunity to take your ethnic woman’s studies class in college. They have probably never heard the word “intersectionalism.” But they are not stupid. They know you judge them and possibly on a certain level of justification, they feel that you hate them. But I’m going to say this now, and I will repeat it in the future: There can be no intersectionalism without class. Do you want to keep losing ground? Keep judging them.

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