Comics and Images


Note to the real male feminists in my midst: you have to stop this.

You have to stop this because I’m not playing with you anymore.

If you do this kind of shit, I will NOT sit back and take it. But also because no one loves you as much as I do and you can’t keep doing this shit to us. You keep it up and none of you will be welcome among the women.

Ask yourself, do you want your movement to go down as the one that did this shit to your own women on the left?

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Comics and Images

Inauguration Protest Safety Tips


Note: I am NOT attending the protests but it appears that no one is circulating basic safety tips and that many of you are vastly under-prepared for the possibilities you face this weekend. As such, I am providing what I consider basic information. A shortened version of this was posted on another site, the editors were uncomfortable with my argument about the general stepping down as well as several other points. They also used my position to promote the marches in a way that was not my original intent, which has been made quite obvious to everyone familiar with my work. My feeling is that you are all smart enough to read my reasoning and decide for yourselves if it is plausible, so I have provided all of the original information. I apologize for not sharing this sooner, I had waited to post this while waiting for other editors to get back to me, when I saw the final product, which I think is quite obviously not my work though it uses my research heavily, I realized that I had to post this somewhere. Maybe I’m wrong about these things but you are grown ups and you can decide for yourselves. This is a perfect demonstration of why I had to start my own blog instead of trying to get published among existing publications, they always do this to my work.

This is a set of last minute safety tips for activists attending the inauguration protests against Donald Trump. Leftist activists should expect and plan for a probable escalation  in state violence for several reasons. The first reason is that Trump’s personality, administration and political ideology all suggest and lend themselves to the interpretation that violent suppression of protests is a legitimate action for the state to take, especially if those protests turn violent. The American public has limited appetite for violence against protestors when those protestors remain nonviolent, but the minute the protests become violent much of the country believes that the state has the right to use force to suppress them. Anyone who lived through any of the inner city riots prior to Obama, which includes those of us who lived in places like Los Angeles and Oakland during Rodney King, will remember that under most circumstances little patience is given for riots or forms of violent protest. The government can and will send in the national guard to violently suppress if they feel it is needed to restore order. They can and will do this under both Democrats and Republicans. They did it under both Kennedy and Nixon and they will do it under Trump.  Since several official groups have said that they are showing up to the protests with the intent to “disrupt” and commit damage to infrastructure (which is what the state would call terrorism), Trump’s administration has already had a month of pre-planning which has assumed violence would erupt at these protests. Therefore, people should assume in THEIR plans that Trump’s plans are based around that assumed violence, in which case, he believes violent suppression is one of his options. So does the rest of the administration, the military and a large percentage of the citizens of the country.


Last week the head of the National Guard in Washington D.C. was forced to resign at the last minute. Actually, he is being forced to resign mid-mission while 5,000 troops are deployed in the Nation’s capitol. This is highly unusual and he himself was not able to provide an explanation. He called the timing unusual and said he would never choose to abandon his men like this. No explanation was given, and his resignation will come AFTER Trump is sworn in, which means that it will come after Trump receives total command over the troops. It is important that you understand that generals do not resign for whimsical reasons, outside of some sort of gross dereliction of duty, like when MacArthur was asked to step down for threatening to nuke China, the only reason a career military man publicly goes through the effort of defying a commander in chief like this is if they don’t like the orders they’ve been given. Although there is no modern example of this happening in at a swearing in ceremony, generals resigned under Hitler (Rommel), under Pinochet (a handful early on who were killed), and under colonial governments in India for refusing to take their commander’s abhorrent orders against the people. During wartime, American generals and commanders have resigned over actions in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. There have also been instances during different revolutions in the 1980s and 1990s against the repressive Soviet state where the state security apparatus resigned in mass, rather than turn on their protestors.  In some cases, specific leaders have stepped down or spoken out against the dictator in question rather than kill their own people. It is important that you understand that doing do means an end to their career, and in many cases in the past, to their lives. What is unusual about this situation is that they planned for it in advance and that it is happening at the Inauguration. This likely means that the general in question stepped down because he refused to accept the plans given to him by the administration. In this case, those plans could only have been about what to do about the protestors.



Trump has had government agencies claim this is “no big deal” and issue fake news reports while the respected general himself claims he would never do this without being forced. Since there is no good reason to do this unless they were planning on doing some real brutal carnage, and since it is fairly common for fascists to replace leadership like this once they take power, we can expect that the moves of the last few days add up the conclusion that they plan to escalate state violence at the protests. Switching out the head of a national security event while thousands of your troops are deployed in your nation’s capitol and the general in question says “the timing is unusual”, means that something very bad is about to happen. Additionally, when I started speaking out about it, I was immediately attacked by propaganda and a fake conservative news profile, which means they are already trying to cover it up and discredit the general and any activist that suggests otherwise. The media has already begun to spin stories that justify any violent repression that results from the disorder this weekend. Breitbart’s only counter to this whole story was that the general asked to resign, not that Trump had asked him to, which hardly changes the circumstances and doesn’t answer any of the questions that surround this. If Trump asked him to resign, it is because he refused his orders. If the general resigned on his own, it is because he found the orders abhorrent and didn’t want to carry them out. Breitbart went out of their way to attack this story as fake news but could not deny that any of these had happened, they just quibbled over some of the possible details. They also called the general a coward in the piece they posted on my wall, which besides being an extremely offensive smear campaign of a career military hero, is a deeply disturbing narrative in context.

It is my recommendation that ALL parents and those with minors skip these protests. Whatever your anger is at Trump is, there are other ways to express it that don’t put children at risk, and these protests aren’t going to accomplish enough to make it worth the risk. Any activist that tells you otherwise is being both delusional and irresponsible in my opinion. I can’t tell adults without dependents what to do, but I suggest that everyone take precautions and record everything.

It also seems clear from the narrative that has been woven over the last few days that they intend to push us towards infighting while issuing a final killing blow to the left. Which groups they’ll divide is still up in the air, but the most important thing is that left understands that this administration is a threat to all marginalized people and that we have to stick together. We are only safe as a coalition. We must do everything we can through our own narrative and film recordings to fight any attempts during and after the fact to paint our movements as in opposition to each other. Here are some basic safety tips we are recommending that everyone take in advance of the weekend.

  1. Even state police have access to Stingray’s, machines that mimic cell towers in order to suck up the information from every phone in the area. If you have your phone on you, expect your name to be on a list of “people who protested Trump’s inauguration.”
  2. A common tactic is jamming all cell signals in the area to make it harder to coordinate. Shortwave radios solve this problem. Note that this also means cell phones can’t stream video. This can be solved by finding people or places in DC where video footage can be taken and uploaded without depending on wifi or cell service. Remember that people protested before cell phones too, there are ways word of mouth coordination can spread just as quickly with good organization and coordination. Plan for this possibility and if it doesn’t happen the worst-case scenario is that you were overprepared.
  3. In 1999, police were able to arrest 500 people at the WTO protests. Given 17 years of new technology, it’s hard to predict what capacity of arrests the police can handle. But it’s large. Mass arrests are common without a changing of the guard, but may be a feature of this years’ protests. Be prepared for that, but also don’t give them an excuse.
  4. Cameras must always be on. They must be filming both the authorities (to show time-stamped evidence of any wrongdoing) as well as the protestors (to show time-stamped evidence that there was no provocation). Film what the authorities do. Film what protestors are doing. Film solidarity. Film love. Film actors of violence too. Remember that they will discredit us in the media afterwards and remember that because there were claims of fake hate crimes that the only thing people believe now are what happens on film.
  5. Look out for agent provacateurs. If the person next to you starts breaking windows or throwing rocks, they may be purposefully trying to justify repression by the authorities. It does not matter what is filmed if an agent provocateur can act freely among marchers. It does not matter if the agent provacateur can later be identified, he or she must immediately be stopped. DO NOT GIVE THEM AN EXCUSE. Anything they can use to blame the violence on us will be used to later frame a narrative that provides the American public with a justification for the death and destruction that follows. It will also be used to kill or maim innocent people. Whatever the left believes, the rest of the country only believes in the right to peaceable assembly, if people start getting violent and the authorities respond with violence, the rest of the country does not feel bad when we die. I promise you that.
  6. At the moment of the inauguration, the head of the national guard will step down and be replaced by one of Trump’s men. The most likely time for repression will be between the moment Trump is inaugurated to the official changing of the guard. Even if they aren’t, assume guns are pointed at your face. Don’t make sudden movements, don’t yell or run at the police, don’t start violent chants. Do not back down, but do not give them an excuse to kill you.

7) Watch locals and watch the media. Have situational awareness. Pay attention to the crowd and the mood and try to get out before things get real. Your nurses, union workers and grass roots activists, as well as journalists tend to have a sense for these sorts of things, not because they are wizards, but because they’ve been doing this for a long time. You should look to them to guide you as to when mood changes happen.

8) They’ve planned this LONG before you’ve even gotten there. The goal should be for us to be so impressive with our message that if they chose to get violent that they look shameful. We may not be able to avoid violence at this point, but we can do our best to protect as many people as we can and to turn around their bullshit on them. This is a bold move out the gate, and they are making it because they think they can. Don’t make them right about that.

9) Touching a cop, yelling at a cop, resisting arrest, yelling for help when you are already in a cop’s possession, and defying a lawful order are all punishable as assault and illegal. If the cops arrest you, follow their orders and be polite. They will not hesitate to use the excuse to beat you or bring you in on assault charges.

10) Avoid wearing anything terribly obvious, any jewelry or anything you wouldn’t want confiscated. There is a strong possibility these will be destroyed or taken from you, but in a violent struggle jewelry is also a liability.


12) Carry government issued ID everywhere. The cops have the right to demand your identification, and they also have the right to carry you in if you refuse to give it to them. Anyone who doesn’t have this identification shouldn’t be at these protests this weekend.

13) Remember that Trump is popular with a large percentage of the country and that there WILL be counter demonstrators. They have also been planning. They also have beliefs. They are also angry. They are also going to follow orders. Be prepared for the probability that clashes with the state aren’t the only group you have to look out for. People of color, Queer individuals (especially visibly gender fluid and trans), and women should all take extra precaution. Do not travel alone or at night. Travel with a group, and ideally with escorts. STAY AWAY FROM TRUMP’S SUPPORTERS. They are probably armed, but there are also groups like Bikers for Trump who are out for blood. The only thing standing in their way is the state. You do not have the means to take them on in this situation and I promise you they WILL be armed to the teeth.

I Hate Most of You, But I Still Wouldn’t Let Trump Kill You


Let me explain something to you, to all of you on the left. I hate the vast majority of you. I think your ideologies are stupid and that half the time you are acting as the oppressor. Every single leftist connected group and organization has does something actively horrible and oppressive, personally, to me over the last 28 years. But if Trump tries to oppress you, I still consider it my responsibility to try to stop it the best I can, because that’s what a real leader does.

I ain’t Mexican but if Trump comes for Mexican people I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit back and let him come for the Mexican people I love, and if you don’t have anyone who fits that demographic that you love, maybe you are the problem.

I ain’t queer but if Trump comes for queer people, I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit back and let him come for the queer people that I love and if  you don’t feel that way about people you claim to love, maybe you are part of the problem.

I ain’t black but if Trump comes for black people, I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit back and let him do that shit on my watch without any opposition. You don’t come for people I love without my fighting like hell for you.

I have people I love in every marginalized group in the leftist coalition and I have since I was a kid and we fucking look out for each other. He comes for one of us, he comes for all of us.

But even if I didn’t have people that I loved in these categories, even if I hadn’t experienced poverty and gender violence and oppression firsthand, I would still fight anyone who would seek to hurt other human beings because that is the right thing to do. It is just the right thing to do. Everything I have ever done in social justice has been for someone else. I did not benefit in any tangible way from starting FLIP. I alienated myself socially, professionally, and personally defending the marginalized. I have a list of actual physical beatings I have taken for other people and injuries I’ve endured defending the defenseless. I did this stuff while I was homeless, while I was sick, while I was myself being tortured and abused. I don’t do any of this shit for me or what I can get out of it and I sure as fuck don’t do it for my mental health. This is service, if you aren’t willing to do it, that’s fine. This isn’t for everyone and I respect that, but if you call yourself a leader then the first thing you need to learn is that it isn’t about you. If your work costs you nothing, I doubt it is as subversive as you think it is.


I don’t stand in solidarity with specific groups or ideologies. I don’t have particularly strong affinities for any of your parties or for the work that most of the left does. I’ve never had a home on the left, and the left has done almost as much to oppress me as the conservatives. I do my work in solidarity with the people and the children. If you can’t handle doing that, it’s not something I would brag about and it certainly isn’t a legitimate policy position for a movement to have.


And before you lecture me about self care, I don’t want to hear it. I’ve been going through a hell that none of you can even imagine over the last month and I have still managed to be strategic and thoughtful in my organizing. Let me tell you about some memories that I’ve been battling over the last month and half since Trump has been elected and you guys have been whining about the mourning you still have to while giving a fascist advanced warning of terrorist acts that you half-assedly planned. I’ll name just three, but there are more. 1) It turns out that my family has tried to kill me on four separate occasions all occurring before the age of 13, two of which happened when I was an infant. 2) When I was 9, I was so violently raped by my father as punishment for resisting his advances that I needed 6 stitches in my vagina. My own mother helped him cover it up. 3) I was trafficked as a child more than once , at least as early as 8.

I’ve been spending the last month and half processing all of that while listening you guys whine and complain and give privilege lectures, and you guys can’t even be bothered to properly plan things so that you don’t screw over the working class with your bullshit. So look, if you don’t want to stand in solidarity with all childhood trafficking victims, and everyone who has gone hungry and anyone who might be the target of state repression, then fine. Now you are corroborating with the oppression of others. And if you are doing that, frankly, I’m not terribly interested in your help or your opinion about anything.

Don’t you think it works to Trump’s interest if we are constantly doing this to each other? They are planning for us to do this and you are playing right into their hands. Divide and conquer is a very old strategy indeed. But you guys aren’t actually interested in doing anything to stop him are you? Because you live in a magical land where the consequences never affect you and where the working class will take all of the bullets for you anyway. You’ve lived there for so long that you can’t even properly plan basic safety tips for a protest during a Republican administration. We don’t need more “leaders” who put their own needs first. We don’t need more “leaders” who expect other people to act as their cannon fodder or pawns. That is not good leadership, that is childish. This is service. You are here to serve. If you are not here to serve then WE DON’T NEED YOU. You are no good to us until you get the ability to make decisions that will put other people’s needs first. Social justice is not a brand. It is not a t-shirt you put on or something you wear when it is convenient. Social justice is about liberating the actual people who aren’t free yet, and if you have the luxury to say, “I won’t be disciplined and thoughtful enough to do what is needed to free the most people that I can” or “I won’t be adult enough to put aside my own feelings for the good of others in the name of liberation” then I don’t know what form of imprisonment you’ve experienced but it was very different from the one I experienced.

When you are hungry, there is no room for error.

When they can and do torture you, there is no room for error.

When the consequence is death, there is no room for error.

When rape is a form of punishment, there is no room for error.

You sure as fuck don’t make mistakes because you are too lazy to plan if it means someone is going to kill you, what is even more monstrous is to make these mistakes on someone else’s behalf when the consequences don’t affect you. Do you know what it is like to be threatened with someone else’s pain and to offer to take the beating instead? I do.

My bottom line is this:  all this theoretical bullshit was fine when it was on your college campuses and no one was getting hurt. But if you become a reason that people might get hurt, even if it’s because you are incompetent instead of just straight evil, then you are right that we aren’t in solidarity with each other. Because I consider you part of the problem and you can either get your shit together or else you can find out just how fiercely I fight on behalf of the oppressed.

Here’s something I know about all of you, you hit like a bitch.


Sorry Not Sorry that I am Harping on the Disenfranchisement and Death of People

Have had multiple left-leaning activists try to silence me, since it seems it will continue and I have more important things to do, I’d thought I’d make some general statements so that you all will step your game up and at least make it  interesting for me.

The following are pretty representative of the kind of messages I get on the regular.

“I’m not trying to shut you up but I don’t understand why you harping about class so much, aren’t there more important things?”

“Aren’t you engaged in class warfare?”

“I think poor white people should just stop whining”

“We understand you are emotional right now, should you be writing this stuff?”

“Most people already understand this stuff, do you need to keep talking about it?”


Here is my response:

        1) I’m not just trying to reach the people you think are worthy of speaking to, and that construction is so elitist, I suggest you reflect on it for a while.

         2) I’m “harping” on it because I am still seeing Establishment elites making that claim and the problem with that claim (AS I HAVE MADE CLEAR THROUGHOUT MY WRITING) is that it lets the rich have a scapegoat and lets them off the hook for what they did to us. It also provides the left with a nice bit of schadenfreude when they see Trump fucking over the poor, which makes them feel like they don’t have to actually help those people, even though those people are dying. I know this because I’ve seen them post a bunch of times about how funny it is that we will suffer under Trump, and they continue to do so. I explain all of this in these posts.

         3)  If you REALLY cared about bringing socialism to the people you’d spend your time doing what I do, which is trying to help poor whites understand that they are ALSO oppressed and need to work with their families and neighbors to challenge the power structure. The fact that you self identify as a leftist but don’t get why that matters suggests to me that maybe you should be spending some more time learning from me and reading and a little less time gaslighting me and wasting my time. And I will add that NONE of you has been a more successful activist than me, so I’m not sure why so many people assume they have the right to tell me what to do.  I don’t try to go around bragging about my accomplishments because it wasn’t how I was raised, but I challenge you to find someone our age on the left that has done more work to successfully challenge the power structure. Maybe instead of lecturing the person who made it possible to talk about class on elite campuses, and the person who demonstrated the ability to close the achievement gap with culturally relevant pedagogy, and the one person that came from the poor that also has the research and analytical abilities to lay this all out, you should try to learn from me. You know why I’m not a household name? I was so surgical with stuff at Stanford that no one even knew what I did until they started researching my work years later. If you graduated any time after 2006, and you are first generation or low income at an elite institution, there is one direct line you can trace back to the supports you have now. And like all the roads in Rome they lead to one bad bitch. The reason you don’t know this is because I do my work to empower others and get stuff done, not to be cool on social media. Still don’t believe me? Go say my maiden name on the Stanford campus to any administrator that was there between 2006-210. My actual students will happily vouch for the rest. So please stop telling me what to do, unless you are, I dunno, Pope Francis or something.
               4) I’m a big girl and I’ll decide what is worth my time, if the left doesn’t like it I guess they can try a little harder to silence me, because these bullshit little messages that attempt to guilt me aren’t working. You want to actually help the poor? Then maybe you should be doing something worth your time, and actually help us when we speak instead of telling me how to talk.
            5) I’m talking about this because the media narrative matters and it matters that we have evidence. For many years, rich people have heard what I said and denied it with the words, “but you don’t have evidence.” Considering that we are talking about the death and disenfranchisement of people, I’d say that’s a pretty distasteful response. Now I have the evidence and they can’t deny it on empirical grounds so what do they do instead. They gaslight me and then try to co-opt me by turning my focus elsewhere. One wonders what could possibly be more important than getting to vote and not dying, but let’s talk about what a dick Trevor Noah is instead.
       6) I’m glad you have finally come to understand my value in solving other problems, perhaps if you had made such an offer sooner and had offered me math and science classes in high school that co-option strategy might have worked. Unfortunately, we are far past that point and I’ll write about whatever I want. Because the day that Trump got elected on your watch was the day a new sheriff came to town and she is a harpy cunt who doesn’t care what you think.


     In the efforts to gaslight me, some have asked if I am stressed. OF COURSE I’m stressed, I’m a human being and not a robot. You’d be stressed too if you were trying to do all this stuff with what is going on in the world. But let me tell you something else, I’ve always been stressed. The last nine months were the first time I experienced life that wasn’t stressful. So I’ve been stressed the whole time and you know what? I’ve managed to accomplish quite a lot in that time.
        You don’t think I was stressed when my 3 grandparents died my senior year and I still managed to get FLIP off the ground, put on a theatrical production, graduate with a high GPA and speak at a pro-immigration rally? That was pretty stressful. Going to school hungry as a kid after having not slept so I could protect my body was pretty stressful too.  Closing the achievement gap and teaching anti-racist pedagogy at a title one school while my body literally fell apart was also stressful. I’ve been stressed and I’ve still managed to do lots of things very successfully. So if you are really concerned about my stress you will fight with me to change those things because no one should ever have to be under the stress I’m under and then have to contend with the feelings of the people who supposed to helping her on top of it.
       I posted this knowing there would be social costs for a reason. One, I wanted you all to finally see the kinds of messages I receive on a near daily basis. The left has gotten away with doing these things because I have taken their bullshit for the team, but it has become quite clear to me that they don’t care about the team at all and that they don’t deserve to be in charge. I kept silent about the voting suppression that happened in the primaries during the general election at the request of other leftists. I’ve been quiet about class because other leftists told me I was racist otherwise. I have kept my mouth shut about the sexual harassment and abuse that left leaning partners and classmates have done to me over the years to help keep the team together. I’m not doing it anymore, I’m not backing down and I’m not shutting up.
          Someone complained that I don’t provide actionable solutions, so I’d like to take the time to re-state some possible solutions that are a better use of your time than telling me how to talk.
1) Feeding the homeless
2) Learning from the homeless, from the poor, from women, from Black people, first nations, and queer people
3) Elevating those voices by promoting them where and when you can and that includes social media but also at the dinner table
4) Spreading and shouting the truth and learning to be open to criticism
5) Reading
7) Reading to illiterate adults and kids
8) Calling the women in your life to telling them you value and love them and will fight Trump’s assault on them
9) Supporting progressive businesses with your money
10) Helping to organize unions
11) Helping to organize the working classes and giving them the opportunity to be read and heard.
12) Getting involved in local civic organizations
13) Learning about local politics and becoming engaged in them
14) Talking to vets and listening to them, then lobbying your politicians to meet their needs
15) Organizing or participating in boycotts
16) Focusing on raising your kids to be better people and to be strong enough people to make the world better than the one we are giving them
17) Volunteer in classrooms, help teachers with the grunt work of teaching, advocate for higher pay
18) Demanding affordable housing
19) Fighting for paid leave for all
20) Working to change male culture so that we have healthy masculinity and men worthy of the title “American.”


                You don’t get to kill and exploit us and then tell us when we can talk about it. My friends don’t treat me this way and I don’t care about your opinion. If you want to be down for the struggle ahead and you aren’t already on the team or poor, you are going to have to do A LOT of work to prove yourself to me and my people. I don’t trust you and I don’t know why you think you deserve it. You’ve been drunk at the wheel for years and I learned that you can’t trust delusional alcoholics to act like adults. I suggest that you recognize how effective it is for you to keep talking and shut up until you are ready to help us.

Blame Trump on the Rich, Part 6: The Boiling Frog



The Establishment has forcefully pushed the explanation that Clinton lost due the fact that “working class whites” voted for Trump because they are racist. I was surprised to hear this theory, because as a poor white person, I know that the rich always vote for Republicans and the poor have very consistently voted for Democrats. This holds in exit poll data back into 1984 (we’ll talk about the income data and exit polls in general in a separate post, but that data can be found here). This year, Clinton only won those making 50,000 a year, while losing the other income groups.


Some have noticed that Trump won more uneducated voters, and called these people working class. This seems strange for two reasons

  1. Trump also won the educated white vote.
  2. Only 30 percent of the country has a BA and BA’s are no guarantee of social status in a country where there is limited social mobility

More detailed contextual information is here. After seeing these arguments, it was suggested that Clinton won the cities, where the poor are assumed to be nonwhite (there are in fact, poor whites in urban areas, I used to be one), while Trump won rural, white voters living in poverty. This theory will be deconstructed by looking at the precinct by precinct data. That data, which goes beyond exit polls to actual vote totals,  can be found using this link. Please subscribe to the LA Times for being kind enough to make big data accessible to everyone.

What the Exit Polls Show

The trick to getting people to accept oppression is to do it slowly over time. It works like boiling a frog, if you throw a live frog into a boiling pot, it’ll jump right out. If you put the frog in the water and then boil it, the frog won’t notice what has happened until it is too late. Today we are going to talk about the evidence and factors that suggest this has been happening to the poor in our electoral system. Now, much has been written about the declining middle class and that is real and important, but people much better qualified than I am have already tackled that in a lot of detail, so today I won’t be talking about that. It’s not personal, I just can’t do everything. I do suggest though, that middle class people start asking some tough questions about what the rich has been doing to them and the poor, because as we will see, the real beneficiaries are the rich. This might explain why so many MIDDLE CLASS people felt the need to vote for someone new, like Trump, and I hope someone will take that discussion on, or perhaps the theory that these people believe they can one day become rich and vote against their interests holds for the middle class. It definitely doesn’t hold for the working class, who have continued to vote for the Democrats for a very long time.

I’ve already proven based on the exit poll data and precinct by precinct numbers that the poor didn’t actually vote for Trump.  You can see the neighborhood data here which shows that even in California, you can see neighborhoods broken up by income next to each other where the rich clearly voted for Trump while the poor went overwhelmingly to Clinton. California is not an anomaly, their poor aren’t less poor and the only area that seems especially liberal is the Bay Area, which has a larger number of immigrants, members of the queer community, Jewish people and Millenials in their upper classes. This pattern, where the rich vote for Republicans and the poor vote for Democrats holds as far back as I can trace it back, except for the Reagan anomaly in 1980, though it is worth noting that Reagan won by a landslide and the MOST poor group was the only group the Democrats won. Even in extremely white neighborhoods the trend holds. This holds even in the areas we think of as liberal, and even in urban areas.

So what explanation explains why the Democrats lost, if its not the Rust Belt Revolt? We know that turnout was lower this year for the Democrats. It however, wasn’t universally lower turnout for all income groups.

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This data comes from the Roper Center at Cornell, but it could be cross referenced with other data.  Broadly, the data shows that the number of poor people who make up the electorate has declined, while the rich have increased. Now, in case you don’t want to go through that data and want an easier way to see the visual change over time, I’ve made a chart.


This is the percent of vote share (so what percentage they made of the electorate over time). The poor have a dramatic decrease, while the rich have a dramatic increase. In 2016, they very nearly intersect. I defined class by income and adjusted for inflation.

In 2016, 26 percent of voters made more 100,000 dollars a year. That’s the upper 20 percent, but they represent 26 percent of votes. In 2016, half the country was making less than 30,000, but those making UNDER 50,000 only represent 41 percent of the votes. The rich were actually over-represented while the poor were under represented, and this is true even when we allow 50,000,  to be the marker instead of 30,000 (I wanted to account for high cost of living locations). You’ll notice that the exit polls stop breaking down the working class numbers into discrete categories in 2012, this isn’t because people aren’t making less than 50,000. It might because the lowest numbers of the income status weren’t statistically significant enough to separate out anymore. This is not because of inflation, things haven’t changed THAT much since the 80s.

In case you don’t believe this, here’s the median income numbers over time.



The poor have increased, but the rich show a pretty dramatic convergence.

Frankly, 1980 isn’t even far enough to adjust for inflation because things haven’t changed that much in terms of median income. What has changed is the number of the rich. This might explain while those making 100,000 claim to be “middle class” because in comparison to the rest of the upper class, they do make much less.

So we know the rich voted for Trump. We know that they made up a greater share of voters. We also know that the share of poor voters has decreased over time, even though there are now more poor people than there were in 1980, and even though we have a higher threshold for “working class” than what HALF the country makes.

What could have caused this outcome?

1) Voter Suppression

When I first started looking at this data, I thought there was no way those in power could have gotten better at voter suppression since Nixon to such a significant degree to explain the gap. But voter suppression was a major factor this year. Voter suppression disproportionately impacts the poor and is very targeted at them. Many of the same tactics the Republicans used in the general were used in the primaries, which may have contributed to Sanders losing the primary despite having broad working class support in places like Kansas.

Now, lets take a look at the people who didn’t vote, which again, was the poor. Here are their reasons.


2) Health

A large percentage of people say they don’t vote because they are too sick to do so. Mortality has increased over the same amount of time that this shift in vote share has occurred, but it has only happened for one group. And that group is very specifically poor whites. We also know that Trump won counties with poorer health, AND that turnout was lower in those areas. This means that the establishment has been blaming people who either were dying or too sick to vote. They’ve been doing it while mocking them too.   I don’t know how everyone else’s moral code work, but I happen to think this is pretty monstrous behavior for the people that claim the moral high ground.

3) Working Conditions

You’ll notice that another top reason is scheduling issues or work conflicts. Work has changed dramatically for the poor in that time. Contrary to popular belief most of the poor are actually working but that work has changed. It is more fractured, during more irregular hours, and people are also working more hours. People are also working multiple jobs and families need at least two incomes to survive. 

Election Day is not a national holiday and businesses aren’t really required to accommodate the poor with voting, many of whom couldn’t make it even if they did because of the hours they are working or because of family commitments.

4) Decline of the unions and Civic Organizations

Unions and civic organizations like churches used to be a BIG part of the voter drives that increased the turnout of Democrats. As the share of voters from the poor has decreased, it has happened at the same time as the decline of the unions. At the same time we’ve seen a decline in poor white participation in civic organizations like churches. This matters because they are lacking in organizational structures that used to increase turnout, but it also takes away an important support structure for those that are struggling. This decline has been implicated in the health crisis as well.


5) The lack of mobility

Many people also cited transportation as an issue. It is a common misconception that the urban areas are the poorest. This was true before gentrification, but the trend of poor people being pushed out of the cities starts at the same time the share of voters who are poor decreases. Much of the poor is now living in isolated areas in the country just outside the cities. Being poor in the suburbs has it’s own set of challenges, there are food deserts, lack of public transportation, and lack of options for school attendance. It also is nearly impossible to travel around without a car. On the bus, it used to take me an hour and a half just to get out of my neighborhood and a minimum of two hours to get downtown where the better schools and resources were located. If you have to work, and you don’t have transport, just getting to the polling station on time is nightmare. And that’s assuming you don’t need a babysitter to do it or that it is within walking distance.


6) Increased hopelessness

Feelings are a little harder to quantify, but if we look at the exit poll data, and the reasons people didn’t vote, it seems that many people feel disaffected and disenfranchised. This is why the poor were more likely to vote third party and also why many didn’t vote because they liked neither candidate. A large portion of Sanders voters were white and working class, those voters felt marginalized by the Democratic party this year after the primaries. In fact, we know most of the poor falls into the category of “hard-pressed skeptic” which simply means that their oppression has made them distrustful of all government figures.  We also know that more poor whites are dying from drug related deaths. We can assume that they reasons they might do those drugs are similar to the reasons other poor communities do drugs. It is a coping mechanism. However, I believe it is significant that people are falling to opiod deaths, in my experience most opiod addicts start out as chronic pain patients or people who were in industrial accidents and had to recover. This might explain why we’ve seen a rise in disability claims too and it helps contribute to the  mortality increase. We also know suicide is on the rise for this group as well. 


Now, if people want to talk about WHY the rich voted for Trump, I have some speculation on that. I figure they voted for him because he was the guy looking out for their interests, and it is in their interests to suppress the poor. Now, obviously not all of the rich think like that, but if you are rich and also have been blaming poor whites and consider yourself a leftist, you need to think deeply about your behavior. Much of this information has gone under the radar, they’ve been boiling us so gradually that we haven’t been able to get out of the pot on time. Taken all together the answer to why Trump won and why the poor didn’t vote seems clear, doesn’t it? Oppression had a hand in oppressing people. It’s ok that you didn’t know this until now, it is also ok that you and the rest of the Establishment has been ignoring this data for weeks now and continue to propagate the narrative that the poor are responsible. Maybe you didn’t have the data, maybe it didn’t fit into your worldview, perhaps you’ve been busy mourning. It is ok, I am here to help you. I learned at Stanford that the rich only believe you when you have empirical data, so even though I KNEW all of this and have known for sometime, I have bowed to your request for empiricism. Now lets see if you really mean that.

You can’t kill people and then blame them for what your neighbors did to them. That is cruel and evil. The Left has got to stop demonizing these people and excluding them from our agenda. If we claim to fight oppression, we should fight it everywhere. I fight for racial injustice, and yet, too many of you have dismissed my concerns about the fact that my people are literally dying. It is NOT NORMAL for a group to have increasing mortality in the modern era, that is a sign that something has gone desperately wrong. We are in this struggle together or they will divide us up and conquer us, like they just did. That’s why Trump is president right now, that and the fact that the left has disgusted the poor so much that they didn’t want to risk taking time off work or away from their kids to vote for a candidate that has been actively disdainful of them. I know who you guys think the deplorables are because you keep claiming it was deplorables that voted for him AND that it was poor whites who caused him to take office. Who are the real deplorables here?

Now is the time to find out if you are redeemable.

If you are reading this and wondering why I’m not in a doctoral program, then you are on the right track. Here’s the answer. If there is even a shred of moral decency among you, you will start working on income inequality and you will stop mocking the poor. All of the poor. I’m not going to let you oppress people without a fight, just as I have fought for racial injustice over the last ten years. If you are down for the team, get down for the team.



Other pieces of this series can be found here:

How Mobilizing the Poor Might Have Changed the Election

Blame Trump on the Rich Part 1: Gridley and the Two Sides of the Tracks

Blame Trump on the Rich Part 2: Those Poor, White Mountain Towns

Blame Trump on the Rich, Part 3: Beachfront Trumpers

Blame Trump on the Rich, Part 4: The KKK and the two Neighborhoods Adjacent 

Blame Trump on the Rich, Part 5: Los Angeles, the City of Angels and Very Fashionable Devils

Blame Trump on the Rich, Part 5: Los Angeles, the City of Angels and Very Fashionable Devils



The Establishment has forcefully pushed the explanation that Clinton lost due the fact that “working class whites” voted for Trump because they are racist. I was surprised to hear this theory, because as a poor white person, I know that the rich always vote for Republicans and the poor have very consistently voted for Democrats. This holds in exit poll data back into 1984 (we’ll talk about the income data and exit polls in general in a separate post, but that data can be found here). This year, Clinton only won those making 50,000 a year, while losing the other income groups.


Some have noticed that Trump won more uneducated voters, and called these people working class. This seems strange for two reasons

  1. Trump also won the educated white vote.
  2. Only 30 percent of the country has a BA and BA’s are no guarantee of social status in a country where there is limited social mobility

More detailed contextual information is here. After seeing these arguments, it was suggested that Clinton won the cities, where the poor are assumed to be nonwhite (there are in fact, poor whites in urban areas, I used to be one), while Trump won rural, white voters living in poverty. This theory will be deconstructed by looking at the precinct by precinct data. That data, which goes beyond exit polls to actual vote totals,  can be found using this link. Please subscribe to the LA Times for being kind enough to make big data accessible to everyone.

Los Angeles, The City of Angels and Very Fashionable Devils

I’ve been very fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to teach a group of wonderful freshman to see what consultants apparently can’t see. I’ll be teaching at a small school in Downtown Los Angeles. The class I’m teaching is majority English Language Learner and mostly low income. I’ll share more information about the school after I reflect on the lesson, but let’s take a look at their precinct and the communities that voted for Trump in Los Angeles.

Here’s what the map looks like for the regions close to the school I’ll be working at.


Gee, you think that’s a trailor park in the Hollywood Hills? MUST BE!

Now, as you can see, the area I’ll be teaching in went deep Clinton. This is no surprise given the diversity and poverty of that area. It’s 85 percent Latino, and has the one of the lowest educational attainment records in the city. It is also disproportionately young and poor.

But what might surprise some, is that out in the Hollywood Hills, there is a little enclave of Trump supporters who are apparently very angry about manufacturing or something. I’m not really sure, they still haven’t been able to accurately capture the anger of poor white people in any publication, so I guess we’ll never know.

I’m just kidding, of course. Let’s take a look at that map a little closer.


Yeah, it’s the houses next to the Country Club. A satirist couldn’t make this funnier

Hm… that’s odd, do you think they allow trailor parks next to Country Clubs? Let’s see what houses sell for there. I’ll save you the time, it’s 23 million. How much did Trump win by there? 54 percent of the vote, with a larger turnout than the poor section too. For more information about this area, check out this lovely tourist information. It’s ok, you aren’t the only one who was surprised by how much the rich love the oppressor. Except, they did kind of tell you. Don’t worry, I won’t hold too much of a grudge if you guys start acting like you really do believe in empiricism.


Trumpettes are white, but they sure as hell aren’t working class.

But maybe that was an isolated incident, let’s take a look at some of the other areas in Los Angeles that voted for Trump.


Those special liberal coasts….


For those of you not familiar with Los Angeles real estate, the houses on the beach are extremely expensive.No, there are not million dollar trailor parks.  By the way, that little strip had higher RAW NUMBER turnout than the more densely populated, poor area I started this post with in Pico Union.


How much do you think the houses sell for here? Just kidding, it’s the same amount as the other rich ones. I’d just like to point out that Trump won the rich neighborhoods with a higher turnout from the rich in EVERY case, as well as a higher percentage than  the middle class KKK neighborhood we talked about yesterday. I think I’ve made my point here.

Next week, I’ll be looking at how exit poll data has changed for income over time and we’ll start talking about the findings in the swing state of Wisconsin. Ultimately, we will also discuss the strange health correlations and what has been happening to poor white neighborhoods.

Read all of the other parts of this series here:

How Mobilizing the Poor Might Have Changed the Election

Blame Trump on the Rich Part 1: Gridley and the Two Sides of the Tracks

Blame Trump on the Rich Part 2: Those Poor, White Mountain Towns

Blame Trump on the Rich, Part 3: Beachfront Trumpers

Blame Trump on the Rich, Part 4: The KKK and the two Neighborhoods Adjacent