Stephen Miller and ‘How the Sausage Is Made’

The president’s senior advisor works for whiteness

Sam McKenzie Jr.


White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller is an architect of Trump’s white policies, and the blueprints are transparent. The Southern Poverty Law Center published a report that analyzed 900 of his emails, and the recipient of Miller’s emails told Hatewatch, “What Stephen Miller sent to me in those emails has become policy at the Trump administration.” Miller exemplifies how whiteness gets made.

He works from a basic plan: trump up criminal charges against non-whites, spread white theories, implement white policies, defend white innocence, claim white victimhood, and then lie — or be open about it all. On Miller, when whites cry foul and far-right, it’s as if they believe whiteness has justifiable ways and means. But it doesn’t.

It’s unacceptable for whites to say they like the sausage —but not how it gets made; it’s unacceptable for whites to check the white box — and not acknowledge what it contains; it’s unacceptable for whites to keep the spoils, then claim they’re not spoiled — and then condemn the one who makes possible what remains theirs for the taking and keeping. Whites who want their whiteness without Miller want a specious state of civility bordered by an artificial Mason-Dixon line.

Miller wants the whitest America. In the book, “How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says About Race in America,” Karen Brodkin writes about the myth that America is a white nation:

“In this myth, the alternatives available to non-white and variously alien others has been to either whiten themselves or be co-signed to an animal-like ungendered underclass unfit to exercise the prerogatives of citizenship.”

As a white Jew and a “white nationalist,” Miller is working out his whiteness with fear and trembling among those who want a white nation. For Miller, this work has the same effect as white Jewish performers in blackface. The makeup of blackface signaled a shared whiteness, and Miller’s work to make up caricatures does the same.

By signaling and sharing whiteness, whites unite against the non-whites of the day. Miller’s work for whiteness can recall the days when white terrorists didn’t target white Jewish Americans. For Miller, a return to those days would “Make America Great Again.”

Miller brings in focus whites who like the white product but not the white process. The best way to take up that process argument is to take down whiteness because many Millers have made white white. The current senior policy advisor to the president just shows how it’s done in word and deed.

For my latest content, sign up for my newsletter, On Equal Terms.