Why Ain’t Nothing Funny ‘Bout Trump’s Candidacy

In all likelihood, Donald Trump, aka A$AP Moron aka the Patron Saint of All Idiot Narcissists, will not win the Republican nomination. So the media treats him as though they were another overburdened mother waiting for her child’s tantrum to pass. And ordinarily, that would be the right way to go about it. His candidacy would be great material for sketch comedy and very little else.

Except, as it turns out: motherfuckers are really really into this shit.

Woops.

A poll released yesterday of NC GOP primary voters shows Donald Trump in the lead with 16% of votes, which doesn’t seem like a whole lot until you factor in that EVERYBODY is a GOP presidential candidate.

Including this asshole

So queue the laugh-track right?

Well, not so fast. There are a number of reasons to be legitimately concerned about Trump’s popularity that have nothing to do with the actual likelihood of him being the next POTUS, and have everything to do with how his vitriol validates the fears of white conservatives, who will need to reckon with the brown foreign and natural-born people who are increasingly becoming their neighbors, not only in North Carolina but throughout the United States.

First: North Carolina is a moderate-ass state, a state that in the 2014 general election had votes cast by about 550,342 Democrats (47.62%) compared to 368,404 Republicans (31.88%). Now, primary voters tend to be the bluest of the blue and the reddest of the red, but this is still a state where the divide between the two hasn’t been quite as stark as one would expect in say, Texas.

More importantly: North Carolina has a sizable and growing Latino and immigrant population (bearing in mind, of course, that while people frequently use the two categories interchangeably, they are very different). According to the American Immigration Council, in 2013, 1 in 10 North Carolinians were either Latino or Asian, with an estimated 7.6% of the entire NC population being foreign-born.

Further, “Latinos and Asians wield $25.7 billion in consumer purchasing power. At last count, businesses owned by Latinos and Asians had sales and receipts of $10.1 billion and employed more than 63,000 people.”

This, of course, is not the side of the story that GOP primary voters are hearing.

They are hearing that 1 in 10 North Carolinians are robbers, rapists, and murderers, with maybe a few good people sprinkled in there, I guess in the same way you cut up little bits of broccoli to put into your deviant-ass Mac n Cheese. I say 1 in 10 because you cannot tell, at brown-face value, who has papers and who does not — and it’s a safe assumption that the kind of voters who are gobbling up Trump’s bullshit don’t care to parse the difference between Latino and immigrant, naturalized and undocumented.

We are in cultural and political climate where the old guard of the South (read: mostly white, and a whole lot of males) feel threatened. Who see the Confederate Flag being brought down as representative of their lives, their sense of history, and their very selves being torn down.

They are angry, they are hurt, and a small but not insignificant number of them are striking back.

At a time when the ashes from burnt-down black churches cover ground all over the South, it is hard to laugh off Trump’s comments as the ramblings of a squirrel-haired maniac.

But some of us, particularly in the media, are doing just that: gleefully extracting viewership and ratings from his ramblings without substantively taking Trump to task on them. Which is a shame, because not only are they obligated to cover his candidacy as though it were serious event (because it in fact is), but to call him on the geyser of hateful bullshit he’s spouting. A point that Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and undocumented immigrant, underscores in this recent CNN segment.

Because for a notable slice of the population of NC, Trump is giving a very public platform to their #feelz4realz. Here, they think, is someone finally willing to speak the “truth:” that not only have these brown-skinned people taken their jobs and sullied their language, but are now murdering their neighbors and raping their women. And further: that if America is to continue to be a great nation, or return to being a great nation, or whatever construction we’re using at this present time, that all this immigration business has to stop.

We know the ingredients. We know what happens when you put this particular pot to boil.

We also know the mess that’s left to clean up afterward.

So this is why I don’t find this masquerade of a candidacy amusing. Because long after Trump fades back into miserable B-Celebrity, the roots of that hatred — and the validation he gave them — will still be right in our backyards.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.