Essay #2: Refining your Inquiry Question with Stasis Theory
In the November of 2016, Trump was elected president, sending the country into a state of dismay. Since then, a slew of racially fueled policy repeals and statements have been thrown at the public. Most of these policies have targeted minorities, especially with the repeal of DACA. Talk of repealing this program has sent over 800,000 “dreamers” into a panic. His statements of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem in contrast to how he addressed the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville has shown where he stands and how he’s working to encourage a racist ideology whether he realizes it or not. Although his presidency is far from over, he’s already creating a trend that is effecting people of color, both socially and economically.
There has been much contest between people whether Trump’s administration, including himself let their own racial prejudices fuel their decisions, statements and policies. The NFL scandal, of players kneeling during the national anthem has been regarded as blatant disrespect to the American flag as well as the veterans that have fought for it and it’s citizens protection. In one of his twitter rants, Trump writes, “The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag, and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” Although many of his supporters feel like his statement rightfully represented the views of the population, it didn’t. The issue of kneeling has everything to do with race. The movement started because of the police brutality committed on blacks. It is statistically calculated that black men aged 15–34 were nine times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than any other race in the year 2016 (Swaine & McCarthy 2017). Colin Kaepernick started this silent protest in light of these facts as well as the unjustified murders of many unarmed black individuals. Trump publicly called the NFL players that kneeled during the national anthem, “sons of bitches” and called for either their removal from their team or a suspension.
In contrast, his statement regarding the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville where neo-Nazis marched, and chanted their racist ideologies, was much more lenient and ambiguous. Trump spoke about them very fondly, regarding them as “very fine people.” In a public address, the president states, “I think there is blame on both sides […] You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.” During this statement, he then defends the white supremacists by saying that not all of them were neo-Nazis by any stretch; most of them were there to protest the taking down of the Robert E. Lee statue (Shear & Habernan 2017). His views have spurred intense debate among both the public and congress. Republican senator, Todd Young wrote, “This is simple: we must condemn and marginalize white supremacist groups, not encourage and embolden them.” It is evident that he can’t hide his own racial prejudices. His statements have shown where he stands in regard to the “race issue” time and time again.
The current president’s racial stigmatism of the minorities can be seen in the repeal of DACA as well. The program was put into place by former president Obama to provide amnesty to immigrant children that were brought to America at a young age. Instead of seeing these people as assets to society, him as well as his supporters see them as a threat to the sanctity of American job and wages. In the article, “Trump Moves to End DACA and Calls on Congress to Act”, Michael Shear writes, “Mr. Trump of the Justice Department, both used the aggrieved language of anti-immigrant activists, arguing that those in the country illegally are lawbreakers who hurt native-born Americans by usurping their jobs and pushing down wages.” Not only does the repeal of this policy effect the immigrants that are legally protected by it economically, but it also effects how society views them. Immigrants have most times always been viewed as leeches under the scope of America, and the trend has not broken since then. Publicly stating that they threaten American citizens jobs and push down wages further ostracizes them from society even though they have been here for the majority of their life and hold many American based values.
Many of the current president’s statements have painted him as a racist rightfully so. Most of his public addresses that he has made regarding the repeal of policies and occurring events, specifically DACA and NFL players kneeling during the national anthem has been racially fueled. His language when talking about the 800,000+ “dreamers” makes it clear how he views them, especially when he refers to them as illegal aliens. His leniency toward the “alt-right” for violent campaigns for white supremacy has emboldened these people further ostracizing the minority population. Under the 14th amendment, it guarantees equal protection under the law, but if the president is granting leniency toward hate groups publicly, it creates a domino effect, giving other people with the same ideology the confidence to outwardly show their hatred.
Cumming-bruce, S. C. (2017, August 23). U.N. Panel Condemns Trump’s Response to Charlottesville Violence. Retrieved October 09, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/23/world/un-trump-racism-charlottesville.html
Michael D. Shear And Maggie Haberman. (2017, August 15). Trump Defends Initial Remarks on Charlottesville; Again Blames ‘Both Sides’. Retrieved October 09, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/us/politics/trump-press-conference-charlottesville.html
Michael D. Shear And Julie Hirschfeld Davis. (2017, September 05). Trump Moves to End DACA and Calls on Congress to Act. Retrieved October 09, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/us/politics/trump-daca-dreamers-immigration.html?mcubz=0
Swaine, J., & McCarthy, C. (2017, January 08). Young black men again faced highest rate of US police killings in 2016. Retrieved October 09, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/08/the-counted-police-killings-2016-young-black-men