The highest office in the land is currently held by a white supremacist.
That Trump is “casually racist” can be seen pretty much daily. And for those of us who might have parents or grandparents his age, and might from time to time (probably not every day, even then) hear insensitive remnants of racism from times largely bygone, we might be tempted to simply shake our heads in shame and chalk it up to his generation’s lack of evolution on social matters.
But this is absolutely not the case. Donald Trump is a white supremacist.
I’d like to take a moment to define what I mean by “casual racism.” It feels strange to categorize an idea as hateful, ugly, and disgusting as racism as merely “casual.” Maybe a better phrase is “insensitive,” but since you can be insensitive about so many things outside of race, I think it’s best to stick with casual racism.
Here’s what I mean by the term: My mom turns 70 this year. She was born and raised in the South, where nearly every street corner boasts the name of some long-lost Confederate loser, to the point where you don’t even notice it anymore, let alone recognize it as the giant cultural problem it is.
A few cringeworthy moments can provide examples of how my mom can be oblivious, insensitive, or “casually racist.” There was the time we were sitting in a jam-packed theatre watching the movie Green Book, and she turned to the Black audience member sitting next to her (a complete stranger!) and asked, “Did that really happen??” in a shocked manner at some of the historical details in the film. The guy just shrugged and said, “I mean, probably.” She shook her head mightily and said, “How awful for your people…”
Then there was that time she told me how much she loved her new doctor, that he was really intelligent, well-read, listens closely to her, and that she was totally cool with the fact that he was Hispanic.
These are examples of the type of “Sh*t My Dad Says” racism that’s a lot more casual than the hate-filled, intentionally hurtful and potentially violent beliefs espoused by white supremacists.
It is incalculably less malicious than words said and actions taken by Donald Trump for his entire life.
To actually compile a list of the egregious moves Trump has made — either casually or in what could easily be a choreographed attempt to find other white supremacists to add to his voting base — it makes you realize: this guy is a neo-Nazi. Here are just a few examples:
· In 1973, Trump’s realty company was sued by the Nixon administration’s DOJ for violations of the Fair Housing Act — meaning, Trump discriminated against Black tenants and Black applicants to his housing projects
· In the 1980s, Black employees at Trump’s casinos were ushered off the floor and “hidden” in the back while Trump and/or his family members visited
· Trump bought ad space in papers decrying the Central Park Five, and advocating for the death penalty for these wrongly accused teenagers of color
· He called Mexicans rapists; he said women traveling through Central America en route to the U.S. were raped at levels that nobody’s ever seen before
· He’s been hellbent on building a wall between Mexico and the U.S. in order to keep immigrants out at least since the start of his campaign trail
· He called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries”
· He insinuated that those protesting peacefully at the “Unite the Right” rally, a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA, where a protestor was run over with a car and killed by a white supremacist, were just as hateful as the murderer at the event
· David Duke, a former leader of the KKK, said at that same Unite the Right rally that the whole point of the event was “fulfilling thepromises of Donald Trump”
· Trump played a huge role in the “Birther Movement” conspiracy theory against President Obama, claiming he wasn’t born in America (but rather, some “shithole country”)
· He separated thousands of immigrant families at the border between the U.S. and Mexico, even putting kids in cages
· The list goes on; read the Vox article here to be thoroughly bummed out by the impeached American president’s history of hate
These are but a small sample of the stories there are to be told about Trump. When compared with my mom, she comes out looking like a saint. Let me reiterate, I am not proud of, nor do I excuse my mom’s casual racism — and I very often, coward-like, try to pretend it doesn’t exist.
However, I’m not even close to comfortable calling my mom a white supremacist.
I am fully comfortable calling Donald Trump a white supremacist. White supremacists resort to any and all tactics in order to promote and disseminate their hateful beliefs. And “white supremacist” is more shocking of a term than “racist,” which indicates we’ve become sadly desensitized to racism in general, and that’s a damn problem.
But I mean it when I say Trump is a full-on white supremacist.
If you need further food for thought, consider the recent story we’ve all seen recently where he retweeted a supporter riding around in a golf cart yelling “white power” at the top of his lungs.
After that little gem, Trump’s administration tried to claim he tweeted it without knowing what the person was saying. But, this also isn’t the first time he’s tweeted about white power. Even when he used a white supremacist symbol in his logo to promote his run for president, his administration claimed his ignorance.
To those claims, I have but one response: Bullshit.
Of course, I don’t mean to argue the claim that Trump is ignorant; he’s a total idiot. However, even idiots can be subject matter experts in something, and Trump’s area of expertise is hate. He is now doing these things from the safety of the Oval Office, where he’s hearing and seeing daily that his approval ratings are crashing and burning because of his ineptitude at handling the coronavirus pandemic, and in such a way that will allow him to claim plausible deniability later. But, plausible deniability aside, he is actively fishing for white supremacist supporters in order to encourage them to go vote for him (again) in November.
And that type of person does not deserve to be in the highest office of these United States.
We must fix that.
“Today we protest. November we vote.”