The Trump Card
By Mondale Robinson
The world is hip to America’s dirty laundry. And because it is so, Americans must move beyond the time when they pretend to be shocked by every event that confirms this country’s appetite for racism and xenophobia because racism is at this country’s very core.
Let me state my point with new-window transparency. Trump’s election is nothing more than a continuation of the thick, dark oppression suffered for generations by none whites in these United States. Unlike Obama’s elections in 2008 and 2012, Trump did not excite a new population of would be non-voters to turn out in droves. Trump won this election because of traditional white voters. Yes, Trump won the rural white vote, but this does not paint a clear picture because he also secured the vote of whites who reside in well-lit suburbs. Trump won votes in affluent and poor white precincts alike. Trump won Florida as well as Montana.
This loose coalition had one string that united them tighter than well-dried cement: whiteness. Their whiteness, like all of history confirms, allowed them to look past Trumps idea of “locker room talk” and how it strangely resembles sexual assault. Their whiteness allowed them to look past Trump’s idea of acceptable discourse that could only be described as sexist, inhuman, and flat out racist and xenophobic.
Trump was spot on as to how he was going to win the election. We all thought he launched his campaign last year not realizing that Trump started his campaign nearly six years ago. Trump began his dog-whistle campaign to white Americans when he led his unyielding attack on President Obama’s citizenship. This is when Trump started pouring the cement. The proof was there via history and the fact that twenty-two percent of Americans believed that Obama was a Muslim. Trump’s path to victory was already being paved, he now only needed to remind them why voting for him was the “white-thing” to do.
Recent studies showed how that would be possible. The Pew Research Center conducted a study showing that more than sixty percent of Trump’s supporters believed that Blacks were more violent than whites. This number isn’t shocking nor is it the way Trump won, but this report also contained another nugget of information involving Hillary Clinton’s supporters. According to the study, more than thirty percent of Clinton’s supporters also felt Blacks were more violent than Whites. And this was it: if Trump could convince these supposedly Clinton supporters that whiteness means more than policy he would be “45.” Trump’s election proves he was able to do this.
A Trump presidency exists because America has yet to truly grapple with its racial problems. To me, Trump’s election to the highest office in the country is the same response those of us who scream, from our bowels, that “Black Lives Matter” receive. The subtext is chilling: you are being killed for your skin color, but protecting America’s institutions “trumps” your rights. You can belong to the largest religion in the world and because of it you can be prevented from entering the United States not just because this is Trump’s America, but it is also White-America’s America.
The irony of this election is that Trump had one thing right: this election was rigged but not because there’s a large bucket of uncounted votes, nor are there machines that changed people’s votes, but it was rigged by white America and white Americans who are at home and silent with their friends and family members who partake in the oppression of those of us who “stand with our backs against the wall, the disinherited.”
The fact still remains Trump is the president and I believe in democracy and the process. So, I believe we are obligated to accept the results of this election and move forward from this point. Lest we forget our reaction to McConnell’s proclamation to “block everything Obama puts forward” even before President Obama was sworn into office, we must not discredit Trump’s presidency before he has been sworn in and we have seen his attempt at governing. This is not to say, however, that we must remain quiet at his horribly racist, sexist, Islamphobic comments and behavior. It is to say that White America has made its decision now let us live with it much like the rest of this country’s history.