When America voted for Trump, they voted for more than just another “president.” They voted for Islamophobia, Homophobia, Racism, Misogynoir, Oppression, Bigotry, exploitation of women, the degradation of ableism/handicapped individuals, increased poverty, and ultimately the face of white supremacy. The amount of hatred that is harbored in others is shown bluntly displayed on social media sites and in various public facilities since the election.
A few of these hate crimes include people holding confederate flags outside of the historically Black college Howard University, and a social media page created shortly after the election that was used to demean students of color at the University of Penn.
Since Donald Trump's election, some people believe he will “change in office,” as if becoming president will erase his irrational behavior and derogatory remarks. As a Black woman and oppressed person in society, I am here to say that we cannot forgive or justify his beliefs and that of his supporters. Below are six statements that both normalize white supremacy and make people of color cringe.
“We Survived Other Racists Presidents, We Can Survive Another.”
I will never understand why people expect marginalized people to “accept,” a man simply because he has the title as “president.” Yes, African Americans have a history of overcoming racial barriers and continue to overcome numerous hurdles, however that doesn't mean a lifestyle defined by struggle is acceptable. Proving that our lives matter is exhausting and oppressive. The statement will not help us advance as a whole. And just because we have overcome racist presidents in the past, doesn’t mean we want to survive another.
"His Presidency May Not Be That Bad.”
This is a statement often said by white individuals, who don’t have to worry about being killed as soon as they walk out the door, racially profiled, or harassed by police because of privileges they have grown accustomed too. Of course, everything is okay, if you’re not a part of an oppressed or marginalized group of people. Even though white middle class individuals won’t be effected, Donald Trump disregards all poor people (whites included) many of whom voted for him. In addition, he is planning to repeal Obama Care and take down Planned Parenthood.
If you’re not LGBTQI, a person of color, Muslim, or from any other marginalized groups, please don’t tell others how to feel, how to act, how to think, and what to do. And having dated, befriended, or been “affiliated,” with a person from a marginalized community doesn't give you the right to speak on their behalf either. Instead, try to listen and understand.
“Donald Trump Isn’t Racist.”
By now everybody has seen the infamous interview with Barack Obama speaking “respectfully”, after he continually disrespected Obama during his campaign. People have to realize Donald Trump hasn’t “changed,” he is simply more “civilized” because he is “representing” America. He can’t take back his remarks of racial hatred as they have been documented and spread all over social media. His racism isn’t justified because he attended an African American church in Philadelphia, and it doesn’t change his hatred for the LGBTQI community by simply holding their flag for a picture. He has clearly explained that sexually assaulting women is okay by his “grab her by the pussy,” statement, and the rape allegations. Donald Trump has to do more than just apologize to the individuals who are now feeling the wrath of his hatred.
The Opinions of Celebrities
What I despise about the media, is their inability to connect with every-day citizens regarding matters that directly affect them. Instead, they focus on the opinions of “role models,” or who they consider “public figures.” While interviews with celebrities create publicity, they do not serve, help or even validate the feelings of the general public.
For example, on twitter during the election Khloe Kardashian went to her twitter to voice her opinion stating “I guess either way you look at it, history will be made tonight. Spread love. Not hate,” in which many people angrily responded. Of course, for her everything will be okay when you’re wealthy, white, and constantly in the news for irrelevant things. Then we have people in the African American community such as Lil Wayne saying he can’t “relate,” to the Black Lives Matter Movement during an interview.
The media needs to realize people don’t want or need to hear from celebrities, especially at this time because with all honesty, it won’t affect them. They will tweet, post on “Facebook”, put an “Instagram,” photo addressing their anger and then move on with their lives. Most of them aren’t creating organizations for activism or marching in the streets during protests.
The media’s energy needs to be focused on the working class, marginalized people, the poor, etc., which is their largest (and most important) audience. There are people who don’t know if they’ll have a home due to housing discrimination or if they’ll be able to afford health insurance. Yet the life of the rich and famous’s “problems,” are glamorized and displayed as headline news stories every day.
Stating People of Color/ Marginalized People are “Overacting"
In their own defense, I have witnessed white people, especially on social media, declare that “not every white person voted for Trump." While this is true, Exit polls have indicated the majority of white people voted for Donald Trump (70%) versus African Americans (8%) and other minorities. Therefore, white people are responsible for voting in Trump knowing his stance on women, Mexicans, the disabled and other marginalized groups.
There are videos taken during Trump’s rallies that can be compared to white rallies from the early 1900’s when segregation was legal. Caught on video during Trump's rallies, were white people deliberately yelling racial slurs while pushing and shoving African American protesters who voiced their opinions. Voting for a presidential candidate who condones violence used against people of color is voting for white supremacy.
Comparing Donald Trump’s presidency to Barack Obama’s election
A tweet from a young white woman stated she had “feared for her life” when Barack Obama was sworn into office, comparing it to how people of color "fear for their lives" since Trump's election. However, when Barack Obama took office, he was the one being harassed by white supremacist groups. And, most importantly, during Barack Obama’s presidency oppressed groups weren’t attacking white people, therefore Trump's election can’t be compared in this way to Obama's.
With the systematic oppression that has been occurring for centuries, Trump's election is a disappointment, however it’s not surprising. Therefore, marginalized groups continuously have to fight against the barriers of white supremacy with little to no help from their privileged counter parts.