DONALD TRUMP IS NOT A RACIST: IT’S FAR WORSE THAN THAT
I mean with all honesty the words in that title above; all of them. Trump, the front runner foe the GOP nomination for President of the United States is not a racist. He has galvanized, as Slate reporter Jamelle Bouie notes so elegantly, support from a sector of the GOP base which crosses many demographic lines within the party. This anger felt by so many Trump supporters has nothing to do with guns, or abortion or even immigration–at the end of the day it is about the definition of what it means to white in America.
Fifty years ago being white in America had a tangible value. If you were assaulted, police would quickly come to your aid. if you graduated from high school and your family had little money you still had doors opened to you to become a middle class citizen. If you went to college and got a professional degree you were guaranteed a life of even greater privilege and wealth. These are all things that i could not say about persons of color fifty years ago.
As Bouie points out in his article, “How Trump Happened,” “Drugs, ghettos, and dependency existed among whites in pockets of the country, but they were popularly understood as black and Latino problems, not white ones. Now, that isn’t true. Now, middle-class whites face addiction and dependence, which adds a racial element to economic anxiety, as the security provided by whiteness no longer exists for many Americans.” To me those words are not a shocking fact at all. I have been writing about the decline of white privilege and its social costs for more than a decade now. The post Great Recession elections have shown this fear that white Americans who have felt the decline of their generations long privilege have increasingly. The 2012 election was tempered by having Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee who refused to go Trumpian after the embarrassment of his 47% comments. Now that statement has been seized upon and transmuted into a nativist racial shout rather than a coded dog whistle.
The violence at rallies, I fear is simply the tip of the iceberg for people who literally want the blood of their perceived enemies. Like most authoritarian campaigns Trump’s allure to the whites who are most angry is that he “has their back.” Trump has said before that he would pay the legal fees for anyone who physically assaulted a protester at one of his rallies. This is a shout of “break the law it will cost you nothing!” This is a cool water to those who have been ground nearly to dust by the failures in their own lives that their parents taught them, and the racial history of America bore out, they would be protected from simply because they were white. The violence surrounding Trump’s new take on the Southern Strategy will lead to someone being killed near or in one of his rallies before the GOP Convention in Cleveland this June.
The death of one of his supporters will simply make them more violent and the event will suck the air out of the news cycle for days. Into that vacuum will pour more rhetoric and more threats from the Trump supporter’s side. New violence in retaliation would take place and the process itself to elect nominees for the two major political process will be cast into chaos. On the other hand, if a Black Lives Matter protester is killed at a Trump rally by angry Trump supporters the outcome will simply be a resurgence of Trump support among his supporters and a graphic increase in armed white men outside of rallies claiming their constitutional right to protect their side against their “enemies.” I fear the die has been cast here and that it is virtually inevitable that in this election campaign because of the anger of white Americans who want to make America white again there will be blood.
Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
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