Comedian Chris Rock famously remarked, “Black people didn’t make ‘progress,’ white people have gotten less crazy.” Segregation was insane behavior, as is racism in general. The eroding of the group psychosis known as White Supremacy is somehow the benchmark for progress in race relations, implying that our efforts to cure Caucasians of it is somehow worthy of ‘merit.’ Truthfully, it amounts to us sacrificing our lives to enlighten White people for centuries on end. Our bodies were often literally burnt offerings to the Constitution they said they believed in, and the God we both supposedly shared.
While sick people can be dangerous, powerful sick people can be incurable; especially when the sickness is profitable. It’s hard to think of anybody in modern times who embodies the powerful insanity of White supremacy better than Donald Trump. One lunatic is hardly a problem for society, mass shooters excluded. However, a lunatic who arouses violent insanity in an already powerful and historically destructive majority can have major consequences to their dysfunction. The man would be nothing without his following.
Consider that African people didn’t ask European people for racism. We never begged them to create a color-coded class system with life and death consequences. The words ‘black’ and ‘white’ are not native to any indigenous African tongue. Author Ta-Nehisi Coates remarked on the lunacy of “The belief in the preeminence of hair and hue; the notion that these factors can correctly organize a society.” Surely it must be clear how disgusting it is to assign death sentences for melanin dosage, yet this is the utterly insane reality we still live in.
Most of our White brethren are oblivious to the danger and violence their people and government are capable of inflicting. The fact that Black people have legitimate survival concerns around what White people can, and have always gotten away with passes beneath most of their radar. To point it out is to bring “division” and “reverse racism” to the conversation. Yet, those who are not aware of the history of White violence are potential sleeper-agents, Manchurian Candidates for a ghastly monster that has costed the lives of too many African and other peoples to begin with.
This is what I suspect is the case with most Trump followers. Among them now are Pastor Joel Osteen, Hulk Hogan, Charlie Sheen, Tom Brady, Anne Coulter, Scott Baio, Alex Jones of Info Wars, and Jesse Ventura to name a few. None of these are what we’d call “bad people.” No serial killers, rapists, or slave masters on this list. What strikes me is the passive enabling and the convenient blind eye turned to the socially irresponsible rabble rousing and demagoguery of this candidate, as evidenced with the violence at his rallies. Americans are good at historic amnesia: White Americans perfected it. Who wouldn’t want to forget the past that White America has? It’s hard to count money with blood on your hands. Blacks are the living reminders that the money has never been clean. Our presence must surely arouse shadowy fear of the righteous vengeance we could inflict back onto them if empowered to do so. The fact that we did not go on massive killing sprees against them after three centuries of bondage and another of Jim Crow must be wholeheartedly baffling. Instead, we pioneered peaceful revolutions, attempting to create brotherhood. Dr. King is our creation, as is Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Sojourner Truth. These luminaries strove to lift the boot of Eurocentric domination just high enough off of our throats to get some breathing room. Perhaps lift it high enough to sing a song of an all-encompassing love that harmonizes humanity into the brotherhood it was meant to be.
This lifting the boot off of our necks has been viewed as “losing the country” in the eyes of many Whites. Cries of injustice are rebranded as “whining,” calling out real racism is rebranded as “race baiting.” They tell us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, conveniently forgetting the fact that when we did, it was them who cut the strings. Donald Trump is the new voice of this forgetful White American. A White American that never had to remember Wounded Knee or Black Wallstreet. Never had to learn about Japanese internment camps or the Tuskegee Experiments. They only had to learn what to do with the pile of money left over from these psychotic lapses in humanity.
The beast of White violence redrew the map of the world, and color-classified humanity into a system of easy-to-read pseudo-anthropology. How soon we forget that there are those still alive whose eyes witnessed Hitler in the flesh. We forget that one human lifetime is no time at all. We forget that 500 years of Whites-only affirmative action will not be reversed in the 45 years between 1971 and 2016…or do we?
Perhaps those in power are not as asleep as we think. In his book Dog Whistle Politics, Ian Haney Lopez unfolds how coded racial appeals have reinvented racism. The power elite have quietly preyed on White fear for their power since the days marking the end of the Civil Rights Movement. In his book, Lopez explains how the Republican Party wielded White fear with a wink and a nod. They did this quietly (though unsuccessfully) with Barry Goldwater, more practiced with Nixon, and perfected it with Ronald Reagan. By the time the 2012 re-election of Obama rolled around, the racial divide between Democrats and Republicans was painfully obvious to the world. On November 8, 2012, Newsweek spelled it out in a cover story that read, “GOP: You’re Old, You’re White, You’re History.” They remarked how re-electing Obama spelled a turning point in American politics. The minority voice, collectively, could and did silence the “establishment candidates.” The backlash from Obama’s victory was inevitable.
Now, these chickens have come home to roost in Trump. What was spoken quietly is out in the open, and it’s embarrassing. With the GOP scrambling to put the cat back in the bag, it’s clear that not even their elite can put the fires out with traditional extinguishers. For decades, the Republicans have cultivated an environment nurturing their secret addiction to White power: Trump is the track-marks exposed. I only hope that they can see that Trump looks to them how they look to us: racist, repugnant, and wreaking with money.
At the moment of this writing in late March of 2016, a Donald Trump presidency looks alarmingly feasible. As a Black man, survival concerns must take precedence over political correctness. There are some hard questions that need to be asked. Firstly, if systemic racism was this destructive to our community when Whites were “accidentally” racist, how bad will it get once they’re intentional about it? Secondly, if Trump rallies are a microcosm of what the country will be once he’s elected, can Blacks afford to even stay in this country? Thirdly, even if Trump loses, observe the wrath of the “majority” and ask, “Am I truly safe around these people?”
Most Whites who back Trump site his stance on border security. Ironically, statistics show the most dangerous people to Americans are on this side of the border. In fact, when it comes to mass shooters, they are Trump’s demographic: middle-aged White men. The power of the White majority and their possible addiction to violence is evidenced in this fact: If there were a place where Muslims could publically buy bombs, the protests would be around the clock. How many activists are forming picket lines to stop White men from going into gun shows?