Racist America finding its voice in Trump election win
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The world has now witnessed the finale to a dark comedy, replete with scandalous candidates, parties conspiring against their own, and media mishaps.

In the end, This election was a referendum on post-racialism, diversity, and inclusion. It had nothing to do with jobs and rising health care premiums. It had everything to do with repudiating gains that date all the way back to civil rights, and culminated with the election of our first African American president.

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Trump is the orchestrator of the latest truly successful attempt at Massive Resistance, aided by the FBI. It harkens back to the era when COINTELPRO disrupted any attempts at progressive change, when government executives like Orval Faubus and George Wallace used race as platform to win elections and gain support. Not only was Trump a winner in this election, he will be a successful, popular president.

The election of President Obama was not the result of our nation being beyond issues of race. His election was due to a strong coalition of people of color, as he lost the majority of the white vote both times. Still, the Democratic Party has no one to blame but itself.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats ask judge for quick ruling on McGahn subpoena Hillary Clinton: 'Every day Stephen Miller remains in the White House is an emergency' The Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race MORE had 30 plus years of political baggage that constantly put her on the defensive, including racially insensitive remarks that made it difficult for that very same coalition of people of color to get energized and turnout.

The Democratic establishment was able to quell its revolt of millennials who were excited for a progressive candidate in Senator Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Sanders doubles down on Bolivia 'coup,' few follow suit Overnight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul MORE, which ended up being to its detriment. They listened to one another rather than to their base.

The Republicans failed, and in an interesting turn of events, ended up winning. It is embarrassing to watch Democrats toss blame at third party candidate Jill Stein, who didn’t even crack 1% of the popular vote and won 0 electoral votes.

The interesting thing is despite his lack of knowledge, preparation, or temperament for diplomacy, Trump will have a successful presidency. One must understand that he will be gauged through a racialized lens by his millions of supporters.

It doesn’t matter if he is successful in creating jobs and raising the standard of living for Americans. He will have an excuse of a scapegoat for any of his failures, like he did when he thought he was losing the election.

He only has to appear harsh on immigrants, bomb ISIL with little regard for civilian lives, and continue to be anti-police reform, and he will gain Reagan-level approval from the constituency that elected him. He has already proven himself to be teflon to scandals.

Behind it all is the racism of their grandfathers, who hanged Confederate flags on statehouses and perhaps in a few cases, hanged people. They are blind to the fact that fascism first starts out as nativism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism/Islamophobia, and racist populism.

Racism is a unifier for many whites and always has been. It’s what connects the poor whites of the Southern Bible Belt and Appalachia to the wealthier whites who reside in the suburbs of major cities, despite the fact the former live under conditions and have concerns that are closer tied to many African Americans and Latinos.

They perceive people of color as a threat to their jobs and more importantly to the culture of this nation. Those whites who rail against political correctness as if that’s what caused a burst in the housing bubble or caused people to lose farms and factory work, were relieved that a candidate didn’t pretend to be sensitive to people of color and only did enough outreach to avoid the racist label. 

The ironic part about American racism, is that it is severely misunderstood. Many think of racism as blind hatred of people of color. That is only one element of it, and its least common strain. What many don’t understand is that most racism is shrouded in politeness and courtesy.

In the Jim Crow era, whites and Blacks greeted one another and conversed cordially on a regular basis. Things were peaceful, as long as Blacks accepted their place on the bottom rungs of society, and Mexican and Native Americans assimilated.

There are some Trump supporters who will argue that they are not racist and in fact repudiate racism. While that may be true, those same people are complicit in racism and sexism.

The history of housing discrimination, slow rejection of his white nationalist supporters, and fanning the flames of racial division in the Central Park Five case was not enough to sway their votes. In the end, their moral indignation with racism is thin at best.

Most of all they feel victimized by changing demographics and having to compete with an increasingly diverse population. The days when a white man of mild intellect and talent, was still above a man or woman of color who was exceptional.

President-elect Trump is the embodiment of American racism. When things don’t go his way, he immediately blames a rigged system or a judge’s ethnicity. When he sees a powerful Black man, he questions his legitimacy, because in his mind, there is no possible way a Black man could be his superior.

I promise to any progressive person that there is one good thing that comes out of the results of the election. Somewhere in America, a Latinx boy or girl watched these election returns with his/her family. They watched their mother cry tears of fear and desperation. 

They watched their father try to console the family and convince them they would be okay, but for the first time sensing worry and kinks in the armor of invincibility father’s usually have. They may have noticed fear in their grandparents over their immigration status. That child went to bed last night not afraid, but determined.

Despite whatever humble beginnings that child comes from, that child will succeed at every level. He or she will avenge their mother’s tears and father’s preoccupation by becoming a progressive President of the United States of America.

Dr. Jason Nichols is a full-time lecturer in the African American Studies Department at the University of Maryland-College Park and the current editor-in-chief of Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop Culture, the first peer-reviewed journal of hip-hop studies.
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