You Don't Get a Pass on Racism

So you voted for Trump and you still want to defend your choice? Somehow you still want to defend the indefensible.  You made your choice, but you think you are innocent of the consequences of your actions.

"Stop calling me a racist.  I'm not a racist because I voted for Trump."

Sorry.  You can come up with as many excuses as you want, but if you support and defend a racist, you're not off the hook.

You say you're not a racist because you think the KKK is bad, or because you refuse to use the N-word.  You would never support the reinstatement of Jim Crow laws.  You couldn't possibly be a racist.  You love minorities. You have minority friends.

This is what most white people don't understand (or want to understand) about racism.  Just because you're not burning crosses or segregating bathrooms doesn't mean you don't practice elements of racism in your daily life.  Racism isn't black or white.  It's a continuum.  There are many type of behavior - some subtler than others - between lynching picnics and being a true ally to minority communities.  Chances are you fall somewhere on that spectrum.  Most of us do. 

You don't think you're a racist?  Have you ever practiced any of these behaviors?

Do you ever use dog whistles like "welfare queen", "ghetto", "inner city", or "thug"?  When Obama was president did you contemptuously mention his middle name?  Did you make birther jokes (or maybe you weren't joking)?   Do you want to "take back" your country?  Do you pretend to know you don't really understand what these statements mean?

If I talk about "welfare" in any context, does it put a picture of a black or Latinx person in your mind?

If a casually dressed black person comes into an uncrowded space with you, do you find yourself clutching your purse or wallet more tightly?

Is there a part of you that believes minorities would have it easier if they would simply behave better or fall in line with the rest of society properly?  Maybe you take issue with minor things like how minorities dress or talk? Do you feel certain "black" behaviors deserve societal contempt?  Does it make you angry to hear people speaking Spanish to each other?

If an unarmed member of a minority group is killed by a police officer or trigger-happy neighbor, do you find yourself lapping up any news you can find that the victim is somehow a "bad" person and deserved to die?

If someone says "Black Lives Matter" do you immediately shoot back with "All lives matter," and not really understand what the statement, or the movement, of BLM is about?

Do you often preach the paternalistic, pseudo-intellectual position that welfare hurts black people because we are holding them back by giving them handouts instead of forcing them to stand on their own?  Do you understand how that statement is racist?  (If you don't, I'd be happy to explain it to you.)

Do you feel the "western culture" or "European culture" superior and fear it is being "ruined"?

If you're still reading this, maybe at this point you are protesting that you don't do any of these things.  You never did.  You're an ally, really and truly. You just voted for Trump.  That's all.

Racism didn't magically appear after Trump was elected.  He has a long history of making racist statements.  His business engaged in outright acts of discrimination.  His entire campaign was based on racism.  You knew this and voted for him anyway.  He played upon your fear of The Other.  He played on your fear of minority welfare recipients spending your tax dollars (a trick every Republican has used on you since Reagan).  He played on your fear of immigrants.  He played on your fear of people who don't practice your religion.  The true fear he played on is your fear of the country becoming less white.  He knows you fear becoming the minority.  You bought into it.

The favored media trope is that Trump's voters were all lower class white people who felt left behind by globalization and the educated elites.  That is the biggest lie the "liberal" media have told you.  If you look at the polls strictly by income level, Trump did not get the biggest share of low income voters.  He did get the biggest share of white voters across all income levels.  Educated, high-income, white people voted for him overwhelmingly.  This past election was about race, whether you want to acknowledge it or not.

As this nightmare of a presidency continues, he is relentless with his dog whistles, his offensive remarks, and his defense of racists and racism.  You stay silent and refuse to condemn him.  Is that not just a little bit racist?

"I didn't vote for Trump because I liked him.  I was only voting against Hillary."

So let's talk about Hillary Clinton for a minute.  Why did you so eagerly vote against her?  She has devoted her life to public service.  Her career began as an advocate for disabled children.  She then went into education reform.  She was a lawyer in the private sector.  She served on the board of WalMart in Arkansas.  She was a senator.  She was Secretary of State.  In other words, her career has consisted of advocacy, education, business, law, legislation, and diplomacy.  I don't think there has ever been anyone more qualified for the office in decades.

Why would you be so vehemently against someone with such an impressive list of accomplishments?  Let me guess.  It's because Trump and some Fox News pundits said she was "crooked".  What proof is there?  After spending thirty years being chased and monitored and accused, no one has ever come up with a single shred of evidence.  She has been convicted on nothing.  Millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted to prove she's no guiltier than the rest of us.  In my opinion, her ability to withstand all of that scrutiny, not give up, and still stand tall and fight the good fight makes her extraordinary.

You don't feel that way.  That's fine.  We can differ.  I'm still not giving you a pass.  You see, if you said you really hated Mrs. Clinton and that you simply had to vote against her, so you held your nose and crept up to the polls and voted for Trump, then maybe I wouldn't be writing this post. That is not what you did.  You didn't hold your nose and vote.  You aren't ashamed.  You posted this on your social media pages.

This was posted all over the social media feeds of many of my regressive female friends along with "God Bless" messages everywhere.

This doesn't say, "I voted for Trump even though I don't like him.  He was the lesser of two evils."

This says, We marched into the voting booths.  We didn't creep.  We weren't unsure.  We marched.

Marching doesn't mean you were tentative or regretful.  It means you purposefully and determinedly  did this.  You made a strong statement that Trump is your man.  You wanted him.  You meant it.  You marched.

You did this.  By revealing that you did this you proved your true colors.  There is no prize for protesting your innocence now.  You may not dress in white sheets, but you're a racist just the same.

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