Why Calling Donald Trump a Racist is Only Making him Stronger
America is still Racist
According to the Washington Times, only 28 percent of Americans believed racism was a 'big problem' in 2011. Still, in 2015, only 49 percent of Americans believed racism to be a 'big problem.'
If 51 percent of America doesn't believe racism is a problem, one can only imagine what percentage of America is racist.
Just last year, a Native American said to me that he wanted to scalp African American heads and sell their hairs as Brillo pads. And we see it in the media as well--from Don Imus calling a women's basketball team a group of "nappy headed hoes," to Paula Deen saying the N-word on camera and joking about hiring black waitresses for her wedding to dress them up as slaves.
America wants to believe that calling Trump 'racist' and 'polarizing' are making Trump to look like the Devil, when in fact it might just be appealing to those who believe that Donald Trump says what they've been feeling all along.
Until we acknowledge the unfortunate reality that America is still racist and was racist, we can neither understand nor eradicate the support for Donald Trump.
A History of National Forgetting: 'Making America Great Again'
In the media, in conversations with friends, I often hear the argument that America is a 'melting pot.' It's about diversity and acceptance. And I even hear the phrase that we are a 'country of immigrants.' I argue that this rhetoric came about only a few years ago in an attempt to reframe America's national identity, to reconstruct a feeling of Nationalism and attempt a history of National forgetting.
Eric Hobsbawm, a British Marxist Historian, explains that Nationalism is a product of colonialism. The idea of colonialism was the idea of boasting a National identity. Once colonialism ended, nationalism replaced it in order to maintain the ideology.
The nation is only an ideology, a brand that must be 'invented' through a series of interpreting history and deciding a national language, race, and image.
In order to maintain the idea and image of 'America,' we must forget the Jim Crow Laws that ended not long ago in 1965. We must forget that the United States' establishment was literally founded on the obliteration of the Native American peoples. We must forget that slavery only ended in 1865 when the 13th Amendment of the Constitution was finally ratified.
When Donald Trump calls to ban Muslims, we say America has always been a country of immigration. But in 1882 America banned 'lunatics' and infectious disease carriers from entering the United States. In 1923, America created the Emergency Quota Act, which established national immigration quotas.
So when Donald Trump says 'Make America Great Again,' I would argue that America never has been 'Great' when it comes to inclusion and diversity. 'Make America Great Again,' if anything, refers to a history of racism.
Hatred on Both Sides
Using Memes and Gifs, calling him Donald Drumpf, and using Instagram photos with his insults toward you is only delivering your message to people with similar beliefs as yourself.
Understanding Racism and Targeting the Problems with Rational Solutions
We've replaced cotton fields with prisons, and we've made poor communities poorer. Education in inner-city communities is week and under funded, increasing levels of crime and drug use.
It's difficult to apply for citizenship, so the foreign workers who do come to America have to take menial jobs at low wages, which hurts our economy.
Instead of refusing to understand why Donald Trump is succeeding... Instead of calling his supporters uneducated white trash... Instead of simply FEARING Donald Trump. We must take action and attempt to fix key systemic failures.