AFRICANGLOBE – On November 8th, 2016, Donald Trump won enough electoral votes to be declared the President elect of the United States of America. The worst nightmare of white liberals and progressives all across the country became an unexpected reality-and they completely lost it.
In the mouths of Democrats, Donald Trump represents the hate, bigotry, and racism that has held this country hostage since the very first “settler” landed on these shores…and they are right. But, what he also represents-which incidentally, does not get anywhere near the same amount of coverage or attention-is the impending threat to the financial recovery and stability of the white middle class-a middle class that has taken a virtual ass whooping at the hands of an out of control Bush administration that took the definition of “unnecessary and irresponsible spending” to new heights, coupled with the unregulated criminal actions and corporate greed of Wall Street, which crashed the entire economy. And, all of this was done while they (in addition to the hundreds of thousands of minorities that were targeted by predatory loans) were investing in what they believed to be a thriving economy, in which their entitlements would soar. Barack Obama pulled the white middle class out of that mud…and Donald Trump threatens to toss them right back in.
While the racist, sexist, xenophobic, and other hateful elements do exist in the Donald Trump platform, it is only fair to note that these elements are simply being used as the tools to maintain the corporatist and elitist status quo, that is now, and has always been supported by both the Democratic and Republican parties.
As a Black man living in these United States, a Donald Trump presidency doesn’t scare me. Why? Well, that’s because he represents something that every Republican and Democratic candidate (other than Bernie Sanders) for the last 43 years of my life has represented to me — zero tangible change.
Democrats and white, so-called liberals, need to understand that making empty promises to Black folk in exchange for their votes for over 50 years is going to have an effect. More and more Black people are abandoning the Democratic party in search for something else. Democrats used to run on the promise of equality, but today, they run on trying to scare us with conditions that already exist for us, and they have done absolutely nothing about. As it stands today, Black people in America remain at the bottom of every spectrum of national growth and prosperity. In fact, the wealth gap between Blacks and whites is at its highest point since the 1960’s-yes, during the same period when we weren’t allowed to drink out of the same water fountains or eat at the same restaurants, or even go to the same schools. In fact, it is argued that while the overall wealth index in this country has grown over time, the disparity in wealth between Blacks and whites stand in the highest contrast, and has continued to grow to this very day. Without any specific policy reform in America, it would take approximately 228 years for the average Black family to amass the wealth that the average white family has today…not 228 years from now, but TODAY.
Schools in predominantly Black and Latino communities are underfunded and failing, systemic judicial bias keeps our families broken, and a complete lack of accountability on the part of law enforcement and every previous administration maintains the school to prison pipeline for Black people. All while Black men, women, and children continue to be murdered with impunity by police officers all across this country. But you think we should be scared of Donald Trump??
All a Donald Trump presidency means to most poor Black people today is the difference between mild and spicy hot sauce. It’s already in your bag…it’s just the flavor that’s a matter of preference.
White supremacy has always been on the menu in this country, and thankfully, more Black people are beginning to realize this every day.
If Democrats (or any party, at that) wish to reclaim the White House, Congress, and/or Senate, they need to start talking to the real concerns of the people in this country, or at least to the majority who feels affected by this government and its policies. Donald Trump figured one out…Racists.
Now, I’m sure this is the point where most white liberals will part ways with this article and go back to their blissful ignorance which tells them that they “don’t see race,” or that they’re “so tired of being blamed for other white people.” It’s OK…go ahead, make your exit…I’ll wait…
OK…back to the conversation. As of 2016, roughly 25% of American voters identified as Republican. 30% identified as Democrats (expected to plummet after this election), leaving 45% of people who identify as Independent. Democrats and Independent platforms historically (over the last 50 years, at least) lean towards more “progressive values,” like gay rights, gender equality, racial justice, etc…, however, in this election, the majority of white men and women voted for the ultra-conservative, racist, xenophobic, sexist, and fascist candidate. Why? Well, that’s because the only thing Donald Trump didn’t place on the chopping block in his campaign is whiteness.
Even when faced with the choice between womanhood and whiteness, white women chose that white privilege without even blinking. This election has shown more Black (and other) people who believed that “racism was over,” that the only difference between white conservatives and white liberals, is the volume in which they speak-but those votes spoke loud enough, didn’t they? The fact is, they both want the same thing, which is to preserve their privilege. And, unfortunately, it usually comes at the cost of other non-whites. Let’s face it…equality feels like oppression to the privileged. Just imagine living a life where your entire existence is predicated upon you being the default standard in opportunity, beauty, education, and wealth….who wants to give any of that up??
So, white liberals, I get it. It takes an overwhelming amount of decency (and honesty) to acknowledge your privilege and do something about it. But, please stop pretending that you don’t fight for that privilege before anything else. That makes you a fraud, and an enemy of the cause you so vocally advocate for. Now, you may call me a liar, but your votes can’t.
Earlier I stated that Donald Trump tapped into one majority. However, there is still another that has been waiting on the sidelines for far too long. They have been ignored, taken advantage of, disrespected, and blatantly used-yet, they are still waiting. In fact, they are a much larger majority than the one The Donald tapped into, because within this majority, also lies his voters. Can we guess who it is? …The 99 PERCENT! Yes, the people who have been blatantly taken advantage of by this corporation controlled government, which ignores any and every interest of its citizens. They have been playing board games with our money in order to preserve their own private interests and agendas, and we have all been paying the price for it.
Color doesn’t matter when we’re all poor. It only matters when one group tries to blame the wrong people for their problems, which is something that the Trump campaign has been very successful in doing. But let’s not pretend that Republicans haven’t been doing this for the longest time, anyway. And, let’s also remember that the Democrats have been profiting from maintaining the status quo on the backs of the most disenfranchised in this country. So, if Democrats, or any political party at that, wishes to maintain this government under their party, it would behoove them to, not only start talking to the so-called middle class and poor, but to start actually putting together real and tangible solutions to the complete mess that has been made of this country under corrupt establishment politics.
And, to Black people, I say the next step is to begin organized participation and resistance. This starts with your local elections, from your city council, to assemblymen, judges (especially), and even public advocates. Just make sure they pass the smell test. Take them to task and hold them accountable. Real change starts from the bottom up, not the top down. Only rich people believe the latter, or invest in teaching you that.
By: Tony Lindsay