Donald Trump: the New Face of White Supremacy

Donald Trump: the New Face of White SupremacyDonald Trump: the New Face of White Supremacy

Before you think this article is “just one liberal’s opinion,” let me briefly say I have dedicated my life to studying racism.

I have published books and articles in peer-reviewed journals on the subject and have appeared on more TV shows than I can remember discussing how hate works.

In my 20 years at Portland State University, I interviewed scores of committed racists, from teenage skinheads to racist murderers and founders of Nazi prison gangs.

So when I say that presidential candidate Donald Trump is a racist hate-monger, it is not just a political pejorative. He has a constitutional right to hold and express racist views, but using those views to manipulate the intellectually vulnerable and mobilize active bigots requires a coherent response, Randy Blazak wrote for CounterPunch.

 As an expert on hate, I am more than comfortable stating that either Trump is a virulent racist or that he is willing to perform racism and use racism of others to advance his political position.

Trump represents a frightening trend of “convenient racism” rooted in a belief that America was great “before” ethnic and racial minorities, women and sexual minorities wanted equal rights. (What Trump calls “political correctness.”)

These people say that “racism is wrong, but…” or “I’m not a racist, but…” and then something deeply racist follows. They say “all lives matter,” in the face of the movement to acknowledge the devaluing of black lives. They say they are not Islamophobes, just against terrorism (ignoring the carnage done by domestic, often Christian, terrorists). And they say they are not bigots, just opposed to illegal immigration (of brown people).

  Killers and Rapists

Trump has been visiting states with troubled racial histories to sell his rallying cry that “illegal immigrants are killers and rapists.”

He started his rally with some classic hate speech, telling the assembled 30,000 supporters and curious (I would have gone to see the Trump clown show) about the alleged rape and torture of a 66-year-old victim in California who was supposedly attacked by an “illegal immigrant.” The crowd went wild. “We have to do it. We have to do something,” he then said. The crowd roared, and some chanted, “White power!”

Secondly, I have attended numerous Klan rallies and skinhead gatherings, and the rhetoric is almost exactly the same as Trump’s. I was at a Klan Rally in Covington, Georgia in 1991 in which a Klan leader told the small crowd the story of a white woman who had been raped and beaten by an “illegal Mexican.” The story served to whip the racists into frenzy. And like Trump’s crowd they were out to “do something” about it. I have heard Trump’s rhetoric many times before. “Let’s go back in time to when America was great.”

America is a nation of immigrants, coming from all directions. Most white Americans have ancestors that only go back to no further than the 1880s, making them “less American” the descendants of African slaves.

  Lies to Win Support

Obviously, Trump is a clown who will say anything that feeds his narcissism. When he said he was going to get Mexico to pay for a wall between our two countries, I could just hear Mexican President Pena Nieto laughing. Trumpies (I’m coining that term) often say they love Trump because he tells it like it is. If by that they mean that billionaires buy politicians in return for political favors (as Trump admitted in the Fox debate), they are correct. But if they mean all the rest of the crazy stuff that comes out of his mouth, in reality, Trump tells it like it is not, but it is what “I’m not racist” racists wish it was.

Where Trump’s lies are greatest are his bizarre tirades on immigration. Despite his fear mongering, the number of undocumented immigrants has been on the decline since 2009.  And despite his endless mantra about “rapists and murderers,” actual data show that crime rates in cities decline as their population of undocumented immigrants increase. Think about it. If you are living in America without papers, you are not even going to jaywalk. Why do anything that would risk deportation?

Dehumanizing immigrants, even infants, wins the “I’m not racist, but…” voters. Trump has vowed to immediately “get rid of all these people” (immigrants) on his first day of his presidency. Beside the fact that it is not possible, it would devastate the American economy.

  Convenient Racists

Trump caters to the convenient racists. At the Alabama rally he was joined on stage by Jeff Sessions, one of the most extreme anti-immigration politicians in the country who has been linked to white supremacist groups. Trump is now using this avowed racist as a “consultant” on his immigration policy.

It should be pointed out that when Trumpies blather about “illegal immigrants,” they are not concerned about undocumented Russians, Ukrainians, Irish, Canadians or even Chinese. It is all about brown people. Trump telling the story of an undocumented Irishman committing a heinous crime would not get the same roar of approval as a similar story about an “illegal Mexican.”

And now that Trump is trying to woo conservative Christians, he has added Islamophobia into his stump speeches. The “I’m not racist” Trumpies send his lies around in chain emails and Facebook stories.

I sincerely doubt Trump really wants to be president of the country and submit himself to the art of the compromise that is politics in the real world. He just wants to win to feed his massive ego. But who knows how many hate crimes he will inspire in the process.

There is no better example of the failed model of racist, sexist masculinity than Donald J. Trump. The man’s rhetoric directly affects the security of my family (my wife is an immigrant). The thought of someone hating my wife and child (or attacking them) because they want to “make America great again,” is frightening.

When was Trump’s America great? In 2008, when the Great Recession started? In 1954, before the passage of Brown vs. Board of Education? In 1860, before the start of the Civil War? I fight against him for the safety of my family.