Mulattea is a blog written by Skye Haynes. Her posts explore mixed identity, feminism, race, religion, and privilege.

Are All Trump Supporters Racist?

Are All Trump Supporters Racist?

Hope you enjoyed my click-bait-y title. 

On Tuesday, our nation elected Donald Trump as its next president.

On Thursday, my African American studies teacher began our class by asking one question:

"Are all Trump supporters racist?"

Instead of rehashing everyone's answer to the controversial question, I'll just rewind. On Tuesday, our nation elected Donald Trump as its next president. Did I ever think the day would come when I would type those words? Nah.

It should come as a shock to no one reading this that I didn't vote for him. Donald Trump doesn't really grasp the concepts I write about like privilege ("a small loan of a million dollars"), police brutality (see his debate comments), or intersectional feminism (one word: Pence). Forget whether or not you think Hillary would've done anything about them, I just would've liked my president to at least acknowledge those concepts as legitimate concerns.

I won't go into detail on the things he's said or he's been accused of. We already know. The things he's said are categorically racist. The things he's been accused of are at some times racist (housing discrimination), while others are sexist (Access Hollywood tape). All the -ists, -ics, and -isms— he's pretty much perpetuated them at some point. And do I really need to say it? He was endorsed by the Klu Klux Klan.

So needless to say I was shocked when I watched our nation decide it wants to be a country of -isms. We decided collectively that we want to be a country where the KKK feels not only validated, but supported by their president.

And that's what we have.

So with all that in mind, the question remains— are these supporters racist?

The conclusion I've made is like squares and rectangles. Try and reach back into your memory of Geometry. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. Or, better yet, not all Trump supporters are racists, but all racists are Trump supporters. By no means am I saying that a racist couldn't have voted for Clinton or Johnson, I'm more thinking about the overt, David Duke-supporting grand wizards we've still got schlepping around the south. 

I have a lot of Trump-supporting "friends," and family. Good people. Some God-fearing, others immigrant-fearing. Some of them just want a change from "the man," although it's a little ironic considering Hillary would've been "the woman." Maybe they opposed Nafta, maybe they opposed abortion (although again, I'd argue, is anyone truly pro-abortion?). Some friends simply hated the Obama presidency and didn't want another four years, which Hillary would've undoubtedly instated. 

By no means do I think my "friends" and family, maybe your friends and family, or maybe you are overtly racist. I don't think most Trump supporters outright hate brown people. They have their reasons for supporting him.

I will not, however, let them off the hook. As I said above, he has said racist statements time and time again. He has encouraged white supremacists to take action through his hateful speech, giving them backbone, giving them representation. (And I already told you guys— Representation Matters!) So while I don't accuse all supporters of our president to be of overt racism, or even implicit racism (that's a stretch, though), I believe they are complicit in the furtherance of white supremacist ideals. There was a distinct moment when deciding to vote for him where they said something to the tune of, "I know he said all of this, and is accused of doing all of this, but I am willing to look past that because it doesn't affect me personally." 

And you may wonder, what about those 7% of black people that voted for him? For the 40% of Latinos that wanted him to be president? And honestly, there's a few theories that come to mind. In class, one student posited that many people, in casting their vote, tried to "buy into whiteness." I tend to agree. These fall into the same lines of minorities who think we live in a post-racial society. Where race doesn't matter and the only obstacles we have are our mindsets. And I can write a whole different article on the idea of the post-racial, but for now I'll just say that's just not true. Race matters. Sexuality matters. Gender matters. Religion matters. Skin color matters. They are socially constructed to matter.

I digress.

These are just my thoughts, feel free to disagree or agree, it actually makes no difference to me! I just want us to think about what we become complicit in when we support certain things. Kind of like my last post where I talked about veganism. When you order a burger, you aren't telling the cashier, "I'm okay with the abuse and slaughter of millions of animals!" But your actions support the industry, and the industry supports the abuse and slaughter. 

How did I get back to veganism?

Hope you enjoyed, happy Mulattea Monday! Stay tuned for next week cause it'll be heavy....(intersectional feminism is making a comeback on Mulattea!)

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