#EmboldenedRacists After Election of Donald Trump

November 11, 2016
Graffiti defacing the Muslim prayer room at NYU, found on November 9th. (Photo credit: Twitter / via Instagram and Thank You Donald)
Graffiti defacing the Muslim prayer room at NYU, found on November 9th. (Photo credit: Twitter / via Instagram and Thank You Donald)

Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans “rapists” and “killers”. On the campaign trail, he has advocated a national registry for Muslims and has implied that the Black Lives Matter movement is comprised of violent criminals; he has even gone so far to condone violence against those protesters at his rallies. He has deployed racism against East and South Asians and suggested that he would restrict immigration from Pakistan and the Phillippines which he declared to among the world’s “terrorist” nations. He has insulted women, gays, and the disabled. He is the voice of the #Whitelash against globalism and America’s growing diversification.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that one of only a handful of newspapers to endorse Trump was the official newspaper of the Ku Klux Klan. One of Trump’s most avid supporters is former KKK Imperial Wizard David Duke.

These details should have been enough for America to push Trump’s candidacy to the fringes of American politics. Instead, America elected Donald Trump the 45th president of the United States on Tuesday. With that victory, a brand of American racism some might have believed was left behind with the 1960’s has been emboldened and has resurfaced. Of course, the sort of unabashed hatred that rationalized redlining in the northern United States and Jim Crow laws in the South never really disappeared; after all, we are only fifty years — within a person’s lifetime — from integration.

In the last few decades, the modest victories of race activism has managed to (at the very least) push overt racism out of the mainstream. Of course, racism did not disappear; but acts of overt racism no longer had broad social sanction.

All of that work has been undone in a single day.

Within 24 hours of Trump’s election, stories of microaggressive and macroaggressive racism have swept through social media. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said today that Trump’s victory has “emboldened the forces of hate and bigotry in America.” Reports CNN:

“White nationalists, Vladimir Putin and ISIS are celebrating Donald Trump’s victory, while innocent, law-abiding Americans are wracked with fear — especially African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Muslim Americans, LGBT Americans and Asian Americans,” Reid continued. “Watching white nationalists celebrate while innocent Americans cry tears of fear does not feel like America.”

At New York University, a prayer room for Muslim students was defaced with graffiti reading “Trump!”.

Video has been shared of people of colour finding racial slurs written on their belongings, or being the target of racist chants in cafeterias and classrooms. In San Diego, a hijabi woman was harassed for wearing her articles of faith in public, one of several similar stories being shared through social media. Children are terrified that their immigrant parents will be deported by a Trump administration.

Within one day of Trump’s election, Black, Muslim, Latinx, Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI), and other marginalized people have plummeted to second-class citizenship status, and we have become targets of the kind of hatred that threaten physical — not to mention psychological — safety. President-elect Trump has thus far said nothing to condemn the acts of harassment and violence being carried out against people of colour and other marginalized people in his name.

One Instagram has emerged to consolidate those reports. Thank You, Donald is asking folks to tag posts and images to #SubmitToHate so that we may shine a spotlight on how the #Whitelash has made life less safe for Americans of colour.

I invite you to follow and submit to Thank You, Donald. We must bear witness to the work of these #EmboldenedRacists, so that we may begin the work of fighting their hatred and protecting their victims.

And to all marginalized people: please stay safe out there.  For the next four years, we must take care of one another. I stand with you.

Please stay tuned for more Election 2016 coverage in the coming days. If you would like to submit your own writing for publication on Reappropriate, please do so here.

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