President Donald J. Trump is a racist. There, I said it. And if you support him, you’re a racist too. You may not want to hear it, but it’s the fucking truth and someone has to tell you. At every turn, he finds a way to out racist himself. He’s never been subtle about it either — it’s glaringly obvious, and if you pretend he’s not, you’re fucking delusional. You may say you support him for his stances on other things, but when he’s that racist, you can’t untangle it from his other policies.
Whether you want to admit it or not, everything Trump says and does has a racist undertone. Don’t forget, this is the same man that popularized and led the “birther” movement to discredit the country’s first Black president just because he could. When he entered politics a few years later, he began to wear his racism as a badge of honor. It became the thing to set him apart from the other Republican candidates, and that’s what motivated people to vote for him. Because if this guy could be openly racist and run for president, why couldn’t regular people be openly racist too?
Let’s look back on his campaign, shall we? The man called Mexicans “rapists,” which is really something since he himself has been accused of multiple incidents of sexual misconduct, including rape. He also said they’re all criminals, which is why he pushed so hard for that wall which never actually materialized. Using language like that plays into stereotypes of Mexican people, and into the unconscious prejudices many people already have. Eventually he turned his attention to Muslims. In the early days of his presidency, he instituted a travel ban on countries with large Muslim populations. Did that stop any crime? Gonna have to go with no.
“The fuzzy language used to describe Trump’s utterances allow his voters to avoid responsibility for backing a racist,” writes Jennifer Rubin in an Opinion piece for the Washington Post.
Eventually, someone is going to have to take responsibility for Trump and the way he speaks. It is ridiculous that he’s allowed to disparage whatever group or person at his whim. And no one ever stops him, even when they know full well those comments will do harm. That’s why those who even marginally support him are complicit in perpetuating harm. Because they’re not openly speaking out against it.
Trump’s core followers are fans because they’re white supremacists. He knows that, and he’s perfectly fine with it. White supremacists are the ones he called “very fine people” after they took to the streets of Charlottesville. Even though one of them drove a car through the crowd, killing an innocent woman.
On the other hand, he has never had even a moderately decent relationship with the Black community. And how could he, when he treats us as a monolith? First, he called African nations “shithole countries.” Plus, he often refers to the entire race as “the blacks,” as if he knows all of us personally. He’ll tout out his relationships with prominent Black people as though it absolves him from his actions.
After protests began in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd, Trump tweeted, “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Notice that “thugs” is in all caps. You cannot claim to have done more for the Black community than any other president and then call us thugs, bro. Like, imagine having that much audacity. And yet, plenty of people agree with him.
There are no amount of things you can say to excuse Trump and his chronically racist rhetoric. It’s important to keep in mind that when you’re voting, you’re not voting for someone based on one thing. By supporting that one thing about them you do like, you’re also supporting the things you may not like. I’m sorry, but that’s how this works.
By now, we all know that the first cases of COVID-19 were in Wuhan, China. Even though it’s now spreading literally everywhere, he still continues to target his jabs at China specifically. At his recent campaign rallies in Phoenix, AZ and Tulsa, OK he referred to coronavirus as “kung-flu.” Kung-fu is a very well-known form of martial arts, and he probably thinks he’s being witty with that blatantly racist pun.
“I said the other night, there’s never been anything where they have so many names,” he said, making reference to his poorly attended Tulsa rally. “I could give you 19 or 20 names for that, right? It’s got all different names.”
As The Hill reports, “The president then listed several names for the disease, including the coronavirus, the “Wuhan” virus and “the Chinese virus.” When Trump said “kung flu,” the crowd responded with cheers.” Cheers!
This is why you can’t pretend that everything the President does isn’t at least a little bit racist. Fuck, that’s not even a little bit racist — that’s actual, blatant, in-your-face racism. Coronavirus isn’t exclusively Chinese. And there are plenty of accounts from Asian people in the United States detailing the amount of racism they’ve faced since coronavirus began spreading. And when you have the freaking President leading the charge, it doesn’t come as a surprise.
His press secretary tried to explain away his “kung-flu” comments as merely referencing the place of the virus’ origin. But anyone with even a quarter-ounce of brain power knows that’s total bullshit. There are a million different ways to refer to the illness, and none of them have anything to do with its place of origin. Trump is very aware of how using this kind of language will be received. By using any sort of derogatory wording, he is using his language to target Chinese people. The man may be dumb, but he’s not stupid. He knows that his words will incite anger, violence and more racist attacks on not only Chinese folks, but other Asian communities as well.
You can say that you support Trump for his tax policies (why?) and that may be true. But you can’t separate his policies from his harmful racist rhetoric. Being a racist is inherent to his presidency, and if you support him in any way, you are condoning that behavior. The only way to truly separate yourself from being a racist Trump supporter is to first disavow him, and then make a conscious commitment to anti-racist work.