Racism has never been dead. It hasn’t even been dormant. Instead, it has been shoved into the corners of our society and whispered about behind closed doors. As our country grew and progressed socially, people who supported radical beliefs about race and superiority were pushed to the back of the class and shunned from society.
Unfortunately, the grasp of racism on American society and culture has never truly ceased. It still influences policy, still incites violence and still shapes prejudices. We have tried to surpass these things by promoting racial tolerance and acceptance of diversity.
Yet, those few angry peers in the back of class were still grumbling to themselves about how they were right. Then the teacher, a respected and tolerant person who preached love and acceptance, got released from her tenure.
Now, we have a new teacher, one who rearranged the class so the children in the back sit in the front with slimy grins on their face. Now we have a teacher who only calls on those few kids in class and gives them the better grades. Now we have a teacher who turns his back as he sees the bullies picking on the other kids.
This is what it’s like in Trump’s America. White nationalists, or “race realists,” as they like to call themselves, now feel comfortable and supported in their beliefs. They are now allowed to speak their hate against African-Americans, Muslims, Jews and Latinos and advocate for the racial superiority of whites.
People who support the media-coined “alt-right” have supported President-elect Trump since the beginning of his presidential race, feeling as though they are now being supported. Supporters of the movement believe their rights are being compromised by the growing social progression in America, and with Trump’s administration, they will finally be represented.
Many people deny Trump’s effect on the white supremacist outbreak that has been happening in recent months. However, since Trump announced his running for president, white nationalists have been able to come out from behind closed doors and reinstate a forefront of racism in America.
The problem is that this racism is being revived in America. With a president-elect who has made racist comments, such as all Mexicans are rapists, new doors were opened for these people who hold bigoted beliefs.
There have been outbreaks of racial violence in America since Trump has come to the forefront. For example, on Nov. 11 at the University of Pennsylvania, black freshmen were added to GroupMe group chats titled “Nigger Lynching,” “Mud Men” and “Trump is Love.” The group was created by people in Oklahoma, all threatening and harassing the freshmen added to the group.
Trump recently stated he was going to appoint Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his National Security Advisor. On Nov. 18, Right Wing Watch posted a video that showed Flynn calling Islam a “political ideology” that was like a “malignant cancer” and should be “metastasized.”
Hate Rising is a documentary about the rising racism in America. It features award-winning journalist Jorge Ramos getting exclusive interviews from leaders of the Ku Klux Klan and alt-right.
One of these leaders is named Jared Taylor, a leader of the white nationalist group American Renaissance. In the documentary, he explicitly blames all conflict on diversity and idealized an America “based off a European model in which whites will basically remain the overwhelming majority in perpetuity.” When Ramos asked how he would achieve this, Taylor referenced Trump’s immigration policy and his plan to deport 11 million illegal aliens.
The American Renaissance’s website also states their stance on “race realism.”
They state: “What we call race realism is what was considered common sense until perhaps the 1950s. It is a body of views that was so taken for granted it had no name, but it can be summarized as follows: That race is an important aspect of individual and group identity, that different races build different societies that reflect their natures, and that it is entirely normal for whites (or for people of any other race) to want to be the majority race in their own homeland. If whites permit themselves to become a minority population, they will lose their civilization, their heritage, and even their existence as a distinct people.”
When you have organizations such as these openly supporting Trump alongside outbreaks of volatile racism, one has to question why this is happening. It’s clearly because supporters of racist ideals feel represented in Trump, and that is something that should be scary to all.
In reality, not all Trump supporters are racist. Not all are sexist. Not all are Nazis or members of the KKK. But when some are and feel secure outwardly exhibiting their hate of others, it should be a clear sign of trouble to come. You cannot negate the fact that they exist and that they are a threat to American society as well as American lives. We cannot allow for racism to permeate through our society.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of WikiCommons.
Monica Pizzo is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.