Donald Trump and His Racist Base: What Is To Be Done?
Political pundits on TV found a new subject to fill the airwaves with, after all the endless stupid “debates”. So, they’re now explaining to us the “political science” behind the violence committed by white supremacist thugs at Trump rallies. You don’t need a PH.D. to understand racism. The fact is that the candidacy of a shameless bigot like Trump, who shows his prejudice and hatred for minorities and immigrants openly and unapologetically, has given an opportunity to white supremacists, Nazis and Klansmen to come out and join the party of hatred and bigotry, without the inconvenience of “political correctness”.
Trump’s problem with President Obama and his whole motto of “making America great again” and “taking our country back” has to do with one thing and one thing alone and that is that to people like Trump and his supporters having a black president is unacceptable. That’s why Trump kept complaining that Obama wasn’t qualified to be president because, according to him and other “birthers”, he was born in Kenya. And the anger that these white supremacist men and women feel and want to express is just about that: that a black person should not be the president of the United Stated. A majority of those voting for Trump still believe Obama wasn’t born in the US and therefore he shouldn’t have been president. Actually, the excuse doesn’t matter. The reason that’s given is just to justify their racist position; the bottom line is that they cannot accept to have a black president. In fact, one of every five Trump supporters believes slavery should not have been abolished – one of every five!
The white supremacists saw in Trump with his brash and bold demeanor and open and unapologetic racism the opportunity to express their own racism. And Trump, in turn, is using that to win elections and so keeps inflaming even more hatred and even violence. That’s what his supporters love about him. His policy positions are secondary and even irrelevant to them. That’s why he can say he can shoot someone on 5th Avenue and people would still vote for him.
What should be done about it? People must get organized and resist. Racism can’t be reasoned away. Nazis cannot be convinced with logic and reason to not hate or to refrain from acting on their hatred. They must be stopped, pushed back and defeated. And that can’t be done by individuals acting alone. People’s power comes from their unity and organization and organized resistance. What that means simply is to join an organization with like minded people, where people with similar views and goals can get together, brainstorm, discuss, strategize, plan actions, divide the required tasks and work towards their common goals. Actions must be towards meeting specific objectives. Shutting down Trump rallies full of white supremacists being stirred up by their racist leader is a good example. It accomplishes several things: it stops the momentum of and pushes back the emboldened racists, who have found an opening and the gall to come out and show their bigotry, thereby disempowering them, while empowering and encouraging resistance against them. Such organized resistance can also serve to raise awareness about the problem of institutional racism and police brutality that especially affects minorities and be the vehicle for fighting back.
Trump is an opportunist and a demagogue. He’s using the racism of many whites to achieve his political goals and ambitions, fanning the flames of hatred and encouraging violence against minorities in the process. Such attacks will increase in frequency and intensity, if not fought back and stopped. What’s more, the struggle against bigotry itself can be the beginning of a larger movement against widespread and institutional racism that is still gripping the nation.