Harvard scholar and historian Henry Louis Gates called Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election a “backlash” against the progress that had been made by black people since 1965, with the biggest achievement, of course, being the election of a black man to the highest office in the land.
“I have absolutely no doubt that this election reflected both anxiety and resentment — and an enormous amount of fear and insecurity,” Gates told Salon. If that is the case, now that Trump has won the election, will his presidency continue to normalize racism?
Many say yes. From the alarming number of racist incidents following election day to Trump’s alt-right cabinet appointments, ENTITY looks at five worrying signs that Trump’s America will not hold all men to be create equal.
Last month The New Yorker reported on the frightening increase in racist incidents following Trump’s election. Richard Cohen, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, commented on the “big increase” which he said had been taking place “far and wide.”
“White supremacists are celebrating, and it’s their time, they way they see it,” Cohen said. Between November 8th and 14th alone, there were a reported 437 incidents of intimidation against blacks and other people of color, Muslims, immigrants, the LGBTQ community and women.
Ushahidi has even created an interactive map to monitor violence, harassment, hate speech and protests around the country following the election. There seem to be the most incidents reported on the east coast, particularly around New York.
And despite taking to his Twitter to blast everything from Vanity Fair over a restaurant review to Broadway play “Hamilton” for its plea to Mike Pence, Trump has refrained from condemning such actions.
He claimed not to have known about it, then offered a weak command for it to end while appearing on “60 Minutes.” “If it … if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it,” Trump said, in seemingly his only response on the issue.
Bannon is known for his connection to Breitbart, a white nationalist publication. He had served as the news site’s executive chairman, and in addition to his known white nationalist views has been accused of anti-Semitism.
Last month the SPLC reported that Bannon “was the main driver behind Breitbart becoming a white entho-nationalist propaganda mill.” They had called out the website this past April, highlighting how it had become one of the most popular websites for the alt-right, a group of conservative extremists who believe that “white identity” is under attack by multicultural forces using political correctness and social justice to undermine white people and “their” civilization.
Of course, Bannon denied the claims, insisting to The New York Times that his supporters are merely “patriots” who “just want their country taken care of.” But it’s a frightening move for the country, as it is hard to see how the incoming president would properly condemn racism when he is siding himself with known racists and white nationalists.
Speaking with Artvoice for their cover story on “What Do We Want for 2017?” Paladino did not hide his feelings for the Obamas. When asked, “What would you like to see go away in 2017,” Paladino said, “Michelle Obama. I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”
Of course, this came after saying that his wish for Barack Obama is that he “catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford … dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture.”
Following a backlash to his remarks, Paladino insisted that they had “nothing to do with race,” adding, “tough luck if you don’t like my answer.” This would be a good example of how many believe Trump’s win has emboldened racists to spew their hatred freely since they no longer fear condemnation for what should be shameful actions.
ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson has been tapped for secretary of state, with retired Marine General James Mattis running the Defense Department, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general and ex-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Mnuchin running the Treasury Department – placing four white men in the top positions.
Additionally, out of Trump’s 18 choices thus far, 14 are white and 12 of those are male, per CNN. And none are Latino. If Trump wanted to quash claims that he was aiming to run a white nationalist presidency it certainly isn’t helping that he is surrounding himself with few to no people of color.
Trump’s actions thus far have earned him acclaim with white nationalist groups, with activists giving him a Nazi salute and shouting “hail Trump” at a gathering in Washington, D.C. last month. However, The Guardian is reporting that his hesitancy to condemn racism may now land him in hot water with the extremists who supported him.
Not unlike beloved children’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” alt-right groups now want President-elect Trump to push his pro-white sentiments even further, lest they riot.
Peter Brimelow, founder of webzine Vdare.com – which alleges Mexican plots to remake the U.S, – said, “I think the right of the right is absolutely prepared to revolt. It’s what they do.”
This puts the country in quite the situation, since even if Trump comes to his senses and backpedals on his campaign promises, many will suffer. The rise of racist crimes against minorities, as highlighted by the SPLC, will likely only continue.
Of course only time will tell if Trump’s presidency will actually normalize racism in America, but with everything that has happened thus far, it certainly doesn’t look good.
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