For Black People, Donald Trump Is America

For the last 400 years, black people have dealt with Trump’s type.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Henderson, Nev., on Oct. 5, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Henderson, Nev., on Oct. 5, 2016 ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

As Donald Trump inches closer to the Oval Office, half of America seems to be coming down with a collective case of the bubble guts at the prospect of having to endure four years of an apricot-colored buffoon in chief.

One of the biggest mysteries in the minds of the global coalition of handwringers (known affectionately as wyt pee-pull) is why black people aren’t more up in arms. In their minds, the only ones who can save the country from a dictatorship of narcissism are the black electorate. We saved them from the possibility of Vice President Sarah Palin to elect the country’s first black head of state. Why aren’t we coalescing our powers and enthusiasm to bail them out now?

The answer, as always, is simple: Hillary Clinton might be a fractionally better alternative than the orange-faced fascist, but we aren’t afraid of Donald Trump. He might be a racist, dunderheaded pariah to the contingent of Caucasian cynics, but allow us to demonstrate how—for black people—Donald Trump is America.

They Don’t Pay Their Fair Share

When the carrot-skinned comb-over’s tax returns were leaked (reportedly by his ex-wife Marla Maples, which makes her the undisputed, hands-down, Hall of Fame queen of petty), the melanin-less mainstream clutched its pearls and stood aghast. Black America, however, was completely nonplussed. If we had a quarter for every time we heard a white person brag about how hard he worked and how much he contributed to America, only to be contradicted by actual facts, we would have all the quarters. And nickels. And dimes.

Even the reports of Trump cheating small businesses and workers out of money was no surprise to black folks because it is as American as genetically modified, frozen crust, microwavable apple pie. Trump found a loophole to avoid paying taxes just like America found a loophole to avoid handing over 40 acres and a mule or dishing out at reparations for four centuries of free labor.

They’re a Little Bit Racist

Like America, Trump rejects the notion that he is racist by pointing out that he has black friends like Omarosa Manigauand Don King (both of whom, while no one believes in a litmus test for blackness, would be voted off the island if they allowed black people on Survivor). Even though segregated housing ended in 1968, both Donald Trump and the United States had to be taken to court to give black people fair housing.

If Trump had his way, there would be a wall around America with razor wires and electrified fencing that kept out Mexicans, Muslims and refugees. While the Constitution prevents this, it didn’t prevent 31 governors across America from trying to stop Syrian refugees from settling in their states—even though there has never been a documented case of a Syrian refugee committing a terrorist act. Trump started his political career alongside anti-immigrant “Papers, please” Sheriff Joe Arpaio with the racist Birther claim. Whether it’s Mexicans, voting booths or the commander in chief, both America and Trump need to see documentation when it comes to people of color.

They Both Like Violence

When black people protesting the racism of the “Make America Great Again” campaign showed up at rallies, it was eerily reminiscent of how America treated the people protesting the racism back when the Cheez-It-shaded dictator thought America was “great” the first time. The Trump supporters throwing elbows at dissenters were no different from the civilians brandishing bats on a bridge in Selma, Ala., trying to keep America great 51 years ago. Trump is not a new-millennium Hitler, as some people like to say. With his repeated calls for violence and veiled threats of “law and order,” he is more like a modern-day Bull Connor.

They Mistreat Women

If you thought what Trump did to the Miss Universe pageant contestant, or to Megan Kelly, or Rosie O’Donnell, or the contestants on The Apprentice, or Carly Fiorina, or—you catch my drift—was deplorable, you should see how America treats them. I won’t go back to when our country wouldn’t allow women to vote, or mention the fact that they earn 77 cents for each dollar a man earns, or how they must endure sexism, abuse, the commodification of their bodies and whatever Bill Cosby is putting in their drinks. Perhaps the most unbearable of all is this:

There are woman who had to look them in the face and smile as Donald Trump and America screwed them over.

They Forget History

Just like America, Trump has no knowledge of history. Neither remembers the Muslims who fought in the Revolutionary War or that the Muslim country of Morocco was the first to recognize the U.S. as a country. They forget that the people tasked with protecting this country are disproportionately people of color.

When talking about its empire, America loves to put forth the notion that it was built by the ingenuity of immigrants searching for freedom and the proverbial American dream. Trump does the same thing. He touts himself as a self-made billionaire who clawed his way to the top through sheer hard work and white-boy smarts. The truth is, both America and the tanning-booth totalitarian refuse to admit that whether it’s America or the empire Trump built by taking his daddy’s money and bilking the average citizen out of tax dollars—they both became rich by capitalizing on the labor of others.

That is why black people are not shocked and appalled at the antics of Donald Trump. He is not new to us. We don’t want him as our president, but we also aren’t openly weeping about the prospect of four years of Trump.

We’ve seen it for 400 years.

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