If a mad scientist locked himself in a laboratory and threw racism, sexism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, imperialism, classism, elitism and delusions of grandeur into a boiling cauldron, the result would be Donald John Trump.
Donald Trump is America.
In so many ways, he is what this white supremacist nation clings to with slippery fingers in last-ditch efforts to hold on to its dreams of so-called exceptionalism.
This is a man who, in 2015, is on the national stage seriously talking about banning mosques, while his right-wing propaganda machine legitimizes his insanity with a dedication that is nothing short of alarming. If the United States were Animal Farm, Fox News would be Squealer’s Network.
Deceitful, manipulative, determined.
During a conversation I was having with a friend, he said to me that Trump “stands against absolutely every single thing this country was founded on. No exceptions.” And I had to disagree, because Donald Trump stands firmly in the tradition of a country for whom all (white) men are created equal—and no one else. Unless, of course, that white man is trans, gay or disabled. If that is the case, then his privilege doesn’t carry quite as much weight.
Still, no politician would dare stand in front of throngs of supporters and say that white people need to be deported because “they are rapists and criminals”—as Trump has said of Latino immigrants—even if those white people being identified were, in fact, rapists and criminals.
No politician would dare say that white protesters deserve to be “roughed up,” as Trump said of a black man who was attacked by his rabid, racist supporters in Birmingham, Ala.
No politician would dare say that white people—despite white male supremacists (such as himself) being the primary perpetrators of terrorist acts in this country—need special identification cards, as Trump has said of Muslim Americans.
Trump is America because he feels entitled, righteous even, in standing against allowing freedom, justice and opportunity for marginalized groups. Racism and exclusion are foundational pillars of this country—and in that, Donald Trump is on solid ground.
When some observers said he’d never be a serious contender, I said we’d better analyze his chances critically.
And here we are, on the precipice of the next presidential election, and no one is laughing anymore.
This is killing season for black and brown Americans. We are living during a time when the rate of police killings rivals the rate of lynchings at the turn of the 20th century.
As racial and political tensions continue to escalate, Donald Trump—along with those who follow him—smells blood in the water, and he feeds off the frenzy that his racist rhetoric incites in his supporters. He lusts after it, growing taller and stronger as he takes the wheel of his metaphorical DeLorean and attempts to transport this country back to a time when “whites only” wasn’t just an unspoken agenda, but the written law.
The following clip could alternatively be titled “Trump’s Dream for America”:
We’re talking about whiteness as a system. Whiteness as the default for humanity. Whiteness that makes room for a token of color here and there in transparent attempts at claiming diversity, as Trump has done with his new, Sarah Palin-endorsed spokeswoman Katrina Pierson.
Whiteness that dares to hold itself exempt from contempt, when the worst terrorist organization this country has ever seen is made up of Christian white men wearing sheets.
Trump is Strom Thurmond. He is David Duke. He is Woodrow Wilson. If the Ku Klux Klan had lobbying power, he would be its favored candidate. I’m sure he still is.
He is unbowed in his bigoted ways, relishes the controversy and thrives on being cast as a “politically incorrect” rebel, knowing that he is in perfect alignment with a political machine that thrives on racism, cronyism and corporate capitalism.
Trump is the United States of America embodied, a perfect example of a system that is not broken, but functioning exactly as intended. If he is a joke, then the joke is on us—and the punch line is far from funny.