Whenever I am asked why I believe everyone who supports Donald Trump is a racist, I explain it by using the legal doctrine of “the hand of one is the hand of all” and the story of Ryan Holle.
When he was 20 years old, Ryan Holle was hung over and lying on his couch when his roommate, William Allen Jr., asked if he could borrow Holle’s Chevy Metro. When Holle said yes, Allen used the car to drop three friends off at a marijuana dealer’s house to steal a safe. During the burglary, one of the other men—not Holle, not Allen, but another man—bludgeoned an 18-year-old girl to death.
Because of Florida’s laws, Holle was charged as an accomplice only because he allowed his roommate to use his automobile to drop off the murderer at the scene of the crime. In many states, if your metaphorical “hand” is involved in any crime, you are as responsible as anyone else involved. Holle was convicted of first-degree murder and was ordered to serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Donald Trump is a racist.
Everyone knows this. His hate for people of color has been well-known for 45 years, since he was sued by the federal government for housing discrimination in 1973. Twenty-nine years ago he solidified his racism by buying full-page ads asking for the death penalty for the Central Park Five. On the day he announced his presidency, he called Mexicans “rapists.” His first act as president was to try to ban Muslims from entering the country. The list is too long to itemize even the highlights, but it’s safe to say that Trump’s racism is a well-established fact.
For most black people, racism is an irredeemable, inexcusable sin from which there is no bouncing back. You can give to the needy, solve world hunger and figure out how to make Kool-Aid that tastes like fried chicken, but if you do some racist shit, you are forever crossed off the list.
For white people, it is different.
Most white people do not hate people of color. Racism has nothing to do with hate. But white people have the ability to overlook racism for a variety of reasons. They can work for a company knowing that their employers would never hire a black person. They ignore racist remarks by friends or relatives simply because they don’t want to disturb the relationship.
Even worse, they vote for a man who embraces, regurgitates and spreads hate. They can reason that they voted for Trump because of his business acumen, their dislike for Hillary Clinton, or white working-class something, disaffected middle-America yada yada yada ... But they are still aware of the undisputed existence of Trump’s bigotry. For this reason, there is only one way to describe a Trump supporter:
To actively support Donald Trump is an act of racism, whether such act is committed by Kanye West, Omarosa Manigault Newman or David Duke. When Trump tweets to Kanye, he is wielding Kanye’s blackness as a weapon against black people. Trump knows this. His supporters know it. Even his son, whose IQ is lower than Kellyanne Conway’s, knows this.
The problem with white supremacy has never been the white people who hate minorities. I don’t believe that all white people are racist. It is stupid to believe that all people of any group do or believe one thing. I don’t even know if most white people hate, dislike or think less of black people
But most white people are the reason racism exists.
Most white people wouldn’t slap the shit out of another white person if they used the word “nigger.” Most white people wouldn’t ask their boss why the black person never got a promotion. Most white people aren’t marching against police brutality. Most white people aren’t asking why their children’s Advanced Placement courses have so few black students. Most white people don’t call out their preacher for Islamophobia. Most white people won’t stop shopping at businesses that call the police on black people.
If most white people fought against racism every day, it would cease to exist.
But it’s not just white people. It’s black people, too.
It’s people like Stephen A. Smith, who spoke to USA Today about Jemele Hill in January and said this:
Do I believe the president should be wasting his time commenting about stuff like that? No. Do I believe the president has been a bit juvenile in his behavior? Yes he has. Having said that, it’s one thing to attack what he does, it’s an entirely different matter to attack him. When you attack him, then we are stepping out of our lane. We are a sports network. We have an obligation to wake up every day with the mindset that we not only speak for ourselves but we speak on behalf of the brand. It is not a brand that we own. It is a brand that employs us. It has entrusted us to represent it just as much as we care about representing ourselves. So with that in mind, we have to be cognizant of all those things.
Smith is saying that he won’t publicly fight against Donald Trump because he works for ESPN. Smith is saying that he is willing to stay silent for money. Smith is a racist.
Silence in the face of racism is racism.
To fully understand the concept of “the hand of one is the hand of all,” we need not look any further than our Lord and Savior Chance the Rapper who, after noticing that Trump praised him, tweeted:
“Unfortunately my attempt to support Kanye is being used to discredit my brothers and sisters in the movement and I can’t sit by and let that happen either,” Chance wrote. “I’d never support anyone who has made a career out of hatred, racism and discrimination. I’d never support someone who’d talk about Chicago as if it’s hell on earth ... ”
Chance understands that lending his voice to someone who might use it to help a person who intends harm makes him complicit in the crime. Anyone willing to help the Trump administration, even in the most innocuous way, deserves a life sentence.
I don’t think Kanye West hates black people.
But if he’s cool with Trump, he’s aligning himself with someone who doesn’t give a fuck about black people.