Column: Trump's 'greater,' whiter America
Monkey see; monkey do. Trump’s bigotry has inspired white supremacists nationwide to “Make America Great Again,” also read as, “Make America White Again.”
The 2016 election cycle has seen many ups and downs. Many ideas have spouted from the mouths of both candidates in an attempt to cater to their respective voter base. While it may not necessarily be the sole reason for President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, some of his comments suggested sympathy toward white supremacy.
While 2015 was a large landmark in U.S. history with the legalization of gay marriage across all 50 states, 2016 seems to have brought another “coming out” of sorts with the alt-right Americans.
His words of empowerment brought out hidden sentiments within the alt-right. This is a group of Americans who harbor white supremacist views. People who think that the country belongs to whites because of a misguided superiority complex.
These sentiments have been harbored within the white nationalist movement for multiple generations. Luckily, the progressing attitude of the country toward a more diverse America that accepts people of all races usually discourages the exercise of open white supremacy.
So when Donald Trump preaches the great message of “Making America Great Again,” alt-right supporters were more than willing to listen to what “The Donald” had to say. And he had a lot to say, indeed.
We can trace this back to the beginning of his campaign where he infamously called out Mexico’s immigrants and labeled them as drug dealers, rapists and criminals. He concedes that “some are good people,” but that doesn’t justify the fact that he generalized an entire race as rapists and murderers.
This was the first instance in which white supremacists could see a figure to rally to. This was a figure who could insult a whole group of people and get away with it. Trump’s bigotry only grew during the rest of the election as he went out of his way to target Muslims, women, the disabled and more.
Adding fuel to the fire may have been Trump’s goal, and it worked. His empowerment of white supremacists has re-ignited the overt racial biases that were far more prevalent prior to the Civil Rights movement. His rallies are known to be violent toward African-Americans, Muslims and Mexican-Americans. By putting whites back on top, his supporters feel like they’re making America great again.
This strong sense of unity saw Trump through the primaries and, eventually, lead to his victory of the presidency on Nov. 8.
According to NBC news, 37 percent of the country consists of non-white Americans. Therefore, the country placed someone who openly insulted multiple groups, groups that consist a considerable bulk of American society, as the president of the U.S.
With The Donald at the helm, there was a new surge of confidence within the alt-right. After Trump’s victory, they began to call for a temporary ban on “non-European immigration.” In addition to that, complaints of hate crimes have increased since the election—even worse than after the 9/11 attacks, according to USA Today.
When looking through the clouded lenses of a white supremacist, America is on its way to being “great again.” But it isn’t great to undo decades’ worth of work toward diversity and acceptance of all within the U.S.
As an immigrant who came to this country starry-eyed with promises of the American Dream, I can’t imagine an America in which outsiders are treated without equal respect to their white peers. Fortunately, I’ve never experienced any enmity toward me or my family. The community my family immigrated to welcomed us with open arms.
I want every minority person to have that experience. Encouraging xenophobic attitudes will rob immigrants of that sense of community.
While I do concede that illegal immigration is something that needs to be stopped, the people who’ve made it here legitimately shouldn’t be ridiculed by Trump’s supporters because of their outward appearance.
But at the end of the day, there are those who come into this country who are willing to do what it takes to make their American dream a reality with enormous pride in the country that adopted them. Having the willpower to make that happen proves that immigrants are just as American as anyone else who was born in this country.
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