Racism’s Cool Again
Ohio, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, and other states have passed or are considering bills that prohibit . . . yes, you heard me . . . prohibit universities from requiring diversity-related coursework or training for faculty and students.
If you think the timing is a coincidence, you’re not being honest with yourself.
Donald Trump transformed America.
I’m not here to debate 45’s actual policies. Some were good. Some were OK. Some were horrific. But what Trump almost single-handedly did in his long four years in office was give the presidential seal of approval to a part of America that had long ago been relegated to the fringes of society.
It’s not that we had dismantled racist systems or achieved a post-racial world before Trump — far from it — but we’d at least made it clear to the most extreme in society that we weren’t going to tolerate their bigotry.
It was just over 15 years ago when George W. Bush gave a keynote speech to the NAACP. And just over 20 years ago when he implored Americans not to blame all Muslims for 9–11. Even 40 years ago, Reagan proudly told our nation that we have a special relationship with Mexico and that our immigration policy should reflect that relationship.
It’s not that Reagan and George W. were civil rights giants, but they also weren’t actively fanning the flames of hatred.
Since the arrival of Trump on the political scene, the number of Americans publicly and proudly brandishing swastikas alongside American flags has skyrocketed. Right-wing extremist rallies, where crowds chant slogans urging Whites to “take back America,” are commonplace.
Hate crimes against Jews, Asians, and others have hit 30-year highs. We now have multiple well-attended conferences where speakers spew every imaginable conspiracy theory. Law enforcement in many cities is now filled with supporters of hate groups.
But it’s worse than that. Trump showed us you could win elections using racial and ethnic slurs. By calling African countries shit-holes. By talking about good people on both sides. By yelling about Mexican rapists.