I’ve always wanted to believe that racism in America wasn’t as pervasive as most people, and certainly the media, would have you believe. I thought that if you work hard and figure out how to become a productive member of society, no one cares what color you are. While I still believe that Barack Obama was disliked more for his ideology than the color of his skin, and that Donald Trump was elected for the same reasons, I have come to accept that racism does in fact shape the political dynamic of America, in a manner and to an extent that most people may not realize.
I do not believe that the majority of Republicans are racists, or that Donald Trump is one. I do however, believe in what Aziz Ansari recently referred to as the “Lower Case kkk” during his “Saturday Night Live” appearance on the day following Donald Trump’s inauguration. These “kkk” members are the idiots in this country who truly don’t like people who aren’t of the same skin tone as themselves. I think this is a very small minority of Americans. Unfortunately, this small, vile cohort is inadvertently emboldened when a conservative like Trump comes to power and says things that both Democrats and mainstream Republicans are afraid to say, for fear of being deemed racists. When Trump says non-racist and universally reasonable things like “People who come into this country illegally should not be allowed to stay here,” a small number of loud idiots inappropriately respond, “Yeah, screw those Mexicans! I love Trump!” Idiots’ misinterpretations of statements do not make the speaker of the misinterpreted phrase an actual believer of the misconstrued sentiment, no matter how loud or vehement the praise by the idiots is.
Unfortunately, this misplaced praise by a small group of ignoramuses is what Democrats focus on in critiquing “Racist Trump.” Everything from “The KKK supports Trump, so he’s obviously a racist,” to “There’s a swastika on my local temple, welcome to Trump’s America.” Of course, there is no fundamental connection between these events and Donald Trump’s (perceived) dislike of people who aren’t white. It is simply a few falsely emboldened idiots, expressing their idiocy.
So, what we have in this election era, and for most of America’s history, is a small number of racist individuals on the right’s actions being misinterpreted and exploited by a large number of imperceptive individuals on the left, thereby shaping the political dynamic of the entire nation. The Republicans are seen as the Party of Racism and the Democrats as the Party of Tolerance. The vast majority of Republicans hate this image, but not enough to give up their entire actual political ideology and join the Democrats. So they sit back and watch, as the uninformed on the left cry about the “Racist Right” and go completely apoplectic and double down on their Prozac prescription when Donald Trump gets elected. This is how racism actually shapes modern American politics. Not in the election of people of a certain color over another, but in a completely inaccurate distinction of one party as racist and the other as not. Don’t think so? Ask any Democrat why they are a Democrat and not a Republican. You would be hard pressed to find any that cite flawed economic, domestic or foreign policy. You will, however find a very large number who say that it is because Republicans are racists. Most Democrats are Democrats not because they believe the Democratic political philosophy will best serve the governing needs of a nation, but because they don’t want to be associated with Republicans. Who they think are racists. The rest probably think they are misogynists.
But that’s for a different article.