Donald Trump is a textbook racist. As someone who has lived my entire life battling subsets of racism, micro/macro-agressions, im/explicit biases, and prejudices that stem from nothing more than the color of my skin, and people’s preconceived notions about it, I feel more than entitled to weigh-in on how Trump’s behavior feels and looks to me.
The part of me who knows that my ancestors were brought to America against their will, forced to build a country that was never for them, and faced with systemic barriers that still exist, is enraged by the manner in which the Trump administration’s antics have been permitted to play out. At the same time, as a parent who has brought a child into this world with the hopes that there will simply be some experiences that she won’t know because I endured them for her, I’m scared to death by the eerily familiar place the United States seems to have allowed itself to return to.
Stories like that of R.J. King’s daughter haunt me daily. King is a The Woodlands, TX resident who says that his daughter was recently faced with grim consequences that stem directly from Trump’s race-baiting, blatant racism, and enabling of racist groups.
King’s daughter, a student at The Woodlands High School, says that she posted a message on Snapchat in support of NFL players who are protesting The National Anthem. Innocent and perfectly in line with her First Amendment rights, right? Not in the one-sided era of hate that Trump has ushered in.
Unfortunately, while Donald Trump seems to get a kick out of saying and doing what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants, he also appears to enjoy the extremely negative consequence of his actions normalizing vile and disgusting hate and violence for a whole new generation. It’s in part because of the Trump effect that instead of a friendly debate from a schoolmate who disagreed with her post, R.J. King says his daughter was berated, threatened and left feeling as if she doesn’t matter.
In response to her post, King says his daughter received the following message:
You read that right. Every. Disgusting. Word.
Adding insult to injury? The student who allegedly sent the message to King’s daughter, hasn’t been disciplined in any way. Even worse, the King family doesn’t feel that that the school or district are taking their child’s or the other brown children’s well-being, seriously in the mostly white school.
According to King:
‘This was a serious threat. And so we thought we were going to get a serious response.’
Unfortunately, when the person who should be setting the supreme example of all things right is denigrating racist white supremacist violence to the fault of “many sides,” the likelihood of getting a “serious response” from those who’d rather pretend racism doesn’t exist, becomes slim to none.
It’s a sad time to be an American.
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Featured Image screen capture via The Houston Chronicle/Elizabeth Conley