I Was Never Shocked By Trump’s America. I Was Raised In It.

Onyx Contributor:  H.T. (@Awkblerd)

In light of the impending Presidency of Donald Trump, let me just say something I haven’t been able to properly word since the start of his campaign:  the majority of his voters have always existed in America and many in black America have always known this.  See, when I look into the crowds of people screaming “Make America Great Again!”, yes, I absolutely see the full fledged racists that shit on minorities, but there’s a group no one takes into account that likely make up the majority of those who voted for Trump.

It goes without saying that not all white people voted for Trump, let alone agree with his politics.  But when you’re black, you grow up dealing with white people who view black people through a very particular lens.  To sum them up, they are the embodiment of this lesser known quote by John Wayne:

“I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility.  I don’t feel guilty about the fact that five or ten generations ago these people were slaves.”

When I deal with racism, I’m not moved either way anymore by slurs.  The version of me that set a racist kid’s jacket on fire with a match and NyQuil doesn’t exist anymore.  The type of racism that does get under my skin however is the pat-on-the-head, I think I know of a better brand of racism that is prevalent amongst white people across the board.  I’ve seen it my whole life and still do.

I see it when liberal white people try to help me or anyone of color but make themselves the face of said cause.  I see it when coaches come into a black family and try to fix it around said player with no context of how said family got to how it did on a grand scale.  I’ve seen it when black kids get raised by parents who work with white people who’ve convinced them that anything’s possible for black people as long as you work hard, never mind the fact that there’s likely a much more qualified black person who didn’t make it as far because they didn’t go along to get along.

For me, this brand of compassionate white supremacy is without a doubt the reason I grew up being more or less tokenized until my mental health issues derailed many things for me.  To this day, I still encounter white people who tell me how well spoken I am and subtly telling me that I’m one of the “good ones”, and I do believe I’m not the only one.  I can sit around talking about how so many millennial black folks decided to go full hipster and dress like zion extras from The Matrix, but to be honest, if you grew up your whole life being told by a majority of people that you’re special ONLY because you defied the negative stereotypes that the media, which is ran by self-aware people like them, puts out then yes, you would eventually rebel if you still have it in you to do so.

I knew we lived in a country that could elect a man like Trump when I saw that this is a country that looks black people in the face and expects us to forget about our history and just get over the fact that at the very least, America has shown it has the potential to carry out full blown bigotry under the guise of law & order.  Sure, America might not go back to straight up slavery or Jim Crow, but one can never discount what America can talk the bulk of its citizens into turning a blind eye to if those citizens are afraid.  Never forget, Edward Snowden showed us that after 9/11, America became a surveillance state.

I live in a state that everyone believed was going to go to Hillary.  But truth be told, this state only votes Democrat because they’re pro-union.  At the end of the day, I’m sure that my mother, who’s been a UAW member almost my entire life knows people amongst her chapter who voted for Trump.  Honestly, as much as I complain that my generation’s “wokeness” can get kind of ridiculous and esoteric, I get where it comes from.

Trump’s America isn’t just the open white supremacists, it’s the people that think that black people need to improve because they still see projects and ghettos on their news, but think college educated black folks being in such high numbers are still just a coincidence.  Trump’s America is the same country that will tell black people that they need to raise their kids better, have GENERATIONS of black people do just that, but still put out such a jaded image of black people amongst itself that many of us grow up being told we aren’t actually black because we don’t fit into the negative stereotypes America puts out that they told us to work against and have.

Trump’s America is white supremacy with cognitive dissonance.  Simple and plain.

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