I saw it on Facebook. These two Black women at a Trump rally expressing their support for “The Donald.” I realized, once again, that there is a certain type of emotional naiveté that I possess when it comes to our people.
I assume that in light of the history of White supremacy which we have experienced for several hundred years, including indentured servitude, slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and de facto segregation, not to mention the ideological demonization of our people at the hands of an assortment of characters, that we can look a racist in the eyes and know their stand.
I found myself staring at these two Black women backing Trump and I realized that I felt the same emotions about the candidacy of Dr. Ben Carson. How is it, I have asked, for a Black person to utter some of the most ridiculous statements known to humanity?
It is only when I have calmed down that I remind myself that not only are we, as a people, far from monolithic, but that—despite our history—there is a very conservative, if not outright reactionary minority among Black Americans who are actually convinced that we—ourselves—are the problem or that there is some other racial/ethnic/religious group, e.g., Latinos; Muslims, who can take some of the racist heat away from us that we have experienced for so very long.
It is not simply self-hatred that we are facing. In some respects, that would be easy to address. It is that there are people who honestly believe, for whatever reason, that their personal future or our collective future resides in conforming to the worst caricatures that White America has of us. They seem to believe that by joining in on the pile-on against Latinos and Muslims, for instance, that we will somehow become accepted as “real” Americans.”
It will never happen. Some Black folks tried that after 9/11. It does not work. We are still hated. It is the revelation that the Adolph Caesar character has at both the beginning and end of the classic film “A Soldier’s Story,” i.e., the ‘game’ has been rigged and masses of Whites still hate us, even when we get on our knees and do everything that they ask.
Donald Trump called for the execution of five Black men who were accused in the Central Park brutal rape of a White woman in 1989, only for them to be exonerated. Trump calls for excluding and expelling Mexicans for allegedly bringing crime to the U.S., as if no other ethnic group has ever been or is associated with crime. Trump calls for banning Muslims from entering the U.S. for allegedly bringing terrorism despite the fact that most terrorist attacks since 9/11 have been carried out by White supremacists.
What am I missing? Is there any reason to take anyone who supports Trump with any degree of seriousness? I think not.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a talk-show host, writer and activist. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and at www.billfletcherjr.com.