By Jorge Dante Hernandez Prosperi
“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate if gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
Are you a racist if you voted for one? The answer is YES! To vote for a racist is to become an accomplice, complicit and accessory to the tenets of racism of which Trumpism is a major component.
Let’s go deep into the cesspool of Trumpism where all constructed social -isms ferment. The deadly elixir is one of hate, inhumanity, fear, ignorance and anti Democracy.
Let’s broaden the question given the components of Trumpism’s sewage. Are you a sexist, xenophobe, misogynist, bigot, white supremacist if you voted for one? The answer is YES! Especially if you did it with intent, forethought, meaning and reason and therefore own the pathology.
As you notice, I am not entering the conversation trying to make “nice talk with white people” hoping to make them feel comfortable – hoping that they remain respectfully engaged. That ended long ago. We now know that with racists there is no collaboration, tolerance, empathy and/or compassion. For them, justice – the rule of law is not reciprocal. For racists Racism is the Autobahn of hate with no speed limit and no off-ramps.
Benign, white washed introductions to complex and painful realities on race are insulting. To question that systemic and institutional RACISM exists in 21st century America, that RACE matters and impacts all facets of American life has been and will continue to be the threads of the original mortal sin that has plagued America for 401 years. As Ashley Montagu so appropriately called it, “Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race.”
Important to remember that Man’s Most Dangerous Myth was first published in 1942, when Nazism flourished, when America still asked people of color to sit back of the bus, when lynching was still a threat, when the intelligence of women, immigrants and African Americans was still was being researched and questioned by Eugenics – even taught in schools.
Lest we forget that we are still a racist society as the Myth lingers and rages. This is our living breathing reality – our truth to ponder and own. Trumpism is but a reminder – personifications of white people acknowledging the next Great White Hope that will somehow, someway, magically make America white again. America! Wake up from the nightmare!
Often I am reminded of the the exhaustion caused by racism by a scene in the movie The Help. Aibileen Clark confronts Hilly’s racism, “All you do is scare and lie to try and get what you want. You’re a godless woman. Ain’t you tired, Miss Hilly? Ain’t you tired?” Perhaps a reminder in 2021 to all American citizens of good will and heart . . . Ain’t we tired America – exhausted by Racism?
Trumpism is another godless attempt to stop the authentication, the dynamic evolution of Racism’s greatest enemy . . . Democracy . . . its essence and its force to empower!
Barbara Fields poignantly explained, “Bondage does not need justifying as long as it seems to be the natural order of things. You need a radical affirmation of bondage only where you have a radical affirmation of freedom.”
Democracy – is ever legitimizing – authenticating – declaring the inalienable right that all human beings were and are created equal! A daunting reality for racists to accept – that every child born – yours, mine, his, hers is equal to the other – not upon seeing their color or the of the parent(s) but without having been born yet.
In order to deny such a truth, Racism – overt, covert and aversive, was constructed and had to be justified because of its horror. Democracy and Racism can’t exist in the same galaxy.
This is why Trumpism in the past four years has continually tried to destroy the pillars of Democracy. The forces and roots of white supremacy run deep – as deep as the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Trumpism, as with Racism, depends on pathologically lying to the American people deteriorating credibility and trust.
Democracy is the opposite demanding constant pursuit of the truth, clarity, authenticity, examination and justice. These are the vital organs of Democracy the citizens are asked to believe and live.
Racism and Domestic Terrorism leaves toxic lifeless soil. It is a hopeless – godless ideology constructed on lies, misinformation, misplaced power, unilateral control, authoritarianism, hypocrisy, nepotism, prejudices, biases, ignorance and inhumane oppression.
Democracy in contrast is built on hope – the promise of a better tomorrow, dedicated to the greater good, dependent on ethics, facts, discourse and transparency. Democracy can’t function in a selfish, egotistical, narcissistic, corrupt and immoral society. This is one of the major reasons why the Confederacy – Racism – slavery could not exist in America’s Democracy.
Unfortunately, Racism has been as traditional as pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day. I’m really surprised that we don’t have a Racism Holiday . . . maybe it should take place on the 5th of July when Trumpers could celebrate the equal but separate hyprocracy for a couple of days. Most likely some of the same people would be on the same floats on the 4th and 5th waving those flags they love to put on their trucks to demonstrate that they are the real macho patriots and have the ancestry, zip codes and guns to prove it. Can I hear a good old rebel YEE-HAW underscored by a devout Hallelujah! The two always seem to be connected.
Trumpism has all the elements that racists could want. Trumpism believes in the “greater replacement” theory – the fear of white genocide through immigration, promotes race science and eugenics, paints immigrants as dangerous hoards of criminals, otherness and difference to be unAmerican. Trumpism glorifies the Confederacy, promoting domestic genocide while denying historical racial/religious/cultural cleansing, fueling Nativism, heralding jingoism and above all else “the supremacy, privileges, entitlements and capital of whiteness.” That anger and bitterness is its core – its mantra – its ethos.
There is no surprise that white domestic terrorism, white nationalism, white militias, Neo-Nazism, Fazism, anti-Semitism, KKK groups are on the rise.
These groups and their ideology have been waiting in silos and bunkers for a sign – a wink – an elbow nudge – a dog whistle. They have been present all along and responded to Trumpism with enthusiasm. They came out screaming and swinging as we witnessed in the past four years and recently on January 6, 2021.
They have methodically rallied under the banner of the Republican party and Trumpism by gerrymandering their way into local, state and national power of influence. Once in power, their maniacal focus has been to remain in power, obstruct and dismantle the tenets of Democracy.
The dangerous results of electing such autocrats is the engineering of policies passed to eliminate and/ or obstruct common sense gun laws, women’s rights to choose, environmental research and regulations, public and higher education, health care, inclusivity, a minimum wage, rule of law, civil rights, social justice, voting rights, income equality, tax legislation.
The goal of Trumpism is to build support for its narcissistic political agenda and win local, state and national elections under the flag of “conservatism, populism, patriotism, nativism and America First slogans. Support of domestic terrorists, white nationalists and white supremacists are welcomed.
The “Trumpism Base” has always been part of America. A constituency that avoids and fears critical thinking, data, research, discourse, debate, media coverage/investigative reporting, transperancy, pursuit of the truth regarding the value and worth for the common good.
That said, we know that to be called a racist is one of the most offensive titles that a white American can be called. It is a direct attack on one’s character, citizenship, religion because of the vileness it represents – the stench it carries – the consequences it has regarding all facets of personal and professional life.
Who wants to be raised by a racist? Who wants to befriend a racist? Who wants to be taught by one? Who wants to be married to a racist? Who wants to hire one? Who wants to vote for one? We now have answers to such questions.
Racism is a decease – a virus. For Americans to perceive racism as normative and not pathologic is to lend it legitimacy. Clearly, anyone who scapegoats a whole group of people and seeks to eliminate them to resolve his or her internal conflicts meets the criteria of a delusional disorder, a major psychiatric illness.
Although Racism is directed toward others, it is self-inflected as if using a scalpel on one’s own skin, mind, heart and spirit. It bores a stain on one’s soul. Ergo the self inflicted bitterness, hate, sociopathic consternation, arrogant delusions of grandeur, superiority and supremacy.
Therefore, Racism is masked, perfumed, disguised. Excuses, rationalizations are created to white wash it – make it palatable, somewhat acceptable, reasonable – increasingly normalized – especially if blessed and condoned by the highest of authorities as well as the father, son and holy ghost. Trumpism provides the affirmation and permission to hate.
The following are just some of the thinking and motivations for voting for Trumpism.
You voted for Trumpism because your ideology backs QAnon beliefs – that is – that COVID-19 was transited to humans by another species and is a hoax – Washington legislators (specifically Democrats) run a child sex ring cartel – they even eat little children after sexually abusing them – domestic terrorist shootings are staged hoaxes, climate change is a hoax, BLM protests are unfounded as there has never been systemic racism in America – President Trump is being held as a hostage in Washington by the left wing state – those who oppose Trump should be captured, tried for treason and sentenced – with Trump being the sole jury and judge.
You voted for Trumpism on religious grounds and believe that “choice” is limited to what you believe is absolute and true. Therefore your choice only matters. You don’t need facts – you have blind faith – but it’s not really blind – is it?
You voted for Trumpism because you don’t want others to step on your rights but the rights of others are questionable and need your approval.
You voted for Trumpism because you want more federal judges to side with your views regardless of their competence, rule of law, fairness, social justice, history and/or due process.
You voted for Trumpism because you want less taxes but want federal assistance with health care, pension, social security, updated infrastructure and national security.
You voted for Trumpism because you want to protect your Wall Street assets, profits and end of year bonus. Capitalism and protecting your “fail safe” existence is the focus in life – all else is negotiable and transactional.
You voted for Trumpism because you want deregulations regardless of the harm done to the ecosystem, clean water and environment.
You voted for Trumpism because you are a traditional conservative Republican regardless of blatant corruption, dishonesty, obstruction and broken promises.
You voted for Trumpism because you wanted your country back even though you never lost it or was never yours to begin with.
You voted for Trumpism because of ‘white people’ grievances and tired of liberals bashing your whiteness. You never owned slaves but heard that those slaves didn’t have it so bad and black lives are not the only ones that matter.
You voted for Trumpism because you are tired of political correctness even though the tenets of PC only require dignified respect for difference and otherness.
You voted for Trumpism because it promised you a job – to have your financial back. Please don’t hold your breath – especially is you work in one of those coal mines, make less than minimum wages or are a farmer.
You voted for Trumpism because of deep loyal rural regionalism even though rural folks have been left to fend for themselves AGAIN – believing local white entrepreneurs and religious charlatans who foster institutional regional incest in order to maintain local power and control.
You voted for Trumpism because it represents your heritage, ancestors and a way of life – “the good old days” that you want returned.
You voted for Trumpism because you think that health care is socialism – unless you and your family require medical attention and can’t afford it.
You voted for Trumpism because the government plans to take away your assault rifles, pipe bombs, ammo, and bullet proof vest. “You have the thoughts and prayers of the families who morn, with each birthday, the children who were needlessly brutally massacred.”
You believe that Trumpism is all about law and order and fear that immigrants and blacks may attack suburban and rural communities. You support police chiefs, police unions and police officers who voted for Trumpism in order to keep you safe from the caravans and hoards.
You voted for Trumpism because you did not like the other candidate. So Trump was the only Republican that you felt had the character, dignity, integrity, veracity and morality that coincided with the norms and qualities expected of the president of the United States.
I posit ,without due respect, to all of you who voted for Trumpism the first time – and greater disrespect for those who voted for him the second time, BULLSHIT!
Spread that horse manure on each other. Don’t even begin to think that screaming falsehoods, wearing MAGA hats and teeshirts, spewing hate, mongering fear, repeating ad infinitum the same antiquated conservative media talking points and lies, abusing and confiscating the American flag for your photo ops, now frees you – cleanses you from what you have become – angry, bitter white men/women . . . racists . . . living a lie.
Those of you who voted for trumpism own a piece of white nationalism – white domestic terrorism – white insurrection on our Capital. That mob represents your vote – represents those dollars you mailed to Trump, Cruz, Hawley and those Republican legislators who conspired, lied and stoked hate.
It’s interesting to read about the insurgents – conspirators – insurrectionists who assaulted the Capital – national buildings built by enslaved African Americans.
The cameras captured their faces and we heard their voices. Now we get to read about their “in between” backgrounds . . . macho punks and punkets . . . typically “in-between jobs” – “in-between relationships” – ‘in-between fatherhood and motherhood” – “in-between spewing incoherent contrived hate language” – “in-between blaming others and the government for their personal dysfunctions” – “in-between citizenship that they believe is about waving flags, showing up dressed in Trump clown suits.”
These are the courageous punks and punkets who seem to always need a mob and gun to show their courage. Oh how they love to strut their mob-courage dressed in military macho virile garb. All that is missing is for them to yell in unison, “trick or treat!” They look and sound like a scene from Tropic Thunder.
Unfortunately, this is who they believe they are. So let’s take them seriously.
Their assault rifles and ammo clips are not toys. Let’s do some serious quantitative and qualitative research and legislation on domestic terrorism, white nationalists, white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, white supremacy militias as to who supports them politically and financially.
Let’s make public the names of employers and companies that hire domestic terrorists and provide them cover. Let’s see their faces without the masks. Let’s name the local, state and national legislators, police and community leaders who take selfies with them and defend their right to hate and plunder.
Trumpers can’t claim that they are disparaged – accused of being unlettered, moronic, imbecilic – just plain stupid when they continuously proclaim to be anti-intelligence, anti-reason, anti-knowledge, anti-unequivocal facts. You can’t claim to be intelligent, logical and reasonable when you address the world and its people through one absolute static lens.
Hello! The universe is dynamic, highly complex and ever changing. So are its inhabitants. Our earth is not flat and dependent on internal and external forces. The brain is the tool we use to decipher realities not to deny them for our own self interests.
Some 12 years of required formal schooling and multiple degrees do not guarantee that any one of us can avoid Racism and Trumpism. Therefore, our education system has failed us as a society. Teachers never told us the truth about our history – about how deep Racism is part of our lives. White teachers and parents remained neutral on a non neutral and deadly subject.
Trumpism was not born in 2016 but some 401 years ago with segments of our society predisposed to the pathology of the next “Great White Hope” who was more than willing to tap into the lingering pathology – affirming antiquated lazy excuses, rationalizations, and ignorance. Some 70 millions Trumpers are part and parcel of who and what America continues to be – Racist.
But let’s not paint all trumpers as “imbecilic good old boys and gals.” Trumpers are not always in plain sight. They come in many different Halloween costumes.
How about those hedge fund managers who voted for Trumpism funneling million$ to local, state and national Republicans – with quid pro quo $=per vote to lower taxes on corporations and to deregulate. Why does Wall Street tend to go silent during socio-cultural crisis? Where has it been during COVID-19 or for the past 4 years of Trumpism?
Hey, how about those College Presidents, Department Chairs, Provosts, Faculty and Students who voted for Trumpism – what were their reasons? This group really mystifies me. What the hell have they been teaching and learning?! Was Democracy, social justice and conscience ever enter the conversation?
How about school district’s Superintendents, Independent School Headmasters, Mother Superiors, Board of Directors. Why did some vote for Trumpism? How are they defining “education and its ties to citizenship?”
How about teachers, counselors and coaches who voted for dishonesty, lying and cheating your way through life. What are they teaching their students – the most vulnerable – the most impressionable? What are educators asking those elementary, middlers and high schoolers to believe about Democratic principles? Is it all about just repeating the pledge of allegiance – to what? What do they teach as the fundamental tenets of citizenship? Do those teachers who voted for Trumpism revise history and manipulate it to avoid the cataclysm of colonialism, native genocide, the inhumanity of slavery, America’s love affair with eugenics, the multigenerational trauma of the Holocaust – keeping students captive from pursuing the truth – risking that they remain ignorantly delusional for the rest of their lives? How about those home schooled children kept isolated from the greater world that one day they will enter the real world discovering that their zip code was just one of many?
Any clues as to why priests, rabbis, nuns, ministers, shamans, medicine men, ‘holy men’ voted for Trumpism? How does their conscience navigate such waters? Do they just one in awhile douse some holy water to absolve and pardon?
Hey veterans who voted for Trumpism – tired of being used and abused as photo ops by a coward whose dad got as many ‘bore spurs’ deferments as needed so that his boy could chase skirts?
How about you “small business” entrepreneurs with Trumpism signs outside your dealerships, warehouses, office buildings who fire your work force every 89 nine days and then rehire at lower wages. Guess that Trumpism coincides with such convoluted financial business models. By the way, do you also stiff your vendors?
Hey you “Black Women and Men for Trump” All of you must, have to be ‘blackfaced’! Behind that black shoe polish must be a white macho punk reliving some halloween frat party. No other reason could make sense to hold up a “Blacks for Trumpism” sign.
Hey you “Hispanics for Trump”. You are “ ¡loquísimos/as! The sleek Hispanic Chamber of Commerce must have gotten to you with their Republican trickle down ‘mierda’ or those Cubans who still call Che a terrorist but have conveniently forgotten how Fulgensio Batista and off shore “wise guys” made Cuba Miami’s whorehouse and sold Cuban land and people to American special interests. Maybe you never heard of Cesar Chavez and Helen Fabela Chavez or Dolores Huerta. Maybe you skipped that chapter in your history books about Chiquita Banana Republics that were created by American interest groups – United Fruit Company among the most powerful and politically connected – exploiting and controlling Caribbean territories and transportation networks. All that delicious Dole fruit salad was made possible by cheap labor monopolizing lands and natives throughout the Caribbean. Remember ‘hermanas y hermanos’ that “dólares cuestan dolores” – avoid becoming “used and discarded human commodities”- don’t sell out – especially your vote. They may be able to cage infants – but they will never own LatinX Latinidad y Natividad.
There is no surprise that some 70 million American, who think of themselves as patriots, voted for Trumpism. They were not alive some 401 years ago – but their current racism is. They were not alive in 1863 but their current racism is.
Trumpers may not have attended public lynchings of black women and men at town squares but the Racism connected to Trumpism places each Trumper in that square watching gutted smoldering flesh. Some brought their children to see the inhumane spectacle, took photos, made post cards and sent them to family and friends as a reminder of supremacy.
So please – let’s not dance around and around the obvious in 2021! Trumpism has been waiting since 1863 for another “Great White Hope” – a figure head to represent the diminishing white numbers. It did not matter that “the Great White Hope” looks like a clown and speaks incoherently as a toddler. It did not matter that he is a womanizer who looks, speaks and touches without respect.
Unlike with President Obama, you do not have to google words and concepts. You do not have to fret or wonder whether your “Great White Hope” is more intelligent, more articulate than you. He isn’t! His language is often incoherent, repetitive, often speaks in tongues. Maybe some evangelicals can translate for us. Maybe we just can’t read the Bible upside down.
You did not even care if Trumpism deceived you, lied to you, made false promises with arms waving, “It’s coming in just 2 weeks!” “New health care program in two weeks – you’ll love it!” “It will be fabulous, incredible, you will love it. You just wait and see! In just two weeks!” You did not even care that the “Great White Hope” could not be use as a role model for your children.
All you cared about was the fear of losing the supremacy of your whiteness. You even dressed and imaged the part at every rally. Oh how you relished yelping – unleashing that white hate. But while some of you were obvious role models of Trumpism, some of you kept your bigotry in the closet.
Suburban racists learned to keep their Trumpism out of downtown chic boutiques. It was not cool to declare openly to be a Trumper or Trumpet while shopping at Saks or while at Boca Raton hair and nail shops. Suburbanites had to learn to keep their Trumpism in check, learn how to talk around it, hold their noses and put on cheap perfume to cover the stench.
But along came another virus. This time it was not socio-cultural-political but a contagious world tsunami – Covid-19. Trumpism did not foresee such a dilemma. The curtain of blatant incompetence, ineptitude and lack of leadership was raised for all to see. What we saw was elected officials on stage in the nude running around trying to hide behind each other. Totally exposing that Trumpism is all about hype, talking points, branding, imaging, lies, misinformation, marketing – ‘The Art of the Con.’
The virus could not be intimidated, it could not be caged or sued. It could not be tweeted against. Trumpism quickly called it a hoax. Fox News and Rush rushed to deny it. Told its audience not to fear it because it would just go away, “Like a miracle.” The advice was horrific and criminal, “Keep attending parties, don’t wear masks, it’s like the flu – a bad cold, keep the economy open and humming.” But it didn’t and the virus continue to kill in record numbers – even killing Trumpers.
For once, Trumpism faced the realities of the undeniable. Trumpism had to move on and hide. It became too difficult a reality to manage – too explain. So Trumpism did what it always does – runs. It gave up on the virus and the American people.
How many Americans have needlessly died due to Trumpism in the past four years? The research has begun. The findings will be the legacy of Trumpism.
The sad historical epitaph that will be written about Trumpism is that the anxiety, stress, chaos and death it caused was “needless.”
Trumpism lives because of racists who are threatened by what they don’t know or don’t want to know. It is an existence built on hate, denial and ignorance about science, evolution, colonialism, slavery, immigrants, Holocaust and now COVID-19 and vaccines.
Trumpism refutes all realities based on facts, critical thinking, research, data and legitimate findings. All truths are dismissed that do not conform to confirmed biases and world views. The pursuit of knowledge and truth threatens their absolute thinking. Trumpism is followed by a captive audience supported by the media that agrees with Trumpistic vistas of the world and uses false talking points as a panacea making Trumpers feel good about themselves.
Trumpism has created its own truths, realities and numbing opiates. The corrupt propaganda of conservative cable and radio outlets runs 24/7 and is vital – necessary to constantly reaffirm – to live the lie.
Trumpism is self-destructive – self oppressive and its legacy will become its destiny. For 401 years Trumpism has been alive and now is fighting ghostly monuments of the past – desperately flailing to stay alive.
The noise of Trumpism must be taken seriously because Trumpism kills. But I posit that Trumpism is standing on quick sand. Each day a non-white black, brown, bi-racial, bilingual, bicultural child is born or has immigrated to America. The declining number of white children reflects the significant aging of the white population. The growing numbers of non white and immigrant children will mean their increasing presence in schools, higher education, workforce and electorate. Some of those children, now adults, are on the Biden-Harris Cabinet. Each of their counterstories should fill our hearts and spirits with hope.
I genuinely wish Trumpers introspection – cogitation of self – a much needed purging of bitterness, hate, fear and ignorance – a serious examination of where and when such a pathological belief system began to alter reality and truth.
I sincerely wish each Trumper bridges and pathways to liberate their pain of hate that consumes mind, heart and spirit needlessly – because you see – “whiteness” is but a construct – not real – never was.
Trumpism does not foster hope but rather leaves ashes as it did on January 6, 2021. It is a form of a final solution to a perceived non-white problem. A deadly pathology repeated throughout history. Unfortunately, Americans have a problem connecting such historical dots – too painful to do so.
The sadness of Trumpism is twofold. First is the sadness of those it victimizes needlessly.
Secondly sadness for the victimizers – those who profess Trumpism by way of thoughts, language, actions and vote – believing, promoting, defending, and living a brutally self oppressive deception and its pain – one day to exhale a final gasp of life – with teeth grit with bitterness and hate – imprisoning their wandering souls for eternity.