by White People for Black Lives #WP4BL
We, as white people, have been called upon to get our boy.Yes, we’ve been called to publicly take a stand against the racist vitriol spouted by Donald J. Trump.
At first, some of us were inclined to laugh off his extremist statements as something so far out there that there was no way anyone could take seriously such hateful, narcissistic, fear-mongering, and divisive lies until they did. Until his rhetoric began to resonate with mainstream white America, and brought the white nationalist sentiments of many white people in the US out in the open. Such sentiments have been promoted by corporate-owned media. Such sentiments are rooted in an educational system that tells lies of omission and commission about Black people, Native Americans, Mexicans, and other people of color. Such sentiments reflect a persistent color line in employment, policing, housing, banking and health care.
Trumpís rhetoric speaks to, and claims to speak for, the white supporters who attend his rallies. We witness the violent reaction from his supporters toward protesters of color. Other Trump supporters, stoked by his anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim rhetoric, have attacked people after the rallies. We must bear witness to and oppose this white mob rule. We need to stop this legacy of hate and violence, which Trump has encouraged.
Trumpís Islamophobic remarks are an example of how he incites a base who are seeking a scapegoat. He states we must close Mosques, and ban Muslims from entering the US to handle the ìmenace of Muslims. We’re standing up to say that the true menace lies in the hate speech of Trump. His words promote fear in white people, and give permission to vandalize mosques and threaten Muslims with violence.
Trumpís anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant rhetoric is equally reprehensible. He’s branded all Mexican migrants as thieves and rapists. Trump hasn’t disavowed the support he’s received from open racists, David Duke or Stormfront. He’s retweeted remarks by a fascist who created a meme showing Trump in a nazi uniform, condemning to a gas chamber Bernie Sanders (who is Jewish). He has become the predominant voice and face of white nationalism in the US, while making vile misogynist statements and mocking a disabled reporter.
Politicians tend to become mouthpieces of donors. Trump’s donors include groups pushing anti-Muslim agendas, such as the Sarah Scaife, Carthage, and Allegheny Foundations, who donated a combined $10.5 million to Islamophobic groups from 2001-2012. Another donor, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, donated $6.5 million to Islamophobic groups in that same period. It’s no surprise Trump amplifies a message that creates an opening for racist and far-right elements, and pushes establishment politicians further to the right.
The foundation of Trump’s fortune, inherited from his father Fred, came out of racist real-estate holdings that enforced whites-only racial covenants, excluding Black tenants and home-buyers. Many of these practices had been encouraged and subsidized by the Federal Housing Administration. Trump continued the same practices in the era of open housing legislation.
The consequence of Trump’s hate speech is suffering for those he chooses to scapegoat. Historically and to the present, the rights enumerated in the Constitution don’t apply to groups such as African slaves, Indigenous people, immigrants (including our European ancestors at one point), women, Japanese people including Japanese-Americans born in the US, LGBT people, communists, women, union members, Black liberation advocates…and the list continues. Today, we are living in a new McCarthyism, served to us by Trump, targeting Muslims, Mexican immigrants, and Black militants.
We see you for what you are, Trump, and we’re standing up against your racism. Your hate will fuel us with love to create a more just society. Although the wealthy white elite of this country often pit working class whites against people of color to maintain white supremacy, our vision for justice is grounded in the knowledge that there’s enough for all of us, and an attack on one is an attack on all. We’ll counter Trumpís narrative with this message until justice prevails.
As white people of conscience, we refuse to buy into the fear, hate, and scapegoating tactics of fascists. We must speak and act against racism even when we feel uncomfortable, challenge ourselves to fight our own racist beliefs and actions, and put strategic pressure on our institutions to be more just. Our legacy as white people also includes those who chose to say not in our name, those who chose to defect from white supremacists, who have been traitors to whiteness in the name of justice. Trump, we will not allow you to continue pushing your divisive, fear-mongering, and hate-filled agenda that propagates the toxic beliefs of white supremacy. We denounce your calls to register all Muslims, ban all Syrian refugees, and carry out mass deportations of all people without documents.
We’re taking responsibility for you, Donald Trump, as a product of, and a corrupt and oppressive force within, the white nationalism that has predominated in this country’s development. We want to act, in solidarity and alliance with Black people and others committed to freedom, dignity, equality and justice for all, to create an opposing pole of attraction, a countervailing force against your justifications for racist repression and violence. We know you have no real answers for poor and working class white men and women whose life expectancy and job prospects have dropped precipitously since Wall Street crashed the economy, or who have been incarcerated as a by-product of the racist ìWar on Drugs. Only solidarity with the struggles for human rights and freedom being waged by Black people, by migrants and Muslims — by all those Trump targets — can secure a better future for us all.
We’re rooted in our abolitionist past, and draw collective strength from our ancestors who chose to not align with lynch mobs. As Anne Braden stated, we can choose to be part of the other America, the America of the freedom fighters. We — and other white people — do have a choice.
Full statement at: httpss://awarela.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/in-response-to-donald-trump-statement.pdf