Courtesy of Black Enterprise
OPINION|By Autumn Brown, contributing writer
Is America great again yet?
Because from where I’m standing, it’s pretty crummy.
And, this isn’t an attack on the political ideology of those belonging to the far right; rather, it is an attack on hate.
The rhetoric that Donald J. Trump spewed throughout his campaign has triggered a response that has manifested itself into the form of outward displays of hate, violence, and intolerance.
Don’t believe me?
Well, I challenge Trump supporters to do something that may be outside of their zone of comfort but, READ the data.
According to an analysis of the FBI’s hate crime statistics, hate crimes increased the day after that dreadful night it was decided that Trump would, in fact, be our 45th President.
Crimes rose from 10 to 27 percent, and in light of the recent hate crime against actor and activist Jussie Smollett, I’d say that America is far from being “great again.”
Though, can anyone name a century that it was ever that great?
For those who cast their vote for Donald Trump, please stop lying to yourselves and believing that you voted for economic stability or economic welfare.
You voted for hate.
You voted for violence.
You voted for divisiveness.
You voted out of anger toward America’s first Black president.
There is no other logical reason to explain a vote for Trump.
Trump was able to tap into America’s fear of change and riled up deep-rooted anger among Americans that has proved itself to be problematic, and most importantly, dangerous.
Trump has never operated on an intellectual basis but rather, an emotional one. He played on America’s darkest side of emotion while on the grandest stage there is, and his supporters chose to forsake all morals and principles as human beings.
“Making America Great Again,” was never about equalizing educational opportunity, stabilizing our economy, or the rebuilding of our middle class; rather, it was a yearning for the “good ol’ days” in which Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants and, liberals, in general, were no longer a threat to societal dominance and personal privilege.
Trump’s rallies and his disgruntled mob is not unlike that of Bull Connor and his loyal followers. Bull was the elected commissioner of public safety for the city of Birmingham, Alabama. Like Trump, Bull was able to play on the fear of Americans when faced with the reality of forced integration. He ordered the use of fire hoses and police attack dogs against civil rights activists — women and children included.
You see remnants of such hate during Trump’s rallies, in which he gladly promotes the use of violence saying, “You know. Part of the problem and part of the reason it takes so long [to remove a protestor] is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore, right?”
In the words of Erik Killmonger, “Is this your leader?!”
All in all, Trump was able to rise in an era of irrationality.
In no way, shape, or form was Trump the best man for the job of running this country, but he best suited the climate of our country during this time.
Out of America’s fear of change and inclusivity, Trump was able to negatively influence people to turn their political views into acts of crime.
In fact, a case in Kansas in which three white men were accused of planning a bomb attack against a Somali Muslim mosque, which the men planned to detonate the day after the 2016 election, defense attorney, Jim Pratt, posits that his client, Patrick Stein, was influenced by the charged discourse of Trump’s campaign.
And currently, we are able to see the despicable influence that Trump has had on this country in light of the recent attack against Jussie Smollett.
While in Chicago, Smollett, a Black and openly gay man, was brutally attacked by 2 white men, and as they put his head into a noose and poured bleach on him, they belligerently screamed, “This is MAGA country.”
So, again, I pose this question to Trump supporters now, is America great again yet?
Because it has been a living hell for those of us able to see past his hateful rhetoric and divisive discourse.
Autumn Brown is a doctoral student in social foundations of education at Oklahoma State University. Social foundations analyzes and explains educational issues, policies, and practices through the lenses of history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies. Its goal is to improve the educational experiences for members belonging to marginalized groups. Her research focus centers around the experiences of black women in STEM and black women within the academy. She also researches racial body politics, sexuality, and intimate justice for black women. She has published a book chapter titled “Breaking the silence: Black women’s experience with abortion,” and has presented her work on the intense policing of the black female body nationally. Autumn plans on continuing her pursuits in bringing awareness to the injustices imposed on members within her community, and advocating for equitable education for black and brown students. She plans on finishing her Ph.D. in May 2020 and hopes to move into a tenure-tracked faculty position at a top tier research university.