“I’m not a racist.” I keep hearing that.
I’m not a racist. I voted for Trump because of the Supreme Court, or because he is against abortions. Or because he’s an outsider, because he promised to drain the swamp, bring back our jobs, shake things up, make us great again. I voted for him because Hillary is corrupt, evil, not nice, married to Bill. Benghazi. Emails. Killary. But I’m not a racist.
I like the one that says “I voted for Trump, but I’m not racist. I have friends who are black, Muslim, Mexican, or gay.” Clearly you have a different definition of the word “friend” than I do. I do not want my friends (or their family members) to be threatened or discriminated against. I don’t want them to live in fear, or for them to have their children harassed at school, or to wake up and find that a swastika has been painted on their house.
But no matter what you tell yourself or how you try to justify it, if you voted for Trump, you are tainted with the stink of racism. Because if you know that a person is inciting racist behavior either by his words or his actions and you don’t shout him down, it’s on you. If a person proposes laws or government actions that discriminate on the basis of race or religion and you vote for him for any reason, it’s on you. If you know that a candidate has hired a self-avowed White Supremacist as his campaign manager and you vote for him, it’s on you.
If you are willing to benefit from any of the actions of a man who is happy to be lauded by the Klan, by anti-Semites, and by White Nationalists, you are as guilty of their behavior as the man himself.
As acts of racism and hate crimes happen every day all over this country because of the words and actions of our newly-elected President, they are happening in your name. You can tell yourself whatever you need to help you sleep at night. But don’t try to tell me you’re not a racist.