They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
“Well, you know, when it comes to racism and racists, I am the least racist person there is.”
Ladies and gentlemen, Donald Trump.
The international phenomenon and current U.S. President Donald Trump has offered no shortage of tweets, speeches, and comments regarding his opinion on people of other nationalities. Many of his speeches are riddled with racist rhetoric — words that will appeal to his voter base of white supremacists and nationalist individuals — but in such a strategic way that he can deny any malicious intent behind those statements. Trump essentially sets the precedent for his voters that the divisive beliefs they hold are not racist but rather essential to the protection of liberty: over the years, telling Mexican judges their rulings are invalid because of their race, berating Muslim congresswomen, and claiming he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body, has earned Trump the recognition for the notorious hypocrite he is.
And as expected, Democrats call him — and his voter base — out for this supposed racism. And they should, just not as they do now.
For Democrats to constantly insist that Trump and those who vote for him are perpetuating racist ideals, it is completely counterintuitive to the equality they are striving for. A recent poll published by Quinnipiac University explains how 91% of Trump supporters deny that he is racist. Statistics like this point out the flaw in the Democratic response: Democrats only anger Trump supporters by calling them racist. They don’t enlighten them. The politically charged and insatiable divide on racism that plagues our country, as a result, won’t be going away anytime soon.
It’s logical enough: Why would a Trump supporter condemn themselves to a slew of social backlash by accepting the Democrats’ claims that they are racist for supporting Trump? Why would a Trump supporter become suddenly enlightened that they — along with Trump’s whole voter base — are racist?
By pointing fingers and calling Trump supporters names, Democrats aren’t doing anyone a favor.
Racist, supremacist, nationalist.
Call Trump supporters what you want, but don’t expect to magically solve racism at the same time.
Trump is a dog-whistling politician who laces his speeches with racist allusions and implications without explicitly being called out. Trump’s speeches give his voters exactly what racism gives to its pursuers: validation.
And by fueling that indifference even more — through name-calling, explicit attacks, and malicious beratings — Democrats practically deny the country any chance at social reform against racism.
Democrats need to stop pointing out the racism of Trump supporters if they want change. Make compromises, tie racism into more relevant issues for the GOP, call upon interest groups to lobby for equal rights.
The Democrats have a lot more options than name-calling.
This isn’t elementary school.
This is government in the world’s most influential country.
Would that the President would act like it.
Would that Democrats wouldn’t respond to him as if he were a child.
Aryav Bothra is a columnist for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl