White folks, Trump and Symbolism

By Vincent L. Hall

Turnabout is fair play. Last week’s missive decried Black folks and emotionalism. As the Reverend Dr. Rudolph McKissick Jr. puts it; “We tend to get pissed without a plan.” 

The upheaval caused by the needless police murder of Atatiana Jefferson will subside in a few days, and unless we reverse history, there won’t be a plan. 

Black folks forget, but some White folks can never forget and this has always been America’s Achilles heel. White folks are as consistently embroiled in symbolism as Black folks are in emotionalism.

There are myriad, various and sundry reasons why Donald Trump is attractive to his base. Trump sautees symbolisms as the base of his political potions. That potent potion is mixed with an acute case of myopia and…“Voila!”

Trump was remixing the callous cadences of George Wallace when he came out of the gate with all that separatism bullshit. “American First today, America First tomorrow, America First Forever!”

These days he questions why we would protect Syrian borders from their Middle Eastern enemies while neglecting our own Mexican border. 

Now don’t get it twisted, the eight or nine Negroes in his Dallas rally screenshot are proof that “me-isms and us-isms” are not exclusive to race. “Trump Blacks” holler and scream the same foolishness. “Them Mexicans is taking all our jobs!” 

Truth is, anyone who ain’t working these days is either drug-addicted, mentally incapable, retired or just lazy.  

After myopia, me-ism, and us-ism, Trump relies on the power and traditions of American racism.  Every other emerging immigrant population has had to suffer it at some point, but today it’s reserved for Brown people. Black people have “grandfathered” status thereby always useful for racist and stereotypical tropes. 

Black people are unfairly construed as America’s mascot for welfare crime and wanton waywardness. However, Trump’s proficiency in code-switching and his eye for evoking hatred makes him a powerful switch-hitter. Everybody hates somebody and no one can detect and direct hate like Donald Trump. 

When he pledges allegiance to the police, first responders and vets, he uses the lens of race to make them feel like part of his team. It’s not a new tactic. Rich Whites have always controlled poor Whites by making them feel better than their “colored” counterparts. Slave-Catchers protected “The Man’s” property too. 

Trump outlasted the stigma that stayed with most Vietnam “draft-dodgers.” He resisted induction into military service by medical fabrication. However, he has managed to make 95% of Republicans believe that his heart can go where his feet wouldn’t allow him to. 

The power of visual stereotypes is an American phenomenon that exists as an extension of our “exceptional” brand of racism. When Trumpettes hear welfare recipients, they imagine a Black woman, even though White women collect the highest number of welfare checks and White farmers get the biggest monetary outlay. 

The Trumpettes aptly accept that all Gays are pedophiles, and all Non-Evangelicals support abortion up to the date of delivery… All feminists are butch, bitchy or both… All Mexicans work for cheap…All African nations are backward shitholes that choose dictators over democracies. All Asians are shrewd and tech-savvy…All Muslims are terrorists… All Native Americans are aimless alcoholics. All Jews are money hoarders and obsessed with control. 

If you love the NBA or NFL you must be Black. If you love NASCAR, the NHL or Rodeos you gotta be White or at least sympathetic to “White plight.” If you hug the flag you’re a patriot, because to question it is treasonous. If you question whether America should strive for better, do better or be better, you are an infidel; or worse…A Liberal Democrat!

That’s why Trumpettes harp on terms like Socialists and the like. You couldn’t get a handful of decent essays defining Socialism from a bank of registered Republicans, although 99% of them will tell you how bad it is. We wrestle with the cyclops of the NRA to ban assault weapons when the goal should be to create a world where civilians don’t need a Glock.   

Emotionalism is bad, and Black folks gotta fix that problem. However, symbolism is vile. If you doubt me, follow Trump’s Twitter feed, which is an endless stream of unfiltered ignorance, stratified in symbolism. White folks, Trump and symbolism are a toxic blend and non-White Americans must concoct a new formula.

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