Make America Great Again!

Does racism exist? Donald Trump is a racist and he exists. So yes, racism exists. Donald Trump’s supporters also exist. And in submitting their vote for representation to a racist, they demonstrate that they are, in effect, in agreement with his racist policies.

What makes Donald Trump racist? Doesn’t he regularly reassure the public that he loves ‘Hispanics/the Chinese/Blacks’. He works with these people. He knows their mentality. He does business with them. Like a good business man he closes no doors to clients regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality. Otherwise, why would he trust the manufacturing of his clothing line to overworked and underpaid workers in China (and Mexico)? Clearly, we are not dealing with a man who want’s no relations – no business relations – with the minorities of the world: the little people.

“Build the wall!” Like a prophetic figure of the Knight, Trump excited the crowd during his victory speech after winning the South Carolina primary: “Build the wall! And who will we get to pay for it?” The Trump supporters then responded in a mix of “Mexico/the Mexican’s!”

“Make America Great Again”: the official motto of the Trump campaign. Alluding back to the bygone days where America was actually once great. Where or when this was, is never specified, though perhaps it was at the initial moment of colonization and the genocide of indigenous peoples; or on the blood soaked slave plantations; or the imperialist wars; or Jim Crow; or more imperialist wars; or the rich textiled history of racism where white people had all of the power instead of most of it.

Make America Great Again, to a time when its land and liberty, its culture and sensibility was not saturated with the multiplicities of little people that now sully its shores. Make America Great Again, to a time when the great white majority was able to secure itself from the onslaught of Mongol hordes and when the Commander in Chief came from a well-bred family, raised in the cattle fields of the South – nurtured within the ivory halls of the most ideologically complicit institutions. Yes, Make America Great Again, for it is a nation and people now tainted, in need of an exorcism – of a purging.

But through all this rhetoric, the racist supporters of Donald Trump refuse to waiver; even after he unflinchingly justifies the murder of innocent children. There is only so much empathy and understanding one can maintain for such support: ‘they are the unemployed and poor; they themselves are suffocating under the slump of a gigantic capitalist bureaucracy; they are afraid of their own futures and of their children’s futures, and their children’s children’s futures; you see, they are ignorantly misled by the propaganda machines, the Fox news, the simplifying solutions of an anti-politician who in a plainspeak cuts through all the Washington winding and sliding and points out his finger: There! There is the problem! And if you give me the power I will snub it out!

Racism is alive and well in the US of A. And as it morphs and is given a new breathe of life from the fodder of a new demagogue, there is much to do… The air is growing thicker in the US, its population – rotting, stagnating, losing hope in its own historical exaltation – is finding a solution to its problem. A new lease on life that comes at the expense and safety of others. And I can only fear, that as these months pass us by, we will have less to reflect on and only more to lament.

Salmaan Khan is a Ph.D. student in political science at York University.