In the year of 2016, race relations in the United States have taken a very sharp turn in the wrong direction. From an increase in police brutality towards unarmed black males to the rise of blatant racism masked in patriotism; our country has begun to regress back to the divided nation of the past.
When Senator Barack Obama was elected 44th president of the United States of America in 2008; many Americans were hopeful that our country had turned a new leaf from its dark past and that we as whole were on a path towards a more progressive and united America.
I remember this election and the aftermath that followed. I witnessed people around me call our newly-elected President the “anti-christ” or spoke of moving to other countries because of their hate for him. I remember watching the news and seeing protests, even people lynching Obama-inspired props within their neighborhoods.
His campaign wasn’t based on hatred or alienating certain groups; he had yet to be inaugurated or sign any laws into place. The type of hate I witnessed wasn’t motivated by political differences.
Fast forward to the 2016 presidential race. President-elect Donald Trump ran a campaign with the slogan, “make America great again,” but what exactly does that mean? Is it alienating minorities, women and members of the LGBTQ communities?
Is it telling African American voters, “you’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of our youth is unemployed – what the hell do you have lose?” Is it referring to Latino immigrants as criminals, killers and rapists? Or is it the “locker room” talk of grabbing women by their p******?
Despite these things, you will see an overwhelming number of his supporters tell people who disagree with this message to give him a chance. You will see his supporters unleash verbal and physical attacks on those with a difference of opinion. His supporters will tell those who are offended by his radical views to get over it or he’s president now and there’s nothing you can do about it.
In 2016, the double standard and hypocrisy from ‘white America’ has become clear. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s jerseys were burned because he protested the national anthem to bring attention to police brutality and inequality. Beyoncé is called a ‘cop hater’ and police refused to provide security during her concerts over for a Super Bowl performance paying homage to the Black Panther Party and speaking against police brutality.
White supremacist organization, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), known for murdering, lynching, raping and terrorizing an entire race of people can host a Trump victory parade in North Carolina and Trump’s supporters say nothing. Former KKK Grand Wizard, David Duke, can publically advocate for Trump’s racially charged presidential campaign and his supporters say nothing.
We have a very long way to go in order to live up to our great name, UNITED States of America.
“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” Maya Angelou