The only thing more disgusting and disturbing than Donald Trump’s racism has been the reaction; or worse lack of reaction, to it among the elite. Trump’s presidential campaign has exposed a pattern of hypocrisy, ignorance and self-serving delusion on matters of race among media, business and political leaders that should scare every American to death.
Trump has done us a service by exposing how our political leaders, the New York media; and other opinion leaders really think about racism. The story of Trump sheds light on just how modern Americans tolerate and perpetuate bigotry. Some of the most important lessons about bigotry in our society that Trump can teach us include:
- It is okay for liberals to be racist. Media reports indicate that Trump has exhibited a pattern of racist behavior for decades. Yet Donald was not criticized or called out for it; until he became a Republican. As long as Trump remained a Democrat; and had a reputation as something of liberal, his racism was tolerated and even hushed up. No liberals complained about Trump’s bigotry; as long as he could be counted on to write checks to Democratic politicians.
- The media has a high tolerance for racism. Trump has been a high-profile media figure for 35 years; yet his bigotry was not talked about, nor criticized until his presidential run. Few Americans knew Trump was such a bigot, even though he starred in a prime time TV show on a major network for the better part of a decade.
- Making conservatives look bad is more important to liberals than criticizing racism or racists. The same liberals that ignored Trump’s racism for decades; couldn’t start talking about it fast enough, once Donald became a Republican. To make matters worse the same people now falsely claim Trump is a conservative. The inference being that conservatism is racist, and only conservatives can be racist. Such ignorance only perpetuates racism, and makes honest political dialogue impossible.
- It is okay to be racist against conservatives. Trump’s loathsome attacks on US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel; are almost identical to those he made on his Republican rival US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Trump is claiming that Curiel is not an American because he is of Mexican heritage; just as he claimed Cruz who is of Cuban ancestry is not a real American. What is disturbing is that Trump is being crucified for his attacks on Curiel; a well-known progressive, but his attacks on the conservative Cruz were ignored. This situation is made even more disgusting by self-serving Republican politicians such as Newt Gingrich; who ignored the Cruz attacks, but quickly condemned the Curiel smear.
- It is okay for rich, white people with good educations to be racist as long as they do not use the “n word.” This is perhaps the most disturbing lesson of all here. Trump is a walking example of how racism persists in modern America. As long as a racist is useful to some special interest; making a lot of money, not using offensive language; and not burning a cross or waving a Swastika flag, he or she is tolerated and accepted.
- The real racism problem in America is in our establishment; universities, newsrooms, boardrooms, corporations political parties, etc., not in the trailer parks. The racists we need to worry about the ones flying about in private jets; not the ignorant louts driving the pickup trucks with Confederate flag bumper stickers.
- There is a class-based double standard when it comes to racism in the United States. Poor or working class people get punished when they display racism. Rich; or upper class people, get rewarded for it as long they avoid using certain words.
What we can learn from these lessons is unclear, but there is obviously a great deal to learn. The question we need to ask: is will our so-called leaders be willing to listen the lessons or not.