Dear White People (including myself),
Enough is enough. It is time for all of us to take responsibility for the current monstrosity that is threatening our country, Donald Trump, and start taking real steps toward shifting the current narrative. We are presently at a place where a WHITE narcissistic neo-fascist is on the verge of becoming President. He has run a campaign based on racism, sexism, xenophobia, and ableism. It is no longer enough to say “I don’t support him” or “I’ll just vote for her.” During a different election or given different circumstances, this might have sufficed as the bare minimum sufficed. That is NOT the case today. Just saying you don’t support Trump or you’re not going to vote for him is still being complacent to the hatred and bigotry he is spewing towards anyone who is not an abled white heterosexual. I am tired of hearing phrases such as “I am not political,” “I don’t like politics,” or “these aren’t my issues” because these are just cop-outs that only come from a place of unearned systematic power. What is going on right now is bigger than politics; it is about how we as humans should treat one another. For white people, in particular, to say things like that right now it is cowardly and disrespectful. Basically, what you are saying is that you know what Trump says is wrong and you are aware of how our system is rigged against people of color, yet you are choosing to sit on the sidelines because you are WHITE and the disgusting and harmful things he is saying do not affect you.
Kamau Bell said it excellently when he visited campus – Donald Trump is white people’s problem and it is up to us to fix it. It is not up to people of color to fight off the overt racism that has spurned from his rhetoric and the rise of his political power. White people must take responsibility. You DO NOT have to like Hillary to speak out against Trump and his supporters. I too disagree with Hillary’s lies, neoliberal policies, war hawkish past, and seemingly uninspired campaign. However, what is going on right now is bigger than this election. It must be about showing people of color and ourselves that we are better than this hatred. We cannot tolerate this type of hatred, no matter if it is a Presidential candidate or a student on a college campus. It is time to fight against the systematic racism and sexism that many of us have benefited from for so long. So, if that means having uncomfortable conversations or breaking out of our routines that is what’s necessary. It is imperative to challenge Trump supporters and the people that are using his racial slurs and misogynistic remarks. This stance against intolerance can take many shapes, whether it is calling out a white person who says #alllivesmatter in response to #blacklivesmatter or condemning someone if they are wearing a confederate flag on campus. It does not matter when or where you do it; the point is that something must be done.
Growing up in America in the 21st Century, it almost feels like we deserve a President like Trump. America over the last decade and a half has dehumanized the people of the Middle East, stigmatized Islam, worsened other countries’ domestic stability, turned a blind eye to our immigrant population, and has continued to treat people of color as second-class citizens. I think today we are truly at a crossroads where it is up to us to show ourselves and the rest of the world who we truly are and what we value as Americans.