Ignorance, bigotry, misogyny and hatred trumps a ‘post-racial’ America

Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

Contrary to the pundits and pollsters believing that Trump’s politics of bigotry, misogyny and hatred would prove to be his downfall—America elected Donald Trump as its 45th president. Trump’s total lack of understanding of the geopolitical landscape seemed to, like Sarah Palin before him, ingratiate him with his supporters.

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Trump proved his ignorance of the geopolitical landscape by saying: “He’s (Putin) not going into Ukraine, okay, just so you understand. He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down,” even though Putin took Crimea from Ukraine in early 2014.

According to CNN exit polls, 53% of White women voted for Trump while 94% of Black women and 68% of Latino women supported Clinton. According to Edison Research exit polls, college educated White women voted 51% to 45% Clinton over Trump while non-college educated White women voted 62% to 34% Trump over Clinton. White men overwhelmingly supported Trump. College educated White men voted 54% to 39% Trump and non-college educated White men voted 72% to 23% Trump.

What motivated White women to vote overwhelmingly for a misogynist who objectified his own daughter? They were born into the world of White privilege. They voted as White over their being women.

The election of Donald Trump makes it clear that the politics of ignorance, bigotry, misogyny and hatred played well in a fictitious ‘post-racial’ America. Trump’s racist, xenophobic rhetoric resonated with his White working-class and college educated supporters because racism has been a tenet of the conservative narrative. It has been the covert sub-text to mainstream Republican dialogue, particularly since the election of President Obama. Trump took the Republican covert sub-text and made it overt presidential racist and misogynistic politics.

As members of the Tea Party spat on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), called Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) a nigger and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) a faggot, members of Republican leadership such as Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and former Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) did not tell the Tea Party that there’s no place in the American political dialogue for such bigotry and hatred. Why? Because they did not want to risk alienating those voters. Those voters took control of the party and are now celebrating President-elect Trump.

Trump called for surveillance against mosques and said that he was open to establishing a database for all Muslims living in the U.S. His presumptive nominee for Attorney General, Rudy Giuliani, has called the Black Lives Matter movement “inherently racist.” Giuliani was also the architect of the Stop and Frisk program. In New York, police officers were empowered to detain and search people for often-vague or non-existent pretexts. The program was eventually held by the court to be unconstitutional. Giuliani has promised: “What I did for New York, Donald Trump will do for America.” That will not bode well for people of color.

Trump’s presumptive nominee for Secretary of State, Newt Gingrich, is the same person who called President Obama a Mau Mau in the White House, “What if (Obama) is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan anti-colonial behavior can you begin to piece together (his actions)?” Gingrich went on to call President Obama a conman: “This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president.”

This recent election was as much a repudiation of the ‘Obama legacy’ as a rejection of Hilary Clinton. After eight years of an African American man in the White House, 53% of White women and 63% of White men decided they wanted their country back. To take it back they voted for a man who according to Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Trump’s The Art of the Deal, “…just couldn’t stay focused for more than a few minutes at a time.”

In a representative democracy, why would so many Americans vote for an ignorant, bigoted, misogynistic, hate-filled man to represent them? Simply put, because in this fictional ‘post-racial’ America, too many Americans are ignorant, hate-filled, misogynistic bigots. The Civil War is still being waged.