The “silent majority” that we had been hearing so much about throughout Trump’s campaign spoke loudly on Election Day.
Trump is their guy — his vitriolic, offensive and racially inflammatory approach to the presidency be damned.
Exactly how it happened will be debated in the coming months and years. But two things are for certain: Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton badly and will become the next president of the United States. And Black America has some mighty difficult days ahead.
Now that a fascist and a white supremacist has seized the reins of power in America, we need not think too long and hard about what a Trump presidency will look like for Black America. We need not look any further than the man’s own words. He said he would “Make America Great Again,” which means “Make America Great Again, Like When it was White.”
The slogan emblazoned on the tacky baseball caps reminds us of a time when white folks reigned supreme and held all the cards and people of color were kept in their place.
Like Nixon, Trump ran a “law and order” campaign, which for communities of color generally means a draconian criminal justice policy — including a continuation of the war on drugs, mass incarceration and increased monitoring of the black community.
Expect more criminalization of black and Latino men, more racial profiling, an increase in police violence and more dead black bodies. Trump has called for a national stop-and-frisk policy and has praised former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani — his pick for attorney general — for supposedly using the practice to bring down crime. Of course, Giuliani presided over a nightmare for people of color, in which police brutality was rampant. The Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Trump for a reason, and now they will have the green light to do what they will to black men, women and children in the streets — all with the law to back them up.
After all, Trump supports the police without reservation, and that is frightening. “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life,” Trump said this past summer at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
“Together, we will lead our party back to the White House, and we will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace. We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order,” he added. “There can be no prosperity without law and order.”
“Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before. Ever. Ever. Ever,” Trump said, asking Black America, “What do you have to lose?” And the president-elect’s solution for what he believes ails the African-American community comes in the form of more brutal cops putting their hands on our children, which is the last thing we need.
Trump’s disrespect of other demographics throughout his campaign is well-documented.
The center of his campaign launch in June, 2015, was based on anti-immigrant extremism. He called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “criminals.”
He proposed an unprecedented ban on Muslims traveling to the U.S. He said there needed to be “some form of punishment” for women who have abortions.
Trump has consistently said on the campaign trail he has “more” knowledge of national security issues such as ISIS than “the generals do.” He is on record supporting torture and describing waterboarding as “not tough enough.” Family members of terrorists? Donald Trump wants to kill them.
When asked what would happen if our nations’ military refused an order from him because it was considered illegal, Trump didn’t bat an eye. “They won’t refuse. They’re not gonna refuse me. Believe me.”
Another hallmark of Trump’s platform is to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, one of the greatest achievements of the current president. With a Republican Congress, expect an immediate repeal of health care reform. Also, reproductive rights are in danger under a President Trump, as the candidate said there must be “some form of punishment” for women if abortion is made illegal. And his running mate, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, said that his administration will support anti-abortion legislation and defund Planned Parenthood.
Trump ran a campaign based on xenophobia and a fear of the “other.” He said he will build a wall on the Mexican border to keep out undocumented immigrants, and ban Muslims — which include people of African descent — from the country. And he has threatened to jail his political enemies and clamp down on freedom of the press.
Further, Donald Trump has given a voice to white supremacists and ethno-nationalists by hiring them to run his campaign and enjoying their support. With the hipster racist alt-right movement — composed mostly of racist and disaffected white male millennials — and the Breitbart media organization having a seat at the Trump table, we should expect white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Klan and other hate groups to have the ear of the White House.
My 6-year-old son is frightened by Donald Trump, and I haven’t decided how to break the news to him about Trump’s victory. Indeed, many black parents are shaking their heads, wondering what to make of all this, and what they should tell the kids, knowing that America has become a much more dangerous place for them.
And we must ask ourselves: How do we suddenly transition from the nation’s first African-American president to a man who was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan? And given the efforts by Trump and his minions to suppress voting for African-Americans and others this election season, we should expect the war on voting rights to continue.
President Trump. Really. The white riot has begun, and to say it is terrifying is an understatement. People, we have a lot of work to do.
Follow David A. Love on Twitter @davidalove