Donald Trump, civil rights hero

OPINION: The former president has become a symbol of oppression to a new generation of activists, elected officials and gun-toting revolutionaries intent on fighting for the freedom and civil rights…of white people.

US President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he arrives to a campaign rally at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin on October 30, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio

One of the most insidiously absurd misconceptions about the persistence of American-style racial oppression is the concept of “awareness.”

According to this misbegotten theorem, the people who envisioned, created and continue to maintain America’s perpetual inequality machine are simply unaware of its effects on non-white people. Somehow we are led to believe that a steady diet of Black history, anti-racism literature, teary-eyed testimonials and videos of police shooting Black people in the face will eventually trigger a shift in the national consciousness and rid the world of racial inequality. The entire premise rests on the implausible idea that people are generally good—that white people would surely dismantle white supremacy if only they were aware of its pervasiveness. It’s not that white people don’t care about racism and how it benefits them; they just don’t know how pervasive and harmful it is. 

It’s understandable why this thesis is so widely accepted. The only other alternatives are too pessimistic or too racist to say out loud. Either the vast majority of white people are aware of their country’s 400-year history of oppression and have collectively decided to ignore it, or the economic, political and social racial disadvantages endure because the vast majority of Black people are inherently lazier, more violent and less intelligent than white people. So, as a nation, we have chosen to believe the third option—white people just don’t know…

Until the great civil rights hero Donald John Trump became a symbol of white liberation.

“Every single American needs to be looking over their shoulder because the federal government is coming for them,” said noted insurrection leader Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) on Monday. “That seems to be the America we live in right now.”

Wait, there’s another America?

Oh yeah, there’s the white one. 

Perry was referring to America’s most powerful law enforcement agency’s brazen decision to ask a judge for a search warrant, notify Trump in advance, conduct a legal search, and—most importantly—enforce the law.  Apparently, Perry and his White Power Puffs had no idea that the law could be weaponized against its own citizens. During the summer of 2020 protests against racial injustice, Politico reported that 62 percent of whites supported Trump dispatching the military and a secret police force to suppress protests against racial injustice. Now, only 46 percent of white Americans approve of the FBI’s decision to conduct a search warrant of the former president’s resort.

Even pro-riot House Leader Kevin McCarthy is outraged about the “intolerable state of politicization” used to target a nice white identity extremist like Donald Trump. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) insists this attack on white civil rights is the reason Jan. 6 rioters are being unfairly targeted by the ungodly criminal justice system and the masturbation industrial complex. 

For some reason, the FBI’s power became untenable when federal agents put the great white savior in its crosshairs. The consternation over the feds’ egregious violation of Trump’s constitutional rights as a white man caused the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to warn its agents about the threats from the people who previously declared themselves “patriots.” One can only conclude that Republicans—and white people in general—did not know about the FBI’s wholly nonexistent Black Identity Extremist designation. Perhaps Rep. Mike Turner and the GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee, who are demanding that the DOJ expose its confidential informants, have no clue that law enforcement agents were embedded in the Black Lives Matter movement. Maybe they didn’t know that the Department of Justice have used these tactics against Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Fred Hampton and the leaders of every Black liberation movement that ever existed. Too bad it’s all hidden in publicly available files. I’m sure they would have spoken out if they were aware of Rakem Balogun, Grand Master Jay or the five journalists who had their phone records seized by the Trump administration. How were they supposed to know about COINTELPRO or Operation Iron Fist or the secret “Race Paper”? 

In spite of the fact that people in majority Black neighborhoods have to wait longer to vote, face more poll closures, are more likely to have their ballots tossed and are more likely to vote on outdated voting machines, in 2019, less than one-third of whites felt that Black Americans are treated less fairly when voting. Not a single House Republican showed up to investigate the ballot irregularities and disappearing votes in Georgia after the 2018 midterms (to be fair, I was there only because I read about it on the Committee on House Administration’s website). No one paid attention to the long lines, the voter purges and broken voting machines in Georgia’s Black precincts. Even the very real prospect of Russian interference was dismissed. 

…Until Donald Trump transformed the GOP into a party of voting rights activists. 

When Trump lost in 2020, the entire Republican Party was suddenly concerned about white voter suppression. They wanted to recount votes in the same districts they won in 2016. Instead of looking at voting machines in Black neighborhoods, they insisted that white people were victims of hacking. The Republicans who objected to legislation that strengthened the Voting Rights Act of 1965 suddenly saw the need to pass state-level legislation to ensure that Caucasian votes were being counted. To be fair, these are the same people who fell for “The Big Lie.” It’s understandable that the people who ignore never heard about a century of race-based voter suppression have now latched on to the fantasy of widespread voter fraud. 

Because of how the powerful elites continue to oppress Donald Trump, white people are beginning to see the light. People who carry confederate flags are suddenly paying attention to how history is taught and how the education system can make children feel bad. Since Jan. 6, anti-riot advocates who wanted the police present wherever two or three Black people were gathered in freedom’s name are no longer concerned about “law and order.”

In 2017, Republican legislators in at least 18 states introduced bills that allowed law enforcement agents to crack down on protests. Donald Trump has actually gotten Republicans to consider bail reform, ending solitary confinement and expanding the rights of protesters. The ones who wanted to arrest Hillary Clinton for her emails are no longer concerned with national security. The demands for Obama’s birth certificate and his college transcripts have subsided since Trump refused to release his financial records. Suddenly every American deserves the right to privacy. 

Donald Trump is now a martyr. Simply holding him accountable for his actions has radicalized the white liberation movement. For them, the fact that criminal investigators are investigating Trump’s alleged criminal activities is inconsequential. The fact that whites make up 73 percent of the federal judiciary, 77 percent of Congress, and 92.6 percent of fortune 500 CEOs and every state legislature in the country doesn’t mean that white people aren’t under attack. They feel aggrieved. 

And, to defend the violent insurrectionists, right-wing terrorists and the anti-cop contingent who refuse to “just comply,” they point to how their “freedoms” are being attacked. If they are smearing feces and grabbing their rifles to attack FBI agents after a year and a half of imaginary oppression, imagine how angry they’ll be in 400 years. Pretty soon, these un-American radicals will be promoting ideas like defunding the FBI, a guaranteed right to vote and reparations for those who have lost generational wealth due to the systemic inequality caused by reverse racism. 

Unlike most of the callous, unsympathetic masses, I understand why the members of the Pale Panther Party for White Self-Defense feel that they are losing their rights. Instead of telling them to “stop resisting” because “Blue Lives Matter,” we should stop treating them like they are three-fifths of a human. It’s almost like they have “no rights which the (something something) is bound to respect.” After all, who wouldn’t complain about a country where badge-wearing authorities can trample on their rights with no accountability? 

Maybe they should “go back to Caucasia.”

Fortunately, the oppression of Donald Trump opened their third eye. Now that the white masses are aware of how a person’s civil and constitutional rights can be stripped away by those who have been given the power, authority and privilege to do so, I’m sure they will insist that every American deserves liberty and justice. If they don’t stand up for every oppressed group, then all they are doing is upholding the “systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another.” 

What kind of country would do that?

Michael Harriot is a writer, cultural critic and championship-level Spades player. His book, Black AF History: The Unwhitewashed Story of America, will be released in 2022.

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