IMHO: I'm A Black American Woman – Here's What Trump's Presidency Means To Me

At about 8PM on November 8th, a feeling of confidence crept up in me that hadn’t been present throughout this presidential campaign. For a moment, it seemed that love would trump hate and Hillary Clinton would win the election proving that "when they go low, we go high."

But that moment was short-lived. America spoke and chose to go low, very low, by electing Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States.

Trump’s win wasn’t the result of his competency or his experience. What won Trump the election is white America’s anger at a changing America and their resentment at having had to endure eight years of Obama and the cosmopolitan country he ushered in as president.

This divisive platform galvanized the nearly 60 million white Americans who voted for Trump and every single one of them sent a loud and clear message to the rest of brown and black America: you are not welcomed. To be fair that has always been Trump’s message...

 

...In fact, he kickstarted his bid to be president by demonizing Mexican immigrants and calling for a wall to be built on the US-Mexico border.

 

What we didn’t anticipate was the number of Americans who would support his plans for a wall, mass-deportation, rounding up Muslim’s living in the country, placing a ban on them coming into the country, and think nothing of him retweeting racist tweets by white nationalists and neo-Nazis, bullying just about everyone from the disabled, war heroes, journalists, women and black protesters at his rallies.

(via BBC)

(via BBC)

And it wasn’t just the uneducated white working-class voters from red states Trump won. His platform also resonated with whites who are wealthy, educated, young and even those in blue states.

 

While the media and pollsters placed their focus on the
anti-establishment angry white working-class males uniting to support Trump, they overlooked an influential group – white women.

 

It was white women who were instrumental in getting Trump into the White House. 53% of them voted for Trump. Nevermind Trump’s sexist remarks or his jokes about sexually assaulting women, white women chose to downplay his misogyny claiming his language and behavior would not impede him from executing his plans.

 

On the other hand, 94% of African-American females
voted for Hillary Clinton and rejected Trump.

 

Pundits and commenters have been trying to explain away Trump’s victory by pointing at the anti-establishment sentiment in the country and the anger felt by uneducated working-class whites. But that’s all smoke and mirrors.

(via Broadly)

(via Broadly)

The real discussion is how wide of a racial divide there is between black and white women and how white America’s anger is not simply fueled by an anti-establishment reaction but also by racial anxiety.

 

What the media refuses to acknowledge is how much race played
a factor in the way in which white Americans voted.

 

America is still very much a race-based society. I and other black Americans never lost sight of this before or after this election. White women had an opportunity to break the highest glass ceiling in the world, but they chose race over gender.

Mikki Kendall, a feminist cultural critic, explained the white women vote to The Guardian:

"The strong support for Trump among white women suggests that many of them, if not 'overtly racist,' simply 'don’t think racism is a big deal.' For them, it’s not real. They don’t have to worry about it, so you must be exaggerating."

For many of us black women, the election results are a reminder of the racism that has historically permeated the feminist movement. In the 19th and 20th century white women suffragettes in the US distanced themselves from black women. Not much has changed.

In fact, Trump presidency places minorities in an even more vulnerable position. If the president of the free world can use offensive and hateful language towards minorities and sexually assault women, think this won’t trickle down into our everyday lives? If so, you are sadly mistaken.

 

Trump’s win is a green light for those 60 million white voters
to disregard our needs and treat us like second-class citizens.

 

Trump may have expressed he will be "a president for all Americans" and that it's time for the nation "to come together as one united people" in his victory speech, but his hypocritical words fell flat.

This is the same man who waged war against minorities while campaigning, described all blacks as poor and living in ghettos, encouraged his supporters to incite violence against black protesters, called for the execution of five wrongly accused black boys, was sued twice by the Justice Department for racial discrimination, who once said  "laziness is a trait in blacks," spoke about implementing stop and frisk nationally – despite the supreme court deeming it unconstitutional for targeting minorities in New York City.

Trump was also quoted as referring to the slave era as America's golden age thanks to the industrial revolution, which he, of course, forgot to mention was due to the hard work of enslaved Africans.

 

Must we simply overlook his offenses?

 

Sure, there are many whites who are appalled at Trump being president, but it will be life as usual for them once the sense of devastation dies down.

As for us brown and black Americans, it will also be back to business – the business of fighting against a white nationalist movement and racist government policies. Trump isn’t the first President to win an election by fueling bigotry, but he is the first in recent history to be so blatantly racist.

Read More -> IMHO: A Millennial’s Reaction To President Trump