Am I A Racist?

Am I A Racist?

Am I a racist?

What a strange question to be faced with. Actually, I wasn't faced with that exact questions recently, but something similar.  

To paraphrase the letter I received from a conservative friend of mine:

So I'm wondering about something and you always have insightful answers. If our president would of said something instead of shithole countries. If we would of said something like

"Why do you have to keep letting more poverty or uneducated people into this country."

Is that still racist?

I'm not the biggest fan of Trump but I just feel that in media if you don't agree with the view of the left you're a racist. I don't agree with just handing out entitlements and free money to everyone for life. Including white people. I feel that the left says free for everyone so am I a racist in the eyes of the left?

I would like to see our borders from all countries shut down until we figure out a better plan with what is already here.

This is approximately what I responded, with a little added, and a little redacted:

I apologize for the delayed response. Been super busy, and wanted to take some time to reflect on the situation.  I also apologize for responding here rather than by text.  I wanted to give a complete answer, and that would take more typing than I’d like to do on my phone.

Racism is generally defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.

Trump has a long history of racism, and the federal government even said so as early as the 1970’s in his housing discrimination case.  The New York Times actually ran an actual opinion piece ennumerating Trumps racist moments,

I don’t think the issue is disagreeing with the left makes you a racist.  The issue is associating oneself with racists.  Stephen Bannon is a racist. Donald Trump is a racist.  I hate to tell you, but your party is being ran by a bunch of racists and racist sympathizers.  I don’t always know what’s right in this world, but I do know that I never want to be aligned with racists…and if you are, then yes, you’re going to be assumed to be racist as well.  So no, disagreeing with the left does not make you a racist…but it just so happens the left is standing in opposition to a group of racists, not leaving much grey area.  If you abide by the views and opinions of Trump and his cronies, then you might as well be a racist.  Turning a blind eye to racism is how you get Charlottesville.

His shithole comment was bad because it is the textbook definition of racism: prejudice, and then implied discrimination of a group of people from a country that, lo and behold, are all brown…and then he took it one step further by suggesting we accept more immigrants from countries where all the people are, shockingly, white.

The insinuation is disgusting…and entertaining enough, immigrants from Africa generally tend to be more educated than their American counterparts.

http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-global-african-immigrants-explainer-20180112-story.html

So not only is his prejudice disgusting, but much like most prejudices, it’s not rooted in any reality.  Furthermore, the assumption that people from African countries would 'of course' be in need of entitlements emanates from a racist ideology.

Also, let’s be careful about the idea of “free money”.  Trump is only rich because he got “free money”.  He has only remained rich because every time he ran his business into the ground, he declared bankruptcy and got another “entitlement” from the US government.  More recently, your party approved a tax bill that guarantees men just like Trump get an endless stream of “free money” in perpetuity.  When rich men and corporations get free money, it’s a write-off, when poor people get free money, it’s an entitlement.  There’s a problem with that thinking…it’s faulty.

The words on the Statue of Liberty may not mean much to you, but they do mean a lot to me;

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I don’t know a lot about your ethnic background or family history, but you’ve never struck me as being Native American, so once upon a time, one of your forefathers was tired, poor, and hungry, and looking for an opportunity for something more.  Haiti has been through a lot over recent years.  Their people want to come here and get the same opportunity.  I can understand wanting to make sure there is process to see that happen…but the problem with the Republican party, which Trump underlined with his recent comments, is that they don’t want to see that process happen with people from countries that have brown people. That’s what his travel ban is about, that’s what his wall is about. It’s not about safety or security, it’s about not wanting people with different skin colors and different religions coming around, and that’s just not right.  More importantly, they know that when brown people do come here from other countries, they en mass vote Democratic.  Republicans hate immigration to save their own collective asses.

I know you're a good person.  I also can tell you’re getting pulled deeper into very conservative thinking.  But don’t forget what you’ve experienced.  Black and brown people can be just as hard working, and just as productive as any white person.  The Republican party is racist because they want to denigrate that fact at every twist and turn.  They choose to vilify the most educated, academically successful, and most articulate President we’ve had in my lifetime…and not because of his politics…but because he was black…and that’s not right either.  How do we know it wasn’t because of his politics?  Because they had their now infamous back room meeting long before he had a chance to make any political movements. They decided up front to stone wall him...because they didn’t like the color of his skin.

I apologize for the length. I hope my thoughts help.
~ DM

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