Like many, I did not expect Donald Trump to win the presidential election. I did not expect an open bigot to win in a country that stresses public civility and decency (although its actions adhere to colonialism and violence).
I did not expect a man with no political acumen to mastermind a victorious national campaign that defied almost every rule and custom known in modern presidential politics. Outspent and scandal-ridden, Donald Trump was not supposed to win.
But he did. And here’s why I think so.
America, at its core, is STILL a racist, xenophobic, misogynist country.
Despite the declarations of white moderates and other post-racialists, this country and its population is still beholden to the violence that created it. Donald Trump is the physical manifestation of all -isms you can think of. White voters expressed, through their electoral participation, the status quo to which they’re most familiar.
We are not a racially progressive nation. Trump’s election is a reality check for those who thought it was.
Obama’s election sparked white fear
Building off the first point, President Obama’s Black body occupying the most powerful executive office in the world sparked fear in white folks. The rise in hate groups and crimes these past eight years is documented evidence of this. The right-wing’s obstructionism — traced to billions in white corporate dollars — was a result of racist fear. The center-right’s reluctance to foment a robust defense is even more telling.
The dog-whistling, public disrespect, heightened gerrymandering, and implementation of restrictive voter identification laws, and other acts of aggression were ramped up following the election of the country’s first Black president.
White liberals failed to organize effectively
White people voted for Trump. Bottom line. All disenfranchised groups voted heavily in Clinton’s favor. White people — including a majority of white women — voted for Trump. The onus of organizing white folk fall on other white folk. For every well-intentioned white liberal, there’s a racist family member or friend in close proximity. Those were the folks that needed to vote for the “lesser evil.”
Rape culture and misogyny exists within white women
The man admitted to sexually assaulting women … and still got elected. A majority of white women voted for him, unbothered with his harm-doing. Some even encouraged it. This says a lot. But I’m not sure what, just yet.
There are more reasons (of course) but these are three I’m comfortable writing publicly. Please expect more on white feminism, Black labor, and Black visionary organizing.