Trump’s Victory has Nothing to do with Racism

To my friends, especially non-white, who are concerned about a Trump presidency:

I didn’t vote for Trump.  I don’t think he’s a good man.  And while there are many criticisms one could credibly level, I do not believe that racism is one of them.

I know a lot of Trump supporters.  And not one of them that I know of supported him because they want to get rid of black or Mexican people.  I know there’s an element out there, but I don’t know any of them personally.  On the left there are also radicals, communists, people who hate me because I’m white, people who want to take away my children because I teach them Christianity.

But the election of Trump had nothing to do with hating blacks or foreigners or gay people or women.  The media has been lying to you.  And they’ve been lying to you about my community, my people.  The years and years of lies that we have endured, that we are all racist, sexist bigots is a big part of why Trump is now the president.  For all his faults, we finally had a candidate that didn’t believe those lies, that at least pretended to like white middle-class Americans, as opposed to most of our political and entertainment industries.

If you are not part of white working class or middle class western and mid-western America, you just have no idea how hard the last eight years have been.  I know.  I see it all the time.  I see young people grow up in schools that teach them nothing, utterly unprepared for life.  It used to be that those young people would at least have lots of jobs waiting for them where they would learn the real score.  But those jobs are drying up.  The industries that used to employ them are hogtied in a hundred different ways.  So incomes are declining, opportunities are scarce, and at the same time we have to hear about “white privilege” and all the other nonsense.  I see men who have worked in industries their whole lives watch those industries die, not because of normal market forces but because of government regulations.  We’re told we’re racist because we’re worried about the wisdom of moving in thousands of people from cultures that hate us, that do not value human rights or the equality of women, and dumping them right next to the poorest and most vulnerable in our own societies, and paying for their upkeep out of a treasury that’s already 20 trillion in the hole.  Families are falling apart.  A thousand other ills assail us, many of which have nothing to do with who’s president, and some of which do.  It’s all been said many times in this election, if you will just take the time to listen.

Freedom of religion is another big issue.  Christianity is increasingly not only being marginalized, but actually illegalized.  Gay wedding cakes, people being fired and hounded and harrassed because of their views on transgenderism or homosexuality.  These are the things that make middle class white America feel like the national elites not only don’t care about them, but actively dislike them.

Trump actually appeared to care about these things.  Trump actually communicated to middle America that he respects and likes us, and wants to do good things for us.  I have profound doubts about whether he actually will.  As I said, I wasn’t a supporter.  But good people came to different conclusions, and I don’t blame them.

Please stop believing the lies.  Please stop believing that people supported Trump because we hate blacks and Mexicans and gay people.  We don’t.  And as long as you believe that lie, you will only widen the gap that exists in America.  You will only aid and abet the vicious toxic stew that our national politics have become.  You only exacerbate the sense of most working-class and middle-class white Americans that the rest of the country hates them and is uninterested in actually listening to them.  Keep at it, and this election will seem like a time of peace and tranquility compared to what’s coming.

The people who supported Donald Trump want a prosperous, secure America for all of us.  They really do.  They want a president who believes his job is to care about and address the problems of Americans, not everyone else around the world.  They want a president who thinks that America is actually a good thing, something that should be preserved.  Donald Trump, for whatever else he is, is a brilliant salesman and understood the demand that the political market wasn’t meeting, and he met it.  Not because most of middle class white America hates blacks and Mexicans.  I want to make clear- I’m not interested in defending Trump.  I’m interested in defending the people who supported him.

So please, my friends who fear the election of Donald Trump and what it means for your place in America- don’t believe the lies of those trying to spin you up, to create boogeymen and scapegoats for you, to keep you afraid so you keep on depending on the scaremongers and race-baiters- Donald Trump supporters do not hate you and do not want you out of the country.  What is in his heart is his business.  But I know the people who supported him.  They are my people, my communities, and they are not what the people on TV tell you they are.  Kristallnacht is not around the corner.  Pogroms are not about to begin.  Lynchings are not on the menu.  I don’t know if any of the country’s problems will really get solved or not.  I’m skeptical, though time will tell.  In particular I’ve heard no credible proposals to deal with our disastrous national debt.  But if you just want to work at your jobs and raise your families and abide by the law and let people live their lives, then Trump people will be all for you, whatever the color of your skin.

8 thoughts on “Trump’s Victory has Nothing to do with Racism

  1. Matt says:

    Saying it has “nothing” to do with racism is an overstatement. Saying “I know there’s an element out there” but then titling your post “Nothing to Do With Racism” is self-contradictory.

    You’re one human, and just because you don’t personally know a racist doesn’t mean they aren’t out there and aren’t part of this election (which by the way, do you think a racist is going to introduce themselves, “Hello, I’m a racist and want all minorities out of our country.”)

    The funny part is, I’m actually in your boat. I didn’t support him because I wasn’t sure he was the best option for our country. I think this has LESS to do with racism and more to do with populism than many believe… but saying this has nothing to do with racism? That’s a stretch.

    1. Matt Powell says:

      Hi Matt,
      Thanks for reading. I didn’t say I don’t know racists. I do. What I am saying is that I don’t believe that racism is a significant factor in his election, as the people I know who support him- even the racists!- articulate legitimate, non-racist reasons to vote for him. Yes, I’m one human, and so are you. I’m relating my experience- I hope every expressed opinion doesn’t need to carry with it a claim of non-infallibility.

  2. Chris De Boer says:

    “I’m so glad I voted so I never have to see a nigger like you in office again” —someone said that to my friend today. Hate speech was spray painted on dorm rooms at my university hours after Trump was named President. The KKK demonstrated openly near the home of another friend in North Carolina. You might not know Trump supporters out there like this, but they do exist. To say they don’t is to deny this experienced racism that has already begun.

    1. Matt Powell says:

      Hi Chris- no doubt there is real racism out there. I said so in my article. I know racists. I’m just saying that in my experience, the people who support Trump do so for overwhelmingly non-racist reasons. Like I said also in my article, there are radicals on the left. There are people who voted for Obama who want one-world government, who want to destroy Christianity, who want to take away my children because I teach them the Bible. For me to say that such a sentiment is the reason Obama got elected, just because it exists, would be profoundly ignorant.

  3. Matt Powell says:

    Also, sadly, there have been so many fake hate crimes reported, crimes perpetrated by people trying to create an impression of a huge racist movement out there, that it is impossible to take any such claims at face value.

  4. Hennie says:

    If all Christians had stood up when it really counted in their life times, this country would still be the greatest and blessed nation on the earth. BUT…..Christians have taken the back seat and have allowed others to drown out their voices. Now we are all so surprised that it happen. Christians in the Western nations are not willing to stand up and die for Christ, we rather sit by and let every thing wash over us…..for the sake of keeping our tax free status….that is just the bottom line.
    Look at the Christians in Muslim countries who are daily threatened by death with guns and abuse of any sort for their faith. They are willing to die for Christ and they are willing to lose their family.
    I am happy to see that there have been many Joshua Christians who have looked beyond the giants in the land and still forged forward into believing God can use Trump to bring glory and honor back to His Name. Not voting for him (in my opinion) would have been a refusal to see God at work in places where God sees fit, like the men that went with Joshua to scope out the promised land. They ruined the opportunity for their fellow country men to enter into the promised land.

    1. Matt Powell says:

      I did not vote for him because I believed it would have been a direct violation of His word. You can’t use speculations about God’s sovereign will to override God’s expressed commands.

      1. Hennie says:

        And what was Jesus’ responds to doubting Thomas… believe only because you have seen. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at his heart. Just dare to trust in God, even if all odds are stacked against him.

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