Donald Trump is a Symptom of a Pre-existing Condition

Bishop Talbert Swan
Mar 7, 2019 - 5:00
Donald Trump is a Symptom of a Pre-existing Condition

Who would have thought that the improbable election of a real estate developer turned reality television personality would inspire a resistance movement across racial, gender, and cultural lines? Donald Trump’s election catalyzed the 2017 Women’s March and numerous mass demonstrations around the globe, which are credited with the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives. We must ask ourselves what exactly is being resisted in this current moment. The most common answers range from Trump’s racism and xenophobic views, to his erratic and questionable behavior, to the corruption of his administration to his overall incompetence. The latter has raised questions among his staff on whether the 25th...

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7 Replies to “Donald Trump is a Symptom of a Pre-existing Condition”

  1. Well spoken! Living as a white male in Norway, I cannot fathom your problems other than intellectually, but your problem is bigger than one man – no doubt. I think much of the problem lies in how colored people are shown in news, entertainment and so on. People who are white are fed a soup of “the person with another skin is more dangerous than your own”. Especially is this true in the news reports. I feel guilty myself many a time when I meet a person of color and suddenly realize I gently grab my pocket for my wallet – an instinct so unfair and yet so ingraved in me. It doesn´t happen often, but it happens too often.

    1. And strangely enough, in spite of your conclusion, you (generally speaking) want to make us feel we are the problem when in truth, the soup you are being fed and willingly eating, to grow your fears is the problem. May I suggest to you that you make an adult decision to self correct, stop feeding your irrational fears, because we are no longer carrying your baggage. We must leave you to your fears because the freedom in my head is far more valuable than your self inflicted fears.

  2. All of this. My husband, an immigrant, said from the get go that 45 is merely a symptom, not the problem itself. I was cosseted by my privilege until Michael Brown was murdered. I saw with increasing clarity that this sh*t has been going on for five hundred years. I’ve spent a lot of time in the past two years educating myself and supporting voices and causes that are unrepresented.

  3. I appreciate the distillation of Trump down to a symptom. Beyond this article, each day I am asking myself how we, as a community of activists, break down the parts of racism, recognize it in everyday acts, and then right the ship. While I agree with the entirety of this article and its pointing towards the racist acts of past Presidents, the Trump era is somewhat singular in (or at least a return to) its overt racism and subsequent unabashed flourishing in his followers. What are the parts and pieces that have made it so acceptable for Trump to say Nazis are “very fine people”? It seems like a leap backward, even if it is not as large a leap as some seem to think. What is the climate that has caused this gradual reversion to insanity? One in which even the most seemingly “open, nice” white person cares little about even appearing to give a sh** about people of color? Growing up in the South, racism is overt, but sometimes strangely I have found that the white people who care to fight it are larger in number than the ones of the liberal North. I have lived in NYC for some time now and have always felt like racism just looks different here. But that’s another conversation altogether…
    As a white woman in America, I am trying to find ways to engage in these conversations with white people whenever possible. It’s not enough to feel or know what’s right. And it’s not enough as a white person to sit by and be critical of other white people without doing the work to engage in conversations with the racism that exists in our community. That’s what I am focused on – taking some of that burden off the people of color I know and love. But damn, sh** is so insidious.

  4. I think that until the in-your-face racism, sexism, anti-immigrant hatred (etc.) of the current administration, it was easier for white liberals to believe that things were getting better in the U.S. — that while things weren’t perfect, they were improving. As an academic, I remember after President Obama was elected, there was all this “research” about Americans now living in a post-racial society. But of course, as this article points out, it was a falsehood — an illusion that helped liberals to relax and feel good about how things were progressing. While the hate and fear mongering is distressing, there’s no hiding it now and perhaps it will be easier to get people to take action.

  5. Even of the 1960s, we white allies of “The Resistance” didn’t understand the extent of the effort that was needed. When LBJ signed the voting rights act into law and celebrated other equal rights laws about housing, education, and lending, we were naive enough to think the work was done. It’s heartening to see some the newest generation joining the fight because of their embracing the value of diversity but we must be vigilant to the fact that those who embrace white supremacy, overtly or unconsciously, have the opposite view. Must. Keep. Resisting. Evil.

  6. President Trump is just a symptom but the racial divide has always been there for a long time. The election of Obama made people of color relax a bit but the change was so short-lived

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