We Must Be Careful to Not Simply Transition From Overt Bigotry to Pleasant Racism

Donald Trump is gone. From DC. From Twitter. And from the presidency.

This is nothing but good news. He’s a terrible human being and an overt bigot. Under his watch, white supremacy spread like wildfire, and hate crimes and acts of ugly racism have spiked faster than any point in our lives. Now that Trump has lost the seats of power that he holds dear, it’s my hope and prayer that we will begin to see a decline in the type of gross hate that has found a warm embrace from Trump the past four years.

But my fear is that with Trump gone, we will transition from wall-to-wall overt bigotry to the default mode our nation has operated on for generations - a casual, even friendly, pleasant form of racism - the type that will shake your hand and smile in your face, but still imagine, create, fund, deploy, and protect policies that incarcerate our people.

The kind that empowers police who beat, maul, murder, and maim our people, and maintain the countless systems and structures of inequality that have harmed our families and communities from slavery until today.

Sometimes I hear people say they prefer the overt bigotry over the subtle kind. I don’t. Overt bigots spit in your face, call you racial slurs, AND oversee the policies that cause harm. Casual bigots keep the spit and racial slurs to themselves, but match many of the same policies as white supremacists.

I am hoping, instead, for a third option. One that abandons white supremacy in actions and in policies.

I know it’s wishful thinking, but it’s just not too much to ask.

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