Back in April, the news web site Salon asked ‘Uh-oh: Where does all the white rage go when Donald Trump loses?” Rolling Stone mused: “Trump’s newly riled-up, racist supporters may not go gently into that good night.”
I hear a lot of similar concerns from citizens who worry if Trump and his supporters have brought rampant racism out of the shadows and given them more of a voice.
Yes, they have. Racism remains a key part of the American psyche. Many of those who consider themselves white feel they should be the dominate race in a diverse country and the fact that they are becoming more and more of a minority brings their fear, anger and bigotry to the surface.
We see racism all around us each and every day. I see people look caustically at a mixed-race couple and shake their heads. Many proclaim they are not racist, which is a typical protest by those who actually are.
Ironically, many of those who claim to be white are a mixture of ancestors whose lineage is more often at least beige. My birth certificate says I’m white but I’m a mixture of Scots, black Irish and Seminole. My paternal grandmother was half Seminole and proud of it, as I am of my mixed heritage.
My wife, Amy, is Lebanese and Irish and proudly declares herself “beige.”
In Norman, Oklahoma, high school teacher James Coursey told his students: “To be white is to be racist, period.” His comments upset and riled folks in and around Norman.
Coursey says he used the observation to make a point about people’s feelings. The folks who want him fired missed that point.
I don’t believe all whites are racist. Donald Trump’s base and strong support from white supremacist groups show many bigots still live among us. I know about a dozen strong racists in Floyd County and I’ve met dozens more in Southwestern Virginia. My maternal grandfather was a blatant racist.
As an elementary student in Prince Edward County in the 1950s I saw racism first hand when the school board and board of supervisors there closed the public schools to avoid a federal court order to integrate and opened an all-white private educations system, using public funds.
For too many years, black families in that Virginia county had no place for education of their children.
Will racism continue to rear its ugly head in America? Sadly, I believe it will. Too much hate out there. Too much anger. Too much racism.
Donald Trump stirred the hateful emotions of fear, anger and ignorance in America. On Election Day, with hope, more Americans than the haters, the spiteful, the bigoted and the racists will put him down and end his candidacy.
Getting rid of Trump is a good first step towards keeping America great.