Monthly Archives: August 2017

If You’re Latino And Still Support Trump…What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?

Trump’s recent pardon of racist asshole Joe Arpaio crossed a line for me, in terms of how I look at the fact that there are Latinos who inexplicably continue to support him.  Up to this point, Trump’s racism, xenophobia and general-assholery has been obvious to anyone without blinders on, but I could always see how self-hating, ignorant Latinos could find a way to look around all of that and think “Trump’s my guy.”

When I think of what goes through the mind of Latinos who are pro-Trump, I think about, of course, the familiar escape mechanisms.  When Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists,” he was talking about illegals, don’t you know?  If you’re an American citizen, he’s not targeting you.  When he degrades disabled people, women or Muslims – well, if you’re not one of those people, and completely lack empathy and decency, I can see how you wouldn’t care.  I can understand how some conservative Latinos might think that when Trump says “Make America Great Again,” he’s talking about an America that fully includes them.  Which isn’t true, but I get how a person can be deluded into thinking so.

But, unless a person is completely ignorant of what exactly landed former Sheriff Joe Arpaio in violation of the law, I don’t understand how certain Latinos can not only silently accept the brazen racism-acceptance of Trump’s pardon, let alone continue to wear their dumbass MAGA hats and vocally support it.

The list of egregious human rights violations and affronts to decency that Arpaio committed is a long one, but for most of them, if you weren’t an inmate in one of his jails or an illegal immigrant, I can see how you might not particularly care.  After all, Arpaio was only being a monumental dick to incarcerated criminals or people who weren’t American citizens, right?  I guess in some people’s fucked up mindsets, those people deserve to be treated as shittily as possible, so who cares?

But Arpaio was also guilty of targeting and detaining people who were merely “suspected” of being in the country illegally.  If you’re Latino, THAT POTENTIALLY MEANS YOU, ASSHOLE.  I suppose if you have features that allow you to pass for a Caucasian, which many Latinos do, you might not think it’s you.  But ultimately – yes, it still is.  Because as much as you might not want to think so – at the end of the day, after all of the darker people have been harassed – they will come for you next, once they realize that you are of Latin heritage.  You will never, ever fully “fit in” with the racist, conservative white people you want so badly to be.  As much as you might hope, you’re not one of them.  You are only fooling yourself into thinking so.

Of course, you could simply be a glutton for punishment, and actually enjoy being treated like a second-class citizen.  In which case, hey good luck.  But if not, ask yourself, what the hell happened to you in the course of your life, that made you such a self-hating sellout who wants so badly to be accepted, that you would continue to support racist assholes like Trump and Arpaio?  One thing that the age of Trump has really exposed is the degree to which people can delude themselves – into thinking they aren’t racist, for example.  But it also includes people who fool themselves into thinking that Trump really gives half a shit about them, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  This is no better exemplified than by Latinos who think Trump and his supporters view them as equals.

 

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, Anyone Can Be Racist. But It’s More Damaging When White People Do It.

The terror attack in Charlottesville last Saturday, in which Heather Heyer was killed while protesting against racism, and Trump’s subsequent blaming of “many sides” and apparent sympathizing with white supremacists, has spurred a spirited back-and-forth about the topic of racism in America.  And, you know what that means.  Lotta bullshit making the rounds on social media.

One thing I see being said whenever a topic like this is brought up, often by racism deniers, is that there are racists in minority groups as well as among white people.  The point being that it sort of “cancels out” the racism of Neo-Nazis and other assorted tiki-torch wielding assholes, since minorities can hate too.  As a rebuttal to that flawed argument (which I will get to in a moment,) there are also some people who say things like “black people can’t be racist.”  Which, while I understand what they mean when those people say that, I disagree with.  At least in a literal sense of the word, in a hypothetical, neutral universe (and not the current American reality in which we live.)

The sad truth about racism is that yes, anyone can be racist.  Anyone can be a bigot.  Anyone can view and treat others differently (often worse) based on their skin color.  As a Latino, some of the most racist stuff I have heard has been said by Latinos about other races, including about other Latinos.  I remember when I worked as a waiter, talking to one of my co-workers and hearing her refer to “wetties,” and thinking that it was kind of weird to hear a Latino disparaging other Latinos in such a manner.  That kind of self-hate helps to explain the fact that there are some minorities who embrace and defend racists like Trump.  That fact is often pointed to by Trump apologists as a means of demonstrating “see, he’s not racist, minorities like him too.”  But that’s bullshit too.

However, while everybody can be racist, it carries much more weight when white people do it.  And that is due to the fact that our society is still dominated by a white patriarchy.  We often have the illusion of diversity, on television and in the corporate world, but at the core, America has a long way to go when it comes to different races being represented equally and having comparable influence.  For example, you can look at professional sports.  The NFL and NBA in particular are dominated by players of color.  But the situation is much different when it comes to the makeup of the mega-wealthy owners.  Same with corporate America.  Yes, the workforce might be made up of seemingly diverse assortment of races, religions, genders and sexual orientations.  But take a look at the profile of the upper levels of management and CEO’s.  Different story there.  Progress is being made, but we’re not there yet.

When white people are racist, it potentially resonates with a far greater number of people, including people in power or of influence, who can set policy that affects millions of lives.  Keep in mind, this is not simply a “white people thing” in the abstract sense.  It’s simply because numerically, America is still dominated by whites.  When black people or other minorities are racist towards white people, it might be repugnant and offensive, but the difference is, they’re “punching up,” not down.  And that’s the key distinction.  The ironic thing is, white supremacists like the ones in Charlottesville often indirectly make this argument.  Because one of their fears and grievances is that they’re becoming outnumbered.  As if that’s somehow a bad thing (it is.)  The truth is, they know that they are privileged and they’re pissed off because they see minorities making gains, and see it as a threat to their dominance.

Racism is an ugly thing, and people often don’t like to talk about it.  But I think it’s critical that we not only talk about it, but do so with honesty and without fear of saying stuff that makes people uncomfortable.  So yes, in the abstract, anyone can be racist.  But in the actual American society we live in, not all racism is of equal weight.  Far from it, in fact.

 

Photo credit:  Pixabay.com/OpenClipart-Vectors