There’s been a media-wide push in the last year or so to try to understand the perspective of the Trump supporter. Publications have gone to every middle America county in America to try to get into the heads of the people who voted for Donald Trump. Meanwhile every political talking head show has invited Trump supporters to defend things like building walls to keep Mexicans out, explain why white supremacists aren’t so bad and why people don’t deserve healthcare. All under the guise that there’s a need to understand how people can be lead to hatred.
Remember when Trevor Noah was unilaterally praised for having a supposedly productive dialogue with anti-black scam artist Tomi Lahren? Remember when we were exposed to articles about Richard Spencer’s dapper brand of racism? Or Milo’s appearance on Bill Maher’s show? Have you seen all the free dinners racists have gotten while sitting in front of cameras spouting white nationalist rhetoric while pretending to be open to dialogue? It’s all been a widespread normalization of racism that only magnifies hatred.
Well, what about us? What about the people actually affected by the election of Donald Trump? For every article about a black person trapped in a Trump county that doesn’t want him or her around, there are 15 about people who voted for whiteness and now regret their decision. Because, let’s be clear, by every discernible metric, study or survey available, whiteness determined that Donald Trump would be president.
Yet there’s a futile search for a deeper reasoning as to why Trump won the election. That search comes from a desire to ascribe some other reason besides racism to the white nationalism that’s been visible across the country for centuries. It’s the same desire that makes so many white Americans rush to say “this isn’t us” or “this isn’t America” whenever racists swarm Charlottesville with Tiki torches to assert white power.
There’s no desire, however, to find out why black people feel how we feel because true black feelings about the state of this country won’t make white people feel better. Our voices are only going to demand that America change and become a country it wasn’t designed to be. Our voices bring discomfort and demand evolution. Thus our voices are only there to be silenced. The way we’ve been treated shows the fallacy of the idea of Dialogue. Capital “D” Dialogue is code for “let white people talk while black people listen.” Dialogue is a myth. The idea of understanding both sides is a myth. The only truth is that there will always be a push to understand the white psyche while casting black expression aside. It always has been but that point has been no more clearer than in the last few months.
I have yet to witness a way for black people to speak up that has been acceptable for white America. Let’s look at the three most high-profile controversial black opinions of the last year. Colin Kaepernick has asked that police stop killing innocent black people and has been essentially fired from his job. Munroe Bergdorf asked white people to address their history of anti-black violence. And Jemele Hill simply acknowledged the fact that Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacy has emboldened white supremacists – a fact the white supremacists have backed up themselves. These three comments should not be controversial. They aren’t. The problem is that the comments have come from black people, meaning the rest of the country would rather not hear them.
Black people were brought to America to suffer in silence and despite claims that the country has evolved, the role forced onto us hasn’t changed. So while white supremacists and white supremacist sympathizers (aka more white supremacists) are being allowed to parade their propaganda on television, black people are asked to be quiet. But the beauty of blackness it that we’re not really good listeners when it comes to doing what we’re told by oppressive wannabe overseers. So just admit it. You want us to suffer in silence. Not that it’d make much difference because we’re going to continue to be as loud and true as we want whether you can handle it or not.