In the 15 days since president-elect Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential Election, race related hate crimes in the United States have soared to a percentage unseen since the country’s darkest days, namely 9/11. Average stories reported across the U.S. over the last two weeks have centered around Trump supporters threatening to rip the hijabs off of Muslim women, threats of deportation against Hispanic children and their parents and black students being told to move to the back of buses. With Mr. Trump largely remaining mum on the attacks being carried out in his name, save for his ineffective “Stop it.” on “60 Minutes”, minorities can only wonder with dread how the president-elect officially taking and serving in office will fare for the everyday lives of them and their loved ones. Among those most concerned and affected are African Americans.
Over 90 percent of Black voters cast their vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during this year’s election, and with the forward thinking Democratic nominee having now lost the election and bowed out of the race, black Americans must now live under the rule of a president who is convinced 45 percent of them live in the “inner city” and have “nothing to lose” with him in power. A false statistic that Mr. Trump has referred to repeatedly throughout his campaign, it highlights not only the president-elect’s ignorance, but his nonchalant attitude towards forcing stereotypes in the face of minorities and down the throats of his impressionable supporters. Donald Trump’s presidency is already shaping up to be one built on a foundation of lies, one that black Americans will have to repeatedly put to deny and speak out against.
With Trump’s time in office also comes the fearful threat that many Black Muslims may be forced to into some sort of registry, and while the validity of that notion is still being speculated, the rumor has sparked a conversation. The question rightfully being asked is what would the purpose of this possible registry be; by neither affirming or denying the claim, much like addressing the rising number of hate crimes, Trump once again incites the wrongful stereotype that all Muslims are to be feared in some way, inciting Islamophobia and wrongly stirring up hate among the uninformed. On a similar level, his call for a nation-wide “stop and frisk” policy on more than one occasion – including in an interview with Fox News and during the first presidential debate – is another instance of his mind equating black and brown people with violence.
The next president of the United States thinks so lowly of African Americans as to automatically equate our existence with poverty, despair, savagery and a lack of education is a harsh reality for the Black community. His presence in the White House means that our fight for equality has been extended, and the end of that fight has gotten hazier. It means that our protests may never have a chance to be seen as peaceful. It means that our public image may be shot for many more years It means that now, more than ever, black Americans need to band both together and with our allies. It means that we need to keep fighting the pushback we’ll receive because of ignorance. Although the fight towards a more progressive future has been lost for now, the battle is far from over.