Introducing The Next Generation Of Leaders And Thinkers

The Anatomy of Post-Election Racism

If you are a person of color in America, you already know the deal. There comes a time in a POC’s life when you realize “okay, maybe everyone does notice that my skin is a few shades darker than theirs!” This epiphany comes around the same time when you also begin to realize that sometimes your pigmentation decides how America will treat you. Depending on the day, the same country that urges you to flaunt your melanin systematically treats you with lesser value because of it.

Classrooms become battlefields, workplaces become places where you feel as if you are in a race where everyone received a head-start and left you trying to catch up. Unfortunately, over time, you learn to adapt as most animals do when brought into a foreign environment. You smile at the old white men who glare at your hair and you move on. You learn to merely shake your head at your boss’s racist jokes and you keep on walking.

To outsiders looking in, yes the misadventures of a person of color appear unbearable, and at times it can be. But we have long past the pivotal point of shock. So when Donald Trump was elected to be the president of the United States and nearly immediately thereafter, thousands of stories around the country of discrimination and hate poured through the seems of Facebook and Twitter, we were not surprised.Horrified, yes, but not surprised, because this was the type of hate that we had grown accustomed to throughout the years.

“Racism is built into the bones of this country. It grows as we grow, it breathes as we breathe, it is something that we can never truly shake off because to discard racism in America is to discard our shameful past.”

The terrifying differentiator is that in the past, racist remarks were relatively subtle. They were locker room taunts and snide remarks by blonde White girls in the hallway and a few full-blown dramatizations straight from the sixties but even those were met with swift rebuttals. For the most part, the racism of my generation, the racism that I grew up with, was the silent kind that tricks White people into believing that it has disappeared entirely. It’s the kind that forces you to do a double take, the kind that you don’t realize is racist until you find yourself picking apart the conversation on the way home from work. However, the monster that Trump created is a whole new beast. A beast hiding under America’s bed, poking its head out now and then and waiting to come out and play.

This vicious racism is not something that Donald Trump founded, it’s simply something that he, perhaps unintentionally, encouraged to show itself. Racism is built into the bones of this country. It grows as we grow, it breathes as we breathe, it is something that we can never truly shake off because to discard racism in America is to discard our shameful past. He inadvertently deemed it okay for young men and women to chant “build that wall!” to a sea of crying Mexican-Americans and “Perhaps you should sit at the back of the bus today,” to young Black men and woman merely trying to go to school.

It’s this exact feeling of overwhelming supremacy and superiority that once it begins, it cannot be stopped, and you’d think that it would not be too much to ask for someone who was elected to lead this free country of ours to not condone this type of behavior. The same type of behavior that fuels the mindsets of those who have hidden in the shadows until now. It’s terrifying to see cold hard racism right before your own eyes, where it is not only tolerated but encouraged. Where the supporters of discrimination are beginning to match the brave souls who protest injustices.

President Donald Trump was just one of many factors that woke a sleeping bear that was better left off in hibernation. He offset a chain of events that people of color knew would come yet prayed that it would hold off just a little bit longer. Of course, by the time the effects of poor decisions come to light, and mistakes are recognized, as always, it always seems to be too late.

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