If Donald Trump were a Black Man

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We were sitting at the bar in Longhorns, eating our salads, when the two men one chair over began pointing at the TV and talking about this week’s debate.

Did you hear him say he was gonna lock her up? one Bubba said to the other.

Yeah, answered Bubba Jr. He should. He should lock her up.

My boy, who knows his momma all too well, shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He might have been praying. He knew for sure I wasn’t going to let that pass.

I didn’t.

Excuse me, I said, leaning over the chair between us. Do you know what they call that?

Call what? Bubba Sr. asked.

When you lock somebody up that way? Just at will?

Both Bubbas shook their heads. Their mouths full.

Totalitarianism, I answered. Only I had a hard time enunciating it because of braces and generally not prone to using big words. So I repeated myself. Then explained.

That’s not democracy, when they lock you up without due process. That’s not democracy. My father died in Vietnam. Freedom means something to me. That’s not freedom when you threaten to jail somebody just because you don’t like them. Trump is an idiot.

Hey mom, this isn’t your Facebook page, my son whispered. Save it.

Okay, sorry, but you know it drives me crazy, this stuff.

I know, he said.

Four hours later, the hotel clerk noticed my Hillary button. That Trump’s a mess, she said.

Sure enough, I concurred.

I am from California, she explained. When he goes on TV talking about uneducated blacks, not working, not having an education, I said to my husband, who is he talking about, ’cause he ain’t talking about me. I have an education. I have a job. I’m smart enough to know not to vote for him.

Dang right, I said. If Blacks would vote, Hillary could win in Georgia.

Sure enough, she said.

Are the black preachers preaching that?

Yes, she answered. Can you imagine if a black man with three baby mamas and five babies tried to run for president? Huh-Oh-No way, she said. They wouldn’t be having no black man with three baby mamas running for president.

No, because it would never happen, she said. Only rich white men can act that trashy and still run for office.

He ain’t going to win, I said.

No, she said. I don’t believe he will.

Still, the truth is, we are all losers in the long run.

She nodded in agreement.

Prior to this election, I could pretend that friends and family members I love and care about weren’t racist. I can’t do that any longer.

When they would trash Obama, I would tell myself they were ranting on Obama because they didn’t like his political agenda. That they didn’t believe in health care for all, didn’t want to pay for it, didn’t see it as their responsibility really to care for others. That they were worried about creating a welfare state and robbing people of the incentives for working and purpose. I could sort of wrap my brain around all of that because, yeah, we need to be careful as parents not to overdo for our children less they fail to do for themselves. We need to allow kids to learn coping mechanisms because we aren’t always going to be around to help them cope.

So I could grasp all that.

But then along comes Trump and I realized that all those friends and family members who have made it clear they are voting for Trump are really racists because there is no way in H-E-DoubleToothpicks they would vote for a black man, no matter how rich he is, if he had five children by three different baby mamas.

A black man who has five children by three different baby mamas wouldn’t get anywhere near the White House. He would be called all sorts of ugly racists names and quickly dismissed.

A black man who brags about grabbing a white woman’s privates at will would be demonized by the very same crowd of people who are declaring Donald Trump is God’s chosen for such a moment as this. And it wouldn’t matter if that black man were pro-life, promising to overturn Roe v. Wade. If a black candidate talked about how he “moved” on a married white woman “like a bitch”,  Paul Ryan and the GOP would yank him from the campaign trail so quick his neck would break.

A black candidate who bragged about walking into a room full of beauty pageant contestants in all stages of undress would be arrested in this country.

A black candidate who encouraged his followers to take up guns in this country would scare the hell out of us.

A black candidate who urged other blacks to turn out at polling places to monitor the vote would be viewed as someone inciting racial violence.

A black candidate would never earn the endorsement of the law enforcement unions of this nation.

A black candidate would never be able to say stand before the masses and yell “I want to punch them in the face” without getting punched in the face himself.

A black candidate would never be able to speak to a white woman the way Donald Trump speaks to Hillary Clinton. Imagine a black candidate yelling from the podium “Lock her up! Lock her up!” The masses of white people would not cheer that. No way in hell.

A black candidate had never attended church, who misquoted the Bible, who mocked Evangelicals would never have been anointed for the position of presidency by James Dobson, Jerry Fallwell Jr, and Franklin Graham. There is just no way these three white men would ever have called together their evangelical friends to lay hands on a black man and anoint him as the GOP frontrunner.

Heck for that matter, there is no way Mark Burnett, the force behind Celebrity Apprentice, would have put a black man into the role of Donald Trump. The next time you doubt whether racism is at the heart of this election, consider how many millions would have tuned in each week to see a  black man declare “You’re Fired” to a host of other celebrities?

How long would Celebrity Apprentice have lasted had a black man been in the seat occupied by Donald Trump?

Donald Trump’s popularity among the voters, waning as it is, has been built not on the content of his heart, nor the capabilities of his mind, or the goodness of his soul. It is built on nothing more than his appeal to the racist within us.

And there is just no getting around that.

So when he loses this election  – and he will – we are going to have to sit down to Thanksgiving table realizing that those breaking bread with us don’t just differ on matters of policy, but that our differences are Grand Canyon wide.

It is one thing to forgive your grandmother for her racism. She grew up in a time and place where she didn’t perhaps know any better.

But our peers, our cousins, our brothers and sisters, they know better and have still chosen Trump.

Reconciling that is not going to be easy.

 

Will we just pass the gravy and keep pretending that the lens through which we view people of color doesn’t really matter?

 

Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Burdy (Mercer University Press). 

 

 

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

16 Comments

connie

about 2 years ago

Well said. Another thing to think about, if Trump had talked about sexually assaulting MEN instead of women, and getting away with it because they wouldn't dare tell, they wouldn't stand for it.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 years ago

And to get men to understand, we keep asking them what if this were your wife, your daughter? Why does that matter? Women are being assaulted. That's all that should matter.

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Caroline Court

about 2 years ago

Great blog. Never looked at Trump from this angle before.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 years ago

Thank you for reading, Caroline and responding. Yes, when we consider how it might look from the other side, we see ourselves better.

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Jason Voelke

about 2 years ago

Half-truths are the reason intelligent, discerning people hate the media (and articles such as this. Trump said he would instruct his AG to reinvestigate her (and presumably imprison her after an impartial executive branch allows the investigation to reveal the truth). That's not totalitarianism, and it's not without due process. When you MARRY a woman, have kids, and subsequently get divorced, you ex-wife is not a "baby momma". She is an ex-wife and mother of your child. Big difference between that and the indiscriminate sperm-slinging that goes on in the ghettos. Not the least of which is that Trump (and many other men, of all colors) pays for his children, whereas taxpayers (largely) pay for the children of "baby mommas".

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 years ago

Jason: Trump has not mentioned due process in his repeated inflammatory remarks to "Lock her up". Locking up one's opposition in a political race, once the election is over is dictators do. Sometimes, of course, they just poison them or have them killed or they just disappear. Trump doesn't honor the Constitution. I am pretty sure after the Twitter campaign to repeal the 19th Amendment that Trump has never even read the Constitution. He certainly doesn't intend to follow the rules of law once elected. He doesn't follow them now. And you are being disingenuous in your comments about the exes and baby mamas. You know as well as I do that any black man who had been married and divorced three times and had five children by those three different wives would never ever win the GOP nomination nor get anywhere near the White House and the reason for that is because of the racist that lurks within GOP voters.

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Lulu

about 2 years ago

This has me in tears!! I just don't understand how someone can hate me for the skin i am in. I am nice, kind, generous, and humble. Yet, people not only hate me they hate my children. My babies are beautiful and smart and loving. The skin I am in encases me... it doesn't define me. I am loved, I am beautiful, I am me! Don't stand by and let others hate me, speak out! #AllLivesCantMatterIfBlackLivesDont

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 years ago

Lulu: On behalf of all the racist people out there, please let me say I am so, so sorry. I hate that this has hurt you so. Please forgive the people who just can't see how insipid their racism is, or how permeates their lives and thus ours. Hugs.

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Americana

about 2 years ago

I started reading this and realized it's another person that is for Hillary that is trying to make evidence that Donald Trump supporters are being duped (or are too stupid to realize that Hillary is better)........it really is bull. We have two candidates (the other ones don't have a chance) so it's either Trump or H. Clinton....both have baggage and both have things in the past that they would rather not bring up (don't we all, BUT they are running for Office) ...somehow, someway you Hillary supporters want to make Trump supporters feel bad for sticking with him; (especially when we were cringing at his women comments) BUT honestly and truly I say this: do I get embarrassed being a supporter of Trump sometimes - yes - BUT Trump's junk is not the same as Hillary's - people were killed on Hillary's watch when they asked for help time & time & time again (but noone answered that call - as she said she would in all her commercials!) also, she has been caught in lies after lies after lies - I mean with Trump we all know he doesn't want to show his tax returns because he used every single outlet he could (which is legal)- but HIllary has investigation after investigation after investigation and when clearly they said she had emails on her private server that were classified; she still says to people none of them were classified - she just lies and her supporters just act dumb about it - HIllary thinks she is above the Law - she lied about Benghazi & the awful part is: she lied to the victims families! Also, why does she want to bring in middle east refugees; wouldn't she want to protect us here in the United States or is it because her foundation donors are asking her to do it. Trump/rude...............H. Clinton/corrupt - Trump seems to like/love the United States of America even in his rudeness.........H. Clinton seems as though she doesn't care about the United States of America; remember Ambassador Stevens called, texted, FAXed and emailed cries for help she didn't care; she's bitter, she's callous and she thinks she's above the Law.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 years ago

Jamie: You have good reason to be concerned, embarrassed by Trump. You should be terrified of him. A lot of people are, including dozen of security advisors from both the GOP and Democratic party. Let's talk about the lies of Hillary vs. those of Trump. Polls and fact-checkers from the Washington Post to Politfact have confirmed that Trump lies more consistently and more outrageously than Clinton but Clinton is perceived to lie more because Trump repeats that she is liar so often. In fact, repeating a lie is Trump's primary tool of propaganda. It was Hilter's too btw. So it just isn't factual that Hillary is a bigger liar than Trump. Trump lies more and we have the video evidence to prove that. Re: Bengahzi. There were ten separate investigations by Congress regarding Clinton's role. This cost millions of dollars and thousands of hours. Either they are completely inept at investigations, or they were all bought off, or they simply concluded that while there was more that could have been done to protect our people, there was nothing criminally negligent on behalf of the State Department or Clinton. Yes, they could have provided more security. But that isn't the State Department's call. That's a Congressional call and they failed to finance that extra security. Just like they failed to finance the right equipment for our men when they first sent them into Iraq. RE: emails. I refer you to General Colin Powell's remarks. What HRC did was common practice. Bush did it. Cheney did it. Powell did it. This is just another drummed up straw-man argument. But listen, I don't care if you vote for Hillary or not. What I do care about is that you would vote for Trump. That you would do so knowing that Trump has bragged about sexually assaulting women. That he has incited violence among his followers. Trump is a scary dude. You know it deep down, whether you admit it or not.

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Michele Smith

about 2 years ago

We all know his ideas are radical. Anyone he thinks doesn't agree with all vile disgusting words. Tell me s omeone who likes this tyrannical human being how can you. He has mocked, servicemen, POW's, women, the handicapped, marriage, families of dead soldiers. He said he likes war, torture, even nuclear war. Warren Buffet has said he has made his millions on the backs of the little guy. He has absolutely no filter, experience or does he really want it. He wants to be a dictator. I am scared for the United States.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 years ago

Don't be scared. Pray. Pray. Pray. Then vote. And encourage others to do so.

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Betty Frandsen

about 2 years ago

When did rape or attempted rape get classified as "rudeness"?

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 years ago

Betty, good question. When did bragging about sexually assaulting women become nothing more than lewd talk?

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Cindy Smith

about 2 years ago

I wholeheartedly disagree. I do not particularly care for either candidate. I am a pro-life Christian voter. I do not choose to vote on a man or woman based on the color of his or her skin. Rather I try to support candidates whose views are as close to my beliefs as possible. If Trump were a black man, it would not make his comments or chauvinistic viewpoints any more or less pleasing. Likewise, if Hillary Clinton were a black female, it would not make her any more or less appealing. I want to support a candidate who promises to appoint conservative justices to the supreme court. Hopefully, conservative appointees will not support legislation that further devalues and endangers one of our most precious resource, our unborn children. While Trump was not my first choice (as a matter of fact, Ben Carson was), he is the only candidate who claims to be pro-life. I find it offensive that my pro-life stance makes others accuse me of ignorant bigotry.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 2 years ago

Cindy: I am sure you have good reasons to vote for what you perceive as a conservative candidate that will support your world view. There is no evidence, no factual basis whatsoever to believe that Trump will do that. He is not a conservative. He's not even a Republican. Jesus said you will know a man by his fruit, so if you follow the admonition from Jesus there is no factual evidence at all that Trump bears fruit that would align itself with a Christian worldview. None. Factual evidence shows that Trump lies about 60 percent of the time compared to Clinton lying about 25 percent of the time. In other words, he lies twice as much as her. Now I know the perception being touted by Trump is that Clinton wants to take away the 2nd Amendment. That's a lie. Or that she is all for late-term abortion. Another lie. Clinton supports Roe v Wade but favors bans/restrictions on late-term abortions except in the case of a medical condition that threatens the life of the mother. And the truth is that if a black man who had three wives and five children by those three wives even attempted to run for president the GOP would never allow for it. And that's what makes this entire thing racial/racist.

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