Dear Good White Donald Trump Supporters:
I get it. Finally you are: “Free at last! Free at Last! Thank God almighty [you] are free at last!” Apparently it’s been a rough eight years for you being oppressed by that black president. But the days of keeping the “white man” down are over—at least that’s the vibe the rest of us seem to be getting from you.
Look, you have every right to be happy. You elected Trump. True, some people of color, including possibly 29 percent of Latinos, supported Trump, but it was white America that put him into office. Not only did 58 percent of whites vote for Trump, but a record breaking 67 percent of whites without a college degree cast their ballot for the man in the red “Make America Great again” hat.
That is why I’m writing this letter to you—the white Trump supporter. Actually, I’m really trying to reach the white Trump supporter who truly isn’t bigoted or racist. And I absolutely do not subscribe to the view that every Trump supporter is a bigot. Millions of people supported Trump simply for his message of economic opportunity.
But while not all Trump supporters are bigots, all bigots are Trump supporters. (or at least all who voted) It’s not like a person said: “I really hate those damn Muslims and Latinos, but I’m more concerned about green energy so I’m voting for Jill Stein.” Nah, the white supremacists were all in for Trump this year.
And therein lies the problem for the Trump supporter who is a good person, whom I’ll call the moderate Trumper. You are being defined by the extremists in your community. I’m talking about the followers of radical Trumpism or Trumpists, if you will.
These extremists have reportedly commited hundreds and hundreds of hate incidents since Election Day in Trump’s name. As the Southern Poverty Law Center noted in a report released on Tuesday, there were 867 hate incidents in the 10 days after the election directed at blacks, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, and women. (You know, the very groups Trump demonized this campaign.)
So what type of hate are we talking about? Well there have been a lot of Trumpists cruelly telling Hispanics, “Go back to Mexico.” But there have also been more alarming events, such as a Latino family in Michigan being greeted with a wall of boxes that read “Trump,” “Take America Back,” and “Mexicans suck.”
There have been reports of numerous African Americans being called the n-word by radical Trumpers. And a disturbing spike in anti-black graffiti such as in Durham, North Carolina, where this phrase was spray-painted on a building: “Black Lives Don’t Matter and Neither Does Your Votes.”
Some of your fellow Trump supporters have reportedly harassed women, vowing to grab their “pussies” because Trump now made it acceptable. And worse, one Trumpist punched a 49-year-old woman who supported Hillary Clinton in the face.
Muslims and Jews have also faced a spike in hate. For example, one radical Trumper sent a letter to various California mosques vowing a genocide against Muslims, warning, “There’s a new sheriff in town—President Donald Trump.”
And there has been a horrible range of anti-Semitic incidents, from reports of swastikas being sprayed on buildings together with the word “Trump” to a Jewish woman being mocked for her nose size by a person who then added “Make America great again.”
Now to be fair, there have been anti-Trump hate incidents as well. And they are just as despicable. But as the SPLC noted, out of the 867 documented hate incidents, only 23 were anti-Trump. You might think it’s higher because Trump surrogates appearing on cable news have claimed that it’s just as bad for Trump supporters. But that statement—like much of what Trump said during the campaign—is a lie. (I could be more diplomatic than saying “lie” but I’m guessing you appreciate me not being politically correct.)
And, my fellow white Americans (OK, I’m only half-white but I’m hoping you can bond with that half of me), the response we’ve seen so far from some Trump supporters is not helping you. On Twitter, numerous Trumpists have claimed that these hate crimes are lies and the SPLC made them up. And I’m not just talking about random Trump Twitter trolls. Even a vice president at the company of Frank Gaffney— a vile anti-Muslim activist who is rumored to be under consideration for a role in the Trump administration—tweeted that he would denounce these hate incidents when “these incidents stop turning out to be #Islamofauxbia & #FalseFlag.” That’s why I linked the actual news events in local papers above and not just relied on the SPLC report, so that Trumpists can’t mislead you that it’s all lies.
Let me give you a pro tip—half-white person to white person. Failing to denounce those hate crimes committed by the extremists in your community will cause you to be defined by them. Believe me, I know that firsthand, being Muslim. Imagine if Muslim Americans had committed more than 800 hate incidents in 10 days? Muslim Americans, including myself, would be in the media vocally denouncing them just as we try to do after any terror attack carried out by a Muslim.
Of course, I understand why you don’t always see us doing just that and it’s not your fault. In general, cable and network news stations don’t believe that Muslim voices matter, so they rarely invite us on the news. (I think we can both agree that the mainstream media sucks.)
But Trump supporters don’t have that problem—you are on TV daily and can get that message out.
Bottom line is if we don’t start seeing moderate Trump supporters denounce the extremists—fair or not—the followers of radical Trumpism will soon define all of you.
It’s your call. I’m simply just trying to help the millions of Trumpers who are good Americans and despise hate as much as the rest of us.
SincerelyDean ObeidallahYour Muslim friend