Inclusivity in Trump’s America
Since the Trump election, the media has played an elaborate game of mental gymnastics in defending Trump and his stance supporters. At the same time, they have made half-assed attempts to critique the bigotry and hate surrounding the Forty-Fifth President. From the Trump propaganda network known as Fox News to the cable news giant CNN to the New York Times and Washington Post, all of these outlets have made excuses for the rise in bigotry. They have even told us to give bigots a break, that to be a genuinely inclusive society, we need to be accepting of everybody no matter how reprehensible their views about people who don’t look them.
“They say we’re white supremacists, racist, misogynistic, and we have internalized misogyny,” said Cammie McMahan, 19, the College Republicans’ secretary… I’d asked her and her friend Caitlyn McKinney, 19, what it was like being a conservative woman on their overwhelmingly liberal campus. “Name-calling is the first place they go,” said Caitlyn… “They say they want to be all intersectional and everything,” said Cammie, “except when it’s us.”
Well, the problem comes from the fact that Donald Trump aligned himself with the Alt-Right. Richard Spencer, the unofficial leader of the Alt-Right and president of the National Policy Institute, has called for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” in the past and has many other racist beliefs. So let me get this straight, we need to be inclusive and understanding to those who want people who look like my family and me wiped off the face of the earth? Well, I say fuck no to that noise. Too bad many of today’s bigots are in their feelings like Drake when you call them out on their bigotry. #WhiteFragility
In the movie Get Out the character, Dean Armitage, who is a very well-off and liberal white man. He states, “By the way, I would have voted for Obama for a third term if I could. Best president in my lifetime. Hands down.” This character is the epitome of the well-meaning ‘white liberal.” They are the type with the belief that they’re more refined and cultured than the average suburbanite Trump voter. They are the so-called “white saviors” who see themselves as uplifting the downtrodden colored masses through various social causes but probably would sell their home if black families moved on their block. They are the type who claim they embrace diversity and cultural competency. They pretend to champion working in diverse workplaces. Unfortunately, the organizations rather they are non-profits or socially responsible businesses paint a very different picture in reality and lacks much diversity in their workforce.
In many of these so-called progressive organizations, the buzzword nowadays is equity. These organizations want more people of color to fill their spaces, but they want us to remain silent and be invisible. If you state the facts about the lack of people of color in leadership positions or call out color-blind racism of bigoted colleagues, then you become the ‘dangerous’ negro at the office. They’ll end up having secret white people meetings about you causing trouble. Or confuse you with the other black person who works in the office all the damn time. #MicroAgresssions! These same organizations love to have a critical mass of people of color working on the ground. But the higher you go up the organizational hierarchy, the less and less diverse it gets. But I thought it was all about inclusiveness? That’s impossible when people of color have no real power within the organization. This is very true for black men and women within these companies. We deal with bigotry and anti-black racism from both white colleagues and non-black people of color too.
“Numbers, however, don’t capture the frustration that many black executives feel as they try to thrive and compete in a realm where race is often seen as an asterisk on their résumés and an unspoken subtext in conversations about career advancement. Black women, to be sure, face biases related to both gender and race—a double whammy of headwinds in the flight up the company ladder. For black men, though, the challenges of the corporate life are daunting at least in part because they are sometimes hard to pin down—influenced as much by age-old prejudice as by cultural preconceptions, the subtleties of psychology, and the weight of human history .”
I’m once again reminded of rapper Immortal Technique’s words, “So you’re nothin’ like diversity without equality.” Sounds like the Democratic Party: it’s all talk about “justice for all” but no real plan of action. True equity and inclusion would cause white people, whether they are liberal or conservative, to have to confront their deep-seated prejudices honestly. It would destroy the mythology of white supremacy and upend the racial caste system. We’d realize that we’re all human beings. Companies and nonprofits would have diverse groups of people represented at every level of their organizations including diverse CEOs, diverse boards, and diverse executives directors. But until a time like that comes, equity and inclusion will remain the shiny buzzwords that have no real meaning in reality.