Donald Trump revealed a painful and dark truth about America. Racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, are a big problem in our seemingly modern country. The problem isn’t Trump. It’s the distorted and dangerous beliefs deeply rooted in our nation’s heart–our cultural heart.
Through out Trump’s campaign I continually described Trump as “our entire culture wrapped up into one person.” Broken down into the simplest and crudest of terms, American culture as a generalized whole:
- treats women as ornaments
- regards non-Caucasian races as scary
- regards all religions, including Christianity, as extreme
- thinks gay people are dirty, sinful, and wrong.*
Does everyone in America believe these things? Of course not! But President-elect Trump’s campaign messaging plugged right into these generalized truths and lit up the hearts of over half of America. This is where the shock and grief stab me. If the above truth’s are what live at the heart of our culture, then Trump’s win isn’t a surprise at all. And rather than singly pegging Trump as racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic, and calling for his ousting, we need to be humbly looking in the mirror as a nation.
Our culture is infected with racism, misogyny, and xenophobia– all Trump did was lacerate our nation’s infection and now it’s oozing all over the damn place. If we got rid of Trump, the darkness–the infection–living in the heart of our culture will still remain. To give Trump all the credit for the post-election damage that’s being done right now is giving one man way too much power and control. The problem is us, you guys.
Here’s how I see it:
I think we experienced divine intervention in America this week. We have serious problems with hate, intolerance, and fear, and we have a massive deficit of love in this country. It was that way before Trump ever conceived the thought of running for president and it’s still the case now 72 hours after his election. From the protesting to the venomous poison being spit between family members and so-called friends, our problem is nationally systemic and not a localized, rashy Trump-lump. Our entire body is sick.
For those of us who stand up for justice, advocating for love, rights, and action for the marginalized, abused, and hurting, Trump did us a favor by showing us where serious hard work needs to be done. Trump addressed those of us who didn’t vote for him; he said:
For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.
I say, let’s take him up on it. Instead of fighting and protesting, which by the way is taking away resources from other vulnerable people, such as the homeless in Oregon right now, we need to get to work. We need to reach and teach. To reduce fears, we need events, classes, performances, and presentations that share the stories of folks from other races and religions to educate and light up the hearts of folks who don’t understand. To reduce inequality, we need activists, lobbyists, and passionate people to stand up for those who can’t and/or are refused to be heard. We need brave leaders–from the youngest of our young to the eldest of our elderly to advocate for and build up those who live in the margins.
I didn’t vote for Trump; however, I have a deep suspicion that we’re going to be surprised by what happens with him in office, with or without Trump’s efforts. I have high hopes for the United States and little trust in the media. The media is notorious for blowing up that bad and ignoring the good, strong, and positive. Did you even know the first Somali-American lawmaker was elected into the House? And she’s a WOMAN!? How amazing is that!? What else are we missing?
We’re going to be okay if we work together for each other. If Trump proves himself to be the ass he represented himself to be in his campaign, that will be unfortunate but it won’t be the demise of our country. The rise or demise of our country falls on us as a people, not on one man.
*I never personally heard Trump attack the LGBTQ community; however, the prejudice against and the hurt within this population is deeply real in our culture.