These are scary times if you're not a rich white male. Oh, and straight, Christian, born here, and without physical or mental disability. It would also behoove you to hate as many people as you can…just to be safe.
The Department of Justice is actually investigating whether university applicants who are not white are given preferential treatment to the point that white people are actually being left behind on purpose. To be more clear, if you are not rich, white, male, straight, Christian, native to America, and without a disability, that doesn't make you any different from anyone else. However, some people who fit this description of an apparently superior group are claiming that they are treated differently and actually treated as inferior.
Okay, so that's ridiculous. Now, I do understand math. There will definitely be fewer spots for white people on a roster if you're letting in people who don't happen to be white. However, that doesn't mean they are less qualified than you. Additionally, we are trying to give them chances that you unfairly tried to disqualify them from getting on the basis of their raise. So consider this counterbalancing your previous actions, a punishment if you choose to see it that way, or just as a way to give an unfairly treated class of people the fair treatment they've always deserved and never received.
As an aside, please note that most Trump supporters focus so much on profit that they'd hire overseas workers before hiring Americans, but they also think they should get a degree that won't lead to a job because the same people wouldn't even hire themselves. They're tripping over their own bigotry.
Now, is it possible that white people are actually being discriminated? Well, I suppose. I mean, there is the argument that whatever white people did in the past, it's not the SAME white people that are being punished for it. That's their reparations argument. Is it possible that universities are trying to meet certain diversity goals embedded in requirements of federal assistance programs and diversity-minded donors? Well, of course. Universities have taken money from the federal government in exchange for promising to teach students critical languages, but they just admitted students who already spoke the languages and kept the money. Corporations do this, as well, hiring a diverse set of actors to be on the front cover of annual reports to make it look like a more diverse organization than they actually are. So, it's possible universities do this with diversity, as well.
The whole point is not that white people are being left behind or something but that the only white people claiming this are the same white people that think the something is to subjugate anyone who isn't white. They go on to say that we should subjugate people who aren't Christian, straight, gun owners, as well.
So, one at a time then, let's look at the four arenas in which racism and practically every other -ism is becoming more and more mainstream, more and more accepted as normal, since Trump came into office and why.
As already mentioned, there is a lawsuit pending against universities for turning away qualified applicants in favor of admitting students who are less qualified but are a member of a protected class. Additionally, Deloitte, an employer of more than 100,000 people and an oft-awarded champion of diversity is now claiming that diversity is over and is phasing out it's Globe initiative. Over the next 18 months, they're slowly stopping their support of gay employees and focusing exclusively on racial and veteran status.
Also, Trump supporters are obviously very much against Affirmative Action. Trump seems very much against that, especially because he plans to gentrify the whole country with his Infrastructure Plan, but we'll get to that. Trump's views on minorities are making companies big and small much more comfortable not even interviewing someone simply because they're African-American. Given that funding for diversity is drying up, it's clear that there will be no initiatives to counteract racism.
If you're a white nationalist, however, don't worry about the black people already working beside you because Trump will allow your employer to not just stop interviewing members of the "inferior" race but also fire any existing employees that offend your eyes. Trump wants to sign an executive order that will allow you to fire based on religion, which will include any protected class that is considered by religious text to be an abomination. So I'm not sure whether you'll be able to fire people who aren't white, but perhaps Trump is a little busy but will get around to that soon enough. Even without signing an executive order, the point is employers now know for sure that the DOJ and other government agencies and the Office of the Presidency will not care at all if you explicitly state that you've fired someone because of their minority status.
Additionally and this one may fit into another category as well, there seems to be more and more hatred for people who don't have money. Now, it's ironic because a lot of Trump supporters don't have money, but many, many Republicans tend to regard the poor as too lazy and too stupid to be rich. Now, if all you care about is money and power, then perhaps it's easier for a few people to get a little bit more money and power than it is for others who aren't quite as materialistic and hungry for power, but even if that's all you think about, there are plenty of people who try very hard and just don't make it. That tends to describe Trump supporters pretty well, who are Republicans, but still they look down on people who have even a dollar less.
The notion that you're not rich so you must be stupid or lazy has been a large part of the Republican baby-boomer psyche for a long time, especially in their treatment of millennials who hold 4% of the wealth while baby-boomers hold 50% and mostly in non-financial tax shelters that they've guaranteed won't benefit anyone but themselves. However, there's a new batch of younger Republicans who are saying that you need to "stop complaining" and 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps' and stop 'living off the government' and so on and so on, despite the irrefutable fact that there are many, many factors that determine wealth. The fact is some jobs don't pay as much, and those jobs are often the ones that are the most important. Certainly engineering, finance, medicine, and law pay a lot, but what about teaching, psychology, childcare, construction, and other fields? Someone has to do these jobs, and when they don't have any money, it's not because they're lazy or stupid. Moreover, when they lose what little they do have because of scams or price gouging or economic downturns, that's is definitely something we should never "stop complaining" about.
As touched on already, racism is on the rise. It's always been there, but now it seems Trump has ordained it. You've seen David Duke way more than you ever have. That's one piece of evidence. There's a rise in police shootings of unarmed African-Americans. That's not new, but it's getting worse. Even the NAACP issues a travel warning to minorities thinking of going to the entire state of Missouri. Yeah, that happened…I know. What is new and not just rising is a large group of angry white nationalists created organized protests. In Minnesota, they called it the "March Against Sharia." Even several members of law enforcement, who are there to keep the peace, plainly identified themselves as being split as to which side they agreed with. As you probably guessed, a fight ensued, people got hurt, and the chasm has grown.
Interestingly, Trump's views on women haven't yet proliferated to the point of worsening the situation as much for women as for other minorities (FYI most of the states have more women!…get over it). Now, it's gotten worse, but it seems that we haven't seen the full effect of his misogyny just yet. However, I'm expecting more cases on sexual assault, unfair employment practices, a growing wage gap, a enforcement of gender roles.
What is definitely visible is the view that people with disabilities are inferior and that a physical disability implies that you are somehow less intelligent, which had been almost completely eradicated more than a couple decades ago. Additionally, mental illness is being marginalized. For example, depression being called weakness, anxiety is being called a lack of experience, and most other illnesses are being defined as crazy. They simply don't care what's wrong with you: they know you won't be as effective at work as the next person so they cast you aside. They're viewing disabilities as both a drain on the economy and a drain on federal funding. Betsy DeVos thinks funding programs that help students with disabilities is like babysitting and shouldn't be part of a federal program.
Recently, Trump told law enforcement in Long Island, "please don't be too nice" with the people you arrest. We already have issues with police brutality and false arrests and racial bias, and now Trump is telling police to be worse?! Just like most people are good people, there are some people in every group that aren't so good. Some are absolutely horrible. The same can be said about law enforcement, as much as I respect them as a whole. The other day we saw an instance of what looked like Baltimore police planting evidence of a drug offense. Police are being very rough when subduing possible assailant, very often when the potential suspect isn't even resisting. Trump also wants to turn the solution to the Opioid Epidemic into a crime-and-punishment operation, hurting those who are addicted, and I'm sure he'll insist police rough them up, too.
Oh, and then of course Trump said he wants Muslims to carry ID cards. Seriously! I don't even want to comment on that, but the abuse of Muslims in this country has gotten out of control. 99.99% OF THEM ARE NOT TERRORISTS AND NEVER WILL BE AND NEVER WANT TO BE! DO YOU WANT ME TO ASSUME YOU'RE THE UNABOMBER?!
Okay, here's the most important part. Trump brought racism and every other -ism into the White House on Day 1. Jeff Sessions is clearly a racist, Steve Bannon is a documented card-carrying white supremacist, and many other members of the administration are either against homosexuality, a multiracial society, or at the very least have this weird hatred of poor people and millennials. So much of Trump's policies align with these views, and I don't see that getting any better. The Immigration Ban is an example of that, but there are many others.
There are many, but here's a sample:
Trump has started allowing churches to endorse political candidates. He's very interested in ensuring a Christian super-majority. He'll probably also allow churches to use collections every Sunday to fund campaigns and even ask churchgoers to donate additional funds without ever explaining how much goes to the church and how much goes to a campaign. So, of course, now you can't even go to church where you want to because you'll have to pay for campaign you might not support. You'll also obviously be encouraged to vote for someone because a person who you trust to have God's ear is asking you to, and who are you to say no to your priest?
By the way, this is probably the only example of no taxation WITH representation.
Trump is also seeking voting records from all 50 states in the name of voter fraud, and we all know one side of the debate on voter registration has always really been about race. Steve Bannon has said he wants only businessowners or those who own land to be able to to vote. It's voter suppression, plain and simple. The attempt to actually collect voting records from an election and not just voter registration records is abhorrent and obviously meant to scare people into voting for Trump next time because he'll find out if you didn't. So this is far worse than simply trying to prevent people from voting.
Another obvious problem is nationalism. The immigration ban, calling Mexicans rapists, telling Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull "I know they're bad" in reference to refugees the previous administration agreed to take in, and many other things that Trump has said are encouraging latent nationalism to organize a resurgence that I don't think many people even knew was still around. We're deporting everyone, and now there's even the RAISE Act that's attempting to keep even more people from coming in!
Oh yeah, and he thinks transpeople shouldn't be allowed to defend their country. Yes, well, Trump is stupid. That's not going to save any money, and he's not going to convince anyone that it will.
Did you also know that Trump supports the Bathroom Bill? That has encouraged TWELVE more states to create their own. North Carolina's original creation of the bathroom bill to force transgender students to use the bathroom of their birth sex has now spread. North Carolina's harsh policies against the LGBT community has cost them any and all NCAA-hosted events in that state and has already cost them $3.76B as of March 2017. Now 12 states are joining in because they know Trump will be fine with it if not praise it.
Finally, I have a theory that Trump's Infrastructure Plan is going to turn into a process of gentrification. Given the housing policy crisis that has led to so many minorities and white people alike having a hard time finding affordable housing and Trump's HUD appointee gaining no housing experience during his career as a neurosurgeon, I don't see an emphasis on trying to provide affordable housing, and given his long career of creating exclusive hotels and resorts, it seems pretty obvious to me that he'll create opulent skylines that are as white as the clouds above them. It's a good thing that most affordable housing programs are run by the states. Here in DC, affordable housing is run very well, but in other states, if you're poor, you're pushed into rough neighborhoods and then of course blamed for those neighborhoods' problems. Given that Trump sounds like the poster child for this kind of treatment of poor people, I'm guessing his infrastructure plan is really a form of gentrification that will push out all the poor people and as many minorities as he can.
Okay, so what's the plan? What can WE do to stop this?
First of all, you can call Congress to get them to pass laws that prevent biased enforcement of laws, even if the laws themselves are racist, sexist, or any other -ist. Republicans or Trump himself may pass a law that targets minorities, but if enforcement can't disproportionately target minorities, then they won't be able to effectively implement those laws.
You can also join organizations like NAACP, and yes, even if you're not African-American. You can join any organization. You can volunteer for campaigns. You can donate to any organization. Most of these organizations fund election campaigns and initiatives that sometimes become laws that improve the lives of many minorities. Therefore, you'd really be helping if you got involved in any way you can.
If you run a business or conduct interviews for a business, continue to interview minorities, read resumes without looking at the name at the top, recruit at diverse universities, and listen to the unique perspectives that minorities can bring to your organizations. You can do the same as an admissions officer. You can also ensure that no one's employment or education status is terminated because of their minority status.
If you're a police officer, it's important work as a team but also to grow as a team. Whether you're a lieutenant with years of experience or you've just entered the academy, you have the power to share your voice and encourage people to understand your viewpoints and adopt more unbiased protocols when conducting searches, arrests, interrogations, and investigations and operating prisons that treat inmates equally.
Finally, we can treat people with respect. No matter what policies are adopted and no matter how harsh the Administration is on minorities, we should all attempt to feel that pain. If someone is being treated unfairly by the government, help them out, take them in, give them shelter. Next time you're clipping coupons, set some aside for someone having trouble making ends meet. Stand up for someone who is being bullied. Actually interfere in an altercation if you can take care of yourself and de-escalate the situation. If it's too dangerous, hide, contact the police immediately (or someone you trust if you know the nearby cops aren't trustworthy), watch the police interact with the assailants and victims to make sure no additional crimes are committed by the police, and record what you can. While I don't condone blanket distrust of law enforcement, it's important to note that there are bad actors in every group.
The last thing I really want to say is that I probably have the most white privilege that anyone can ever have. First of all, I'm white. So there's that. However, I'm also male. I also grew up with plenty of money, and I was born here. A racist or sexist person would never think to discriminate against me.
I probably have some extra strength at the end of the day because I'm not too busy getting abused every time I walk outside or identify myself in some way. Therefore, I'm going to use my white privilege to take on any additional role that I can that minorities are just too tired to take on because they're too busy getting hurt all day, and I ask anyone with any kind of privilege to do the same.