I naively believed that American society had progressed far enough from the 1950's that George Wallace could never become president today. Obviously, I was wrong.
Whenever I think about those people who voted for Donald Trump, I keep wondering how they justified his racist beliefs and behaviors. I've read articles that state all of Trump's voters can't be painted with the same brush, but I disagree. An acceptance of racism and sexism must have existed on some level in order for his voters to see Trump as their savior. When white America voted for Trump, the greatest change that they wanted was for a whiter America. We certainly see that now with the rise in overt white supremacy and Trump's reaction to it.
I don't see how anyone can be surprised by Trump's racism. He has lived a life of white privilege and a perceived sense of white superiority. When the Central Park 5 were accused of a rape that they did not commit, he took out a full page ad calling for their deaths. They were only teenagers at the time. And even though they were later exonerated, Trump continued to hold onto his belief in their guilt. His business practices also reflected a deep-rooted racism, but it's his reaction to the Central Park 5 that disturbs me most.
I wish the media had vetted him more instead of used him to bolster their ratings. I wish that Hillary Clinton had treated him to her lawyer expertise instead of referring folks to her website whenever he told one of his whopping lives. I wish the dangers of a Trump presidency had been addressed with due diligence before the actuality of a Trump presidency.
Although we have had racist presidents in our past, none posed the danger of Trump. He stands at odds with the direction of the modern world. He is living in an American past that his voters also live in. A past that can never and will never return. But by the time they come to this realization, America will have lost its standing in world politics.
When I think of how Trump equated white supremacist with their protestors standing against hate, his racism seems even more apparent. It seems that America has elected a demagogue hell-bent on destroying our nation. We (America) are becoming a disgrace on the world stage, but I guess that's worth the cost. At least white people were able to install another white man in the presidency--unqualified and ignorant but white nonetheless. But, alas, all great nations perish. I guess it is our turn now.