President Donald Trump claims he isn't racist, but he used Islamophobia to help energize the white nationalist groups that supported him in 2016. Will things ever change?
President Donald Trump ran a presidential campaign that promised to target Muslim Americans and rid the country of Islam’s influence, making Islamophobia the base of his nationalist platform.
To many of his followers, the very promise of a return to America’s white roots was enough to make him their candidate. But despite his rhetoric, he has, over time, promised the country he isn’t a racist.
Arsalan Iftikhar, an international human rights attorney, wrote in The Washington Post that the very fact the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan is a great supporter of the president should serve as a red flag.
But then again, there were several other red flags that continued to be ignored (or perhaps cherished?) by Trump’s supporters, such as his comments regarding Islam being the enemy, and his recent retweet of three videos claiming to show Muslims committing violent acts, which were originally shared by a woman convicted of “religiously aggravated harassment” against Muslims in Great Britain.
The Twitter fiasco followed the United States Supreme Court ruling to allow Trump's "Muslim ban" to take full effect, presumably fulfilling white supremacists' plans for a homogeneous America.
According to CNN, since the new version of the ban now includes individuals from non-Muslim majority countries, the policy cannot be seen as an attempt to target one religious group any longer, suddenly making it OK for the president to dictate who can and cannot enter the U.S.
The fact Trump often chooses not to refer to white, non-Muslim mass murderers as terrorists is also a clear sign that he has either lied about not being racist or that he continues to pander to the white nationalist crowd that cheers him.
But perhaps, the most troubling sign that Trump’s whole political career has been based on nothing but hate, is the fact that when a group of neo-Nazi cowards decided to march in Charlottesville, Virginia, leading to an incident that resulted in injury and death, the president simply dismissed the criticism completely, saying there were “very fine people on both sides.”
If Trump truly were willing to be a president for all Americans, as he has claimed on more than one occasion, then the right thing to do would be to condemn the violence and the racism right off the bat, not skirt around the subject and pretend that there’s nothing morally wrong with their philosophy.
Unfortunately, it seems that the more he shows his true colors, the less the public worries about the fact he continues to use racism to energize his base. And if this continues, others will follow, capitalizing on the fears of those who dream of a white race-dominated America, further destabilizing and dividing the country because of their religious and ethnic backgrounds.