Racism In Donald Trump's Black Citizen

2113 Words 9 Pages
Black Citizen Racism can scream—segregation, Jim Crow laws, hate crimes, and discrimination—but racism can also whisper. Claiming instead the private, personal space as its territory, microaggressions describe the various ways in which racism infiltrates everyday interactions in a minimized, rather than maximal, form. These manifest as subtly charged statements, impulsive reactions generated towards one’s race before realizing the implications and apologizing. While the apology may be received, the damage is done and the microaggression has left its scar on the victim. Claudia Rankine’s Citizen calls attention to a scarred section of the populace through its depiction of the myriad microaggressions that plague race relations in America. For …show more content…
At one of Trump’s campaign rallies in Redding, California, he eagerly pointed out a single American, stating “Look at my African-American over here!” to a cheering crowd . This brief, pivotal moment is loaded with subtext and is an example of a microaggression from our very own President-Elect. In doing so, Trump evokes Omi & Winant’s groundbreaking work Racial Formations (1986), playing into the racial project of White Supremacy. Thus, the microaggression Donald Trump commits toward African-Americans in the video clip is a reflection of how the hegemony of the White Supremacy racial project has pervaded the contemporary era. Claudia Rankine’s Citizen is a collection of microaggressions. In each vignette, she captures the essence of a quick attack, delivered almost innocuously. The racial blow of a microaggression is so swift and casual that often the victim is left second-guessing the meaning of one’s words. Rankine writes, “You take in things you don’t want all the time. The second you hear or see some ordinary moment, all its intended targets, all the meanings behind the retreating seconds, as far as you are able to see, come …show more content…
That one sentence speaks volumes: to the state of the country, voters, and more importantly the state of White Supremacy. Combing over President-Elect Trump’s contentious presidential campaign with this lens, one can see the microaggressions that pervade our time reflected in his run. In the aforementioned video clip, one of the peaks in microaggressions during his long campaign is captured. In his Redding, California campaign rally, Trump enthusiastically points out one of the supporters that showed up, apparently notable for being the lone Black man at his rally. Trump eagerly shouts, “Look at my African-American over here! Look at him! Are you the greatest?”1. To this the crowd cheers wildly at the blatant hollowing out of that man’s being, Trump only seeing him as “his African-American” and undoubtedly only caring about him because he is African-American and fits into his narrative. In this moment, Trump uses the man as a tool to elevate his platform in the eyes of his other supporters. His diction of the possessive “my African-American” demeans the man’s sense of being into some object that is to be owned. This degradation of the African-American body is heavily reminiscent of the racial project of White Supremacy, which seeks to assert that White humans are the most virtuous and thus superior to all other races. The way in which Trump “hails down” to the man, coupled with

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