It's More Than Just Politics: Why Trump and MAGA Has Made Racism Acceptable Again
By Alexis Alex
Actor Jussie Smollett is reportedly being hospitalized after a hate crime committed in Chicago. According to TMZ, two white men in ski masks approached Smollett late Monday evening, yelled out racial and homophobic slurs (“Aren’t you that faggot Empire nigger?”), and then began to attack him with a chemical substance.
Before fleeing the scene, one of the men wrapped a rope around Smollett’s neck, as if forming a noose. They then yelled, “This is MAGA country.” Smollett is currently in good condition. Unfortunately, it takes a tragedy like this to remind us that racism and homophobia is very much alive and thriving in America, and at a frightening level. One thing relatively important to point out about this gruesome attack is that Trump’s slogan, Make America Great Again (MAGA) was said by the offenders. The presence of “MAGA” has become a recurring theme embedded within hate crimes and racist incidents since the emergence of the slogan within Trump’s President campaign.
There is no denying that MAGA has evolved into a war cry for racists. Trump’s racist rhetoric heavily influences his supporters to translate their words into actions through verbally and physically attacking minorities on a regular basis. This is the same man who won the Presidency by openly spewing racist rhetoric, calling all Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, and defended white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, by calling them “good people”. Making America Great Again implies that America needs to reinstitute all of the tools and mechanisms that were once used to enslave and kill minorities in this country. Although Trump tries to ignore this mess he created, he cannot ignore the fact that there is blood on his hands. Anyone who is not White, is not safe in this country.
The truth is, MAGA cannot be separated from all of the hate and racism it represents, no matter how hard Trump tries to ignore it. But at this point, MAGA’s influence has transcended politics. Lives are being threatened, innocent people are being violently attacked, and the threats and attacks are only worsening. As minorities, we cannot turn our identities off and pretend that this political “movement” is not threatening to our livelihoods. If you support MAGA, then you support White supremacy and racist violence. Pick a side and stay there.