Trump, Racism, and God's Grace

Susan K. Smith | 3/2/2016, 8:28 p.m.
"America, America, God shed his grace on thee!" Those are words from the song "America the Beautiful" that we all ...
Donald Trump received 32 percent of the vote among the Republican candidates running for president in a poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC.

They were to be used, not respected. Trump is singing their song. He is sounding like George Wallace and Ross Barnett and Sam Bowers and other racist demagogues. His being in the White House, his followers believe, will provide a calm to the rising tide of multiculturalism in this country.

They believe he will bring things into normalcy in the White House. They celebrate, it feels like, that he will be like President Woodrow Wilson, a member of the Ku Klux Klan who had screenings of The Clansman and Birth of a Nation in the White House.

So many White people are not disturbed at all at what Trump says because he is speaking to the pain they have felt as White oppression has been steadily addressed. They would not think it bad that not only was Woodrow Wilson a member of the Klan, but so were four other presidents, including Warren G. Harding, who was actually sworn in a KKK ceremony that was held at the White House. Calvin Coolidge allowed cross burnings on the steps of the capital and also allowed KKK parades in the nation's capital in 1925 and 1926. Trump's followers are not disturbed at this history, nor, I would imagine, would they be disturbed if Trump said he was a member of the KKK, just as his father was supposed to have been a member


They are just tired of "the coloreds." White people of the ilk I am describing have been mortified that a Black man has been in the White House, his wife dancing on popular television shows, letting little Black children inside those hallowed walls. Many White people believe that America was created to be a "White man's country," and all these people of color are messing up what is "supposed" to be theirs.

Rev. Susan K Smith is an award-winning author and essayist who writes much on the intersectionality of race, religion and politics.