You Have to Understand Why “Diamond” and “Silk” Support Trump

Bill Fletcher says that some Black people believe that by joining in on the pile-on against Latinos and Muslims, we will somehow become accepted as "real" Americans.

By Bill Fletcher, Jr.
NNPA News Wire Columnist

I saw it on Facebook. These two Black women at a Trump rally expressing their support for “The Donald.” I realized, once again, that there is a certain type of emotional naiveté that I possess when it comes to our people. I assume that in light of the history of White supremacy which we have experienced for several hundred years, including indentured servitude, slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and de facto segregation, not to mention the ideological demonization of our people at the hands of an assortment of characters, that we can look a racist in the eyes and know their stand.

I found myself staring at these two Black women backing Trump and I realized that I felt the same emotions about the candidacy of Dr. Ben Carson. How is it, I have asked, for a Black person to utter some of the most ridiculous statements known to humanity? It is only when I have calmed down that I remind myself that not only are we, as a people, far from monolithic, but that—despite our history—there is a very conservative, if not outright reactionary minority among Black Americans that are actually convinced that we—ourselves—are the problem or that there is some other racial/ethnic/religious group, e.g., Latinos; Muslims, who can take some of the racist heat away from us that we have experienced for so very long.

Bill Fletcher says that some Black people believe that by joining in on the pile-on against Latinos and Muslims, we will somehow become accepted as "real" Americans.
Bill Fletcher says that some Black people believe that by joining in on the pile-on against Latinos and Muslims, we will somehow become accepted as “real” Americans.

It is not simply self-hatred that we are facing. In some respects, that would be easy to address. It is that there are people who honestly believe, for whatever reason, that their personal future or our collective future resides in conforming to the worst caricatures that White America has of us. They seem to believe that by joining in on the pile-on against Latinos and Muslims, for instance, that we will somehow become accepted as “real” Americans.

It will never happen. Some Black folks tried that after 9/11. It does not work. We are still hated. It is the revelation that the Adolph Caesar character has at both the beginning and end of the classic film “A Soldier’s Story,” i.e., the ‘game’ has been rigged and masses of Whites still hate us, even when we get on our knees and do everything that they ask.

Donald Trump called for the execution of five Black men who were accused in the Central Park brutal rape of a white woman in 1989, only for them to be exonerated. Trump calls for excluding and expelling Mexicans for allegedly bringing crime to the U.S., as if no other ethnic group has ever been or is associated with crime. Trump calls for banning Muslims from entering the U.S. for allegedly bringing terrorism despite the fact that most terrorist attacks since 9/11 have been carried out by white supremacists.

What am I missing? Is there any reason to take anyone who supports Trump with any degree of seriousness? I think not.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a talk-show host, writer and activist. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and at www.billfletcherjr.com.

About Bill Fletcher Jr. 126 Articles
Bill Fletcher Jr has been an activist since his teen years. Upon graduating from college he went to work as a welder in a shipyard, thereby entering the labor movement. Over the years he has been active in workplace and community struggles as well as electoral campaigns. He has worked for several labor unions in addition to serving as a senior staffperson in the national AFL-CIO. Fletcher is the former president of TransAfrica Forum; a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies; an editorial board member of BlackCommentator.com; and in the leadership of several other projects. Fletcher is the co-author (with Peter Agard) of “The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1941”; the co-author (with Dr. Fernando Gapasin) of “Solidarity Divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice“; and the author of “‘They’re Bankrupting Us’ – And Twenty other myths about unions.” Fletcher is a syndicated columnist and a regular media commentator on television, radio and the Web.