I believe that many of those who “held their noses” and voted for Trump believe that he didn’t really mean all of the vile things he said and that he’s actually going to be a normal President.
Why would they think that? Because Trump is a white man, and our white male supremacist culture trains us to give white men every benefit of the doubt.
President Obama, who for his entire political career has consistently spoken words of decency and conciliation, has ceaselessly been called a liar and a secret terrorist supporter and worse. As a black man in our culture, he has been viewed with deep skepticism and distrust, distrust sown by Trump himself no less than anyone else.
I’m detecting now, in Facebook posts and conversations and the media and even in the corners of my own white male American heart, that people who opposed Trump are now trying out the idea that perhaps Trump is really not what he said he was and showed himself to be for his entire life. “Trump says LGBTQ people can use whatever bathrooms they want! Trump says he’ll keep parts of Obamacare! Trump said he wants to reunite the country! Trump thanked Hillary!”
I’m calling bullshit on that. I’m calling bullshit forever on the notion that we live in a colorblind meritocracy. I’m with Maya Angelou: “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” Over his entire public life, Trump has shown us many many times that he is a misogynistic, racist, deceitful, exploitative demagogue. Now is not the time to wait and see how he turns out as President. Now is the time to commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to counteract the poison that he has unleashed into our national bloodstream and to prevent him from wrecking our future and our children’s future.