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Racism is a potent drug. It got Trump elected and could win him a 2nd term: Montel Williams  1 Month ago

Source:   USA Today  

Once again, our national dialogue has been hijacked by the immature, racist tweetsof a man I’ve known for more than 20 years who is unraveling before our eyes on Twitter and on live television. As much as I want to believe that my former acquaintance’s election was a fluke, it’s time we simply admit the truth: President Donald Trump got elected because of his racism, not in spite of it. My former party, including its voters, has been infected by it. And if we’re not incredibly careful, he’ll be re-elected — because racism is a powerful drug.

That it is racist to effectively tweet that a congresswoman from Minnesota should go back to Africa should be something we can all agree on. Not unlike how members of a cult defend their leader, my former party has spent the past few days twisting itself into a pretzel in quite cowardly fashion trying to defend the indefensible, “because tribalism.” I say that as a black American who became a Republican “because Ronald Reagan,” who wasfamously intolerant of racism and bigotry. 

As I watched my former party disgrace itself trying to defend these tweets this week, it occurred to me that this would all be so much easier to take in if Republicans would simply admit that their racism is a 2020 strategy. Their goal seems clear — convince white voters who know no better that they’re under assault from black and brown people.

The inconvenient truth about the Trump presidency is that it’s a reflection on all of us. It is a hysterical reaction to having had our first black president, and it’s time we stop pretending that Trump is somehow playing four-dimensional chess. It’s time to stop pretending that Trump isn’t a racist himself, and it’s time to acknowledge it’s the racism that attracted his base to him in the first place.

Just look at his rally Wednesday night in Greenville, N.C. When Trump said Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota "looks down with contempt" on "hard-working Americans," the crowd erupted in chants of "Send her back!" 

I don’t defend the politics of Omar and the other three freshmen congresswomen who apparently call themselves “The Squad.” What I will defend to the death is the reality that each of them is just as much an American as the president or I. That principle is particularly important when it comes to the president’s transparent attempt to relegate Omar’s citizenship to second-class status because of who she is (a refugee who arrived in America at age 8), where she’s from (Somalia) and where she prays (she is Muslim).

We cannot and should not hold immigrants to a higher standard than we hold natural-born Americans, as National Review's David French wrote. 

It’s worth remembering that part of the reason we are in this place is that otherwise good and decent Americans voted for a racist of questionable competence “because abortion” or “because Hillary is going to take our guns.” In no small part, our national reality show is the consequence of single-issue voting.

It is long past time to end the debate about whether the president is a racist — it’s painfully obvious that he is. So too is it time to stop pretending that he is somehow a genius playing four-dimensional chess — he’s not. It’s also long past time to acknowledge that the unifying principles for his candidacy were xenophobia, racismand bigotry. The only debate left is whether we, as a country, care enough to make a stand against racism.

The best antidote to Trumpism, the single most important form of resistance, is to show up to vote in each and every election. Decisions are made by those who show up. And the fact is, we’re where we are right now because a lot of folks couldn’t be bothered to vote.

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