I was a bit baffled after reading Julian Colvin’s “The Triumph in Trump” in last week’s issue of The Phillipian. Colvin stated, “Donald Trump is not sexist and to say so is both an exaggeration and is simply incorrect,” and “Moreover, Trump is often labeled a ‘bigot,’ ‘racist,’ and ‘sexist’ in the liberal media.” As a woman of color in the United States, I disagree with his sentiment and do not believe that these are simply labels – they are facts.
Two weeks ago, I attended a two-day Social Justice Leadership Conference on campus where racism was defined as a system that gives unjust privilege and power to white people and oppresses people of color. Sexism was defined as a system of power that grants unearned power and privilege to cis-men and oppresses women, gender-queer, and trans people. Based on these definitions, Donald Trump is both racist and sexist. To assert otherwise would be to blatantly ignore the facts.
Trump sees non-white people as dangerous threats to the United States. He claimed that Mexicans are “bringing drugs – [and] crime [and] they’re rapists.” He labeled black people as “thugs” and proposed to ban all Muslims from immigrating to the U.S. He drew the line between the non-white and white population, referring to us with phrases like “the African-Americans” or “the Hispanics.” Such statements not only perpetuate negative stereotypes but are unjust generalizations about minority groups.
Similarly, Trump actively degrades and objectifies women. Trump dismissed his leaked audio footage, in which he casually brags about sexually assaulting women as “locker room talk.” But his weak excuse does not justify his offensive comments. Colvin argued in his article that Trump released an apology, but I do not believe that his apology is sincere. If Trump had no trouble saying these comments and attempted to justify them with a half-hearted apology statement, then I am forced to question if he is truly sorry. Trump constantly finds himself being criticized for his offensive comments because he has not taken the time to learn from his past blunders.
No one should be unjustly labeled as racist or sexist. But Trump’s comments reveal that he is, indeed, racist and sexist. The honesty that so many people admire in Trump is the same honesty that illuminates the fact that he does not care about the rights of minority groups.
Being both a person of color and a woman, I’ve experienced firsthand the detrimental impacts of Trump’s degrading language. Colvin is correct when he states that this most likely is not the only side of Trump, but if this side of Trump is a prominent one, then he is unfit to be the President of the United States. If I and many other minorities are fearful of the prospect of Trump’s presidency because it jeopardizes our safety and quality of life, then Trump’s great economic successes do not matter to me.
Whether or not you agree that Trump should not be president, it is nonetheless imperative to consider the harm his comments have inflicted upon minority groups and how a president who incessantly spews hate-speech will affect this country.