Every time Trump utters another outrageous statement, attacks another marginalized group or praises the most vile segments of humanity, I wonder just how far this disgrace of a president has to go for his supporters to renounce their ties to him. What bright line must be crossed for others to have the moral courage to stand up and declare that this is not the America we want to live in--and then to not only give voice to their repudiation but to act on it. It's easy to claim to be on the sidelines, but that is willful capitulation to the racists and hatemongers and white supremacists who claim the President as one of their own--and who, in return, openly voices his support and approval.
Since the election I have heard many excuses from his supporters justifying their actions. "It's about the Supreme Court!" "Hillary was worse!" "He'll moderate his tone when he's in the White House!" And these past months have shown just how utterly wrong you were. You elected an ignorant, narcissistic buffoon who stoked racial grievances and religious prejudice during the campaign, who was an early supporter of birtherism, who revealed his misogyny and hatred of immigrants throughout this past year, who bluffs and blusters his way through any question to avoid exposing just how unfit he is to be this nation's leader. He has done nothing but double down on the worst elements of our culture. And standing on the sidelines gives silent approval to this behavior.
It's telling that rank-and-file Republicans are receiving kudos for making anti-racist statements, for this shows just how little we've come since the Civil War, or Reconstruction, or Jim Crow, or urban redlining, or the Civil Rights movement, or the drug war, or Black Lives Matter. Racism is not limited to those who fly a Confederate flag in their yard. It's found in the person who crosses the street to avoid a black man or watches videos of police brutality and thinks "What did they do to deserve it?" or is more angry about Kaepernick taking a knee than a collection of neo-Nazis and white supremacists and angry young white men joining together to protest the removal of a statue of someone who fought to preserve America's original sin. Racism is insidious, and subtle, and deeply embedded throughout all levels of American society.
We see your silence. We see how often your sputtering answer begins with "What about...?" We see your moral rot and decay, your false equivalences and your utter inability to denounce the person at the highest position of authority because you turn away from the cries of the oppressed.
How much does it take?