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How does it feel to attend a Trump rally while Black? Just ask the 30 Black students from Valdosta State University, who were booted out of an event Monday evening simply for standing in the bleachers, quiet. Or the young woman from Lousiville, Kentucky, Shiya Nwanguma, who was accosted by Neo-Nazi and white supremacist Trump supporters, as rally attendees looked on in approval or indifference.



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“I was called a n—– and a c–t and got kicked out” Nwanguma, a student at the University of Lousiville, told a local interviewer. “They were pushing and shoving at me, cursing at me, yelling at me, called me every name in the book. They were disgusting and dangerous.”


As the Republican primary nears what had long been predicted as its inevitable finale — the nomination of Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for president — white supremacists north and south, who have long abhorred something called “political correctness”, or any sense of human decency and rational thought, who view Trump’s brand of hate speech as “authentic” and “honest” truth-telling, have become more brazen and pronounced about their hatred for Blacks, non-white people, and foreigners.

I doubt anyone expected him to condemn these hate groups. But to witness his effusion of sheer joy at their endorsement has been nothing short of repulsive.


So indispensable is white supremacy to Trump’s political prominence that he would’ve invented the ideology had it not existed already. Through his inaction (or actions, depending on how one looks at it) he has, in fact, condoned the most ardent of his supporter’s behavior, and by extension, the racist logic behind their antics. The clearest sign of this was his pushback against criticizing KKK leader David Duke. “I don’t know anything about David Duke, okay? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists” he told media outlet CNN.

He’s publicly stated that he’d enjoy nothing better than punching [Black] protesters in the face. He’s stood back as his supporters referred to Black protesters as “monkeys” while kicking them in the chest. But there’s a method behind his madness. Sensing an opening in all the racial tension in this black lives matter moment, he’s effectively deployed white anxiety and fears not as issues to be genuinely addressed, but political bait to be dangled and tossed at the white working class.

Judging by the results of Super Tuesday, this strategy — pandering to the basest and racist instincts of white working class, anxious to get “their freedom and country” back — is doing wonders. And Black attendees at Trump events, curious about the spectacle of white supremacy unfolding in these spaces, are paying the price. Take a look.



So, how does it feel to attend a Trump rally while Black?

Like we’ve traveled back in time to 1950s Little Rock, AR or 1960s Birmingham, AL. Like being dropped in that old black and white footage teachers would play during Black history month. You know, the ones featuring Whites pouring milkshakes and squirting condiments on the heads of peaceful civil rights demonstrators, holding fort at “White Only” lunch counters.

You know, them “good ole’ Dixie days” when them “negras knew dey place.”

Left to its devices, Trump’s “Make America Great Again” engine seems determined to get his supporters back there.


Antwan is an educator, cultural critic, actor, and writer for Wear Your Voice Mag (WYV), where he focuses on the dynamics of class, race, gender, politics, and pop culture. Prior to joining the team at WYV, he was an adjunct professor in the African American Studies Department at Valdosta State University in southern Georgia, where he taught African American Literature. He has traveled the U.S. and U.K. showcasing a fifty-five minute, one-person play titled Whitewash, which focuses on the state of black men in the post-civil rights era. Antwan received his B.A. in English and Literature from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and M.A. in African American Studies from University of California, Los Angeles. He is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and NAACP theater nominee.

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