One of Donald Trump‘s most staunch defenders, author Michael Brown took to the Christian Post to defend his support for Trumpism. While many liberals may argue that Trump voters are either racist, sexist, bigoted — or not bothered enough whenever the Trump administration acts those ways — Brown says he voted for Trump for very different reasons… therefore it’s unfair to place him in the same camp as the bigots who also love Trump.
Trump’s America-first nationalism appealed to many a white supremacist, including those on the alt-right. His rhetoric could easily be misinterpreted as being both xenophobic and racist.
If white nationalists, as a bloc, enthusiastically supported Trump, then there is no “misinterpretation.” If your candidate regularly says things that appeal to racists, how many excuses can you make before accepting that it’s because he is racist? There was no need to misinterpret him, anyway, given that his words, when quoted verbatim, did the trick already.
Brown says authors who have written about Christian Nationalism and white evangelicals are missing the point because they don’t understand that world like he does. He knows evangelicals. He lives in Evangelical World, breathing evangelical air.
It’s an alternative form of the “I can’t be racist because I have black friends” argument:
Never once in my years among these colleagues have I heard a syllable about preserving a white America. Never once have I heard one of my co-workers suggest that we needed to turn back the clock on segregation (let alone slavery). And never once have I heard a single discussion arguing that we get behind a particular candidate because they would be good for whites. Not once.
Good for evangelicals, yes. Good for whites, no.
Not only is Brown incapable of knowing what’s in people’s hearts and minds, but he is completely unaware of the blind spots that many white people possess when it comes to evaluating their own perception of racism. It’s not the intent that matters, but impact.
There’s a reason demographers have to separate white evangelicals from Black Protestants, something they don’t do for any other group. They effectively live in two different worlds, even theologically.
Like it or not, roughly 81% of evangelicals voted in favor of policies that collectively harm Black people. And considering the number of conservatives — Brown included — who reject the notion of white privilege, harm is guaranteed no matter how many times they say they don’t hate people of color.
There’s also far more to racism than slavery and segregation. White people don’t have to show up to a Klan rally to reveal their racist colors.
Brown goes on:
In fact, when we talk about abortion, we frequently point out how abortion providers target blacks in particular.
Aww, isn’t that nice of him.
Because the biggest cause of abortion is arguably poverty, and people of color are more likely to be poor, that also means they’re often unable to afford health coverage to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Promoting anti-abortion policies while opposing affordable health care means helping struggling communities is not your real priority.
When we talk about religious freedoms, we are just as grieved when our Hispanic or black brothers and sisters are targeted as when when the target is white.
There are a number of families separated at the border who would like a word with you.
And when we oppose LGBTQ activism, we are opposing a movement led largely by whites.
A red herring argument if there ever was one (It’s worth noting that people of color are also LGBTQ.)
We certainly have our blind spots when it comes to racism in America, but we were hardly pro-Trump because we were pro-white.
It sure doesn’t hurt, though.
By the way, that’s the closest Brown gets to self-awareness in this article.
There is evidence of Trump’s racist history dating back to the 1970s. Brown wants to believe that Trump’s attempt to expand his minority fan base is evidence to the contrary, but the man fears losing more than anything. Of course he would try to win over as many supporters as possible (usually by lying to them). The words that come out of his mouth don’t matter as much as his actions: who he associates with, which policies he chooses to endorse.
It’s interesting how Brown didn’t mention speaking to any minorities who oppose Trump when writing this piece: only the people who directly benefited from Trump’s administration. It’s entirely expected, though.