News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug. 12, 2016: On August 3, 2016, the New York Times released a video compiled over a year of coverage of Donald Trump rallies titled “Voices From Donald Trump’s Rallies, Uncensored.” In this shocking up close and personal video, the racism and hate being spewed by the audience of White Americans is shocking and frightening to say the least.
It took me back to my first experience with anti-immigrant racism after my arrival as a new immigrant to America in 1996. I still remember the day – mere months after my arrival in the U.S. I was walking down Woodhaven Boulevard in Queens, NY when a black pickup truck driven by a young White man pulled up next to me as I was trying to cross the boulevard.
Without missing a beat he yelled: “Black bitch, why don’t you go back where you came from!” And then he drove off leaving me shaking like a leaf.
I managed to cross the road even though I was half blind from the tears streaming down my face. The range of emotions I experienced in that moment ran the gamut – from fear, to anger and then remorse for moving to a country where I could be so defiled.
But that day I learnt a valuable lesson. I realized clearly where I stood in this strange country – I was nothing but a black woman in a white world and that was the reality I had to face and live with!
So when the second and third incidents of racism came my way, I did not cry – I simply fought back. It was on a bus to a resort in Connecticut. On the bus were a number of Jewish singles it seemed who were going to the resort for a weekend. I was on the bus as a journalist, invited to cover the resort and its offerings for the newspaper I was news editor of at the time – The New York Trend.
On that bus, on that clear day – the supposed host told the audience that there “were other people on the bus today so no racist jokes were allowed.” Meaning, obviously that there were racist jokes when no one of color was around!
But it did not stop there. Once we got to the resort for dinner I was directed to a table. As I approached, this old White woman slammed her bag down on to the chair she saw me heading for and said rudely: “This seat is taken.”
There were no more tears that day! On that day the lioness in me awakened as I snatched that bag up, dropped it on her lap and responded “Not anymore!” as I sat down.
The silence at the dinner table that night was deafening. But everyone there had gotten the message – this little black girl was not to be messed with!
I calmly went to the front desk after dinner, asked for the manager and told them I needed to leave immediately. To say the story the resort owner and PR agency was hoping for was not what they got is putting it mildly.
But seeing the NY Times video of ignorant white men screaming: “F… You Beaners,” “Build a wall — kill them all,” “Send them bastards back,” “Ignorance and immigrants. They mix together,” “F… that n….” and “F… Islam” – brought my experiences of racism back to the fore and made me anxious and angry all over again.
This is not the America I want to live in and neither should any right minded American.
Luckily, we know that the vile screaming Trump audience does not accurately represent the America of many colors I have come to know and love some 20 years later.
It is why I strongly believe that these sad individuals are merely part of the 32 million adults in the U.S. who can’t read or have a bare basic prose literacy rate as measured by the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL). That’s 14 percent of the population and that’s 37 percent of White Americans!
These are the ones we see in this video who are largely the ‘Trumpeteers’ – who continue to follow the dangerous mad man as he spews a tale of ignorance, deceit and a belief that America – if it remains predominantly White – is better than the America of today.
But America is only great today because of people from all corners of the world who have come here and woven their own cultures and knowledge into the fabric of the stars and stripes.
America is only great because it is one of the few places in the world you can experience so many cultures, cuisines and diverse groups of people in one place without even getting on a plane.
That’s why this country is already great and unfortunately for Trump and his ignorant Trumpeteers, their brand of hate cannot win.
It’s why we as naturalized immigrants must vote in numbers this election day – to send a clear message – that Trump and the Trumpeteers of hate cannot stop us nor can they roll back the hands of time in the United States of America in 2016.