With one of the most ferocious presidential races happening right before our eyes, Donald Trump’s campaign stops nothing short of extraordinary. With his flagrant personality and unfiltered mouth, Trump’s campaign is teeming with white privilege. The platform on which Trump’s campaign relies heavily upon is that of his anti-immigration policies against Mexicans and Muslims. The beginning of Trumps campaign started with his unrestrained views on Mexican immigration and his plan to build “a wall.” Threatening deportation of millions of immigrants, Trumps campaign excludes any person of color, in an almost white supremacist type of way.
Trump’s policy on Mexican and Latin American immigration shows major undertones of his racist ways. Labeling all Mexicans as criminals and rapists, Trump lumps a whole culture and race together in an extremely negative and derogatory stereotype. He associates one type of people with crime and drugs, all based upon stereotypes often portrayed in the media. When Trump says these disparaging things he is further engraining these types of ideas into peoples minds. He is strengthening ideas that people of color are connoted with crime and drugs. Thus saying, that ultimately, White people are a more supreme race because they are not associated with these types of negative imagery.
When speaking about President Obama, the nation’s first African American president, Trump labels him as not one of us. But Trumps meaning of “us” is white America, not the diverse nation as a whole. Trump then calls out Obama’s legitimacy as an American by questioning his birthplace and therefore questioning his rightful merit of the presidency. Trump would have never questioned another mans legitimacy as president had that person person been white. While technically, almost all Americans are immigrants in this country, except for Native Americans, who happen to also be people of color, not white. “When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is” (McIntosh, Pg.2). Much of America’s history has been dominated by the white scope. The accomplishments made have all been accredited to those of mostly European decent. While immigration of the founding fathers may have been before the immigration of certain groups that have a darker complexion, those of European decent, including Trump and his ancestors, are all immigrants no matter what history books might have to say about it. Much of history is painted in the white view on accounts of white accomplishments, leaving others to look as if they have done nothing in the making of this country. Having the privilege of white skin allows Trump to disregard the fact that we are all immigrants into this country, while only labeling those who may look different as outsiders.
Trumps anti-Muslim campaign is also very controversial due to his stance on immigration. Planning to ban all Muslim’s coming into the United States, Trump also is an advocate for surveillance of Muslims already in the country. Both of these things, if taken into effect, are extremely unconstitutional and go against all that America was built upon; the idea of the American Dream and freedom. Yet under Trumps ideals, these things can only be accessed to those who are not people of color, they have to be handed on a silver platter. How much of Trumps life was spent, with white privilege. “But since the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Arabs and Muslims, two groups virtually unknown to most Americans prior to 2001, now hold the dubious distinction of being the first new communities of suspicion after the hard-won victories of the civil rights era.” (Bayoumi, pg. 3) Since 9/11, Muslims have been seen as the enemy and Trump’s campaign does not stop short in instilling those ideas among the American people. He often denounces them even as human beings, in a way that almost resembles Hitler’s anti-Jewish policies. In doing so, Trump promotes the idea that Whites are better, and could never commit such a heinous act as Muslim terrorists do. But Trump does not understand that they cannot be confined to one stereotype of an extremist group, as Christians are not confined to all the ideas of the KKK, a notoriously Christian group.
Moustafa Bayoumi, “Preface,” in How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America. Penguin, 2009.
McIntosh, Peggy. “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.”