Opinion

Why Nothing About Donald Trump Should Surprise You

Trump’s Bigotry and the Crusade of Celebrity Righteousness

By: Ubong Ekpo

Trump in the 80s, the same time he went on attack on the Central Park 5. Photo Credit: Mashable.com

Donald Trump’s behavior since announcing his run for presidency has left a permanent disfigurement in his public image.

It’s hard to believe that at one point that brash, charismatic personality that is loathed now was what made Trump a unique household figure these past few decades.

Trump wasn’t as blunt and direct with his white supremacist views when he first climbed to fame, but there are examples of Trump exhibiting such behavior that aligns with that way of thinking.

In 1989,  Trump took out full-page ads in various New York newspapers to denounce and further implicate the guilt of the Central Park 5.

The Central Park 5 was a name coined for the 5 black teenagers who were forced through police coercion to confess to the rape of a female jogger in Central Park.

The five young men were eventually convicted, only to have their convictions overturned a decade later when the real assailant confessed to the rape.

The case was controversial due to the police tactics used to force a false confession and persecute with a lack of DNA evidence.

Trump double downed and still maintained the guilt of the Central Park 5 while he was running for office in 2016, despite the Supreme Court declaring their innocence and vacating the charges years prior.

What does this tell us? It tells that even in 1989, Donald Trump showcased his bias on a national platform, and yet for the next twenty six years the world played blind to the prejudices this man had.

With one of the stable themes of Hip Hop music being that of wealth, Donald Trump has been used as a constant reference for affluence in rap songs, starting out as early as the eighties.

Currently, however, the name Donald Trump no longer rings the same braggadocios interpretation that it once held.  

With his views and policies becoming more bigoted, rappers now use the name Trump with disdain, showing little respect for him. Rapper T.I. recently shot a music video where he depicted a look-alike of Melania Trump dancing provocatively in a strip tease in the oval office.

Just last year, Hip Hop legend Snoop Dogg, who once used to be an admirer of Trump, depicted himself shooting a Donald Trump look-alike in a music video.

Why is it every time any celebrity wants to have some kind of dialogue with President Trump, they are met with such vitriol and displeasure at the notion?

I question all the black celebrities who are mad at Kanye West. Why did they not attempt to have any meetings President Obama?

Black people; we rebelled and celebrated that the commander in chief was finally a black man, but then what? To my knowledge, no black celebrity met with President Obama to have a serious conversation about his policies, only to perform and have photo ops.       

Yet, Kanye West is criticized and maybe rightfully so, as the conversation he had with President Trump wasn’t one to be lauded, as West was seemingly just incoherently ranting.

Although at times there were a few splashes of some sensible points; Kanye does not deserve the amount of negative attention he has garnered.

Why isn’t Hillary Clinton met with the same disdain as Trump?

Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton, implemented the three strikes law where people who had two previous violent convictions would automatically get a mandatory life jail sentence for a third violent offense.

This law dramatically raised the number of African Americans going to prison, at a disproportionate rate.

Hillary then doubled down on this law in a 1996 speech, referring to the young gangs who were affected as ‘super predators,’ a term which had a lot of racial undertones. Clinton apologized during her 2016 presidential campaign for her use of the term.

The recent wave of celebrity opposition to Trump is problematic to me. My problem isn’t that they’re challenging him. When someone who has views that are so blatantly racist, they absolutely should be called out and held accountable, but my issue is this may be too little too late.

Too often, when white people want to ‘come to the defense’ of black people or any people of color, it’s only when their own interests are in danger.

I don’t see it as genuine when someone like Anne Hathaway makes, what is to her, a passionate cry to help people of color through an Instagram post.

I see it as in-genuine because where were all these so-called allies before Trump?

Let’s stop acting like Donald Trump is the first person to openly express bigotry. Trump is simply doing what has always been the main code of the United States, which is upholding the system of white supremacy.

 

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