This year’s election has stirred up a lot of things that have simmered beneath the surface of our country. Conservatives loved to say that America was no longer racist because we elected a black President. However, it is clear that is not true.
Trump’s candidacy was based on hatred, racism, misogyny, and xenophobia. His election legitimized these long held beliefs and brought them back into America’s mainstream.
After a hard couple of years with a series of high profile police shootings and the police in Dallas being gunned down, it was clear racial tensions were high and even breaking in some places. Trump’s campaign seized on the rupture in America’s psyche to gain the White House.
This tactic was extremely effective. It gained him the Presidency. However, it also emboldened white nationalists. This became obvious as there were numerous acts of vandalism and violence aimed at minorities. These acts can be added to over 200 years of discrimination and violence directed at minorities in this country.
The question is whether all of this will lead to a schism in American society. We are closing in on point similar to what transpired in Northern Ireland. There were two pieces to the nationalist movement in Northern Ireland. The political arm, Sinn Fein, and the militant arm, the Irish Republican Army, who worked together to further the cause for independence.
Here in the States we have already seen the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has been primarily a protest movement. We have also seen a renewal, in some areas, of the Black Panther movement, which was far more militant.
If Trump does not reject the white nationalists, including the KKK, who have risen out of his shadow, it is not hard to imagine the Black Lives Matter morphing into a political party, which would campaign on equality. It is also not hard to imagine the Black Panthers or some other group becoming the loosely affiliated militant arm of the movement. This is especially true in the wake of the Dallas shooting that cost the lives of many police officers.
The question we must ask ourselves is whether we are ready to walk down a path that leads to more division and more violence, or do we want peace and equality for all of our fellow citizens. If we want the latter, we must stand up and fight for equality with our voices and our votes.