On white male privilege and the Donald

Where do I even begin?

Following this political cycle has made me disappointed, cry and self-medicate. The presidential campaigns this year have featured an unprecedented level of fear mongering and hyper-partisanship and at this point I only have enough anger to say one thing:

The Donald is the epitome of white male privilege. All that he is and all that he represents must be destroyed.

This presidential election features arguably both the most qualified and least qualified candidates to ever run for the office. Currently, FiveThirtyEight’s election forecast has Secretary Clinton winning around 50% of the popular vote and the Donald at around 43%. Allow me to be blunt here; if Trump were anything other than an affluent white male, he would not be garnering 43% of the vote.

While there are legitimate concerns regarding the economy and foreign relations that have led many to support Trump, there is little to no justification for why such a vile creature deserves the vote of anyone outside of the ‘basket of deplorables’. Perhaps these comments will help feed into the toxic state of hyper-partisanship, perhaps I have succumbed to marching orders from the party line, or perhaps I am just tired of the interrelated systems of oppression that have all helped to produce Trump’s rise to power… but I cannot begin to imagine how tired of it all Secretary Clinton must be.

I have my personal qualms regarding electing Secretary Clinton, most of them I explicated in my previous article, but I will be damned if you tell me the Donald deserved to be next to her on the debate stage. From the unnecessarily incessant repetition of “wrong” to his “nasty woman” comment, the Donald has no right to stand as an equal to Secretary Clinton.

Secretary Clinton worked her entire life building up her political career to get to the top of the ballot while the Donald squandered away his father’s fortune, cheated small business owners and avoided paying federal income tax. Somehow he still managed to end up next to Secretary Clinton on the ballot. You see, that’s the thing about privilege; those with power get rewarded simply for being mediocre (and sometimes even if they are downright shitty).

Without the historical construction of institutions of oppression, whether it is sexism, racism, xenophobia or classism, the Donald would not be the Republican nominee for president. To those of you who share my disgust of the Donald and all that he represents, I ask you to acknowledge your own privileges. This should not just be some one-off “yeah I guess I’m pretty privileged,” rather than a constant self-reflection of one’s being.

“In the words of George Yancy, professor of philosophy at Emory University, I am a sexist in that I benefit from a sexist institution. I am a sexist in that I have been a complicit consumer of industries that generate billion-dollar profit margins out of the sexual objectification and degradation of women. I am a sexist in that, despite my best intentions, I perpetuate this sexist institution in subtle manners of life. I am not innocent,” as I have written elsewhere. Then again, none of us are innocent. Privilege and oppression are subtle and unconsciously ingrained into our psyches. In that way, we have all probably done something that has perpetuated unjust systems that have helped the Donald achieve political power.

The Donald is the epitome of white male privilege. All that he is and all that he represents must be destroyed.

There is much work to be done and I believe that work starts with ourselves. Whether we like it or not, the Donald represents parts of ourselves that we may not wish or know we have. This side of ourselves could manifest when we choose to remain silent when our friend makes a sexist comment or when we use a derogatory term that is inherently racist.

There is a Donald in all of us. The Donald is not a human but is a caricature of oppressive institutions present within all of us. In order to destroy the Donald, we must first destroy parts of ourselves.

The Donald is the epitome of white male privilege. All that he is and all that he represents must be destroyed.

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