The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Decolonize Your Mind: Thank you, Donald Trump

Disclaimer: Article contains content that may be offensive or unsuitable for minors. 

Dear Donald Trump (or Drumpf, or whatever your name is),

As the campaign goes on, and more of my Facebook friends publicize their support for you, I find myself wanting to thank you.

As more and more people reveal their prejudices that you have publicly condoned, and my white friends express shock at the bigotry they hear, I am so, so grateful for your campaign.

As you isolate yourself from various demographics (Mexicans, Muslims, women, disabled people, POWs, Asians, black people, and many more), you affirm the words of oppressed people everywhere.

Comic via:

Finally, no one can deny that racism, ethnocentrism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination fester in this country, and affect millions of people every day. When you go on TV and propose a ban on Muslim people from entering this country, no one with a satellite or wi-fi connection can deny that people have prejudices against the religion of Islam and its participants. This extends to all other groups your words attack.

People keep repeating this phrase about how you say what others feel too afraid to say, and further, what other politicians won’t say. And they’re right. White people have thought the things that you’re saying out loud for years! You didn’t invent racism, Donald! You aren’t the sole cause of oppression in this country! You’ve just facilitated its growth and encouraged others to engage in hateful speech! Now that you’ve got a huge platform and lots of support, white people can be openly fucked up. THANK YOU.

THANK YOU for concretizing the issues I discuss in my column and show. THANK YOU for making people everywhere realize how bigotry thrives and is encouraged in AmeriKKKa. THANK YOU for affirming my experiences and making me feel like I’m not crazy when I discuss discrimination. Thanks to you, I know I’m right!

Comic via:

Furthermore, there are certain assumptions I can make about someone who supports your campaign. Either they agree with your bigoted remarks, or they’re willing to ignore them which means they don’t understand the gravity behind your statements. Either way, you’ve made it simple to decide whether or not I will get along with a stranger. Like hair gel.

Politicians used to hide behind words like “heritage” and “history” and “freedom of speech” and “states rights.” Now that you’ve spouted off all the awful comments about almost every demographic, they can’t hide behind such bullshit anymore. They have to face their own prejudices they’ve worked so hard to mask.

Blatant discrimination has reared its ugly, orange, toupee-wearing head. Your ugly words have stripped the veneer of so-called “political correctness” so people can be openly prejudiced. As white people everywhere gasped, oppressed people angrily pointed their fingers at the TV and yelled “SEE?!”

So thank you, Donald. You’ve confirmed that we’ve got a lot of work to do in this country.

The idea of “decolonizing our minds” is highlighted in the writings of the author, feminist and social activist Bell Hooks. She encourages us to critically examine every thought and action, free ourselves from the coercive ideologies, and overcome the impacts of structural oppression. This bimonthly column will analyze spaces and times where and when we can pause and make strides in this arduous process, and also highlight figures who are helping us to decolonize ourselves.