Thursday, July 28, 2016

"Political Correctness" or Common Sense: The Racialized Rhetoric of Donald Trump.

I am not coming to the ‪#‎StopTrump‬ movement from an "Ivy Tower" perspective. My coaching experiences in Brooklyn actually have a lot more to do with my opposition to him than my academic training.
During the 80's and early 90's when Brooklyn was a racial tinderbox, I was coaching CYO basketball and sandlot baseball. I took racially mixed teams from my neighborhood into all white neighborhoods like Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, and Howard Beach and into all Black and Latino neighborhoods like Red Hook, East Flatbush and the neighborhoods near the Farragut houses.
Everyone in these neighborhoods knew how dangerous a time we lived in. And they practiced incredible self restraint. No matter how angry coaches, parents and players got, they NEVER were allowed to refer to the race of an opposing players, much less use a racial slur. This discipline was universally practiced whether the neighborhood was white or Black and Latino. At literaly hundreds of games, some of which involved fierce arguments. The one time that discipline was broken, by parents from a team in Flatbush, I had to break up a near riot at our local gym
THIS is the kind of self-discipline and common sense that Donald Trump refused to follow when attacking a Mexican judge by natioality, or singling out Mexican immigrants as sources of crime and violence by saying "Mexico is not sending us our best," Or by calling for a complete ban on Muslim immigration to the US.
When you bring the racial genie out of the bottle, you set in motion forces of anger and division that can't be controlled.
Everyone in Brooklyn knew that in the 80's and 90's. But Mr Trump thinks he is immune to rules that everyone else will follow. Putting him in the Presidency will ratchet up racial tensions- already high- to dangerous proportions- since he seems to think that normal standards of racial discourse which people follow in their workplaces and community don't apply to him.

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