THE BLOG
03/09/2016 02:58 pm ET Updated Mar 10, 2017

A Tale of Two Pities: White Fragility and Trump Racism Are Equally Dangerous

Getty Images

Donald Trump is the Republican candidate.
Donald Trump could be the next POTUS.

At first, it seemed as if it were a crude joke that this vile, hate mongering billionaire could stand a chance after highlighting what many assumed to be the gradually diminishing underbelly of American racism.

Trump speaks of making America great again by forcing Mexico to build a border wall, and banning all Muslims from entering the US, describing Mexicans as criminals and rapists, spurring all too eager audiences to violence anytime someone speaks against him at his campaigns, all the while swearing in his ability to create the resurgence of a "bigger and better" American dream.

Those who have voted in support of Trump are not some secret, insignificant minority of whites. They are loud, they are many and they are dangerous. Trump speaks to the hearts and desires of white Americans who are rallying around him in cult-like droves, embracing his vitriol and fascist, government free guarantee.

Trump is not some phenomenon, he is a direct reflection of America as it is right now. He is a result of the dying white America that white people have been promised their entire lives. Trump's xenophobic obsession with Mexicans and Latinos is a direct result of theirs being the fastest growing minority population in the US. His silencing of Black Lives Matter protestors at various rallies, his fear mongering around Islam and Muslim populations are because the narratives are shifting, even if they haven't penetrated every space of influence yet.

"White people, it's time to grow up about racism."

People of colour are changing the hegemony, challenging the culture, the educational system, policy and legislation and taking up space in protests, shut downs, boycotts and redirecting energy and funds. The paranoia that white people experience out of fear of losing power is extreme, and even the most liberal minded white people think of Trump as a wake up call, as if people of colour haven't been living under the oppressive forces of white supremacy since the founding of America, and are quick to distinguish their whiteness from his unabashed overt hate without ever deconstructing white privilege.

To be clear, white people do need a wake-up call, and Trump is not it.

The wake-up call can be found in the silence of those who know better and do nothing as they witness the injustice of Islamphobic, racist and anti-immigrant surges as white supremacists and those white people invested in their personal gain, clamour and jostle for a stronger position of power in light of those aforementioned shifts.

The silence is because of white fragility.

White fragility is the coming undone of white people when racism or racial stress is even implied. It is derailing and defensive, presenting as fear, anger, guilt, silence and silencing.

White fragility is every bit as dangerous as white supremacy; the latter is the monster and the former immobilizes white people to stop their own creation.

Being uncomfortable, guilty, afraid of conflict, or of saying the wrong thing are no longer good enough reasons to be silent. For one, it is most assuredly a fact that you have said the wrong thing already -- disrupting white fragility is the only way to change this inevitability.

The majority of people voting for Trump will not be swastika wearing, confederate flag brandishing skinheads that are all too easy to envision, rather they will be your family members, coworkers and friends. They will see Trump as some sort of social experiment, a shift away from the political establishment and Wall Street controlled oligarchy. They will vote for him because they don't want a woman in office. They will vote for him because they want someone who promises more military strength. They will vote for him because he is entertaining, and perhaps even more will vote for him because of his rejection of 'political correctness'.

For those white folks who will not vote for Trump, they will consider leaving the States, which is perhaps the epitome of white privilege. Google tracked a 350 percent spike in variations of "how I can move to Canada" in the US after Super Tuesday's results.

Despite the fact that Canada is nowhere near the racial haven it is believed to be, passports, access to resources and freedom to move to another country - such as the ability to secure work - these are pipe dreams that exist largely for white people only, who have been complacent and complicit in building a racist system, but seek to leave when it becomes undeniably apparent or it offends their sensibilities.

The ideology of white superiority, of white America, is being threatened. From education to socio-economic and political realities, there are tangible hairline cracks in the ivory dome. Things are changing, however slowly, because racialized people and their very few allies have made it so. It is literally going to take everyone of us to shut the Trump troop down. White people that means you. It means taking risks that involve more than a racial justice dialogue.

The ability to simply disengage when racial matters become uncomfortable is not just hindering personal growth, it is hindering the growth of the movement and social change. The movement, in very particular ways, cannot grow unless you grow with it. It is time to start developing a political maturity, and to push through the fragility that has become a second nature luxury response.

White people, it's time to grow up about racism.

janaya (j) khan, known as future in the Black Lives Matter movement is the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, and one of the international ambassadors of the #BlackLivesMatter Network.