For a long time I thought it was a joke. When Donald John Trump announced his candidacy for the 2016 United States presidential election in June 2015, I figured he was looking to set a new personal record of his greatest troll yet. I mean, really, come on . . . president? Leader of the free world? I can't recall a time that I've heard Trump speak and didn't instinctively think of Frank Caliendo's dead-on impersonation of him. Or when Mexican drug lord El Chapo escaped from prison, for the second time, last year and it was rumored that he was looking to settle a score with the business magnate -- via a $100 million bounty -- social media's finest ran amok with memes. Then there's the one thing that's been the subject of much speculation and amusement for years; the crown jewel of Trump's comedic appeal--his hair. But when April Fools' Day came and went with no suspension of his campaign, the jokes got less and less funny. When Ted Cruz dropped out of the presidential race on May 3 making Trump the presumptive GOP nominee, the joke was over.
The statement, "If Donald Trump is elected president, I'm moving" or a variation of the sort, has been spoken many a time since Trump threw his slogan-embroidered rope hat in the presidential ring. While some speak it in jest, others see leaving the country as a very viable option. This could be most true for the Latino community, considering the Republican nominee generalized Mexican immigrants as criminals, killers, drug dealers and rapists. Additionally, he's promised to force the people of Mexico to build a border wall if he were to become president. Trump hasn't shied away from his opposition to Muslims, either, calling for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the U.S. His unabashed vendetta against Latinos and Muslims feels reminiscent of former Alabama Governor George Wallace's racist views in his 1963 inaugural address: "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." But Trump's demagoguery slips under the radar when it comes to his dog-whistle tactics against Black Americans.
"Make America Great Again."
Donald Trump's campaign slogan is adopted from Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign. In Reagan's quest to regain America's greatness during his administration, the war on drugs he expanded decimated Black communities. By adopting Reagan's slogan, Trump could, in turn, adopt his policies. If elected, there's a possibility that he could carry the torch from Reagan like Reagan carried the torch from Nixon. The thought alone is like whistling Dixie to right-wing extremists.
When was America great?
During slavery? During racial segregation? America has always been known as the "land of opportunity." But the idea that Black people should dismiss years of oppression and be grateful for the opportunities we create for ourselves is not only utterly disrespectful, it's asinine. Krystal Lake was right; America was never great . . . at least not for Black people.
For those who are serious about moving, and have a nest egg ready to hatch, Investopedia has compiled a list of countries where you can stretch your retirement money. While leaving the country may escape tyrannical rule, it certainly won't solve all of your problems--no matter what race you are.
The underwhelming aura surrounding the 2016 presidential election is a stark contrast to the excitement of the 2008 and 2012 elections. Hip-Hop collectively rallied for President Obama during both of his campaigns. Conversely, this year there've been several hip-hop artists, including T.I., YG and Nipsey Hussle, and a few kids from Baltimore that have very publicly (and vehemently) expressed their disdain for The Donald. While a lot of Black voters have reservations about Hillary Clinton and some retain their faith in Bernie Sanders, there has yet to be that one candidate that folks are willing to stand behind. Even Trump has his share of Black supporters. Interest in the Trump brand has skyrocketed since the start of his campaign, so whether or not he's chosen as the next president in November, it's a win-win for him. But who's going to see to it that the lower- and middle-class are winning? Who can voters take seriously in the race? For some, the joke's still running.