Thank you….Your essay really ran true for me since I intersect at several of the identities you discussed. My perception of these behaviors is that the ‘core’ of white supremacy — the binary — is still alive and well. So, when Trump says ‘their dignity’ he is capitalizing on a binary, specifically the one set up by Europeans conquering the other continents (and the wide range of black and brown) with the exact mindset required for conquest: extreme thinking which involves binaries, and the necessity to take ‘difference’ and make it ‘opposite’ and ‘inferior.’ Since black peoples were the ‘chosen’ opposite/inferior several centuries ago, when Europeans ‘discovered’ Africa, they have been enslaved and thus the horrors of the TransAtlanticSlave Trade.
This ‘core’ of fundamentally Macchiavellian behavior persists, even years later. I believe this is because there is no way white people as a group could maintain this power level without constant attention to maintaining people below them, and the more the better. This is why black people consistently take the greatest social ‘hits.’ It is also why black and brown people feel under siege constantly — in order to maintain power in the face of lower performance and an inability to adjust to a changing world, they must maintain this binary. We are, at some level, always under siege due to the alive nature of white supremacy, and black people are particularly under siege due to their placement as ‘most inferior.’ All in the nightmarish reality of white supremacy.
Brown peoples are a convenience for white people in this collective group context. Right now, white people (McConnell, for example) feel like there are too few white people. Thus, brown people who might be white or ‘pass’ are conveniently plopped into the white pile. If wealthy white people, as a collective, needed fewer white people, we would be brown. Take a look at history and note how often white people, collectively, have decided through legal means to define others at their convenience, always in a way which maintains their majority.
So, when Trump sets up the context as a binary — that is, because there are more of ‘them,’ you the white person have less stuff (never asking if any of that stuff was ever earned) — he is only keeping the (white supremacy) faith: he isn’t saying anything new, he is just saying it more overtly. All presidents have told the white population as a whole that, no matter how many ‘liberties’ others get, white people will always have the most, and if rule-bending is necessary, that is fine. That’s because white interests trump overarching morals just as they trump, so to speak, anything else of value. Morals are thrown out the door when it comes to protecting white people, a situation which is past the 20 (!) generation level after 400+ years.
I believe the improvements in civil rights and the entrance of more brown people has forced Trump AND a lot of white people to bring this out in the open. Nixon and Reagan did the same, and so did others.
By the way, I’m glad to see you’ve quoted from a critical race theorist, Ahmed, with a Middle Eastern background. She has been writing for decades and should enter the pantheon of nonwhite peoples who understands white supremacy…