It is not difficult to see the impact of the political and social climate that has arisen since the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump. He has single-handedly transformed what we used to know as normal and continues to redefine the term, presidential.
Early on in his campaign, Trump took advantage of his white privilege in a way that allowed him to act in a way others could not. Each of his offensive tweets or comments about disabled people or minorities is just another example of his use of a privilege that is not granted to every man.
The leeway he has enjoyed to make offensive and aggressive comments would be nonexistent if the president was a black man. At the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Former-President Obama enlisted the help of Keegan-Michael Key to be his “anger translator,” to poke fun at the stereotype that he was an “angry black man.”
Obama was very conscious of his demeanor and the way he portrayed himself to others, but his successor is far less concerned.
Typically, the president says whatever he wants and rarely receives condemnation from his blindly-loyal supporters due to the environment in which white men can do or say whatever they like.
This culture is grounded in the United States’ dark past which has neglected the rights of minorities and women for centuries. It is also responsible for the sexually predatory actions of the men who have committed sexual misconduct over the last decades. Countless celebrities and politicians have been disgraced due to allegations of sexual misconduct towards women, with many of the allegations detailing events that took place decades ago, proving that when actions do not have consequences, the actions do not stop. Almost all of the public figures in the news in recent weeks, who have been accused of sexual assault or misconduct have been accused multiple times and by multiple people. They did not allegedly offend once and then stop because they had a crisis of conscience; they continued with their predatory behavior for years.
The actions of the president are no different. He will not stop threatening the sovereignty and the diplomacy of the country, he is supposed to lead, until he faces consequences. Special councils and articles of impeachment are fantastic symbols of resistance, but change does not come until action is taken.
The action can only be taken by elected lawmakers and these lawmakers will not act until they are pressured by their constituents. This places the responsibility for continuing to eradicate all forms of evil squarely in the hands of the general public. It is on all of us to initiate change and show that there are consequences for egregious actions, no matter skin color, gender, faith or sexuality.
We should all play by the same rules.