The government shutdown shows just how committed Trump is to racism


Olivia Braito, Graphics Manager

Graphics by Olivia Braito

Ben Borrok, Staff Writer

The U.S. government has been shut down as of Dec. 22 and since then 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed or working without pay. Food banks and charities have been set up to help those struggling with their day-to-day expenses. Restaurants have introduced discounts, while many private businesses have opened their doors to help federal workers while they are still without pay. While the shutdown has highlighted American generosity, it should be known that these offers are not a permanent solution to the financial hardships brought on by the shutdown. The only acceptable solution is to reopen the government, but as the two parties are split on funding for U.S. President Donald Trump’s wall on the Mexican-American border, the government shutdown is far from over.

The wall has been a defining promise of Trump’s presidency. What began as a way to motivate voters has spiraled into what would be the crowning achievement of his presidency. While he first promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, Trump frequently switches his story. With Republicans no longer in control of all three branches of government, Trump cannot secure proper funding for the wall. Now, Trump is attempting to strong-arm Democrats into approving the funds by pushing ordinary American citizens to the brink. Although he claims to put “America First,” Trump is blatantly ignoring the very real crisis that federal employees are facing.

The wall is no longer about security within our borders. In fact, it never was. Since the start of his campaign, Trump’s rhetoric has been riddled with racism and hate. For the president, immigrants and minorities function as targets around which he can unite his core base. It creates an “us against the world” sentiment that prompts nationalistic views.

Trump is always quick to fan the flames of a culture war because it distracts supporters from the embarrassment of his presidency thus far. Trump promised his supporters a wall, and no Twitter controversy — not even lying about “prayer rugs” being found near the border — can distract from his biggest promise. Trump has no choice but to build the wall, if not it is almost certain he will lose the 2020 Republican nomination. He has enabled racism and hate to dictate his party, and now it may turn against him.

The wall’s inherent racism has become even more apparent last weekend when a group of his supporters from Covington Catholic High School cheered, “Build that wall!” at a Native American war veteran. While the situation is more complex, the citing of the wall still illustrates the racist sentiments held by many of Trump’s supporters. The wall is a metaphor for and will be a monument to a nativist mindset. Anyone who deviates from specific criteria is an enemy to America. Blacks, Latinos, Muslims, Asians, Jews, LGBTQ, and any other minority knows this wall is self-serving and spells an ominous sign for our future.

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