By Mark Naison (February 29, 2016)
Right now, I am really torn up in side. I have a visceral hatred of racism which goes back to my college days when I was kicked out of my family for falling in love with a Black woman. My entire professional life as a scholar and teacher has been devoted to thinking about, writing about and teaching about race in America.
At the same time, I have become close to many people through the Opt Out Movement and the struggle to protect children from excessive testing who are sympathetic to, or in some cases enthusiastic about, the message of Donald Trump. I empathize with their rage about what has happened to their families, their schools and their communities.
In the last twenty years, many once middle class people have taken it on the chin no matter which party has been in power, and candidates who challenge the status quo have huge appeal. But while I am glad to see white working class and middle class people fight back against their declining living standards, the Trump campaign bothers me. The racism and xenophobia by Mr Trump and some of his supporters raises a huge red light for me, especially since so many of my students, colleagues and community research partners feel directly threatened by his rhetoric.
So while I am not telling people how to vote, nor assuming that everyone supporting Mr Trump is a racist, I will continue to speak loudly and regularly about the dangers of targeting and stigmatizing vulnerable groups. And should that targeting turn into action, I will be ready, on the ground, to confront people who should decide to attack people physically who are being targeted verbally. If you think I am just blowing smoke about this, you don’t know me very well.
I am going to make a prediction that will piss a lot of people off, here goes:
If the Republicans confirm President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee during the remainder of his term in office, the Republican candidate, probably Donald Trump, will be elected president.
If the Republicans obstruct his nominee, Hillary Clinton will be elected President because independent voters, and those who will regard Republican obstructionism as a sign of disrespect for the President, will mobilize to assure her election even though she is not their preferred candidate.
Personally, I am a Bernie Sanders Supporter, but first, I think he will be denied the nomination, and second, if he is nominated, Michael Bloomberg will come in as a 3rd Party candidate.
So that my prediction. I am ready to take side bets on this with those who disagree to supplement my retirement income