I am a resident of Toronto, Canada and can tell you that the Trump presidency has verified that borders are porous. Nation-states consume and trade goods and ideas with one another, which linger amongst both populations. This Trump presidential win enforced to so many people that not only were they meant to be invisible, they were meant to not exist. They are to be destroyed. The American presidential elections validated the feelings of racist people in Canada to come forth and freely express their ideas without repercussions. Toronto is depicted as a multicultural, diverse, melting pot. Sure it has fantastic Korean and Jamaican food on streets that intersect one another, but I’m sorry, that doesn’t equate to racial equity. The other day my brown girlfriend and me were walking the streets of Toronto, when a white man was so giddy to find people he could target. He screamed, “Trump won” at us. Wonderful. He laughed, we continued to walk, and then I sobbed because of another altercation with a group of white people claiming that their access to privilege is limited. It really doesn’t stop, does it? This all happened within a ten minute time span and I live in Canada. Do not tell me racism is not transnational, or reserved for the East, or that combinations of red, white, and blue solves for something that evolves on the backs of black and brown.
There have been multiple incidents and hate crimes that have occurred within Canada since the 2016 USA Presidential elections. I must say, that my immediate reactions to watching Trump dominate the electoral college was to gulp down cheap wine and stay up until 5:00AM to pray for miracles. I am not religious. My loved ones in Texas deserve the world—and they are people of color, queer, Muslim, visibly outside of the white-Christian realm that America masks as saviors of safety. I’m learning of the horrid hate crimes that arose within America, specifically around my alum, the University of Texas at Austin. I am in panic mode and fearful of the incidents that I may hear through social media through my friends and family who remain in Texas. These hate crimes have transpired throughout Canada even though we are supposed to be a liberal oasis that is a hub of human welfare. I’m calling bullshit.
There have been numerous incidents documented in America about the ways in which racism has unfolded—with attacks predominantly against black folks and Muslim folks (or combination of the two). I heard stories of a brown man being verbally assaulted by a white man in downtown Toronto. A white man told him to “go back to your fucking country”, and of course, the brown man was apologetic to the Toronto Transportation Commission and bystanders for intervening in the situation. There has been documentation of KKK support, hated-filled graffiti, along with the “ragheads” and other discriminatory rhetoric aimed at people within Canada. Canada is not immune. Don’t even say it, don’t joke about moving to Canada after Trump-- don’t do any of that. You’re probably a white woman who can solidify forms of safety in Canada, whereas most others can’t.
White supremacists have been okayed by Trump, and the political decision to elect him the 45th president of the United States of America. White supremacy just became mainstream, but it was here all along. There is a real threat to our functioning. I have noticed this constant denial of the pain that people of color, queer, femme, Muslim, women, etc. experience. Majority populations want to alleviate themselves of burdens. Even the liberals, who claim to support people of color, are the same people who expect oppressed groups to educate, to constantly speak of racial theory, and fail to listen to lived experiences. But racial theory is just a theory to white folks. That’s why it’s cute. Trump makes it even cuter to you.