Before I begin this article, I would like to begin with a disclaimer. I understand that generalizations are not always fair nor correct, however, for the purposes of this article, I will be using the generally accepted views of Trump supporters by opponents.
Two days ago, I found myself in the midst of an 'argument' on Facebook. It all stemmed from an opposing view regarding Bernie Sanders' walk out to a campaign rally to DMX's "Where The Hood At?" Not surprisingly, myself and several others became entangled in an argument, which now that I think about it, did not have any purpose except for the sake of arguing - on both sides. The argument had no purpose until three white males responded to one of my comment's on the post asking, "How is the wall Trump wants to build racist?"
This was my response:
"The wall itself is not racist but Trump is appealing to all the racists in the country who want to blame foreigners for their problems. This wall is about making the American people feel safer. Everything Trump says is designed to make you, as white males, feel unsafe for the first time in your lives - welcome to how every minority lives daily. The only solution to this 'problem' is that Trump must be President - convenient. The fact that you don't see that means you have fallen victim to his political rhetoric. And here is where the racism and xenophobia comes in because while other politicians have supported barriers at the border, Donald Trump has been clear about who we need to be protected from: the so-called rapists, drug dealers, and criminals, as Trump put it, that he thinks are crossing the border into America and wreaking havoc. And while some individual undocumented immigrants have committed terrible acts, they are actually, according to researchers, less crime-prone then those who are native-born (July 2015 report by the American Immigration Council) so I'm not sure where that justification comes from. In addition, Mexican immigration has declined. Trump has called immigration situation "completely out of control" and has promised to "take our country back." But Pew Research Center data shows that Mexican unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. has actually declined by 1 million, from the 6.9 million 2007 peak to 5.9 million in 2012. Driven partly by economic and demographic factors, net migration from Mexico reached zero in 2010, and since then more Mexicans have left the U.S. than have arrived. What's more is that if this policy is designed to keep the American people safe, then why are we only building one wall? Would you feel safe in a house with one wall? Why not build a wall on the border between the United States and Canada? Canadians lead U.S immigrants in unauthorized visa-overstays, according to first-ever estimates from the Department of Homeland Security. Just under half of all immigrants in the country illegally are Mexican nationals, according to Pew Research. So why are we only focusing on people south of the border? I'd argue it is because they, unlike Canadians, don't look like the typical white American. Immigrants from Mexico aren't 'white' enough.
Despite all of these false claims by Trump, you still support the building of wall based on falsehoods and out of fear of another group of people simply for where these people come from and what their racial background is, and that my friends, is racist. The wall is the kind of thing you like if you're reacting out of fear. If you see everything to the south of the U.S. as a huge mass of danger, coming to destroy the American Dream, then building a wall to stop that seems like the only solution. No matter how much it costs, if it stops even one illegal immigrant, it will be worth it- that's an emotional response, not a reasonable one. And don't even get me started on how conservatives are all about the government spending taxpayers money. Do you understand how much this wall would cost, and how ineffective it would be?
If I didn't answer your question to your liking, it's probably because you've always benefitted from the white, patriarchal, xenophobic system and chances are you'll never understand the other side. The wall is racist, and if you support it, it's because you live in fear every single day of falsehoods conjured up by a man who is not qualified to make such statements nor who is qualified to be President."
The fact that I needed to answer this question concerned me but I felt it was necessary. I responded to their questions under the comment and then proceeded to write the same response as a Facebook status to further spread my opinions and argument - I was pretty proud of it.
But this question of racism and the wall is not my biggest problem with Trump supporters.
The responses I received were generally positive and supportive of my argument. There were, however and as I expected, those who disagreed. Now, I have always believed and supported that individuals are entitled to their own opinions so it is not the disagreement of these individuals that bothers me. No, my concern with how these supporters responded.
After posting my response, which was frankly well thought out with facts and statistics, opponents responded with memes, "TRUMP2016," and "holy essay," among others. One opponent even said, "You're argument failed after the second sentence," and did not even read the remaining vast majority of my argument. This is where the surface of my problem lies. Trump supporters are uninterested in understanding the other side. I, though reluctant, was waiting for their responses to my argument - looking for a challenge to my own views. Instead, I was met with mockery and disrespect. This theme of mockery and disrespect seems to be a theme of Trump's campaign.
These supporters of Trump that I encountered cared enough about the issue at hand to respond to my reply but not enough to support why they believe in what they do. This suggests to me that they are stubborn and rude or, worse, don't even understand why they support what they do.
In conclusion, my biggest beef with Trump supporters is that they are discouraging. I am discouraged to even engage in conversations with supporters because it seems as though it is a waste of my breath - they do not listen. I am discouraged for our country that supporters genuinely believe America needs to be made great again - when was this 'great' time in America's history? Most of all, I am discouraged for youth of these supporters for they may never learn to think for themselves - understanding the importance of and legitimacy of all sides before making a decision - and continuing a vicious cycle of hate between two sides.
To these Trump supporters, uninterested in engaging in thoughtful discourse, I say, as one who replied to my status said, "Do more than generally yelling my direction."