Is Donald (Duck) Trump a Bigot? If it Quacks Like a Duck...
I recently participated in a very long, very contentious thread over at Alas, a Blog about whether or not it is ever acceptable to, when debating a person's position, call the position or the person a bigot. I fell on the side of the argument that yes, it is both acceptable and (more importantly) occasionally useful to call out a particular person or position as bigoted. That said, I can also see where those who argued that it effectively ended the argument, signaling to the person whose position was being identified as bigoted that he or she was no longer being listened to. Sometimes, that very effect is what the debater wants – to signal disrespect. It's like when someone says, “meaning no disrespect, but...” we all know that whatever comes next is going to be profoundly disrespectful.
Donald Trump bowed out of a scheduled appearance on the David Letterman show today because Letterman referred to his actions with regard to the President as racist. To those who have studied oppression and race and gender theory (and therefore have a specialized vocabulary with very precise meanings), it is a given that Donald Trump benefits from institutionalized privilege due to his race, class, and gender that give him unearned advantages in the marketplace of power in America. Like many people who have his particular mix of privileges (white men who were born to wealthy parents), Trump doesn't apparently acknowledge to himself or to others that his current position in life stems largely not from any personal skill or innate superiority, but from the advantages given him directly and indirectly by his position at birth, not least of which includes the rarefied (and moneyed) social circles he has inhabited since childhood.
When people think of “bigots” or “racists”, they have the tendency to think of people who publicly make statements using the 'n' word or stating that “all X are lazy (mean, cheap, greedy, manipulative, etc.) That is one form of bigotry, and it's the easy one to spot. It's like the guy with the bumper sticker or T shirt with a racist 'joke' on it. You thank him for displaying his warning label so clearly, and discount everything he says from then on. Easy peasy.Continued on the next page