Donald J. Trump has become the 45th President of the United States. It took everything in my power to write that first sentence. Now that that's out of the way, let us discuss the American citizens whom I will henceforth refer to as deplorables. How did we let this happen? Was swallowing the pill of having a woman as president that severe?
This election has nothing to do with political affiliation. Rather, it had everything to do with our national moral compass, and the results of this election let the world know we as a nation have lost all morality.
Why you ask? Simple. Donald Trump—excuse me, President-elect Donald Trump—is a bigot, misogynist, xenophobe, racist, and the CEO of the deplorables. No, these are not mere conclusions drawn out of thin air. These characteristics are what Trump has shown us through his actions and words. A man that vehemently and proudly discussed his sexual prowess and ability to grab women by their privates is now our president. Bravo, America, clap for yourself. You have successfully made America deplorable again.
Although Trump eschewed the temperament historically seen of a president, his campaign continued to steamroll their competition. What is the magic ingredient you ask? Simply put, the reason for Trump's success has been hate. Not just the type of hatred that aligns with Trump's views, but the deep-seated hatred that manifests as a result of having a black president for the past eight years, the deep-seated hatred of having to endure the social movements triggered by the killings of black people at the hands of law enforcement, and need I say it, the deep-seated hatred resulting from the prominence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
White America is fed up and used this election as a platform to enact "change." In tandem with this hatred is a little known social phenomenon known as the Bradley Effect. The Bradley Effect is when a candidate from an underrepresented minority group (in this case Hillary Clinton), runs against a white opponent. Some voters will tell pollsters and analysts they are undecided. However, the little-known secret is that these voters are not in fact undecided, but choose to shield their desired candidate because choosing the white candidate is deemed unfavorable by society.
So much attention and media coverage was given to the unprecedented amount of Latino voter turnout for this election, but no one anticipated the number of "undecided" voters who would not only vote for Trump, but vote based on hatred.
In the words of Van Jones, the result of the 2016 presidential election is due to white-lash—a white-lash against the progress our country has made in the past eight years. A white-lash against the rising Black Lives Matter Movement, a white-lash against the fact a little brown girl from Texas graced the stage of the coveted Country Music Awards and brought the show their highest ratings in 50 years, a white-lash at the possibility of a candidate continuing the legacy of a black man, a white-lash against all things black.
Just when we thought we were making some headway and black and brown people could occupy predominately white spaces, election 2016 solidified what people of color have always feared: We are and will never be full citizens of this country because when we get close, the country has a way of reminding us of "our place." Whether it was the assassinations of black civil rights leaders, the killings of black people who attempted to learn how to read and write, or the lack of diversity at the Oscars, America is divided. Despite progressive steps, people of color are not an integral part of the national equation.
It is unclear what will happen in the days following Election Day, but one thing that is apparent is that we as a nation have failed a segment of our population because we decided that galvanizing the bigotry in the Republican Party outweighed progress. How we will unite to effectuate change in this country as a unified front remains unclear, but what is clear is President-elect Trump did not win the 2016 election, hatred and its supporters did.
Osefo is a visiting assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University's School of Education.