White Privilege and the Redwoods

White Privilege and the Redwoods

Note to my white self…

You are privileged.

I know you realize this, but you need to be reminded.  One of the problems with privilege is that it so easily becomes normative.  You begin to assume your reality is everyone’s reality.  You make the Marie Antoinette mistake and assume everyone eats cake.  You saw this absurdity in the failed Republican replacement to Obamacare.  Part of the reason it failed is because white privileged men thought providing people – who barely make it from paycheck to paycheck – with a Health Savings Account was a solution.   “Let them save money” is only slightly more absurd than “let them eat cake.”

Another reason the Republican plan failed is because a small group of conservative white male Republicans actually think they deserve their privilege, that they are more intelligent, more hard working and more worthy. They don’t think healthcare is a human right, but a reward.  They ask taxpayers to provide them and their families with some of the best healthcare in the world because they deserve it and others don’t.  This is another of the problems with privilege, it is so easy to justify.  To the winners go the spoils.

I know it is tempting, but don’t focus on them. They are only the most obvious example of your own privilege.  Indeed, focusing on them allows you to ignore your own privilege.  It distracts you.  Another of the problems with privilege is that you can easily identify someone more privileged than yourself.  In so doing, you can pretend to be less privileged, even oppressed.  You know white American males – the most privileged class in the history of the world – who think this way.  So instead of focusing on the ugliness of white politicians and their privilege, examine yourself.

For example, last week you took your family on a vacation to the Redwoods of Northern California. You spent four days exploring the national and state parks created and paid for by your fellow citizens to preserve these places of beauty for all people.  Except they don’t.  How many people of color did you see during your hikes in the woods?  Zero.  Admit it.  The National Park system was largely designed by and for white privileged people.  Like those politicians’ healthcare, it is a privilege you are perfectly willing to allow people of color to pay for with their taxes.

I don’t remind you of this to lessen the value of your vacation. I think every person – regardless of color – should see the Redwoods.  I remind you of this because I don’t want you to make the mistakes you so easily see in white male politicians.  People vacationing in the Redwoods is not normative.  It is a privilege.

You can justify it by telling yourself that everyone has access to the national parks, but those politicians argued everyone has access to healthcare. The problem isn’t access, but affordability.  Many people of color don’t have the resources to take your vacation.  Indeed, many of them work jobs without paid vacation.  So you can celebrate and support the preservation of natural beauty, but don’t forget that the enjoyment of these places of grandeur is largely reserved for the privileged.  You should have suspected this when you visited the most famous grove of redwoods in California and saw that it was named the Rockefeller Grove.

So what do you do about this? Guilt isn’t helpful.  Awareness is a beginning.  Changing your thinking is important.  If you think healthcare is the right of every person, can you really limit your experience in those Redwoods to a privileged few?  Why do we give retired people of means free access to our national park system, but charge young families entrance fees?  Why do we not have inexpensive transportation systems from our urban centers to nearby natural beauty?  If we believe experiencing these places of beauty inspires and ennobles, why don’t we give easy access to those who need inspiration the most?

Think about this. If your vacation to the Redwoods was an act of privilege, where else are you benefitting in ways you don’t see?  What else do you assume is normative?  What else do you justify?  This is the problem with privilege.  It is problematic until you acknowledge that most of what you desire, value and need is what every other human desires, values and needs.  If you want affordable healthcare, paid vacation, quality housing, and excellent schools, you should also want this for others.  What you treasure should be available to all.  Even a walk in the Redwoods.

I Focus On The Wrong Racism

I Focus On The Wrong Racism

Note to my white self…

You focus on the wrong racism.

I know you mean well, but your outrage at every blatantly racist Facebook post, meme and news item doesn’t make much difference in the world. Nearly everyone – conservative and liberal – finds blatant acts of racism offensive.  Priding yourself on your freedom from blatant acts of racism is a little like bragging about not beating your children.  Behaving as a mature, thoughtful adult shouldn’t be considered admirable.

Sure, there has been an upsurge of more blatant acts of racism in the past months. Yes, that is unfortunate.  Of course you should condemn this trend.  Nearly everyone does.  Just don’t get distracted.   Don’t focus on what nearly everyone abhors.   Blatant racism – however ugly – isn’t being defended and institutionalized.  It isn’t what you should worry about.

Instead, challenge systemic racism. Systemic racism doesn’t call a black person names.  It politely denies them the same rights and opportunities offered to white people.  Systemic racism doesn’t make jokes about Latinos.  It requires them to carry papers proving their citizenship.  Systemic racism doesn’t paint graffiti on mosques.  It signs executive orders implying Muslims are more dangerous than other people.  Systemic racism doesn’t make bomb threats to Jewish Community Centers.  It neglects to mention them when talking about the Holocaust.

I know why you focus on blatant racism. The acts and attitudes of systemic racism are much harder to recognize.  Calling them out is more difficult.  The perpetrators can offer other reasons – bureaucracy, expediency, security and even equity – for their actions.  As a white person, it is tempting for you to accept these justifications precisely because they play to your fears and prejudices.  Indeed, it is your inability to see and acknowledge acts of systemic racism that are the truest indications of your racial bias.  You don’t see them because they don’t impact your life.

Think about this. How would you feel if you never really knew if you weren’t hired because you weren’t qualified or because you were white?  What would you say if a neighbor, employer or police officer questioned your citizenship?  How would you respond to the claim that white people have a higher tendency to be criminals, murderers or terrorists?  What would you think about a society that ignores or diminishes your past pains and struggles?  If this was your life experience, would you still be focused on what people say on Facebook?

Opposing blatant racism is like opposing child abuse. Of course you should!  However, the question is how you will oppose it.  Are you willing to challenge its underpinnings?  Do you oppose the use of corporal punishment in homes and school?  Do you support giving more financial resources to poor families with children?  Do you understand child abuse as including emotional and mental abuse?  Do you see the cure to child abuse as parental incarceration or parental education and training?  Calling out the physical abuse of a child in a public setting doesn’t make you a child advocate.  It makes you a law abiding citizen.

The same is true for racism. There should be no accolades for treating people of color with respect and dignity.  If you think this makes you a good person, you have set the bar far too low.  The true indication of your maturity and thoughtfulness is what you are doing to increase equity and opportunity for people of color.

You need to set the bar higher.

Look at your life. Find at least one instance in your life where you are benefiting from systemic racism.  If you can’t find something quickly, you need to spend some time learning about systemic racism.  Here are eight short videos with examples of systemic racism.  When you do recognize something, think about how you might personally alter or challenge that systemic racism.  Are there ways you can disconnect from directly benefitting from this injustice?  Pick one small cause and try to make a difference. Pledge to spend as much time fighting systemic racism as you do posting about blatant racism on Facebook.

If every white person in America took that pledge, the foundations of systemic racism would begin to crumble.

(Quick Note: I will be on vacation for ten days.  I will return to blogging during the first week of April.)

Between The World And Me

Between The World And Me

When my oldest daughter was a teenager, she kept a diary. On several occasions, she left her diary in a place – where if I had chosen – I could have opened and read it.  I was often tempted.  Curious how she was navigating the world, what she was thinking and how she was coping, I tried to justify violating her privacy.  Fortunately, I never opened her diary.

I say “fortunately” because, in reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between The World And Me, I realized the darker side of encountering someone’s inner thoughts and struggles.  We may not like what we read.  They may reveal less about themselves and more about us.  Seeing ourselves through the eyes of another is almost always surprising and sometimes shattering.  This was my experience in reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ powerfully written letter from a black father to a black son.

White people are not the intended audience of this book. That, in itself, makes it a rare read.  In a nation built around white privilege, white people can nearly always expect to be included, if not the focus, in most writings.  As a conversation between him and his son, Coates does not concern himself with the fragile sensibilities of white readers.  He does not tone down his rhetoric so white people can hear and understand his opinions.

Coates is not concerned about white people at all, except as a danger to his son’s body. He writes, “I am afraid.  I feel the fear most acutely whenever you leave me.  But I was afraid long before you, and in this I am unoriginal.  When I was your age the only people I knew were black, and all of them were powerfully, adamantly, dangerously afraid.”  Indeed, if there is one overriding emotion in this book, it is his justified fear of white people.

Like picking up a diary, much of what I read in this book was both surprising and expected. For the white reader, it both shatters our illusions and confirms our suspicions.  What Coates writes, though painful to read, rings true again and again.  People of color do not see white people as we see ourselves.  More importantly, when we see ourselves through their eyes, what we see is often quite different than our imaginations.  We are much uglier and crueler than we’d like to believe.

For this reason, Between the World and Me is not an easy read for white people.  I read it in short snippets, putting it down when I read something disturbing about myself.  And yet I tried not to become angry.  I was the one eavesdropping.  Whatever I heard in Coates’ words to his son could not be easily ignored.  Like reading someone’s diary, you know the words to be authentic even when you wish them to be untrue.  You can throw the book to the ground, rail at its author, dispute its claims about you and your motives, but you cannot ignore the reality that someone does not see you as you wish to be.

Coates challenges more than our individual illusions, he questions our national perceptions and the ways in which we see the American dream. Indeed, he argues this dream has largely been reserved for white people alone, that ignoring this history makes the offer of the dream to people of color ironic at best.  He writes of white justifications, “Mistakes were made.  Bodies were broken.  People were enslaved.  We meant well.  We tried our best. “Good intention” is a hall pass through history; a sleeping pill that ensures the Dream.”  Coates explains to his son, and tangentially to white people, that there have always been competing American dreams; a white dream of power and domination and a black dream of justice and equality.

In describing the world his son must live in, Coates cannot afford to risk his son’s life with banalities and idealisms. These are the luxuries of white privilege.  He speaks at length about Prince Jones, a young man with whom he studied at Howard University and whose life was snuffed out by a police shooting.  This is no Horatio Alger tale where anyone can lift themselves from their bootstraps and achieve the American dream.  Instead, it is a vivid reminder that people of color can play by all the rules, obtain all the symbols of affluence, achieve educational and professional success and be at the cusp of a vibrant life, but have all of that robbed from them in a moment, simply because the system needs to periodically demonstrate its power.  This is the story his son must understand.

Coates writes, “You must resist the common urge toward the comforting narrative of divine law, toward fairy tales that imply some irrepressible justice. The enslaved were not bricks in your road and their lives were not chapters in your redemptive history.  They were people turned to fuel for the American machine. You have to make peace with the chaos, but you cannot lie. You cannot forget how much they took from us and how they transfigured our very bodies into sugar, tobacco, cotton and gold.”

It was paragraphs like the one above that often forced me to lay down the book, to mourn with Coates and his son, to acknowledge how differently they must live in this world we share. Again and again, he told his son things I wanted to deny or diminish, but I could not.  For I understand his fear more than most white people. His words are the warnings I must pass on to my black daughter, painful though they will be.  Indeed, those conversations between her and I may be more painful than that of Coates and his son.  At least, he was able to stand in solidarity with his son, facing the dangers and risks together.  When I talk with my daughter, I will be one of the people she must fear.

I’m not certain I can recommend Between The World and Me to my white friends and family.  Without the reality of having a black daughter, I wonder how I would have heard his words. Would I have dismissed him as an angry black man?  Would I have given credence to his fears and anxieties?  Would I have felt the need to defend myself and my whiteness?  I worry white people don’t know how to read a book that isn’t written for them.  This is the most discouraging aspect of what Coates writes.  If white people cannot read a book without themselves as the center, what hope is there of creating a world where they are not?

I will try to believe what Coates writes, “You must wake up every morning knowing that no promise is unbreakable, least of all the promise of waking up at all. This is not despair.  These are the preferences of the universe: verbs over nouns, actions over states, struggle over hope.”  If a black father can persevere in the midst of such ambiguity, the least I can do is join him.

I Need People of Color

I Need People of Color

Note to my white self…

You need people of color.

Admit it. You are more relaxed in situations where you are among other white people.  Having grown up in white America, you are uncomfortable in places, gatherings or meetings where there is a diversity of racial and ethnic backgrounds.  It is especially unsettling when you are the minority.  You are not as certain of how to act and what to say.  You can’t trust your assumptions. You have to listen more carefully.  You’re surprised more often.  You are aware of your otherness. Being in a diverse setting can be exhausting.

Think about that. What you experience occasionally is what people of color experience continually.  They have no choice.  They too live in white America and are required to engage white people in a myriad of ways.  In addition, while you may be uncomfortable around people of color, you are seldom the target of hostility.  They, on the other hand, must be on constant guard.  One of the more insidious aspects of white privilege is that you can easily escape the discomfort of diverse situations.  They cannot.

Admit it. It is often easier for you to talk about racial justice and equality than to actually engage with people of color.  Fighting for racial justice and equality – though admirable – does not require you to address your unease in being with people of color.  Indeed, it is completely possible to love justice and equality and have little affection or respect for people of color.  In so doing, you recognize their rights without appreciating their attributes.

Be careful. This kind of thinking allows you to continue to see white as normative and preferable.  You only see that which people of color lack.  You only see the inequities and injustices they face.  You only see their weaknesses.  They are people in need of what you have.  They are recipients of your generosity.  When you think this way, the only difference between you and the white supremacist is one of attitude.  You both agree about the neediness of people of color.  You’re simply more benevolent.

I know this is painful to hear, but as long as you only see the deficiencies of people of color, you will never appreciate all they have to offer. The marginalization of people of color is not simply about their losses.  It is also about your personal loss.  It is about the diminishment of your life.  They – by virtue of their different cultural history and life experience – have assets to offer.  They see and know the world in ways that you cannot. You need them.

Everyone needs them. Studies have shown that homogenous groups are less creative, insightful and open minded.  A diverse group of people outperforms a uniform group of people in most tasks.  Indeed, it could be argued the very genius of the American experiment has been our unique willingness to welcome and accept people from a great number of cultures and experiences.  This has given our society an advantage over societies of similarly colored people.

This explains why you often feel anxious and unsettled when in the presence of people of color. You are experiencing the energy produced by a diverse group.  That you are not certain how to act and what to say is a good thing.  That you can’t trust your assumptions forces you to listen more carefully.  That you’re surprised more often means you’re experiencing new ideas. By engaging with people of color, your mind and heart are expanded in ways impossible when you are with people who look and think more like you.  Being in a diverse setting can be energizing.

I am glad you are seeking ways to be an ally with people of color, but don’t objectify them as people who need you.  They are also people you need.  Start putting yourself in more situations where you are uncomfortable, where you are the minority.  Understand these moments as opportunities to grow.  Approach people of color as potential friends and collaborators and not as evidence of your benevolence.

This is vital if you really hope to end systemic racism. It is not enough to change laws or reform institutions.  At its core, systemic racism is an attitude.  It allows one group – white people – to benefit from the subjection of another group – people of color.  Unfortunately, until white people see the costs of systemic racism, it will be difficult for them to abandon its perceived benefits.

This was at the core of this past election. Donald Trump convinced many white people that people of color were costing them important benefits, that American society was a zero sum endeavor where there are only winners if there are also losers.  As with much of his rhetoric, this was a lie.  The truth is more hopeful.  When we respect and value all people, everyone benefits.

We need each other.

Just The Facts

Just The Facts

Here are some facts.

Though blacks are only about 13% of the US population, they represent over 40% of the jail and prison population in the United States. A recent study – based on current trends – estimated that one in three black males will spend time in prison during their lifetime.  Based on this information, what could you conclude?

a.) The American criminal justice system is intentionally and systematically racist.

b.) Black men commit more crimes than white men.

If you are progressive, you probably gave response (a). You interpret the statistics above as evidence of racial bias.  If you are conservative, you probably gave response (b).  You believe the explanation for these statistics is in the behavior of black men and not in the racial bias in the system.  Ironically, neither (a) nor (b) are facts.  They are both opinions based on facts.   It is difficult to sort out racial bias from individual behavior.  It is not difficult to determine if black men commit more crimes than white men.

Here is a fact.

Black men are six times more likely to be arrested for a drug offense. Based on this information, what could you conclude?

a.) The American criminal justice system is intentionally and systematically racist.

b.) Black men commit more drug offenses than white men.

If you are progressive, you probably chose (a) and if you’re conservative, you probably chose (b). Again, both are opinions and not facts.  Being arrested for a crime and committing a crime are not the same.  Arrests only indicate whether a person was caught in or accused of a crime.  They tell us nothing about the overall behavior of a group of people.  If you are not arrested when in the possession of drugs, this does not mean you didn’t commit a crime.  It means you didn’t get caught.

Here is a fact.

Black men (11%) are not significantly more likely to use illicit drugs than white men (10%). Based on this information, we would conclude that blacks and whites should be arrested, convicted and incarcerated for drug offenses at approximately the same rates.  However, we know that black men are six times more likely to be arrested for a drug offense.  Something is deeply wrong and the problem isn’t the behavior of black men.

Here are some more facts.

Black men are three times more likely to be pulled over by the police for an investigatory stop. They are five times as likely to be searched.  Based on this information, if illicit drug use is equally common with black men and white men, it stands to reason that stopping more black men than white men would result in more arrests of black men.  Black men do not commit more drug offenses.  We have simply created a system that catches them at a much higher rate.  What is true with drugs is also true with other crimes.  One of the privileges of being white in America is a much greater opportunity to get away with a crime.

Here are some more facts.

Blacks are more likely to accept a guilty plea for a lighter sentence. They are less likely to ask for a jury trial.  They are less likely to post bail or to hire their own legal counsel.  If they ask for a jury trial, they have only about a 50% chance of having a single black person on their jury.  If they face an all-white jury, they are 16% more likely to be found guilty.  If convicted, they are given sentences that are about 20% lengthier than their white counterparts.  Based on this information, what could you conclude?

a.) Black people, though they are not statistically more prone to criminal behavior, are targeted by police, pressured by white prosecutors, allowed to languish in jail, poorly represented, forced to put their fates in the hands of people who are racially bias and given harsher sentences.

b.) Black men commit more crimes than white men.

While these are both opinions, they are not equally credible. The first is supported by nearly all the facts and the second ignores them.  The first opinion suggests you are a fair and open-minded person willing to adjust your opinions based on evidence.  The second opinion suggests you are ignorant and racist.

Those are the facts.

White People Are Not Stupid

White People Are Not Stupid

Note to my white self…

White people are not stupid.

I know you’ve been frustrated lately. You’ve encountered white people who can’t seem to understand the difference between racial prejudice and racism.  You’ve had several white people call you racist for challenging their racism, as if that were possible.  You spent a whole day going back and forth with a white woman who insisted she had been the victim of racism from people of color.  Don’t be confused.  These people are not stupid.

Stupidity is a lack of intelligence.  Systemic racism is not the product of stupid people. The white businessmen who created slavery in America were brilliant. The white politicians who justified slavery did so intentionally.  Voter suppression, redlining, segregation, the war on drugs and anti-immigrant policies are all creations of intelligent white people.  Most white people are not stupid.  They are ignorant.

Ignorance is the decision to ignore certain facts and realities. Slave traders and slave owners had to ignore the humanity of people of color in order to justify slavery.  White politicians had to ignore injustices and inequities in order to justify inhumane laws.  Those who argue with you about systemic racism will not be swayed by your facts, statistics and studies.  It is not that they are too stupid to understand them.  They have intentionally chosen to ignore them.

For someone who explains systemic racism to others, you still don’t seem to fully appreciate its origins. Systemic racism is a cleverly constructed system to perpetuate and justify the mistreatment and abuse of people of color.  It took hundreds of years to create. The arguments and rationalizations you’re encountering are not the utterances of stupid people.  They are the carefully crafted, time tested and well-honed defenses of racism.

This is so important for you to understand. You have been under the false impression that you can quickly and easily persuade ignorant white people of the reality of systemic racism and white privilege. They aren’t stupid.  They know what you’re trying to do.  They aren’t impressed by your arguments.  They could care less about your facts.  It is these arguments and facts they have chosen to ignore.

I know you don’t want to accept this, but education alone will not end systemic racism. If the defenders of systemic racism were stupid, it would have collapsed long ago.  Thinking of and labeling racist white people as unintelligent is a big mistake.  In so doing, you seriously underestimate their capability to sustain the system.  When they confuse the meaning of racism, they aren’t being stupid.  They are being ingenious.

So you need to stop arguing with them. You know within a few minutes whether someone is stupid, ignorant or uninformed.  If they are stupid, they can’t understand the complexities of systemic racism.  If they are ignorant, they have decided to ignore them.  The only conversations worth having are with those who express a lack of understanding and a real curiosity about racism.  Since you were once such a person, be patient with those people.

The stupid and the ignorant require a different approach. As with any societal behavior, systemic racism will only end when the costs outweigh the benefits.  One of those costs must be shame.  The decrease in smoking in America involved changing laws and educating people about its dangers, but its decline was primarily driven by a shift in public opinion.  When smoking began to be seen as a nasty habit, people began to abandon it.

This is equally true in confronting systemic racism. The facts about systemic racism are no more disputable than those around the ills of smoking. The problem is not with the facts, but with the unwillingness of many white people to abandon this nasty habit.  Until white people become ashamed of systemic racism, societal change will not come.

So stop debating the reality of racism with the ignorant.

Instead, challenge the cruelty behind their rhetoric. When white people justify police brutality, ask how they can be so heartless when fathers and sons are murdered.  When they support anti-immigrant or refugee laws, ask how they can be so cruel when families are torn apart or left in squalor.  When they defend laws and policies that discriminate, ask how they can be so unfair. When they express racist sentiments, ask how they can be so ugly.

When systemic racism is seen as heartless, cruel, unfair and ugly by our society, most white people will abandon its defense.

After all, they aren’t stupid.

Making America Unsafe

Making America Unsafe

Think about this. If you were pulled over by the police and asked to prove that you were a United States citizen, how would you prove it?  How would you feel about the question?  Would you be angry?  Would you be insulted?  Perhaps this seems a ridiculous scenario.  If you’re white, I suppose it is.  If you are a person of color, it is becoming a common experience.

On February 7th, Muhammad Ali Jr., 44, and his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the second wife of Muhammad Ali, arrived at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida airport and were detained by immigration officers, even though they had US passports. Muhammed Ali, Jr. was repeatedly asked about his name, his religion and his behavior.  After several hours, he was finally released without explanation for his detention or with an apology.

Think about this. The son of one of the most famous black men in American history was racially and religiously profiled, subjected to interrogation and denied his basic civil rights.  Think about that.  If this is how a person of color with notoriety and power is treated, how do you think immigration officers are treating people without such a pedigree?

Last year, Senator Tim Scott, who is black, spoke from the floor of the Congress about how many times he had been pulled over by white police officers. This included one incident where Capital police denied him entry to the Congress and questioning his credentials.  Senator Scott is not a liberal agitator trying to enflame racial tensions.  He is a conservative Republican.

Think about that. A black United States Senator – one of the most powerful people in our nation – is no more immune to racial profiling than any other person of color.  You can dress in a suit.  You can carry identification, but – if a white person finds you suspicious – you can be detained.  Think about this.  If this is how a person of color in Congress is treated, how do you think police officers are treating people of color on the streets?

Last week, hundreds of undocumented immigrants were rounded up in raids by immigration officers. For some of these people, the officers had documentation proving they were in the US illegally.  However, they also detained many people on the suspicion that they were here illegally.  What was the basis of their suspicion? These people were Latino. When detained, illegal immigrants were required to prove they had been in the country for more than two years.  Others were asked to provide documentation of their legal status or US citizenship.

Think about this. People of color are being asked to provide verification of something that white Americans earn simply by the color of their skin – US citizenship.  Other than when reentering the United States, I have never been asked to prove my citizenship.  For people of color, this is becoming a common occurrence.  Think about that.  The most basic of American rights – the assumption of innocence – is being denied to millions because of the color of their skin or their religious faith.

Mr. Trump has suggested his immigration policies are intended to restore law and order. Unfortunately, his policies show little respect for the rule of law, the idea that our legal system should treat all persons equally and fairly.  Mr. Trump seems far more interested in “orders” that grant unrestrained power to individuals and organizations.  Racial profiling, no matter what the justification, is always racist.

Eighty years ago, in another nation, a national leader began to treat those who were not white, blond haired and blue eyed with suspicion. Think about that.  Adolf Hitler convinced white people to look away as he systematically reduced the civil rights of minority groups.  He required Jewish people to wear a yellow star.  Eventually, his policies justified far more than marginalization.  They justified concentration camps and gas chambers.  Think about this.  Incredible evil was done in Germany under the guise of law and order.

I am certain some white people will read my last paragraph and conclude I’ve overreacted. I hope they’re right.  Unfortunately, when it comes to human and civil rights, we cannot afford to underestimate the danger of their erosion.  People of color already know the danger.  White people, as in Germany, have the luxury of wishful thinking.

Think about this. Yesterday, a Latino friend, who has lived in the United States for over twenty years, told me, “For the first time in my life, I carry my Green Card with me at all times.  I’m afraid of what might happen if I don’t.”  Think about that.  Mr. Trump says his policies are designed to make us safer.  Unfortunately, when he says “us,” he means white people.  Everyone else is less safe in Trump’s America.