Racism, Guns, and Donald Trump

Rob Clewley
10 min readAug 27, 2020

I can remember it now, the day that our country made that fatal mistake and Donald Trump was elected to the highest office in the land and how we all felt at that moment — the outrage, the fear, and the uncertainty for the nation that we love.

There has been a lot of corrupt and deplorable things that Trump has done as president over these last four years ranging from his complete failure on the COVID-19 pandemic response to his xenophobic policies with immigrants and refugees to his horrid record on human rights and on and on.

However, more than his policies on these issues and his failures both on a domestic level as well as internationally, there is one thing about his time in office that has been the most damaging and the most dangerous and that is how his words have sent the message to white nationalists that racism is cool with him and that violence is acceptable.

Trump has sided with militias, white supremacy groups, and extremist gun organizations like the National Rifle Association and in many ways has flat out incited violence and encouraged these people to carry out racist and hateful attacks on minorities in this nation.

America under Trump is a place where his name is aligned with these groups and where racism, guns, and even hate are celebrated.

White Nationalism and Guns — A Deadly Combination

There is a connection between gun violence and racism within the walls of our country and often, this connection is not discussed when there is a wave of shootings throughout the United States of America, like as we know, there so often is.

The talking point from those on the right is that black on black gun violence is the problem and that black people kill at a higher rate than white people kill people and that is a talking point that has many flaws in it when you think about these matters.

Black gun violence is largely attributed to issues of economic inequality and issues of addiction and when these gun extremist white nationalist groups commit gun violence it is mostly fueled by their racism and hate towards minorities and liberals.

Almost all of these militias are filled with white conservative men who have a racist and hateful view of the world and it shows with how we see a lot of racist attacks on those who support racial equality, immigrants, LGBTQ rights, and Muslims.

We have seen with many of the worst mass shootings in the history of our country how racism and guns are a bad combination, we have seen how racism and hate fuel these events and when guns are present then these events become even more deadly.

Yes, non-whites have committed these massacres with firearms, but most of them have been done by white men and these men had one thing in common and that is a strong hate and animosity towards people who are not of their race or religion.

The fact is, when you add guns to the picture when we are trying to find solutions to racism like the police killings of black people in these country and we saw that when in Wisconsin after the deadly police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot in the back several times, protests erupted and a 17-year old Illinois man shot three people, killing two of them.

That young man had a history of hate and racism and was a member of one of these militias, one of these white nationalist militias.

Trump Has Created a Dangerous Culture of Racism and Hate Within Our Country

Of course, there was racism long before Trump became president, but with other presidents, they did not incite racism and violence and they for sure did not call white nationalists things like, “Very fine people” and align himself with people like white supremacist, Richard Spencer.

That being said, much of the racism that happened in recent years before Trump came along was done by the people we now know as the Trump supporters who elected him. Now, I know that not all of his supporters are racist, but a fair number of them are and they are the people who also have created this racial division.

The racist agenda by this president has made a bad situation in relation to racism and racial injustice worse, we can all agree on that much, or at least most of us can.

Trump did not create racism but he created this situation that we are in now in many ways. The violence that is done against peaceful protesters like what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia at the white nationalist rally when 32-year-old counter protester Heather Heyer was killed has been incited by the hateful messages of Trump, and there are many more examples.

After the killing of George Floyd, there were protests and Trump came out and said, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts”, and this was not the type of comment that a president should be making during a time of crisis, or any time at all.

Trump has a history of these last four years of making statements like this and inciting violence.

I am sure you remember when the black gentleman at one of his early rallies was punched after Trump said to punch protesters in the face or the times when he called NFL players protesting racial injustice things like, Son of bitches”.

Our country is the most divided that we have ever been and much of the division is of the racial nature and you have Trump to thank for that as well as the violence that has occurred against minorities in our country by these white nationalists, you can thank Trump for those events too, he has created this culture of hate.

The anti-immigrant language, the xenophobic comments, the pure racism and support of racism — Thank Trump for it all.

“All Lives Matter” They say, Except When Those Lives Are Black and Brown Lives

Whenever we say that ‘Black Lives Matter”, those on the right say that “All Lives Matter” and this is not only disrespectful to the movement of fighting for racial injustice, but it is not even how they feel.

They do not think that all lives matter, if they did then they would not have an issue with people say that black lives do.

They also are pro death penalty, cool with immigrant children being locked in cages, do not bat an eye when transgender people are murdered, and seem to have no compassion for the homeless, people who die from COVID-19, and much more.

They only say “All Lives Matter” so that we will shut up about the issue of black lives and the murder of black people by the police in this country and even more, they have excuses for the racism and violence that Trump either incites or ignores during all of this.

If all lives mattered then they would care about black lives and the racial injustice in our country and would even call out the hate crimes committed by those who align themselves with Trump, but they don’t, they just continue to attack the peaceful group of activists known as Black Lives Matter who are fighting for a better world.

All lives will not matter until black lives matter and that is the message that we are trying to get across.

The Gun Culture in America Embodies Hate and Racism

Much of the gun culture in America embodies hate and racism and even organizations like the National Rifle Association have a mostly white membership base and have little interest in becoming involved in the racial equality conversation.

The NRA knows that guns and hate go together in many senses in our country and they continue to push things like the AR-15, a weapon associated with many white mass shooters over the years.

The NRA also supports Trump and this is because he fights for their right to profit off of the gun violence problem in this country and is against common sense gun reform that would address that issue, and let us be honest, this organization also profits off of gun violence in the black community.

Gun owners in right wing circles call the NRA things like, ‘The oldest civil rights organization in America”.

Give me a break!

The NRA fights against civil rights, not for them. They are a mostly white group that says nothing when a white man shoots up a mall or a school, yet will sit there and attack the Black Lives Matter movement and use sexism to go after gun safety groups like Moms Demand Action.

The fact is, guns are synonymous with racism and hate in this country and especially in the Trump era, they go together.

The hate, racism, and violence associated with gun ownership and gun crimes in America right now is evident. We have these militia members going out and killing black, Mexican, transgender, and Muslim folks across this nation and many of the people doing it align themselves with far right-wing groups and values.

The racism associated with our gun culture is very evident and many of these people have pro-Trump ties.

Make Racism Wrong Again, Make America Love Again

Racism and America have a long and complicated relationship and this problem in our country is nothing new and certainly was with us before Donald Trump became president, but it did not have the presidential seal of approval pre-Trump, now it does.

Trump has created a culture of hate and racism. From the way he talks about and treats undocumented immigrants to his attacks on Black Lives Matter to his overall xenophobia, one thing is clear, that is that he lives this culture of hate and racism and it was his original platform and remains that to this day as we approach his re-election day.

We have too much hate in our country, we have too much division and we have Trump to thank for that.

We need more love in America and Joe Biden is right, this next election is about saving the soul of this nation and more than ever this is true, we must save our country from guns, the virus, division, and this culture of hate and racism that became worse under Trump.

We need love. We need to Make America Love Again, we need to be saved from what Trump has done which is Make America Hate Again.

There is so much wrong right now and the racism that exists with this president and his racist rhetoric must stop for us to truly be that great nation once more. I firmly believe that we cannot be great until we make racism wrong and unacceptable again and until we unite as one people and be there for each other — especially during a pandemic.

MLK Jr would be ashamed of who we have become, he would want us to be united like we were under Obama. He would want us to love one another and not be so racially divided because he in fact died to stop the very situation happening here as we speak, he would want us to do better and to in fact be better.

Obama said it best,

It’s important for us to also understand that the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.”

On Guns, On Trump, On Race — Things Must Change

Trump is just part of the problem, a much bigger problem that we face and have faced for a long time.

Yes, he incites violence and yes he pushes racism, but the problem of systemic racism and hate goes much deeper than him and in fact, it is the culture of hate and racism that created him, the people who attacked Obama and wanted him dead.

The white nationalists who carry guns and live in fear , fear of being without their guns and fear of people who are different than they are and think different than they do.

Trump is a big part of the problem but think of it this way, he is the fuel to their fire.

Trump may be encouraging these people and he in fact has racist values and racist policies, but when we vote him out of office then the culture of hate and guns and racism will still be with us, it simply will no longer have a president that unites them.

These problems we must address and it does start by voting Trump out of office this November and getting in a president who is not racist and who believes in racial equality, gun reform, and uniting the country together around these issues and so much more.

It is time for us to address these issues that we have let go on for far too long, and it must start now as enough is enough — I am sure that you can agree!



Rob Clewley

Author, activist, American. Love to write everything from politics to recovery and much more. Find me on Twitter under my name for much more!