College in Kentucky says “white citizenship” and “Trumpism” are forms of terrorism

Berea, a college in Kentucky, is inviting students to attend a virtual discussion about ‘white citizenship’ and the influence of ‘Trumpism’, terms they coined to describe terrorism.

Organizers of this event believe it’s necessary to discuss the aftermath of Trump’s presidency within the behavior of his supporters. They seem to be under the impression that the supporters of the former president are keen on enforcing their beliefs through racially motivated domestic terrorism. Two terms they use to label this are ‘white citizenship’ and ‘Trumpism’. A flyer for the event states, “Despite calls for multiculturalism and color-blindness, segments of white America mourn their so-called loss of privilege, consistently begging to return to the nostalgic past in which their esteemed value as white citizens went unquestioned…”

There has been much uncertainty about the fairness of these labels. Berea College defends their event, stating, “We encourage open dialog on difficult topics. Racism and white nationalism have been topics of great debate over the past five years. The event planned for next week seeks to confront aspects of the political spectrum that relate to the difficult topic of race in America. While that may cause discomfort, it is a valid and important conversation in this time of political and racial division. It is our hope that these types of conversations will occur across the country. Open, honest dialogue is essential to understanding racism and moving toward an anti-racist society.”

The event is set to take place on March 17th and will be hosted on zoom to better satisfy social distancing rules. The division in the United States is a complicated topic, but is often partially credited to colleges’ involvement in politics. In 2019, a survey held on OneClass showed that over half of Republican college students felt uncomfortable sharing their opinions with their friends. Another collection of data showed that 37.5% of Republicans felt unsafe at their school. The Democrat students in contrast, answered that 84.5% of them felt comfortable sharing their views, and 88.5% felt safe on their campus. The concept of Cancel Culture pushes many conservatives into silence out of fear of their safety and reputation.

The flyer from Berea goes on to read: “Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ appears to follow suit by offering a seemingly benign promise to return America to a previously ‘great’ past. But the offer to ‘Make America Great Again, Again’, requires we refocus on how the last four years of daily tweets and administrative actions redefine whiteness. If terrorism is defined as the use of violence and threats to create a state of fear towards particular communities and identities, then this is what ‘Trumpism’ is at its core.” Despite the widespread messages of this event, a Harvard/Harris poll shows that 54% of Americans said they were more concerned about the violence that occurred over the summer than they are the Jan 6th Capitol Riot.




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