A chat with one of Trump’s ‘deplorables’

Felicia Persaud | 10/27/2016, 10:30 a.m.
Last Friday, I had a surprise run-in with someone who can be categorized as one of Donald Trump’s ‘deplorables.’
Donald Trump Twitter/@realDonaldTrump

Last Friday, I had a surprise run-in with someone who can be categorized as one of Donald Trump’s ‘deplorables.’ Now it was no run-in, in rural North Carolina! This ‘deplorable’ actually came to my house as a hired service provider.

To say I was shocked to find out this hired help’s political leaning was an understatement. But I needed my computer fixed, so I did not throw him out on the spot.

Still, it was an education in what mind control and brainwashing by Trump and the anti-immigrant band of the GOP have done to the judgment of many in rural white America.

What was more shocking was the robot-like precision with which he repeated Trump’s outlandish manifesto, particularly his anti-immigrant stance, as if it was the Gospel according to Matthew.

I almost lost my temper, and yes, I raised my voice and informed him that I am an immigrant and a Black woman too and the rhetoric of Trump and his followers is downright frightening to me.

And then the brainwashed verbiage he had swallowed began flowing like raw sewage as he felt it was his God-given duty to placate me by insisting that I was not the problem because I had done the “right thing” and followed the rules.

It was the “other immigrants pouring over illegally over the borders” that Trump and his followers were mad at and I should not bother with what I heard on the “liberal media.”

No, he said, it’s not all Mexicans who are rapists or criminals but indeed there are a lot of bad “immigrants” who are raping and killing people in America. It’s why, he insisted, THE WALL is needed. The borders must be secured now, he said, and all these immigrants here are just taking away jobs Americans can do, including the Indians, who were taking away his own tech job, while getting benefits meant for Americans.

It was like listening to a Trump rally—except this one was in my living room. But to his credit, he did not use the word “hombres.”

I decided to switch tactics and instead of getting mad, to test his knowledge beyond the brainwashed lines.

I asked, “How could so many immigrants be raping and killing Americans when the foreign-born population is far less than the native-born?”

A stutter …

I continued, “And who is stopping Republicans from securing the borders when they have had control of the Senate and House for many years and have done nothing, including failing to round up and deport all the ‘illegal aliens’ who they have been insisting they will for many years?”

No answer but a blank gaze!

“And what jobs are these immigrants taking away? Are you going to pick fruit, vegetables and clean fish? And how many Americans are as tech-qualified as the Asians?”

Another stutter.

“And what benefits do undocumented immigrants get? Do you know they can’t get any benefits at all?”

Blank gaze.

“And, finally, how are you going to build this wall? And who will it keep out when drug dealers are digging tunnels underneath?”

No answer.

As I paused and looked at his face stained red with embarrassment, I was reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

In that moment I felt genuine pity for him and a deep disappointment that in a country I had come to live in, such blatant ignorance was being masqueraded as policy in an attempt to spread division. It was enough to make me weep but I could find no tears—only a burning desire to ensure my vote was cast quickly and early.

Two days later, I was in line at the North Carolina Board of Elections in Raleigh to cast my vote. It was the only way I had to stop the bias that has flowed unabashedly. I can only pray now it works.

The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.