More than once in his life, Christian Hullett says, he’s been angrily told to “go back to Africa” by ignorant Americans. Hullett, a 32-year-old Miami auditor and merchandise manager, says he always knew racism was still alive. But he didn't know it existed at the level he’s seen since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president.
Fed up with it, he took to GoFundMe to start a fundraiser. He typed, "IM REALLY MOVING BACK TO AFRICA" as a headline — part crowdfunding appeal, part tongue-in-check protest. If racists really want him to go to Africa, they should put their money where their mouths are, he wrote.
“It’s a very ignorant thing to say, because I wasn’t born in Africa; I don’t know anything about Africa,” Hullett tells New Times. “It’s like, ‘Oh, you want me to go to Africa? Well, pay for it. Then I’ll go.’”
Hullett isn’t the only Miamian who has appealed for money to get out of Dodge since Election Day. At least a half-dozen others have turned to the internet to crowdfund their trips. Many are minorities who say they don't feel safe under a Trump presidency.
“KKK members, skin heads, Trump supporters, really any and every one is welcome to donate,” another Miamian, Nathan Wilson, wrote on his GoFundMe page.
Only one local fundraiser had collected any money — and he's a Trump supporter. His appeal, called “Donald Trump’s Plane Ticket Charity,” says it wants to helping those who made “bold promises” to leave if Trump won by paying for their travel. His group has raised $50 of its $1 million goal.
Hullett says he's an independent who voted for Hillary Clinton. He was glued to the TV as the election results came in. He said he thought the choice was clear given the “hateful rhetoric” on which Trump ran. When he saw Trump had won Ohio and Florida, he lost all hope. “We’re doomed,” he thought.
In the past, he’d had encounters with racism — like the time a man screamed “Go back to Africa!” when he thought Hullett cut him off in traffic. But the KKK’s embrace of Trump, the emergence of “undercover white supremacists,” and talk of “taking our country back” has him afraid of what’s ahead.
Anti-black incidents increased in 2015, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Since the election, the group has counted more than 400 reports of hateful intimidation and harassment.
“It makes me worry about my kids,” says Hullett, a father of four. “Because it’s like, once you become a parent, life changes, especially in the time that we’re in now. I’m not saying it’s like the end of the world — even though with all this shit going on, it kind of feels like it.”
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He started his fundraiser two days before the election, partly to make a statement and partly out of anger “that some white people in this country view black Americans as second-class citizens.” Mostly, it was to make a point.
Now that it’s official Trump will be the next president, Hullett is taking his idea to leave more seriously.
“If it can happen, I’ll make it happen,” he says, “at least for the next four years.”