What does Trump say about us?

On June 16 of 2015, a friend and I found ourselves in a New York hotel, feeling somewhat compromised after a late night and much revelry. Thanks to our throbbing heads, the spectacle of Donald Trump’s glass elevator arrival – in order to give the first of many bombastic and often fact-free speeches in support of his Presidential ambitions – invoked many sighs and “oh my god”‘s, but not much discussion.

When we did talk of it later, and in conversations that took place in subsequent months with him and others, it was oftentimes with a tone of incredulity, in that the chances of a Trump victory – or even nomination – seemed vanishingly small, and his attempt to seek the nomination therefore a simple manifestation of an ego the size of a planet (hello Marvin!).

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“Boys with tips” and “Girl with cake”

When Girl with Cake was a thing, I wrote that even well-intentioned charitable giving should not be considered immune to criticism, as even that sort of charity can perpetuate stereotypes about the recipient. Another way in which charity could be criticized is if it’s inefficient – if the same efforts would be better directed elsewhere, which is one point made by proponents of “effective altruism“.

Yet another way in which charity can go wrong is when it validates stereotypes about the providers of charity, and this is to my mind the problem with the recent campaign to crowdsource tips for an Obz Cafe waitress who experienced some brutish behavior at the hands of a dinner table populated by Rhodes Must Fall activists.

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