The Death of Mr. Oruma and the Cruelty of the Trump White House

by | Jul 15, 2019 | Culture, Politics

A taxi driver, Luckinson Oruma, 60, was shot dead in Boston last month, leaving 5 kids, all of whom he had put through college at UMASS Boston. He comes from Nigeria, one of those countries our President has labeled “shitty.” His son Jeffrey said: “He always told me to work hard for the things you want and be kind to people.”

Mr. Oruma is the type of person our President fights to deny access to the American dream. What he doesn’t understand is that Mr. Oruma is the type of citizen that build and defended our country, he is of the stock that nourished and strengthened our democracy, the type of character that has and will continue to make America great.

“He always told me to work hard for the things you want and be kind to people.”

Our President is a White Supremacist, and ungirding this philosophy is a belief in the psycho-science of eugenics, the belief in the superiority of the white race. The melding of eugenics and xenophobia has a long sordid history in this country, an amalgam which has proved potent in exporting fear while appealing to our baser instincts. 1906 Washington Post editorial: “They were coming to America to cut throats, throw dynamite, and conduct labor riots and assassination.” He was referring to Italians, but it reminds me of Trump’s present-day demonization of Muslins and Hispanics. 

“He always told me to work hard for the things you want and be kind to people.”

This racism even filtered up to the highest office in the land: Theodore Roosevelt: “Someday we will realize that the prime duty, the inescapable duty of the good citizen of the right type is to leave his or her blood behind him in the world, and that we have no business to permit the perpetuation of citizens of the wrong type.” The Guarded Gate by Daniel Okrent. Reminds me of Hitler, who drank deeply from the unholy cup of eugenics and xenophobia.

“He always told me to work hard for the things you want and be kind to people.”

This weekend Trump has vowed to conduct raids in sanctuary cities, unleashing a reign of terror in those communities–can’t help but be reminded of the Nazi raids of the Jewish ghettos back in the 40’s. I am already reminded of the Nazi camps when I see children separated from parents and housed in cages. (By the way, certain American companies are making a killing in the warehousing of kids, a new cottage industry for the Prison Industrial Complex.)

“He always told me to work hard for the things you want and be kind to people.”

Eugenics seeks to measure everything physical: brain size, skin color, literacy, face structure, etc., but what they can’t measure is a person’s soul, their courage, their integrity. And these immeasurable qualities are the weapons that built and expanded this great country, that defeated the British despite impossible odds, that overcame wars, pestilence, riots and attacks. It is the soul of such people that made America the most admired and powerful country in the world. Alexander Hamilton, one of the most impactful figures in American history, a homeless immigrant from the Caribbean, singlehandedly wrote the blueprint for our government and our financial system. If Hamilton tried to immigrate today, the door would be locked, having immigrated from a ‘shitty country’.

“He always told me to work hard for the things you want and be kind to people.”

There is a cruelty to this administration. It is led by a bully and it seeks to squash, to terrorize the most vulnerable, the powerless, people of color.

We’re better than this.

“He always told me to work hard for the things you want and be kind to people.”

I’ve driven a cab and have taken countless taxi rides. Ain’t nobody getting rich in this industry. It is a remarkable achievement for a taxi driver to put 5 kids through college. I stand in awe! I suspect there were many double shifts, extreme sacrifices, a lot of praying, fueled by a passion for his kids to have a better life than himself, a passion for his kids to have a shot at the American dream.

Our country is richer from the immigration of Mr. Oruma. He has endowed our community with 5 kids, imbued with the teachings of their father: “He always told us to work hard for the things you want and be kind to people,”

Our President pushes fear, paints the world as a dangerous environment, seeks to separate us, seeks to squash the truth of our common humanity. We need to counter attack the fear with kindness, embrace Mr. Oruma’s plea to “be kind to people.”

Last week one of Trump’s peeps, Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested for running an underage sex ring. In the past, Trump has referred to him as a ‘terrific guy’. I don’t know about that, but for my money Mr. Oruma is the ‘terrific guy’.

“He always told me to work hard for the things you want and be kind to people.”

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