The signs were all there:
- The demonization of Muslims.
- The denigration of Mexicans.
- The embracing of voter suppression laws specifically aimed at Afro-Americans.
- The scapegoating of immigrants, similar to Hitler’s blueprint in the 20’s.
And he would throw us curveballs, about wanting to unite the country, about how he is the most un-racist person anybody could know.
But the signs kept coming. He became the first President to decline an invitation to speak at the NAACP convention. He surrounded himself with white supremacists like Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, massaging his ego while validating his white privilege world view. The total absence of any people of color in his administration spoke volumes about his agenda. And he carried forward a history of discrimination: in the 60’s and 70’s he was convicted of systematically denying people of color residency in his housing developments. The appointment of Jeff Sessions as the Attorney General, that good old boy who was denied a judgeship because of his history of racism, whose first big Civil Rights initiative was to crack down on reversed discrimination—that beleaguered victim, your average white guy.
And it was all revealed after the Charlottesville tragedy when he just couldn’t bring himself to denounce the KKK, the Neo Nazi’s and the white supremacists. All he had to do was to follow the script and he would be free to continue his assault on the working poor, on the disabled, on women, on people of color, the LGBT community, education, the EPA, etc. etc. And most importantly, he could continue his assault on his imagined enemies.
But he just couldn’t bring himself to denounce the Neo Nazis, the KKK, and in so doing fully revealed both his character and his agenda.
Our President is a racist. It saddens me to say those words.
We couldn’t bring ourselves to see it because we want/we assume our President to be the most ethical, humble, smartest, compassionate, courageous person in the room. Instead we are infected with a child who is immoral, a sexual pervert (remember the ‘grab the pussy tape’), paranoid, vengeful, a bully and a coward. When you strip off the guise, a bully is revealed to be a coward, living in a hidden fear of others.
During the campaign, we ignored his message of hate and divisiveness and relished the theatre. But he was very overt as to what he would do and we ignored it, much like the German people ignored Hitler’s demonization and scapegoating of the Jews during his ascent to power. Hitler fed the German people a scapegoat, and they devoured the red meat because it absolved them of any responsibility for their condition, of having lost the war and trying to survive in in a broken economy. And Trump executed the same playbook, offering up to his base the red of meat of Muslims and Mexicans.
We ignored the signs, we ignored his sordid past (6 bankruptcies to go along with 3500 law suits he was involved in. Who does that—3500 law suits????) The demonization of Hillary kept the press chasing after red herrings instead of doing their job and investigating the truth, the truth behind his straw house.
His method of conflict resolution is to file suit, and this is the guy we gave the nuclear codes to???????
We padded ourselves on the back after we elected the first Afro-American President. Racism was dead—look who we just elected. It turned out that Obama’s election only served as a band aid to the festering cancer called race. Trump ripped off the band aid, allowing the cancer to erupt, nourishing the disease by empowering groups such as the KKK, Neo Nazi’s and White Supremacists.
He still can’t bring himself to denounced David Duke.
The issue of race continues to haunt our country. Until we confront this cancer, we will never be whole.
Here’s the problem: playing the race card can get you elected. In the past, code words were the vehicle: Nixon used “Law and Order”; Reagan used the Willie Horton ads; Sarah Palin talked about ‘our kind of people’. Trump threw away the code words and brought racism out of the closet. He legitimized it. He started naming names: Muslims and Mexicans. He told his base the reason you are miserable, unemployed, sick, and patronized was because of people of color.
He served up the “who” for their discontent, their disillusionment, much like McCarthy did in the 50’s.
The only problem was–it wasn’t true.
We are still unwilling to confront this disease because we are unwilling to confront our sins, our lack of responsibility. In South Africa, after apartheid was dismantled, they convened “Truth and Reconciliation Hearings”, public hearings which gave its’ citizens a haven to confess their sins, to take responsibility, allowing the country to begin the healing process.
Maybe it’s time for America’s Truth and Reconciliation Hearings.
Here’s the thing: the KKK youth and NEO Nazi youth are being manipulated and brainwashed. Hate is taught. Nobody is born a racist; it is a learned behavior. The KKK and the NEO Nazi have historically fought against people of color in the same socio–economic class. Ironically, they should be a band of brothers because the forces that keep them poor, uneducated and suppressed are the same. It is not each other.
They have the wrong “who”, but the infighting guarantees the working poor will remain cemented in their class for generations to come. By fighting each other, they fail to see the puppeteer who is pulling their strings; they fail to see the force that exploits them, uses them and flushes them out when they are no longer useful to the Puppeteer. The reason they are poor and vulnerable and expendable is not the person of color who is across from them; it is the economic structure whose underpinnings are dependent on poor whites and poor blacks fighting each other.
And we now have a President that sanctifies this economic engine of hate and divisiveness, pitting the working poor against each other, fighting for the leftover crumbs as our President fights for tax breaks for the rich.
He has legitimized the American Taliban, the KKK!
Don’t get me wrong; I’m a business owner; I believe in Capitalism. Capitalism works best when the playing field is level, when fairness reigns.
Pitting races and the powerless against each other has a long track record. It reigned free during Reconstruction and during Boston’s busing crisis, young black and white kids being pitted against each other by community leaders and politicians. You got elected in South Boston and Charlestown by fanning the flames of racism. White kids were told to boycott school by politicians such as Louise Day Hicks, resulting in a generation of unemployable drop-outs, often drug addicted.
And these were shitty, neglected schools. Instead of addressing why the schools were shitty, poor whites and poor blacks took the bait and engaged in internecine warfare.
And so, our President continues to fan the flames of race, of hatred and divisiveness. By embracing this hate and scapegoating, it only serves to erode our humanity, our inherent connection with each other.
We are all connected and when we deny these connections, we become less human, less empathetic, our humanity compromised.
One of the saddest things about all this is Trump can’t see that America’s glory, it’s strength, it’s soul, springs forth from its diversity. We are the greatest country on earth and will be even greater once the shackles of hate have been unlocked and the full power of our diversity manifests itself.
I’ll end with a quote by me—is that arrogant or what?
Well, I do have the mike.
We must resist to our core the scapegoats offered up by our Emperor and we must resist the propaganda that seeks to divide us. We need a calculated onslaught of resistance based on love.
Presently, this administration is coming for the Muslins; they have already come for the Mexicans; the Afro-American community has a staggering incarceration rate, and don’t think for a minute that they won’t come for you.
P.S. By the way, how’s that wall coming? Did the Mexicans ever pony up that cash?