The Impact of Trump’s Vile Racist Rhetoric; The Hate that Hate Produces

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Trump has now neo-liberalized racism. Photo: Gage Skidmore--Flickr
 
Here's a Trump tweet from June 5, 2013: “Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and Hispanics…”
 
Here's another one, from June 19, 2018, referring to Democrats: "They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13."
 
This one is from January 11, 2018: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” 
 
On August 3, 22 people were killed, and dozens injured in a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Authorities have uncovered a document that they believe links the shooter’s actions to his dismay at the increasing Hispanic population in Texas. On April 27, 2019, one woman was killed, and three other people were injured at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, CA. In an antisemitic and racist open letter posted on 8chan, an image board website, shortly before the shooting and signed with the shooters name, the author blamed Jews for alleged “white genocide” a conspiracy theory, which he referred to as the "meticulously planned genocide of the European race".
 
On October 27, 2018, eleven people were killed and seven --including the perpetrator-- were injured at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Citing the Central American migrant caravans and immigrants, the shooter posted on “Gab” shortly before the attack that "HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered…” 
 
At least three people were killed, and 12 others wounded in a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California on Sunday, July 28.  Nine people were killed, and 27 others injured in Dayton, OH Sunday, August 4.  Police have yet to determine the motive in these shootings.
 
Much has been made of President Trump’s racist and xenophobic Tweets and rants.  The discussion now centers around the “rise” of white supremacist language, web sites, activity and action. Analysts and others are trying to assign blame to President Trump for inciting this hatred and violence, but this is not new; this is America! To quote H. Rap Brown, “violence --and in this case racism-- is as American as cherry pie”.
 
America as a settler colonial state was founded upon violence, racism, bigotry and hatred. This month America commemorates the 400 years that enslaved Africans arrived on the shores of Port Comfort, VA in 1619. It’s codified in the Constitution. Article 1, Section 2 of the US Constitution - Better known as the 3/5ths compromise. Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3, - The Fugitive Slave Clause and Article 1, Section 9 – the importation of enslaved Africans was allowed for 25 years after the Constitution was ratified.
 
The Indian Removal Act was signed into law on May 28, 1830, by President Andrew Jackson. The act has been referred to as a unitary act of systematic genocide as countless numbers of Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee people --including mixed-race and Africans who lived among them-- were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in the Southeastern United States and forced to relocate west of the Mississippi.  It will never be determined how many people perished during this process also known as The Trail of Tears.
 
The Supreme Court was very clear in its language on March 6, 1857, Chief Justice Roger Taney issued what is widely regarded as the worst Supreme Court opinion ever in the infamous Dred Scott v. Sanford case. Writing of "the class of persons who had been imported as slaves nor their descendants…" Taney concluded that "They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect…"
 
These are just a few examples of the historic basis of President Trump’s racist tropes; but Trump is not alone.  On the evening of March 21, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson attended a special screening at the White House of The Birth of a Nation, a film directed by D.W. Griffith and based on The Clansman, a novel written by Wilson's good friend Thomas Dixon. It depicted the Ku Klux Klan as valiant saviors of a post-war South, ravaged by Northern carpetbaggers and immoral freed Blacks. The film helped to revive the Klan and its domestic terror in African American and Jewish communities.
 
Even the beloved Ronald Reagan, Obama’s favorite, was clear in his racism. According to Slate, in 1971, then-California governor Reagan and President Richard Nixon were frustrated about the outcome of a United Nations vote to recognize the People’s Republic of China --African delegations sided with others in supporting Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. In a racist phone call to President Nixon Reagan said, “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!” Nixon reportedly responded with laughter.
 
Trump is not the progenitor of this racist rhetoric. He is an accelerant of it and the resulting violence. What is most dangerous is how Trump has now neo-liberalized racism. By using his bully pulpit as president to spew his hatred and racism for political advantage, he has given the green light to like-minded White supremacists to act out individually.  He is privatizing what heretofore has been government sanctioned violence.
 
So, whether it is Trump’s "people from shithole countries” or Reagan’s “monkeys from those African countries” the controlling American sentiment is that people of color in this country still have no rights which the White man is bound to respect. Trump’s vile racist rhetoric is the hate that hate produces.
 
Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the nationally broadcast call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Leon,” on SiriusXM Satellite radio channel 126. Go to www.wilmerleon.com or email: wjl3us@yahoo.com. www.twitter.com/drwleon and Dr. Leon’s Prescription at Facebook.com
 
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