Trump: Making America Great Again -- For Racists like David Duke

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Trump. Photo: Gage Skidmore--Flickr.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump made clear what many in New York City already knew: he is a morally repugnant racist with no shame. He is also mentally unstable.

In a bizarre press conference tirade, Trump defended the “alt-right” White supremacists who brought deadly violence to Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday. He said some of these bigoted violent thugs were “good people.” Trump talked of a fictional “alt-left” who he mendaciously claimed had “very, very violent” protesters.

He says there was bad people “on both sides.”

Were “both sides” equally armed and chanting “blood and soil” and "Jews will not replace us"? Did “both sides” use cars to run over people and cause death, as was done to 32-year-old paralegal and activist Heather Heyer, and injuries to 34 others? Is there some equivalence, in Trump’s twisted mind, between her protest and that of her racist murderer, James Alex Fields Jr?

In a Democracy Now interview, with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Dr. Cornel West pointed out that a major slaughter was perhaps averted when he and other clergy were marching last weekend.

"You had a number of the courageous students, of all colors, at the University of Virginia who were protesting against the neo-fascists themselves,” West said. “The neo-fascists had their own ammunition. And this is very important to keep in mind, because the police, for the most part, pulled back. The next day, for example, those 20 of us who were standing, many of them clergy, we would have been crushed like cockroaches if it were not for the anarchists and the antifascists who approached…they saved our lives, actually."

Trump’s transparent attempt to blame both sides equally shows us whose side he is really on: the side of White supremacists. That he would call those marching with neo-Nazis and White supremacists “good people” is a symptom of the backsliding bigotry Donald Trump has supported for a long time.

Isn’t this why he strategically chose to champion the demagogic “Birther” lie about President Barack Obama’s birthplace as the foundational steppingstone toward his political ascendancy?

Since Saturday’s deadly violence, this president, who is a poster-child of prejudice, has been criticized for not denouncing the White racist terrorism that occurred in Virginia. Why would anyone expect anything else from Trump when he rode racism right into the White House?

Saturday’s violence isn’t surprising. It’s a logical conclusion of what happens when racists and bigots are emboldened. And these scoundrels are encouraged, not just because this White House has bigots like Steve Bannon in the West Wing, but because Donald Trump, with his own odious history of racism, is the sitting president.

Isn’t Trump’s history of racism distinctive enough by now?

Starting in 1973, Trump was twice sued for housing discrimination in refusing to rent to Black people—a practice he probably learned from his father, Fred Trump, who was arrested at a 1927 KKK rally.

In 1989, Donald Trump’s racist incitement in the Central Park Five case helped to inflame race relations in New York City. He purchased full page ads in the daily papers calling for a return of the death penalty to the five Black youth accused of raping a White woman in Central Park could be executed. Long after they were exonerated he continued to attack them.

That year, in an interview with Bryant Gumbel he made the deceitful claim that “A well-educated Black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated White in terms of the job market.” Only a spoiled rotten White rich kid with a warped sense of reality could say something so absurd.

According to author John O’Donnell, a onetime president of Trump’s Plaza Hotel and Casino, Trump once complained about a Black accountant saying “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys wearing yarmulkes.” He also allegedly said to O’Donnell “that laziness is a trait in Blacks.”

In pondering these sentiments, isn’t it clear enough racism is currently residing comfortably in the White House—and will remain so even if Steve Bannon is sent packing?

Saturday’s violence, in the Virginia City of Charlottesville, happened because White nationalists saw the removal of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s statue as yet another unforgivable attack on the White supremacy they cherish. In fact, it is now becoming clear that if it wasn’t for antifascist elements—who didn’t seek violence but were prepared to defend themselves—that many more funerals would be occurring.

Some 34 people were injured when racist James Alex Fields Jr., 20, used his car as a terrorist weapon to run over people. This act of White domestic terror took the life of Heather Heyer. Why didn’t her murder outrage this mad president

Trump who has never minced words when talking about terrorism perpetrated by Muslims initially issued a sad statement about the attack where he tepidly denounced the “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” After being roundly repudiated, including by some Republicans, Trump gave lip-service, on Monday, to what he should have said from the very beginning—before reverting to his true self on Tuesday proving that he'd been merely reading off a script.

For his duplicity, Trump is being celebrated on racist sites, like Storm Front, for not calling them out for their bloody hatred. Klan leader David Duke thanked Trump twice for his comments. On Tuesday, Duke expressed gratitude to Trump for his “honesty and courage” in condemning “the leftist terrorists.”

Trump’s “make America great again” slogan is now showing its real meaning: make America great again, for White supremacy, neo-Nazis and the KKK. From the very beginning, this was the true sentiment behind the “taking the country back” mantra. White supremacists are feeling pretty good about themselves, and their agenda, with Trump as their president.

Trump is not the only one who should be denounced for his silence in the face of White racist terror. Why are so many White Americans so silent at this very minute? Yes many have spoken out including those who bravely went to Charlottesville. Heyer paid the ultimate price.

Yet, one year ago, Colin Kaepernick caused quite a stir when he refused to stand for the National Anthem as he launched a righteous protest against police prejudice, racism and brutality against African-Americans.

Because of his stance, a few other professional athletes joined in the protests. Many White Americans wanted Kaepernick’s head on a platter. They still do, since we see NFL teams hiring all kinds of mediocre quarterbacks not as good as him to fill slots on teams.

Why haven’t we seen the same level of outrage from White Americans, regarding the terrorism we just saw in Virginia, as opposed to the overwhelming demonstrable displeasure with Kaepernick? White Americans treated him like public enemy number one. But now, in the face of White terrorism many of these morally outraged folks still remain deaf and act dumb.

Because of Kaepernick’s stance, a lot of hypocritical nonsense ensued about the veneration of the flag and whatnot—even though many were not aware of the racist lines that were removed from the National Anthem.

While many people were so enraged as they were accusing Kaepernick of disrespecting the flag, they showed their utter lack of respect for the dead Black lives Kaepernick was protesting about.

In this tragic circumstance, where a White woman died while fighting against fascists and racists, where is the rage regarding the White hatred that has led us to this point? Why aren’t more people outraged by this murder and Trump’s coddling of White supremacists? According to a new poll 54% are outraged by Trump’s Tuesday comments; only 54%.

The nation will face serious challenges.

Faced with emboldened racism and White terrorism silence cannot be the response. The victims will not only be African Americans after all as Heyer's murder shows.

The blood of Heather Heyer is not only on the hands of James Alex Fields Jr. and Donald Trump—it is also on the hands of every American who remains silent in the face of White supremacy.

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