Friday, December 11, 2015

Trump's Racism Is As American As Apple Pie

A few days ago, Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj referred to Donald Trump "an extremist leader who came out of nowhere", who is "self-financed, recruits through social media, attracts his followers with a radical ideology to take over the world and is actively trying to promote a war between Islam and the West".

In other words, Minhaj said, Donald Trump is "White ISIS".

That line is good for a laugh, but the noxious Trump is not the real problem. He's simply another in a long line of popular racists tapping into an American vein of hatred that has always existed. Trump is a symptom, not the disease.

Chauncey DeVega, Salon:
Donald Trump's racism, nativism and bigotry are as American as apple pie.

The United States Constitution was in many ways a pro-slavery and pro-Southern document. American empire was built on the genocide of First Nations people and the enslavement of blacks. The United States Constitution also limited citizenship to white property-owning men only.

In total, for 83 percent of its history—from slavery through to the end of Jim Crow—the United States practiced legal white supremacy and racism against African-Americans. ...

When combined with a belief in American Exceptionalism, a state of selective amnesia is created where too many Americans want to remember the best of what the country is as opposed to taking an honest accounting of both its goodness and shortcomings.

Racism, bigotry and xenophobia are a core part of America’s national character.
Hamid Dabashi, Al-Jazeera English:
Trump is a symptom not the disease. He is a decoy, a diversion so outrageous, so disgusting, that it overwhelms and hides the real disease.

Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the US, or his earlier remark to single out and profile Muslims, or his fellow Republican candidate Ben Carson stating point blank that no Muslim should ever become president, are only the most obnoxious versions of a much more deeply rooted bigotry and racism against Muslims that has been dominant in the US for a very long time, but particularly since 9/11.

If you are distracted by the noxious symptom of Trump you will forget that the democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton only a few weeks ago prided herself to have the entire Iranian people as her enemy. ...

The threat the Muslims face today ... is much deeper and firmly rooted in the political culture of a country that began its history by the mass murder of Native Americans, continued by the systematic slavery of African Americans, and most recently with a stroke of a pen ordered the US population of Japanese descent incarcerated in concentration (internment) camps during World War II.
Justin Mueller, The Hampton Institute:
Trump is not funny any more, because Trump is a fascist, and the "humor" of a fascist is to "punch down" on the already marginalized and oppressed while at the same time claiming victimhood. ... You don't need to successfully ignite a world war, acquire authority, or even kill many people in order to be a fascist. He is having a measurable effect, however, and will continue to even if he fails to win the primary or get elected. His militaristic and anti-immigrant talk is becoming infectious ... and leading to an escalation in the violent rhetoric and proposed policies of the already impressive authoritarianism and racism fueling the energetic base of the GOP. We can laugh at the absurdity of building 20 ft border walls with sentry turrets, underground electric fences, armed drone patrols, moats with sharks bearing lasers on their heads, or whatever stage of hysterical social hypochondria we are at, but a material consequence of this rhetoric will be more dead brown people for as long as we tolerate it. There is a large, angry, racist, xenophobic, reactionary-populist segment of the American populace, and they are taking Trump very seriously as a signal allowing them to embody their cretinous innermost selves.
It is worth noting that while Hillary Clinton has spoken out against Trump's racist rhetoric, she has "retained a campaign surrogate [Wesley Clark] who previously called for the internment of some Muslim-Americans":
If these people are radicalized and they don't support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States as a matter of principle ... it's our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict.
Clinton - a Democratic candidate that Bernie Sanders has promised to support for the White House - has so far not spoken out against Clark's suggestion of Muslim concentration camps.


Obama's Speech, Translated into Candor: "I gave a lofty major speech a couple of years ago about how a democratic society can't have perpetual war. I like to talk about such sugary ideals; a spoonful helps the doublethink medicine go down."

The US' Language of Terror and a History of Preemptive Aggression

Despite Global Blowback, US Military Demanding Bigger, Badder Drone War

And if you needed any more evidence that the US presidential campaign - and the media covering thereof - is nothing more than high-gloss entertainment, there is this: Report: ABC World News Tonight Has Devoted 81 Minutes To Trump, One Minute To Sanders


laura k said...

Great post.

allan said...



Erika Lee, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota: "We always have this undercurrent of xenophobia that can burst at the seams. This might be the match that turns something that was simmering into a boil."

Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public policy at Princeton University: "The sentiment is there in the electorate. You don't need Donald Trump to have people who are calling for borders to be closed, but he taps into it. He brings it out."

laura k said...

The message from above makes a huge difference. If leadership gives tacit or outright support, the xenophobic and violent portions of the population are ready for action.

It is American, but the same pattern has been seen in countries all over the world.