America’s at crossroad after domestic terrorist attack, The Donald’s racist rants and silence of Republican sycophants
This weekend’s tragic shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH were tragic and reprehensible. In El Paso the murderer left a rant (not manifesto) suggesting his motivation. In Dayton, no one has yet to explain how, in a city where African Americans comprise less than 40% of the population and end up being 67% of those murdered, does it not suggests racial animus? When violent action results in nearly 7 out of 10 victims being from one group, it is not random.
We all can be sure if these or similar acts were to occur in the international arena by jihadists, neither the president nor anyone in his administration would have referred to the perpetrators responsible for the violence as being mentally ill. They would have called them enemies of America, fanatics who hate our way of life.
There is no doubt that the president has used language, his twitter feed, and Fox Network cronies to stoke racial fears and define vulnerable minorities and immigrants as personal enemies of white workers and our country as a whole. Republicans in Congress have failed to hold the president accountable or to challenge his bigotry and xenophobia.
While prominent Democrats, candidates, and others immediately called the white supremacist responsible for the mass murders in El Paso a domestic terrorist, it took our 45th president over 48 hours to correctly use the term domestic terrorism and indirectly refer to the terrorist as a white supremacist (even though he stumbled through prepared copy on a teleprompter suggesting that mental health, social media and violent video games were at fault as well).
Mental illness is a serious health problem in our country, but those who become “radicalized” through the ideology of white supremacy are not mentally ill. They have chosen a path of violence and deadly action because they believed they must save the soon-to-be white minority in our country from the soon-to-be majority people of color already here (and coming each day through our borders illegally, right).
Which brings me to the use of the word “radicalize.” When I was growing up I was always told that radical was a good term, referring to treating a problem at its root—radical versus surface. Then later in my religious upbringing I heard of Jesus referred to as a radical because he wanted to change religious and social norms of his society at their roots. He wanted to radically alter evil structures—the principalities of religious orthodoxy.
Who dirtied-up the term radical wherein now it is almost exclusively associated with terrorism, suicide bombers, and wild eyed jihadists anxiously awaiting 72 virgins after martyrdom?
Republicans have adeptly played the hand of defining terms to make Democrats, progressives, and others look ridiculous while making themselves look good. But Democrats have changed the meaning of terms, too—though not usually with the same success as Republicans.
During Barack Obama’s administration, his representatives never spoke of the working class, always the middle class. I assume some pollster told President Obama that even workers preferred to be seen as being middle class even though their objective class position suggested otherwise. The Republicans capitalized on this white-collarization of American workers by appealing to their fears and anxieties. They told white workers that Democrats did not care about middle America and their individual plights. It worked. Hilary Clinton in 2016 lost states and votes in areas that Barack Obama won in both 2008 and 2012.
Earlier, Republicans defined liberalism as being soft on crime, strictly adhering to political correctness, and devoted to big government spending on social welfare programs resulting in large national debts. Instead of fighting back and redefining what it truly means to be a liberal, Democrats started referring to themselves as “progressive” instead. The Republicans responded immediately by calling the new democratic progressives, “socialist.” So the policies the American people want to see implemented like universal healthcare, debt free higher education, and the preservation of our environment—have all been branded as socialist ideas. The Democrats are now retreating and circling their wagons.
And now since the murders in El Paso, so many white pundits have openly labeled our 45th president as racist. I have never seen so many white people so openly, and on national television, call another white person a racist. At this very moment Beto O’Rourke, Joe Biden, Mayor Bill De Blasio, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and others are lined up sticking out their tongues waiting to shout into a news camera or twitter feed, “Donald, you fucking racist.” Let those among us who have not sinned throw the first stone.
How can we begin to discuss if the president is indeed a racist when everyone makes up their own definition of what it means to be a racist? How can we begin to discuss this sensitive, but crucial ideology, when most white Americans refuse to even acknowledge that the legacy of slavery is still alive and causing much harm today in terms of educational achievement, who gets what jobs and at what pay? How can we begin to have a serious discussion about racism when many Whites believe they have the exclusive right to define who’s and what’s racist? By this I mean they have the privilege to proclaim that The Donald definitely is or is not racist. Case closed.
The pen is in my hand today, so I will give you my final word—racism is the power to maintain dominance through the control of key institutions, systems and structures in society; thus, The Donald is the textbook definition of a racist. The most dangerous group of American terrorists are white supremacists. For those who refuse to call them (racists and domestic terrorists) out and for those who allow the Donald to dog whistle and normalize their rhetoric and violence, they are racist too (Hello clamped lipped Senators and Representatives).
Finally, if you are in the 98 percentile of Americans who work for a living and, despite the misleading news on how well our economy is doing, find your paycheck stretching less each month or find yourself unemployed and in need of retraining, healthcare, or safe sanitary housing—you are not a socialist. You are American.