Trump versus Black America

(Door Hugo KIjne te Hoboken USA)

Donald Trump has always been a racist.  He and his father refused to rent apartments to potential black tenants, black employees had to be whisked off the floors when he came visit his casinos, he demanded the death penalty for the innocent Central Park Five and wouldn’t accept their final acquittal, and he started the ‘birther’ movement to undermine the first black president.  With the COVID-pandemic still raging in most of the country and ‘the best economy ever’ in shambles he  decided that he has nothing else to run on than racist sentiments, so he’s going all out on it.  In his Fourth of July speeches he revived the ‘American carnage’ theme of his inauguration speech in reference to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations and the removal of Confederate statues and symbols.  Subsequently he criticized NASCAR for having banned the battle flag of Northern Virginia from its races and demanded an apology from its only black driver Bubba Wallace, who sounded the alarm when he had found a noose hanging in his garage, and finally he criticized the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians for considering to change their team’s names. 

It is unclear what the president expects to achieve with his whining and often half-crying racist rants.  In 2016 he also ran a racist campaign, but at that time his targets were colored immigrants and Muslims, while he is now disparaging the descendants of black Christians who have been in the US much longer than the Trump family.  His use of the term ‘cancel culture’ makes no sense, because the fact that America was built on stolen land exploiting a stolen people, as the Avett Brothers sing, cannot be canceled.  The president already has all the racist support he can get, while he is losing suburban and elderly voters due to his mishandling of the corona crisis.  The only rational explanation is that Trump, expecting defeat in November, is solidifying his base for them to be milked by a future business venture, unless he is preparing his deplorables for a new Civil War.  Stoking hatred as a distraction from the pandemic doesn’t explain his behavior either, because instead of staying silent Trump tells Americans ‘to live with it,’ falsely claiming that 99% of the new cases are harmless and lying that the US has the lowest mortality rate in the world.

The president demanded with an all caps tweet that the schools be opened in the fall, starting the latest fight in the corona crisis.  For him restoring economic activity to increase his electability is the only objective, and parents would obviously be delighted to have schools reopening, but only if it is safe, both for the children and their grandparents.  Teachers unions have their own safety concerns, and instead of making extra funding available for allowing social distancing in schools the government threatens to take money away from states where the schools will not be open.

Yesterday advance copies of Trump’s niece Mary’s tell all book were issued and it’s a doozy.  She describes how the president grew up learning that cheating and lying is the only way of life, and as a trained psychologist she adds more depth to the analysis of Trump’s sociopathic narcissism, having had the advantage of extended direct observation.  Unless Trump remains as teflon as he has been so far, this book may hit him harder than any other, John Bolton’s included.

The president still has not acted upon the information that Russia offered bounties for killed American soldiers in Afghanistan, but instead confirmed that the US would withdraw from the WHO.  Considering the seriousness of the corona crisis this is the equivalent of taking the ball and going home with the game on the line, instead of offering the global leadership America used to provide.


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