Too many 'good people' are staying silent in the face of Trump’s lies and hatred: James
The U.S. president has given oxygen to a southern ideology that led to America’s civil war. And far too many are quiet in the face of this evil.
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I disavowed Donald Trump long before his run for the presidency of the United States.
He’d continued his racist attack against then-president Barack Obama, giving oxygen to the birther movement that used concocted concerns over Obama’s birthplace to cover up a historical tactic of keeping the Black man in his place.
Here was this grotesque multi-millionaire spewing obvious lies and hatred about the president and media outlets gave him the platform as if the claims were credible.
Trump lied, gave vague threats, exaggerated, obfuscated and displayed all the attributes that would endear him to white supremacists and the fringe of the political right in America. The idea of him running for president was dismissed as a sure-fire way to spike the laugh meter on late-night TV. But for anyone paying attention, the threat was real.
I had my sons promise me that if we are ever stuck anywhere in the world and the only place with a room is a Trump Tower, we would sleep on the sidewalk.
Before then, we fancied the well-tailored Trump dress shirts, and ties. We’ve never bought another one.
If you are not outraged by Trump you are not paying attention. Or you are akin to him. Whatever good he says or does is eclipsed by what he says and does. To those expecting him to change and become presidential, forget it. Conservative and Republican commentator Ana Navarro summed it up best:
“When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them.”
So I’m finished with Trump — much like I was finished with Rob Ford a year into his mis-reign. But unlike Ford, you can’t turn your back on the guy who has the nuclear codes and who, with access to the most powerful bully pulpit, can embolden the most hateful elements and people among us.
So all week CNN watchers have witnessed Black and Jewish commentators, openly weeping, forcing back tears, genuinely shaken, downright angry, distressed, fearful, and absolutely stressed by the failure of their president to offer solace in the face of evil.
Just when you think he can sink no lower, he does. Imagine a President of the United States embracing neo-Nazis and white supremacists and white nationals — not in 1925 or 1860 but in 2017. Trump does.
Opinion polls show the President of the United States has exceeded expectations among one group in the United States — the far right crazies who would go on television to spit on the idea of that “nice girl” Trump daughter Ivanka married to Jared Kushner, a Jew.
Trump is their man. They love him. He’s gone beyond their wildest dreams. Even as these white supremacists march on a college town and try to intimidate citizens with vile Nazi epithets aimed at Jews and Blacks and other “degenerates,” Trump excuses their behavior. Oh, it’s horrible that a racist thug slammed his car into the crowd demonstrating the better side of America, and killed a woman, Trump says, but there were bad people on all sides in Charlottesville.
Then the kicker from Trump: It’s a shame that some people are trying to take down monuments erected to the glory of the Confederacy.
This is the very southern ideology that dealt America a civil war. It would take two columns and more to outline the symbolism of confederate monuments — the terror and unease they strike in Black Americans, just as they were intended to do when they proliferated in response to increased rights for a population of former enslaved citizens.
Trump has embraced this and given it oxygen. And far too many are silent in the face of the evil.
There has been so much powerful, poignant, heart-felt, disturbing, sad and distressing commentary on U.S. cable television this past week that one is tempted to think Trump has gone too far this time.
Don’t be silly. Not nearly enough people care. In fact, Trump speaks for more Americans that we want to accept. For sure, the vast majority of Republicans are with him. The rest?
Charles Blow, the New York Times columnist summed it up thusly, talking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper:
“If you know full well that the war on drugs has a disproportionate impact on Black people, and you support it, where does that place you? If you know that mass incarceration is devastating Black communities and you support it, where does that put you? America has to ask itself some really profound questions about what white supremacy actually is, because it is not simply animus. There were abolitionists who hated the idea of slavery yet had no concept or will to entertain the idea that Black people were equal to them.
“There are people who today detest the violence in Charlottesville and yet do not believe Black people are equal to them. That’s what white supremacy is,” he said, adding that he was tired of accommodating such apparent indifference and covering up for it.
And for those so-called “good people” who were simply standing nearby to demonstrate their support for the retention of the statute to Confederate general Robert E Lee, consider this from Scott Jenkins, a former assistant to George W. Bush:
“You cannot say there are good people standing in this rally because if a good person left their home and went to this event, and showed up, and a person next to them was holding a Nazi flag, and they chose not to go home, then, by definition, they checked their ‘good people’ card at the gate.”
Too many “good people” are silent.