Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Donald J Trump: Racist president of White America

Satire from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Donald J Trump's first appearance in The New York Times was on the front page on October 16, 1973. The 27-year-old and his father Fred C. Trump were accused of being racists by the United States government. The younger Trump categorically denied the charge. It was a typical Trump lie and as president, he has racked up more than 20,000 false statements or claims according to The Washington Post.

On August 27, 2020, at the Republican National Convention, the CNN network's fact-checker logged at least 21 lies and misstatements in Trump's 70-minute speech.

The New York Times had reported in October 1973 that the Department of Justice, in its charge accused the Trump Management Corporation and the Trumps of discrimination against blacks in apartment rentals in a suit brought in Federal Court in Brooklyn. The Trumps owned more than 14,000 apartments in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

At the corporation's main office, Donald Trump, president, denied the charges.

“They are absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “We never have discriminated, and we never would. There have been a number of local actions against us, and we've won them all. We were charged with discrimination, and we proved in court that we did not discriminate.”

Two years later the Trumps promised to end racial bias.

Trump paved the way for a run for the presidency by promoting the lie that the only black president, Barack Obama (in office 2009-2017), was not born in the United States.

In-office Trump is the most racist president since Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921). Wilson and Trump publicly praised white supremacists.

Trump's racism would not have propelled him to the presidency without the Republican Party's own embracement of racism.

Just over 100 years after President Lincoln (1861-1865) announced the Emancipation Proclamation, his party in 1964 began the long trek to first become the racist party for whites by replacing the segregationist Democrats in the South and in recent times through gerrymandering and voter suppression giving it the opportunity of having a permanent lock on the presidency and the US Senate even though it's a minority party.

Paul Krugman, the New York columnist, wrote last April, "To see how a modern democracy can die, look at events in Europe, especially Hungary, over the past decade."

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998), the Republican candidate for president had opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as he favoured states' rights. Martin Luther King (1929-1968) commented in July 1964, “While not himself a racist, Mr Goldwater articulates a philosophy which gives aid and comfort to the racists.”

In November 1964, Goldwater carried his home state of Arizona and five others, all in the South: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina. While about 40% of black voters had supported the reelection of President Eisenhower (1953-1961) in 1956, only 7% supported the Republican candidate in 1964.

In the 1960s Senator Barry Goldwater was viewed as extreme by some of his Republican colleagues in the US Senate. However, he would not be welcome today in Trump's Republican Party.

Goldwater was critical of the religious right and in 1993 when President Clinton (1993-2001) was fighting opposition from the military to his campaign promise to end discrimination against gays in the armed forces, the former senator supported him. ''You don't need to be 'straight' to fight and die for your country,'' he wrote in in a letter to The Washington Post. ''You just need to shoot straight.''

Epic failure of global war on drugs under lead of US

“You have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks,” President Nixon (1969-1974) said in 1969, according to notes in a diary kept by his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman. “The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”

John Ehrlichman, another Nixon aide who like Haldeman was jailed for his role in the Watergate conspiracy, told an interviewer in 1994: “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course, we did.”

Slavery and myth of American exceptionalism

Life imitates art? Jude Law in the 2011 'Contagion' movie (Claudette Barius / Warner Bros.)

Gangster president runs amok

Four more years of carnage from this racist criminal, in a country splintered by hatred, may well provide the lifeblood for fascism.

Kellyanne Conway, the author of "alternative facts" who is leaving the Trump Administration to try to reconcile with a disgusted daughter, declared last week, “The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.”

This is an extract from a Washington Post editorial, Sept 1, 2020:

EVERY ACTION, every gesture and every tweet from President Trump is the opposite of what he would do if he were intent on calming cities now seized by protests and violence. No calls to national unity. No pleas for reconciliation. No effort to recognize grievances or address them. Instead, Mr. Trump lionizes vigilantes and demonizes racial justice protesters, thereby inciting the former and enraging the latter.

The president’s weekend tweet storms — toxic eruptions of personal attacks, conspiracy-mongering, vicious threats and false accusation — serve his election strategy of deepening the nation’s divisions. They perfectly distill the idea of an us-vs.-them United States that he believes will galvanize his base and frighten suburban swing voters into his camp.

As rage erupted on the streets of Portland, Ore., and a man reportedly affiliated with a far-right, pro-Trump group was shot to death there, the president did his best to stoke the rage. He gave credence, in a retweet, to the risible theory that racial justice protests are an organized coup attempt led by “well-funded network of anarchists”; endorsed a call to arrest New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D); embraced the teenage vigilante in Kenosha, Wis., charged with two murders after he was shown on video shooting protesters; and repeatedly savaged the mayor of Portland. To the president, his partisans in the streets, some of them armed, are “patriots”; Black Lives Matters activists, whose protests have been mostly peaceful, are “thugs.”

Extract from "In Bob Woodward’s ‘Rage,’ a Reporter and a President From Different Universes," Jennifer Szalai's review for the New York Times of Woodward's new book which discloses that Trump acknowledged the seriousness of the coronavirus while lying for months to the American public about it, Sept 9, 2020:

Woodward ends “Rage” by delivering his grave verdict. “When his performance as president is taken in its entirety,” he intones, “I can only reach one conclusion: Trump is the wrong man for the job.” It’s an anticlimactic declaration that could surprise no one other than maybe Bob Woodward. In “The Choice,” his book about the 1996 presidential campaign, he explained something that still seems a core belief of his: “When all is said and sifted, character is what matters most.” But if the roiling and ultimately empty palace intrigues documented in “Rage” and “Fear” are any indications, this lofty view comes up woefully short. What if the real story about the Trump era is less about Trump and more about the people who surround and protect him, standing by him in public even as they denounce him (or talk to Woodward) in private — a tale not of character but of complicity?

Hypocrites Incorporated: How Holy Is Donald Trump? | The Daily Show

The paranoid style

In November 1964 following Barry Goldwater's crushing defeat, the renowned American historian Richard Hofstadter (1916-1970) wrote a seminal essay, The Paranoid Style in American Politics.

"I believe there is a style of mind that is far from new and that is not necessarily right-wing. I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind. In using the expression 'paranoid style' I am not speaking in a clinical sense, but borrowing a clinical term for other purposes. I have neither the competence nor the desire to classify any figures of the past or present as certifiable lunatics. In fact, the idea of the paranoid style as a force in politics would have little contemporary relevance or historical value if it were applied only to men with profoundly disturbed minds. It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant."

In the age of the Internet, fanned by the poison spewed by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News network, serial liars and con men become heroes.

There are of course devout Evangelicals who excuse Trump's thievery and his female liaisons, and now they have to reckon with another hypocrite who gets a big bonanza of over $10m as a thank you for pissing in the grifters' swamp like Trump, rather than draining it.

The latest reprise of 'Elmer Gantry,' the 1927 novel by Sinclair Lewis, which has been called "the greatest, most vital, and most penetrating study of hypocrisy that has been written since the works of Voltaire." Of course, it will not end the faith put in snake oil salesmen.

The story is about a con-man, thief, adulterer, and booze-drinker to excess, who sees the profit in organised religion. The story takes place in the 1920s amidst Prohibition and Elmer starts his career as a Baptist and then joins up with a charismatic but equally unprincipled female revivalist preacher.

In 1979 another Baptist pastor Jerry Falwell Sr founded the ultra-conservative Moral Majority. This week his son Jerry Falwell Jr resigned as head of the Evangelical Liberty University where students have to commit to zero sex and alcohol. Falwell Jr, a key booster of Trump, will collect more than $10m and his wife's affair with a pool boy from when he was 20-years old went on for years and Falwell allegedly watched his wife having sex with the guy.

In recordings shared by Mary Trump exclusively, Maryanne Trump Barry, Donald Trump’s sister, who is a retired federal judge, is heard criticizing many members of the Trump family. Maryanne Trump Barry and Mary Trump discussed Ivanka Trump’s actions during the period that the Trump Administration initiated their child separation practices. Trump Barry also says the president 'is all over the line' when it comes to his treatment of DREAMers — people brought to Ameria when they were children

'Go Back to Your Country,' a Supercut of Racism Featuring Trump | NowThis

Trump slams the United States at the summit with Russian dictator Putin in Helsinki 2018