I would like to get right to what I have been writing about in my journal regarding what has been the most toxic, ruthless, racist, homophobic and insulting election campaign many of us have ever witnessed. There were times when I wondered whether I was living in the U.S.A. and I tried my very best to make some sense out of what I was hearing coming out of the mouths of those seeking to be the POTUS. A dear friend of mine reminded me and rightly so, that America is a democracy and as such, allows anyone of us to speak freely and without fear of reprisals and recriminations. I get that and I support a democratic society. What I do not support is demagoguery, self promotion, hateful and insulting language which almost always has unintended consequences. One need only look at the make up of the Donald Trump followers to see just how and why they are angry. Generally speaking Trump followers are mostly white, male and without employment probably for a number of reasons. But the Trump followers, in my opinion never really tell the truth about why they are so angry. They disguise their anger using words like “our jobs have gone to China, our economy is in the gutters and America has lost its standing in the world and Government is too big.” Demagogue Trump taking advantage of being in a democracy which allows for his rhetoric created a slogan that fits right into what his followers want to hear:” Make America Great Again.” which as many of us already know means Make America White Again.
Here is what I think about the Trump followers and to my despair, I hear very few if any of the CNN and other networks pundits saying or questioning Trump and his followers on. I will just list them and then you are free to think what you will about what I believe is really going on with the Trump phenomenon.
1. They are angry that an intelligent, educated and charismatic black man is the President of the United States. That he is popular and was elected twice really makes them angry.
2. They are angry with China who holds America’s debt and many American Corporations have moved their businesses (jobs) to China. These are jobs they never really wanted or thought they were too good or too white to have in the first place.
3. They are angry that the Attorney General, Homeland Security Director and Under Secretary of Agriculture are among a few Obama Cabinet appointees who are African Americans with credentials they could only dream about.
4. They are angry at Harvard University, the law school of the POTUS and the AG and a few others which they see as elitist and out of touch with “real Americans” like them.
I ask these angry followers where was your anger and rage when Senator Mitch McConnell and his band of separatist boldly declared “to do everything within their powers to make sure this President (Obama) will not succeed.? Where was your anger when the Republican majority in the Congress blocked every bill, proposal whether or not it was good for the country? I ask, where was your anger when the POTUS and the Congress tried to enact legislation to curb the gun violence in America? Where was your anger when children and teachers in Sandy Hook were gunned down? Where was your anger when the U.S. Congress received the lowest scores in history for its lack of getting anything done on behalf of the country? Where was your anger when the Congress failed to fulfill their Constitutional responsibility to receive and vote on the nomination of a Supreme Court nominee? Please don’t tell me how angry you are until you have walked in the shoes of Eric Garner’s family, of Freddie Gray’s family of Michael Brown’s family or the family of the 12 year old black child gunned down within 2 seconds of the white cops arriving on the scene? And by the way before you followers of Trump have something else to be angry about, the Black Lives Matter movement is not much different than the song “Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud or the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. King freeing blacks from the hateful and racist attitudes and actions of white folks in Montgomery and Selma, Alabama?
You see, I cannot afford to be angry like you are because I am not white. I would love to say the first thing that comes to mind (like Trump does) but unlike Trump there would be huge and dangerous consequences for me. The Black Lives Matter movement morphs into a “tell it like it is moment” causing whites following Trump to label blacks as separatist. They want to change that narrative to say “all lives matter” What they fail to realize is their whiteness gives them options black and Hispanics can never have. l had to explain to my two grandsons how to act when they are confronted by white cops for fear they would be injured, arrested or even shot to death. Billionaires and many whites can afford to be angry simply because they are white and privileged. They fail to see how blacks and Hispanics are targeted and marginalized. Just read the anonymous comments made on social media about President Obama’s daughters.
I wish to close by making a comment about ANGER. When any one of us responds with anger the consequences are almost always dangerous and hurtful. Just watch the anger of NHL players who have a stick in their hands or an NBA player who takes a hard foul by an opponent? What appears obvious cannot be seen when anger and fear dominate. Trump and his followers want you to be afraid because by doing so, he sets himself up as the one who can save you. It is hard to be saved when you are angry and fearful. Just look at what Trump just said the other day which makes it clear he is playing into your fears. Trump said “I have no doubt Refugees will stage a 9/11 scale attack in the U.S.” How ridiculous and outrageous is that? How irresponsible is that?
I have always said and believed that I have no need to be right but I do have a need to be heard. I am exercising that need now. I know America is better than what Trump wants his followers to believe. I know American democracy is what allows Trump and his followers to opine about. I believe it is more meaningful to build bridges for people to cross rather than to build walls to hold them in captivity. I believe America yearns to be a place where fairness is practiced. I have a friend who makes fairness the core value for the corporation he runs. Why can’t we? I believe with the poet who says and I try my very best to live out his words: “They drew a circle that shut me out, heretic, rebel a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win, we drew a circle and took them in.”
May we all draw a circle to take in all who would live a life of peace, love, fairness, openness and understanding where the public discourse can he held.
And so it is. Dr. Paul