Donald Trump has come through as a desperately racist President of the United States of America. It is hard not to wonder whether the US President’s brand of racial prejudice has a political underpinning, specifically to confuse voters and (hopefully) strengthen his base a year before the next presidential election. He doesn’t care about the damage he might inflict in the process. For the Head of State of the world’s most celebrated democracies, it was direly outrageous in this day and age to tell four women members of Congress ~ all of whom are not white ~ to “go back” to the countries “from which they came”. Is Trump somewhat unnerved by the name of the four member group ~ Squad.
He cannot be unaware of one of the fundamentals of American nationalism, chiefly that historically the country has been a collection of nationalities. In point of fact, there is no American per se. Nor for that matter can he be oblivious to the fact that he is heir to the tradition of American failure on race, one which misunderstands or ignores the country’s fundamental premise that people, in the words of Martin Luther King, “not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character”. Regretfully, however, today’s America has drifted from such noble certitudes to the ignoble, as evidenced in St Bernadino, Ferguson and the like. It is the colour of the skin that has been the target of white fury
President Trump’s tweet mirrors the spirit of white supremacy. He is thus attempting to turn the clock back. In a bizarre expression of skewed reasoning, he believes that only white people can be considered as “truly citizens and that immigrants are only conditionally American”. The subtext of his tweet is nothing if not calculated racism. In actual terms, the below-the-belt barb ~ verging on misogyny ~ arguably violates the values the US pledges constitutionally to uphold ~ equality under the law, religious liberty, equal protection, and protection from persecution. In the context of his latest tweet, it is hard not to wonder if he really believes in these values.
Last weekend he authorised raids without warrants on thousands of families as part of his attempt to deport 11 million undocumented migrants, many of whom have lived in the country for years.
This week he announced plans to end asylum on the US-Mexico border, which lawyers say will be found unlawful by the courts. Now, the decidedly racist innuendo against four Democrat Congresswomen ~ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayana Pressley ~ has ignited the cauldron. Donald Trump’s Twitter tirade has served to debunk the idea of civil rights, i.e. that all citizens are equal before the law. It is racist in substance and style.