The long history of racism of Donald J. Trump has come home to haunt him and to hold him up to a withering and rightful world-wide moral outrage, criticism and condemnation. And his vulgar and morally reprehensible offense must not be dismissed as normal and diminished as unimportant nor rightful criticism be diverted in other ways. On the contrary, this criticism must become an ongoing ever-present part of the overall resistance to his crude, cruel and destructive regime. Indeed, he has waded in the squalid swamp of racist comments and practice for decades, viciously attacking as citizen, candidate and president the various peoples of color: Africans, Native Americans, Latinos and Asians.
He has used against whole peoples words such as murderers, rapists, terrorists, drug dealers, AIDS carriers, hut-dwellers, and with extra self-indicting gall, abusers of women. He has indicted and banned Muslims, promised to build an apartheid wall to keep out undesirables, took out an ad to bring back the death penalty for four Black and Puerto Rican teens later found innocent, racially harassed Pres. Baraka Obama with birtherist claims that he wasn’t a citizen, attacked Black athletes and activists for resisting racial injustice and police violence, and praised neo-Nazis and White supremacists as having “very fine people” among them.
However, not satisfied with offering repeated dog whistles and a regular diet of red meat racism to his hate-hungry base, Trump decided to add raw sewage as seasoning with his vile, vulgar and vicious attack on Haiti, Africa and El Salvador, calling them “s***hole countries”. This evil and infantile name-calling, so characteristic of Trump, rather than giving any accurate or usable description of them or their people, simply reveal more of the racist, foul, fetid and fecal matter that comes from his mind and mouth as he plays president and puts forth ideas and policies of various divisive, degrading and destructive kinds. It is also a reaffirmation of the unhinged character of his mind and emotions and points again to the danger he poses for the country and world.
Trump’s racist attack was not simply on the countries as it was especially on the peoples targeted, indicted and attacked as unworthy of coming to and living in this country. Trump’s stated preference is for people from Norway. Like the neo-Nazis and White supremacists who support him, he wants the Nordics not the Blacks and Browns to come and add more color and contributions to the country. Thus, he denies historical and current evidence of the important contributions of immigrants of all kinds to the country.
But whatever conditions in African countries, Haiti and El Salvador, Trump’s limited racist mind was vulgarly trying to describe, he and we should be aware of the fact that it is the U.S. and its co-racial dominants and co-religionists who bear a definitive historical and continuing responsibility for the real devastating holes left in the lives and lands of these people through imperialism, colonialism, enslavement and the wars, resource robbery, proxy armies, and puppet civil and military dictatorships in these systems of savage extraction, death and destruction imposed on the people. Indeed, the overthrowing and occupying of Haiti; the kidnapping and removal of its democratically elected president; the propping up of puppet military and civilian governments; the use of proxy armies to control and suppress the population, and to facilitate the ruthless exploitation of the lives, labor, land and resources of the people are duplicated and repeated in Africa, El Salvador and around the world under neo-liberal corporate, military and imperial projects and practices.
And so, there are holes, holes filled not with Trump’s fecal matter; but holes filled with the sweat and blood of the people; holes dug in the lands and lives of the people by predatory corporations and countries to extract oil, water, bauxite, diamonds, coltan, tin, cobalt, gold, silver, tungsten, copper and other minerals of preference and profit, as well as holes dug to appropriate rich farmlands and forests, leaving little for the masses of people to whom they belong. And the people of America should hold themselves, their military, corporations and pretending and pretentious president responsible for these real and destructive holes dug and constantly deepened in the lives and lands of the oppressed and struggling peoples of the world.
So, let us be clear about the real meaning of Donald Trump, his origin and real base beyond the obvious and conceded. For if we have any appreciation of history, we know that Trump did not come into being by himself or remain in place by himself. He does not live, thrive and spew his racist, toxic and fecal waste in isolation. He has enablers, active and silent supporters, and a base much larger than the visible neo-Nazi, raw racists and weise Menschen uber alles (White people over all) marchers in Charlottesville. He is, indeed, the monster side of America. It is a larger portion of the American people that gave him the numbers to win the election and sustains him as he embodies and continues to widen the White supremacist, anti-people and pro-corporate dimensions of the political swamp he promised to drain.
Therefore, whatever mandate Trump has or thinks or feels he has, comes from his election and the active support and sanction from his loudest supporters, the silent support he receives from various quarters, the cowardly co-signing of his lies and low-life speech and acceptance of his madness by his fellow politicians. It is they who immorally explain away his racism, infantilism, and mean-spirited politics and even his attacks on them.
It is often said that these politicians do this to keep Trump supporters from acting against them. But in truth, it is not simply a question of votes, but a greater issue of the values they share. This is a key lesson to be learned and remembered from his election. Moreover, Trump finds allies even among the religious right, the Christian Right and the Jewish Right, as revealed in the election and their failure to join their progressive and radical religious counterparts in criticism and resistance to Trump. Instead, they embrace Trump as champion of their single issue or litmus test issues which “trump” all other issues. And clearly Trump finds allies and avid supporters in the corporate world, which shares his appreciation for unbridled greed, domination, deprivation and degradation in the interest of profit and remoulding the world in their own image and interests.
Thus, we as a people must stand in active solidarity with our brother and sister immigrants as well as other allied immigrants and all the oppressed and struggling peoples of the world. For the issue at hand is not and never was immigration alone. It is about the character and future of this country, whether we accept the racist conception of the U.S. as a White finished product or the ethical concept of it as a multicultural unfinished project with battle lines and battlefronts everywhere and no sheltered rear as Paul Robeson and Malcolm X taught us.
To achieve this in practice, we must build Black united fronts and coalitions and alliances with others and imagine together and struggle relentlessly to bring into being, not only a new society, but also a new world. For as Mary McLeod Bethune reminds us, “We must remake the world. The task is nothing less than that”. This means recovering our role as a self-conscious moral and social vanguard in this country, a people in righteous and relentless struggle, to bring an inclusive and enduring good in the world.
Dr. Maulana Karenga, Professor and Chair of Africana Studies, California State University-Long Beach; Executive Director, African American Cultural Center (Us); Creator of Kwanzaa; and author of Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture and Essays on Struggle: Position and Analysis, www.AfricanAmericanCulturalCenter-LA.org; www.OfficialKwanzaaWebsite.org; www.MaulanaKarenga.org.