*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
As this column confesses more than one wants to, it is a travesty that the American people are so woefully ignorant and in many cases just plain stupid. Of course no citizen wants to admit that their fellow citizens are “thick,” but as a classical Cynic one calls it exactly as they see it. There is a misconception among some of the more cognitively challenged in America, typically on the right, that what made America exceptional was its predilection to interfere around the world and use its military might to impose its will on people and nations; kind of like what the incoming fascist administration promises. However, what really made America exceptional, and helped build America into a great nation, was its policy of accepting any and all people, no matter where they are from, or no matter what color they are, or no matter what religion they observed into the country with a clear path toward citizenship; that exclusively American exceptionalism is about to be eradicated with a decidedly white supremacist administration chosen by a minority of the people.
As a few Americans learned over the past few years, it is not just the idea of foreigners who want to emigrate and live in America that offends those who voted for Trump, they are offended that any non-white and non-Christian person lives in ‘their’ America. Subsequently, those white supremacists were crucial to electing a swindler and television celebrity who is already building an administration staffed with white supremacists; supremacists that polite company refers to as “white nationalists.”
What that incoming administration means for a very significant percentage of the American population is that this country is a couple of months away from having a White House administration with a clear agenda of specifically targeting about a third of the population to put them in a place the majority of Trump voters demand; at the mercy of a toxic white supremacist movement. As Ned Resnikoff noted, “The doctrine of the Trump administration will be white nationalism [supremacy].”
Many readers are already aware that to keep tabs on his administration’s progress to racially and religiously cleanse America of undesirables, Trump appointed white supremacist and all-around malcontent Stephen Bannon as most senior adviser and strategist. Some people may have heard that Bannon is being tapped to begin spreading Trump’s white supremacy hate throughout the European Union; more on that in another column. But Bannon is just an adviser and strategist for Trump and although he has the happy fascist’s ear, the real impending damage is going to come from the administration’s appointees who will wield a dangerous amount of white power under the guise of “governing.”
It is difficult to call to mind when in American history an incoming administration not only campaigned on white supremacy, but immediately upon winning began choosing avowed racists and religious bigots to serve and advise; at least a third of the population should be absolutely terrified. As an aside, world leaders should also brace for some of Trump’s white supremacy if confirmed Islamophobe Rudy Giuliani, also a blatant racist, eventually becomes Secretary of State. He will be free to spread some Trump and Fox News’ hatred around the globe through official government and diplomatic channels.
Closer to home, people of color can look forward to institutionalized white supremacy that will erase whatever Civil Rights gains they have made over the decades when the federal criminal justice system is administered by a man that was too racist to serve as a federal judge and rejected by the Senate. If Jeff Sessions (R-AL) does become attorney general, and there is every reason to believe he will, it will signal the end of the Justice Department enforcing Civil Rights laws or holding Republican states to account for voting rights violations. Sessions is notorious for claiming the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was “an intrusive piece of legislation;” with Sessions running the Department of Justice, voting rights violations will be celebrated, not prosecuted and it is hardly an exaggeration based on his past statements.
In testimony before Congress in 1986, a prosecutor, J. Gerald Hebert said that Sessions agreed with another racist and federal judge that a white lawyer was “a disgrace to his race” because he dared represent African American clients. Mr. Hebert also testified that Sessions referred to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.) as “un-American” for “trying to force civil rights down the throats of people.”
Remember, this was in 1986 and over two decades after passage of the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act and 210 years after the “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Founding Fathers; it was also 118 years after ratification of the 14th Amendment guaranteeing all citizens equal and civil rights. Any hope that any person of color or a person of a non-Christian religion may have had that the Department of Justice in a “white nationalist” administration will fight for every American citizen’s constitutionally-protected equal and civil rights likely took a major hit with news that Trump wants Sessions as Attorney General.
Trump’s choice for National Security Adviser, Former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, will be just as devastating to the Muslim community as Sessions will people of color. According to Flynn, like many Republicans, in his mind there is no distinction whatsoever between terror organizations like ISIS and the Muslim religion. Flynn obviously subscribes to Trump’s hateful campaign rhetoric that fearing and hating Muslims, even American Muslims, is only logical since he claims that Muslims are terrorists. He actually used Twitter to declare that “fear of Muslims is ‘RATIONAL’” and only left it to the reader’s imagination to go to the next step and believe that “hatred of Muslims is RATIONAL.”
Flynn also supported Trump’s “big deal” during the campaign that to defeat “radical Islam” that it is vital that all politicians use that pejorative, radical Islam, ad nauseam. Flynn also dared all leaders in the Middle East to renounce their Islamic religion because in his mind that Abrahamic faith is terrorism. Flynn took to Trump’s favorite means of communication, Twitter, and wrote:
“In next 24 hours, I dare Arab & Persian world “leaders” to step up to the plate and declare their Islamic ideology sick and must B healed.”
One wonders how long it will take a cretin like Flynn to convince Trump to issue an executive order demanding, not daring, all American Muslims to “step up” and declare their Islamic faith sick, and that it must be eradicated off the face of the planet. It is not out of the realm of possibility either. It is still two months before the fascist administration takes power and already there have been serious discussions on implementing a national registry for Muslims and the precedent of internment camps to “make American great again;” or some such bovine excrement.
These first set of Trump appointments, or proposed appointments, does not bode well for Americans who are not white and not Christian; the Census Bureau regards people from the Middle East and Northern Africa as part of the white population, but they are predominately Muslims so they have plenty to fear. What is clear is that Donald Trump is following through on his white nationalist (supremacist) rhetoric he promised throughout the campaign.
It is bad enough that a white supremacist (Bannon) and Muslim hater (Flynn) will have Trump’s ear and advise him according to their particular hate, but worse that the head of the Justice Department cannot countenance that all Americans are guaranteed equal rights. The combination of two bigots advising an authoritarian with an attorney general unwilling to enforce equal and civil rights laws will not make America great again; it will make America a mirror image of the incoming white supremacist administration and there is precious little anyone can do to stop it.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.