Once again the uncomfortable question of race has reared its ugly head in the USA; the so-called leader of the civilised world. Recap, when Donald John Trump, 71, the 45th President of the US joined the race, he campaigned on a ‘shocking’ platform. In Trump, the American voter was – unlike with many politically correct politicians that have campaigned for US’ highest and other offices – dealing with an out of the closet unapologetic ‘racist.’
He did not hide his loathing for Muslims whom he equated to terrorists and promised to make it hard for them to enter the USA. He would build a wall to stop Mexicans from entering the US, etc. On the other hand, Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, 69, served from the usual menu. She espoused what have deceitfully become known as ‘American values;’ the business of equality of men irrespective of race, colour or creed, etc.
The media went for Trump. Painted him (correctly) as the far right racist, misogynist, anti-Islamist and all the bad things a man not fit to lead a great nation and leader of the free world. A vote for him, they said, would be against the illustrious values of equality, liberty, freedom, democracy, and protection of the rights of minorities, etc.
All America’s past living presidents Jimmy Carter, George Bush Senior and Junior (Republicans like Trump) Bill Clinton plus Barack Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton for it was claimed she stood for what was American.
When the matter was put to the people 62,984,825 people (46.4 per cent) voted Trump and in the American system of the Electoral College, he got 302 votes as opposed to Clintons 232 despite (getting more popular votes 65,853,516 (48.5 per cent.)
The US went into denial mode. They said Trump won because Russian Intelligence interfered with the vote. Don’t laugh, just believe the preposterous notion that Russia guided the hand of 62,984,825 million people to vote Trump. The question is, how could a man who stood for all the bad ‘isims;’ racism, anti Islamism, anti-feminism, etc, get an endorsement from nearly half of the voters in the election?
Simple. He didn’t have to do much for he was speaking to the converted. Racism and to be precise, White Supremacy tendencies, are deeply rooted in the fabric of the USA. (Why do you think only the US plus sidekicks France, UK, Italy, etc, which are countries with predominantly white populations are seemingly the only ones allowed to possess dangerous nuclear weapons? The message premised on racial condensations is that they are rational unlike the coloured Iranians, North Koreans, Libyans and the rest of the world.)
Trump took a gamble and rushed in where angels fear to tread. He came out of the closet and told the world about the reality of America. It is what many people in the US wanted to hear. Clinton went on with the lie. The rest is history. The current bone of contention; the removal of confederate statues, which are filthy symbols of racism (Trump calls them beautiful statues) from public spaces points out something very interesting. Why is it that under the reigns of the five living past US presidents (including the first black American president Obama), the statues were not pulled down and have stood for this long? They are now taking shelter under the reign of Trump to call for the removal of the statues! Hypocrisy!
The simple calculation has always been an opportunistic approach to the problem of racism. The US is 63.7 per cent non-Hispanic white, 12.2 per cent black, 8.7 per cent Hispanic white and 0.4 per cent Hispanic black, according to the most recent census.
So you appease the white supremacists by not speaking against them while you also conciliate the minorities by loudly proclaiming equality, freedom, liberty and other ‘American values’ even if you do not practice them.
Look at this: According to the Economic Policy Institute(2016,) the hourly pay gap between blacks and whites widened to 26.7 per cent, with whites making an average of $25.22 an hour compared to $18.49 for blacks. What is driving the wage gap has little to do with access to education, disparities in work experience or where someone lives, EPI found out. Rather, the researchers found “discrimination...and growing earnings inequality in general,” to be the primary factors at play.
According to a report published by the Prison to College Pipeline Programme, Black Americans were incarcerated in State prisons at an average rate of 5.1 times that of white Americans, and in some states, that rate was 10 times or more! We know about the Black Lives Matter Movement as a response to the killing (for fan) of Blacks by mainly White police officers. There is a long standing problem here. That is why I think having an out of the closet ‘self-proclaimed racist’ in the White House is one of the best things that have happened to the USA for a long time. It has woken up the people from the illusion created overtime by those hiding racism under the carpet. They must rise up and fight against this evil because it has shown itself to be alive and kicking.
Isn’t it a sweet irony that the confederate statues are going down under the reign of a president perceived to be sympathetic to White Supremacists?
Mr Sengoba is a commentator on political
and social issues. email@example.com