aside Racism Made Donald J. Trump The 45th US President

Image result for photos of president obama“We the people” are well aware that racism is the elephant in the room that too many peoples want to pretend it is not there. This is an insidious infection within the USA culture that we can no longer afford ignore. We have to end it.

The author Ta-Nehisi Coates has written an insightful commentary on the subject of how racism set the stage for the current republican President Donald Trump now dwelling in the White House. I have footnoted a link below to the entire very lengthy narrative.

Image result for photos of president trumpIn the October 2017 Atlantic Magazine edition, Ta-Nehisi Coates penned the following article, “The First White President.” He argues that the foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.

“IT IS INSUFFICIENT TO STATE the obvious of Donald Trump: that he is a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact. With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness—that bloody heirloom which cannot ensure mastery of all events but can conjure a tailwind for most of them. Land theft and human plunder cleared the grounds for Trump’s forefathers and barred others from it. Once upon the field, these men became soldiers, statesmen, and scholars; held court in Paris; presided at Princeton; advanced into the Wilderness and then into the White House. Their individual triumphs made this exclusive party seem above America’s founding sins, and it was forgotten that the former was in fact bound to the latter, that all their victories had transpired on cleared grounds. No such elegant detachment can be attributed to Donald Trump—a president who, more than any other, has made the awful inheritance explicit.”

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“His political career began in advocacy of birtherism, that modern recasting of the old American precept that black people are not fit to be citizens of the country they built. But long before birtherism, Trump had made his worldview clear. He fought to keep blacks out of his buildings, according to the U.S. government; called for the death penalty for the eventually exonerated Central Park Five; and railed against “lazy” black employees. “Black guys counting my money! I hate it,” Trump was once quoted as saying. “The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” After his cabal of conspiracy theorists forced Barack Obama to present his birth certificate, Trump demanded the president’s college grades (offering $5 million in exchange for them), insisting that Obama was not intelligent enough to have gone to an Ivy League school, and that his acclaimed memoir, Dreams From My Father, had been ghostwritten by a white man, Bill Ayers.”

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“It is often said that Trump has no real ideology, which is not true—his ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power. Trump inaugurated his campaign by casting himself as the defender of white maidenhood against Mexican “rapists,” only to be later alleged by multiple accusers, and by his own proud words, to be a sexual violator himself. White supremacy has always had a perverse sexual tint. Trump’s rise was shepherded by Steve Bannon, a man who mocks his white male critics as “cucks.” The word, derived from cuckold, is specifically meant to debase by fear and fantasy—the target is so weak that he would submit to the humiliation of having his white wife lie with black men. That the slur cuck casts white men as victims aligns with the dicta of whiteness, which seek to alchemize one’s profligate sins into virtue. So it was with Virginia slaveholders claiming that Britain sought to make slaves of them. So it was with marauding Klansmen organized against alleged rapes and other outrages. So it was with a candidate who called for a foreign power to hack his opponent’s email and who now, as president, is claiming to be the victim of “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.”

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“In Trump, white supremacists see one of their own. Only grudgingly did Trump denounce the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke, one of its former grand wizards—and after the clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, Duke in turn praised Trump’s contentious claim that “both sides” were responsible for the violence.”

“To Trump, whiteness is neither notional nor symbolic but is the very core of his power. In this, Trump is not singular. But whereas his forebears carried whiteness like an ancestral talisman, Trump cracked the glowing amulet open, releasing its eldritch energies. The repercussions are striking: Trump is the first president to have served in no public capacity before ascending to his perch. But more telling, Trump is also the first president to have publicly affirmed that his daughter is a “piece of ass.” The mind seizes trying to imagine a black man extolling the virtues of sexual assault on tape (“When you’re a star, they let you do it”), fending off multiple accusations of such assaults, immersed in multiple lawsuits for allegedly fraudulent business dealings, exhorting his followers to violence, and then strolling into the White House. But that is the point of white supremacy—to ensure that that which all others achieve with maximal effort, white people (particularly white men) achieve with minimal qualification. Barack Obama delivered to black people the hoary message that if they work twice as hard as white people, anything is possible. But Trump’s counter is persuasive: Work half as hard as black people, and even more is possible.”

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“For Trump, it almost seems that the fact of Obama, the fact of a black president, insulted him personally. The insult intensified when Obama and Seth Meyers publicly humiliated him at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011. But the bloody heirloom ensures the last laugh. Replacing Obama is not enough—Trump has made the negation of Obama’s legacy the foundation of his own. And this too is whiteness. “Race is an idea, not a fact,” the historian Nell Irvin Painter has written, and essential to the construct of a “white race” is the idea of not being a nigger. Before Barack Obama, niggers could be manufactured out of Sister Souljahs, Willie Hortons, and Dusky Sallys. But Donald Trump arrived in the wake of something more potent—an entire nigger presidency with nigger health care, nigger climate accords, and nigger justice reform, all of which could be targeted for destruction or redemption, thus reifying the idea of being white. Trump truly is something new—the first president whose entire political existence hinges on the fact of a black president. And so it will not suffice to say that Trump is a white man like all the others who rose to become president. He must be called by his rightful honorific—America’s first white president.

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THE SCOPE OF TRUMP’S commitment to whiteness is matched only by the depth of popular disbelief in the power of whiteness. We are now being told that support for Trump’s “Muslim ban,” his scapegoating of immigrants, his defenses of police brutality are somehow the natural outgrowth of the cultural and economic gap between Lena Dunham’s America and Jeff Foxworthy’s. The collective verdict holds that the Democratic Party lost its way when it abandoned everyday economic issues like job creation for the softer fare of social justice. The indictment continues: To their neoliberal economics, Democrats and liberals have married a condescending elitist affect that sneers at blue-collar culture and mocks the white man as history’s greatest monster and prime-time television’s biggest doofus. In this rendition, Donald Trump is not the product of white supremacy so much as the product of a backlash against contempt for white working-class people.

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“We so obviously despise them, we so obviously condescend to them,” the conservative social scientist Charles Murray, who co-wrote The Bell Curverecently told The New Yorker, speaking of the white working class. “The only slur you can use at a dinner party and get away with is to call somebody a redneck—that won’t give you any problems in Manhattan.”

Link to entire article: Donald Trump Is the First White President – The Atlantic


    • Dear Suze,

      Thanks a million for sharing this post. There are too many peoples who want to pretend that we are in a post-racism era when racism is still very much alive in the USA.

      Hugs, Gronda

  1. Gronda … this is such an excellent post and such an excellent article by Ta-Nehisi Coates! And in a related ‘current event’, there is the situation with ESPN anchor Jemele Hill who, on her own Twitter account posted that Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself with other white supremacists. She is SO right and should not be coming under fire for stating the obvious truth. Thank you for this post … I shall be re-blogging it! Hugs!!!

    • Dear Jill,

      I have been following the Jemele Hill / ESPN story as well. I think it is important to remind ESPN that over 30% of its viewers are Black folks and that she was tweeting on her own personal tine, plus she was telling the truth. That she should take heat from the name calling bully-in-chief is unconscionable. ESPN executives are “weenies.”

      Thanks a million times over for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    This week, an ESPN anchor, Jemele Hill, came under fire from Trump & Co for a tweet she posted stating a truism, that Donald Trump is a white supremacist. I agree 100%. Along the same vein, friend and fellow-blogger Gronda has made an excellent post based on an article by author Ta-Nehisi Coates that says racism & white supremacy is the only reason Trump sits in the Oval Office today. Please take a minute or two to read this excellent post. Thank you, Gronda, for this post and for allowing me to share it.

    • Dear Horty,

      We are not going to let DDT, king of the “birther Movement” against President Obama get away with bullying the ESPN host Jemele because she dared to tweet the truth in her off-hour work time, that DDT is a White Supremacist.

      Thanks a million for all your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. The racist element showed itself with the undignified and juvenile babbling about President Obama’s birth certificate. More evidence that Trump is not where he is through his own efforts he is simply a manifestation of others fears.
    Many people who genuinely believed in him will ultimately be so disappointed.

    • Dear Roger,

      Racism in the USA culture is for real but many, mostly republicans want to have folks believe that the issue of racism is over-exaggerated.

      Unfortunately, recent events are challenging the republicans’ need to downplay the effect of institutionalized racism on the American culture.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Sadly these tensions and abuses are factors in nations throughout the world.
        The Republicans would do well to look at what happens when those tensions truly get out of control.
        Take care.
        Hope things are beginning to turn back to normal where you live.

  4. Gronda, I feel the White House incumbent took full advantage of White Supremacists and related extremists. With the appointment of Jeff Sessions and Steve Bannon, he perpetuated a racist mindset. We should be mindful, his followers were not all racists and voted for him for the perception he would take on the establishment, yet he has not dissuaded his racists followers from believing he is of like mind. And, that is a problem. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      In short, the White supremacists, the White nationalists, the neo-Nazis, the KKK, the Skinheads, etc., all support en masse the presidency of Donald J. Trump. These are endorsements that any decent politician would be decrying and rejecting, outright

      As king of the birther movement against President Obama, he has blood on his hands.

      Hugs, Gronda.

      • By itself, the birther movement was racist. No white President would have been or has been treated with such disdain. When Trump says how maltreated he is, he seems to forget what he did to Obama.

  5. Thanks you for a post that truly explain how this country ended up with #45. However we are all looking at him but it required a senate and congress that ran on that hate to set the stage for him or someone like him to become president of the US. We did not seem to understand the platform the Tea party candidates ran on so they were elected with the goal to remove the offensive things that Obama had done to the American people such as health care and environmental accountability. Never forget we really have him because of the electoral college not the popular vote.

    • Dear Ravenhawks magazine,

      You are so right. Racism is only one factor out of many which set up the environment where Donald J. Trump was able to win the prize of becoming the 45th US president. .

      Hugs, Gronda

  6. Dear Ishan Shrivastava,

    WELCOME! I appreciate your kind words and I will take time to look at your blog. It is important to spread knowledge on this issue of racism.

    Thank you for stopping by and Hugs, Gronda

  7. Great post, and kudos are hitting Trump and racism on the head without beating around the bush. I can’t help but relate him to Putin in my head, maybe he doesn’t kill his oponent but he’s more than happy to slander them.

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