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A capitolian tragedy

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The recent event in America’s Capitol Hill, where President Donald Trump’s supporters – acting on his rabble-rousing speeches – stormed the seat of power appears a mere dress rehearsal for something worse, as Trump – in his pugnacious nature – is ready to wrap his arms around the pillars of America’s democracy, pulling down the edifice in his descent into hell. But for this utter madness to take place in a supposedly hallowed sanctuary leaves much to be desired.

It cannot be gainsaid that it was Trump’s constant divisive rhetoric reeled off through Twitter that finally came home to roost – and this actually makes me wonder if His Excellency had any sterling political programme or ideology that drove him into politics because right from the outset of his presidency, it has been ‘America First’ or as people would say, ‘White America First,’ then the Building of Walls mantra which he sang for over two years; then his lamentations for not winning the Nobel Peace Prize; his unfounded conspiracy theories around COVID-19; his provocation over an election adjudged free and fair not to mention his silly chants firing up the jingoistic tendencies of the white supremacists s well as other manoeuvres, demagoguery and scheming that cannot stand the test of civilised standards. Now, the ravenous falcons have heeded their falconer and anarchy has been let loose on America’s temple of democracy, leaving it desecrated in ways unthinkable even in those countries President Trump once berated as ‘shithole countries.’

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The mayhem in Capitol Hill may have also brought to the fore an underlying factor in America’s race relations in so far as tolerance is concerned in that there had been a barefaced double standard exhibited by the police and security officers who had visibly stood aside as the rioting white mob tore into the law-making temple. In fact, I had thought these officers – considering their indifference – were in cahoots with the unscrupulous ragtag rebels themselves.

But again, this is Trump’s world of cold-blooded hypocrisy intermingled with jingoism. In retrospect, it must have been these same cooperating officers or their colleagues who had stood their grounds, maiming and using their blows, batons and bullets freely in confronting the predominantly black demonstrators of the Black Lives Matter movement when they staged their own protests sometime last year. Even President-elect, Joe Biden, while decrying the state of destruction of the aforementioned Capitol Hill had himself, alluded to the sickening inconsistencies and double standards, where punishments do not fit the crime and if they do, are more often than not, meted out to people based on their race: Be a black demonstrator and you’re severely baton-whipped or worse, sledge-hammered; but be white and a kid-glove treatment awaits you.

This is the real albatross bedevilling race relations in the US, and when examined critically, it flies in the face of the 1954 court’s decision in Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, where the then separate but equal policy was held to be inherently unequal. Although that ruling dealt fundamentally with racial segregation in schools, the United States of America is still not yet out of the woods as far as discrimination and all aspects of racial profiling is concerned. Yes, it is an irrefutable fact that white Americans rule the country and control the means of production, but they must understand that their black counterparts have themselves, contributed immensely to making the United States a star in the world’s constellation of nations. Therefore, these African-Americans have a stake in that country and you can’t just wish that away. This is the unpalatable truth that we must contend with.

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Taking this further, I do not really know why the outgoing Donald Trump is again being touted as a possible presidential candidate in 2024 when the Republican Party has a cream of vibrant hopefuls to present. Though he has the constitutional right to vote and be voted for – and I do not begrudge him – but I would advise that he engages in some soul-searching, analysing his potentials so as to gauge where he stands, as being a presidential candidate or presiding over the US for a second time should not be a do-or-die affair.

I have studied this man for the past four years and I would say without any fear of contradiction that he does not possess the endurance or mental capacity of being as we say, a‘Father of the Nation’ – or one who accommodates all, as he is such a snowflake easily frustrated by media bashings which he takes personally. In this vein, I want to assume that the statement concerning his re-emergence in four years’ time is made tongue-in-cheek, as the worst thing that could ever befall America would be the exhumation of Donald J. Trump from the cemetery of irrelevance come 2024.

Agbonlahor is a lawyer, journalist and author based in Manchester (UK).

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