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Trump and toxic racist remarks

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US President Donald Trump (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP)

A recent controversial statement of the President of the United States Donald Trump, calling on four federal legislators – Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley – to “go back” to the “crime-infested places from which they came” is another serious gaffe from his kitty of toxic statements at this time.

Though these gaffes have reaffirmed President Trump’s garrulous nature and intensified his proclivity for prejudice against minorities, they are also a dent to the public image of the United States (U.S.) as a foremost bastion of democracy and its majesty. That unguarded remark smacks of a threat to global peace. This is an unfortunate development in a world that is in dire need of inclusion for security and sustainability. It is a indeed another shameful manifestation.

Trump’s latest remark came as a tweet lashing out at the four women members of the U.S. House of Representatives, who were embroiled in a clash with House leaders over border funding. In reaction to their bold submission at the House, Trump had tweeted: “So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime- infested places from which they came?”

It should be recalled that that was not the first time that President Trump had flaunted his racist and xenophobic remarks with glee. At the beginning of his tenure, he had attacked blacks as lazy, dubbed Mexicans rapists and had called for a total shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S. Two years ago, he declined to condemn the anti-Semitic and racist actions of white supremacists in Charlottesville. Earlier in the year, the loquacious U.S. leader called African nations “shithole countries,” a comment he later regretted and for which his government apologised.

Added to his incurable racist mindset is his utter disregard and disdain for women. That Trump disrespects women and considers them expendable was demonstrated by his treatment of the allegations levelled against him by women with whom he had allegedly had affairs. One of such mistresses, Playboy playmate Karen McDougal, had told The New Yorker, that Trump’s inflammatory comments about race and gender were so offensive that she had to break off the relationship.

It is therefore not surprising that Trump would lose all props of rationality when the respectable American women lawmakers he contends with are descendants of immigrants, coloured or black and worse of all Muslim.

For many like Trump, who might have lost their sense of history, they should be reminded that some of the cherished values of democracy, which America takes pride in as its heritage, were championed by women. No American who understands the evil of injustice would forget Ms Rosa Parks, whose singular act of defiance to colour bar was instrumental in black American integration in the United States. Equally true is the claim that modern day United States would not forget the contributions of former Secretaries of State Madeline Albright and Condoleeza Rice, and former U.S. Under-Secretary for Africa, Susan Rice, to foreign relations.

Besides, would they also forget the contributions of the hidden black female mathematicians (Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson) of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to the space race?

It is common knowledge that Trump, like many White Americans claiming the land, is a product of immigration. There has been a claim that his grandfather, Frederic Trump, a German immigrant to the U.S., was a persona non grata in his German homeland and a notorious rascal. Therefore, being himself a descendant of an immigrant, Donald Trump owes no greater claim to the U.S. than other immigrants. If Trump’s racist comments are attempts to voice out the White supremacists’ claim to America, what would the original owners of the land, the Red Indians, say? Perhaps, as many have conjectured, these moves by Trump seem like a preamble to a more fundamental agenda of promoting a White Christian nationalism with Zionist sympathies. But who knows?

By consistently stoking prejudice against minorities, Trump is building an edifice of acrimony and intolerance, and thereby debranding America. He is exposing the worst of America and reconditioning that enviable nation into a wild and weird country. That Trump would react to distinguished members of the House, like an untamed street urchin would to his peers, suggests that he has no respect for institutions. He is therefore a danger to the prospect of democracy and he is a danger to the world.

As this newspaper stated when Trump made his careless ‘shithole’ remarks, it bears repeating once again and always that the immense contribution of African immigrants to the economic and political development of the United States is a fundamental historical truth about the rise of that country. Latest findings coming out in the wake of Trump’s comment, showed that most of the African immigrants in the U.S. were likely to be the best from their countries of origin. Many of them have come into the U.S., earned higher degrees and a good number have fared better than White Americans of the same social status.

To deride these honest and hardworking Americans – descendants of immigrants contributing their own quota to the development of the U.S., simply because of their ancestry – is the meanest display of contempt and ingratitude to the complementarity and diversity bestowed on humankind by God.

It is for this reason that The Guardian always condemns the senseless attempt by Trump to rehash classical racism and brutal White ethnocentric tendencies under whatever guise. Thus we are unequivocal in stating as follows: If America as a nation lays claim to anything good and beautiful it has acquired in the cause of its nationhood, it did not earn such from the white community alone. Everything that has made America great today has the historical and cultural imprints of its different peoples, be they Asians, Europeans, Hispanics, and most especially peoples of African descent.

Outsiders may not be the ones to tell Trump the history of his country, but when he embarks on willful amnesia to put the world in jeopardy, any lover of truth and justice, irrespective of their race or nation has a moral responsibility to call him to order. Trump’s ‘go back’ comment is an injury to the contribution of minorities and insult to the multiculturalism that has made the United States of America the great country that it is today. Trump must recognise his misguided remarks and apologise to the four women.

Whilst Trump may mean well for his country, he should be counselled about the fact that America is the microcosm of the human race, and that he would do well to respect the greatness of the United States by recognising the humanity of its people. To Trump, the immortal words of the late Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Thurgood Marshal, is apposite: “In recognising the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”


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