THE 1619 PROJECT

Trump’s White Privilege Revealed

There are times when the great, orange hype-master in the White House makes a gigantic stink about something hardly anyone knows about, and by rebuking it he creates not only a viral event but also makes more people aware of that very thing he wants them to ignore. Such goofy thinking!

We have had starts and stops with racial matters in America. There are times when we make some progress, then other times we fall back and trample our “better angels,” the ones President Lincoln turned to at times. One of the things I have learned is the more I study our presidents the less likely I’m inclined to hoist them onto a huge glory pedestal.

Thomas Jefferson

When we heard the recorded conversations of Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, their uncensored language about “Jews” and “colored people” was dreadful. I read some of the things Dwight Eisenhower said after he had a few drinks, I was stunned and saddened. It was nothing less than racist language and a continuation of “established” racist views held by many Americans. I’m sorry to burst any bubbles, but racism is the norm in America, not the exception.

When the New York Times launched their 1619 Project in August of 2019, I assumed it was a marketing ploy to increase readership. It commemorated the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of enslaved Africans at the English colonies of mainland North America in August of 1619, thus the name.

If you want to dive more deeply, you can learn more here. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have heard that these articles have been met with much controversy. The entire undertaking is not riddled with lies, but it is being challenged and maligned by historians of every ilk and political persuasion.

One of the most challenged premises in the 1619 Project is that American independence from Britain was a way for our new country to maintain slavery. In fact, the slave trade wasn’t outlawed in Great Britain by Royal Assent until March 25, 1807, but a man was freed by British Chief Justice Lord Mansfield. That ruling in 1772 stated that that “no master ever was allowed here (England) to take a slave by force to be sold abroad because he deserted from his service… therefore the man must be discharged.” And so James Somerset, a slave, won his freedom. The founding fathers knew that this only applied to England and not the 13 colonies, but they heard the footsteps of freedom. They worried that they would be next.

Remember we debated and concluded that we needed to break away from King George in 1776 over a long list of grievances clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence. You can read that legal document here.

Some people get hung up by certain aspects of our justice system, like the notion that someone who lied once means everything else they say is tainted. Ask Michael Cohen. If you write something, especially if it has the sheen of a scholarly work, someone will challenge you, if not in a letter to the editor then in a court of law.

Some choose to fight the battle based on an adoring viewpoint that our founding fathers were righteous and driven by the Magna Carta, rather than being money-oriented and goaded by wealth and profiteering. Don’t ignore human nature here, folks. Many historical accounts demonstrate that the white planters hyped a revolution because they wanted to make sure they kept their land. For example, a unique 215-foot-high rock formation in Rockbridge County, Virginia, along with 150 surrounding acres, were purchased from King George III of England by Thomas Jefferson on July 5, 1774. Jefferson knew the monument would have significant value (as a tourist trap) and he named it Natural Bridge.

When America was a colony of Britain, the settlers developed their own governments in each state, loosely based on what they knew from their motherland. Our founding fathers were still British citizens who believed their deeds, documents and demands of common law should not be abridged. King George brazenly decreed that none of those documents would be honored. This pissed off the landowners and founding fathers so, yes, it’s true that economics was very much a driver in the liberation of the 13 states.

One of the ways our rich, land-owning white forefathers kept the laborers and non-Blacks in line was taking away land from freed Black slaves or indentured servants and giving that land to white men. A bond that was massaged with Christianity, white privilege and pro-slavery kept everyone on the same page for a revolution. Could our founders have spread the word that if we didn’t break away from the mother country all our slaves would be released to burn down the suburbs? That is hard to know, even for the New York Times, and I hope I’m correct in thinking that stone has already been unearthed by at least one of our many newspapers and writers.

Did the early power brokers and self-proclaimed intellectuals know that Great Britain was going to outlaw the slave trade in 1807? How can one know the future? Maybe they had advice from people like Ben Franklin, who lived primarily in London until 1775. After Franklin completed his role in the Continental Congress, he moved to Paris. The things a man will do to get out of the house! Ben was supposed to keep France on our side and provide loans to keep this country solvent, and it wouldn’t have been beneath Franklin to spread some useful lies. France didn’t declare slavery illegal until 1848 however, so the idea that Uncle Ben could have told us about the future demise of slavery is not credible.

Most Americans don’t realize that the King, or Queen of the United Kingdom is also the head of the Church of England. Back in the late 1770s, King George had the power to declare the slave trade dead, but he didn’t. Now, let’s return to today’s America.

In July 2020, Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas proposed the “Saving American History Act of 2020.” It prohibited K-12 schools from using federal funds to teach curriculum related to the 1619 Project. Tom Cotton says, “The 1619 Project is a racially divisive and revisionist account of history that threatens the integrity of the Union by denying the true principles on which it was founded.” While this “cotton-picking” Congressman from Arkansas pisses on the Frist Amendment, I would add that his belief that he, and he alone, can save American history is audacious and laughable.

Mr. Cotton didn’t go it alone. He was able to manipulate one other person to take up the sword against a newspaper. This week, Donald John Trump stated on Twitter that the Department of Education will investigate whether California public schools are using the 1619 Project as part of their school curriculum and, if they are, they will “not be funded!”

It wasn’t just Tom Cotton who pulled the wool over Trump’s eyes, it was also Tucker Carlson, the Joseph Goebbels of American media, who broadcasted a major show on the 1619 Project. Now, the President thinks that words on a paper are more dangerous than Russia, North Korea and the global pandemic all rolled into one. Things Tucker Carlson has said and proposed over the years leave no doubt in my mind that he is a racist. Cotton, on the other hand, should know better.

The real reason Trump is fighting so hard against the 1619 Project is because he sees racism and America’s racist history through the lens that Fred Sr. implanted in his deficient head. Like a bad software update, these prejudices make the Donald unable to understand anything that challenges his white privilege.

According to NPR, “Trump won just 8% of the Black vote in 2016 and current polls show the vast majority of Black voters backing Trump’s Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.” African American women vote more than Black men, but the key question is will Trump’s efforts against the 1619 Project make him look like a white plantation owner, wanting to keep the facts of slavery from the young Black and white voters out in the street protesting? Or maybe he’s just another racist waving his white sheet… yet again.

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LEAST RACIST PERSON

Trump’s Personal Feedback Loop

An alcoholic typically underestimates the number of drinks they’ve had. A drug addict lives in denial and focuses on the next fix. Racists avoid that little dark spot in their soul and never admit the defect was placed there by someone else. People are not racists in a vacuum. Humans are not born as racists. And today (1-15-2018), on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, it might be quite appropriate to explore this subject.

Donald Trump gets into trouble with his mouth. He can line up his fine men to lie for him, but that doesn’t change what is inside this man’s heart. Our great Orange Leader looks down his nose at many different minority groups with his words, deeds and actions.

No one person can know if they are the most or least of any description or label they could place on themselves. I might say, I am the cleverest writer in the world. But how can I know that without intimate knowledge of the work of millions of other writers? That’s hardly a possible feat. So, who gave the Donald the power to examine all people on the Earth to determine their personal racism so he can declare his is the least?

What is racism? Well, the dictionary says, Racism is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. And to rub some salt in the wound, racism is the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

It’s quite amazing that with Donald J. Trump’s “fine education” at military school and then at a “very good school” (Wharton Business School), Trump must have missed learning what words really mean. And now, we must deal with this major flaw in our 45th President.

Trump antagonizes as his main tactic. He directs that antagonization toward minorities, women and enemies. Does Donald Trump really believe he is superior to certain groups of people? His obsession with Barack Obama is an attempt to delegitimize him as an American. The leap between not being born on American soil, to labeling him as an “outsider,” to the notion that Obama is inferior because he was part African has been obvious from the beginning.

Trump has described himself as having “superior genes” and pronounced this as the reason he would always do better than others. He attributed his talents to his DNA, his gene pool, which determine race, color of skin, color of hair, and the like, but doesn’t guarantee success or failure. Trump believes his success draws a direct line between his “whiteness” and his power.

We have already heard him say how smart he is, even going so far to announce that he is “a very stable genius.” I.Q. is a sticky wicket. Once you declare your score, you will spend the rest of your days answering the question, “If you’re so damn smart then why (insert embarrassing question here)?”  If you are so smart and superior to us, Mr. Trump, then why the hell do more than 60% of the country think you are full of shit?

Like the drunk who keeps saying he wants one more drink, or the junky heating up one more spoon of love, Donald Trump wanders around the White House with his “executive time” of idle hours believing he is superior to other people.  He can say he’s the least racist person and that he never said “shithole countries” but it’s a little too late. Everyone knows he lies. He constantly denies anything he thinks the public, and especially the press, think was a mistake.

Let’s focus on the impact of what’s happening here. Trump doesn’t care about the so-called “Dreamers.” He would prefer to deport them all and start over with a whiter America. But he fails to understand the tide of demographics and the needs of millions of voting minorities in this country.

Women, of whatever color, deserve respect, thus the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. African-Americans must be protected from police brutality and malpractice, as all citizens must be, thus #BlackLivesMatter. Hispanic or Latina Americans are on the march and they will not be stopped. Trump can complain about how they all got here, and scream about the need for his ill-advised wall, but immigrants are a major part of the American DNA. All Americans must be served, not antagonized, by this president, the leader of the free world.

That brings us to the question of President Donald Trump’s status as a card-carrying racist. If we are using words and actions to determine the definition of a man or, as Martin Luther King, Jr. would have said, if we judge Donald Trump not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character, then, yes, Donald Trump is a racist.

He can deny it all he wants, but in the end, Donald Trump has just enough Richard Nixon, a dab of George Wallace and a heap of Fred Trump in his DNA to make him a terrible person; clearly unfit for office. It would be easy to say Trump’s attitudes are due to misaligned gene placement, but maybe the Donald was just raised to be a racist.

In 1927, during a KKK parade that turned into a riot, two Italian-Americans were murdered and many people were arrested. One of those arrested was Fred Trump of 175-24 Devonshire Road in Jamaica, New York, Donald Trump’s father. It’s unclear why he was there, but it does beg this question. Why did Donald Trump deny his father’s presence there for so many years? It’s another part of a sad pattern of lies, denials and deep-seated need for Trump to cleanse his image. Racism is a cancer that, certainly, Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. would say can be cured with love and understanding. Trump needs to fix DACA and show some love.

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